Before you can use your iPad 2 and start surfing the Web, reading novels, or typing e-mails, you have to activate it. Fortunately, doing so doesn’t require filling out paperwork or standing in line at the Apple Store.
How To Use iPad 2 and What You Need
In order to activate and sync your iPad, you’ll need a Mac or PC with a USB 2.0 port, iTunes 10 or later, the connection cable that came with the iPad, and an iTunes Store account. iTunes is not included in the iPad box, so if you don’t have a copy, go to itunes.com/download and get it. In addition, your Mac should be running OS X 10.5.8 or later; on a PC, you’ll need Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP Home or Professional (SP3). You’ll also need your Apple ID and password. If you’ve ever bought songs from iTunes, what you use to log in there will be your Apple ID; if you don’t have an Apple ID, you can create one for free by going to appleid.apple.com.
How to Use iPad 2: Set It Up Your New iPad
When you first plug your iPad into your computer, iTunes will launch and walk you through the activation process. The first screen will say “Let’s Get Started” and will lay out the first two steps: registering your iPad and setting up an iTunes Store account. If you don’t want to register your iPad at the moment, you can click the Register Later button on the left. If you’re ready to register, click the Continue button.
Next you’ll see the iPad Software License Agreement. Give it a read, check the box confirming that you have read and agree to the license, and click on Continue (if you’d like to look at this document again later, click the Save button before clicking Continue).
The iTunes Account screen is up next. This is where you enter your Apple ID and password to register your iPad. If you’ve ever purchased anything from the iTunes Store, you should already have a login. If not, click the radio button labeled I Do Not Have An Apple ID, then select your country, and iTunes will walk you through the sign-up process.
Once you’re logged in, Apple will offer to sign you up for its MobileMe service if you aren’t already a member. Skip this screen unless you’ve already researched MobileMe and were just waiting for the best time to sign up. (Read more about MobileMe here: macworld.com/6706.)
Your iPad screen is next. You can opt to set up the iPad as a new iPad, or to restore from another backup that you can choose from the drop-down menu. (You’ll also see iPhone and iPod backups listed here.) If this is your first iPad, you can ignore the second option and click Continue to start fresh.
The second screen in the Set Up Your iPad section has a few customization options. Here, you can enter a name for your iPad. Below the Name field are three syncing options. Check as many of these boxes as you like, or none at all. The first option is Automatically Sync Songs To My iPad, which will fill your iPad with all the music it can fit from your iTunes library. The second is Automatically Add Photos To My iPad, which fills any space your music doesn’t already occupy with photos it finds in iPhoto. The third option syncs any compatible apps you have in your iTunes library with the iPad.
The iPad might seem to have a lot of memory, but it fills up fast. If you have a lot of media already in iTunes, you may want to leave all three of these boxes unchecked. Once you’re out of the setup screens and in the main iTunes interface, you can manually choose exactly what songs, videos, books, and apps you want to keep on your iPad. When you’ve chosen your options, click Done.
How To Use iPad 2: Navigate the iTunes Interface
Congratulations—you’ve activated your iPad! Now, it’s time to add some content. Immediately after you finish setup, you’ll be taken to your iPad’s settings window within iTunes. You can also access this any other time your iPad is connected by clicking the name of your iPad in the iTunes Source list, under Devices.
Along the top of the window, you’ll see a row of buttons: Summary, Info, Apps, Music, Movies, TV Shows, Books, and Photos. Each button will take you to an individual screen that contains information and sync settings for each category. Along the bottom of the window, you’ll see a capacity bar (color-sorted by type of content) and a button to sync your iPad (or, if you’ve made changes to any settings, Revert or Apply).
By default, connecting your iPad will bring you to the Summary screen. Here, you’ll find three sections: iPad, Version, and Options. iPad will display an icon of your iPad as well as its name, storage capacity, software version, and serial number.
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