Getting Started – How To Use an iPhone/iPad Basics 

What is an iPad?  

An iPad is a type of tablet or hand-held computer produced by the computer company Apple. 

There are also iPad minis available which are smaller versions of the iPad. 

App: It is short for the word application. It is a shortcut that allows you to go directly to the programme or website you wish to access. It is represented by a picture or a symbol. You will see lots of apps on your iphone/ipad. 

Buttons on the iPad 

Buttons on the iPhone 

Using the touchscreen 

  • Tap once: To open up an app.  
  • Tap twice or pinch: to zoom the page.  
  • Drag to scroll (also referred to as swiping): When you press your finger to the screen and drag to the right, left, up, or down, you move around the screen 
  • Flick: To scroll more quickly on a page, quickly flick your finger on the screen in the direction you want to move.  
  • Tap the Status bar: To move quickly to the top of a list, Web page, or e-mail message, tap the status bar at the top of the iPad screen.  
  • Press and hold: If you’re in any application where selecting text would be an option, such as Notes or Mail, or if you’re on a Web page, pressing and holding near text will select a word and bring up editing. 

Using the keyboard  

The keyboard is not visible on the screen until you tap where you would like to write and then it will appear. When it does appear it will be very similar to the one used for a PC or laptop. Tap lightly on the letter you need. Practice by tapping on the notes app and selecting new on the top right-hand corner of the screen. 

Connecting to Wi-Fi  

Wi-Fi or wireless allows you to access the internet. If you already have broadband at home you can connect your iPhone/iPad to your broadband. 

Check that the Wi-Fi option is turned on then select the Wi-Fi network and enter the password. 

 If the word connected appears under the network name then you are connected to the Wi-Fi.  

For some of the Wi-Fi networks you will need a password.  

At home your wireless network name (SSID) is normally the name of your internet provider followed by some numbers for example: eircom409781. This will appear on the list of wireless networks once you tap on Wi-Fi.  

Once you click on the wireless network name you may be asked to enter a password. The password is written underneath your modem (the internet box) and is normally called: WEP Key or Wireless Key. 

Type in the key and tap Join. 

Setting up Email  

If you have an email account you can set it up to receive emails automatically to your iPad. 

  1. Firstly you need to know what type of email you use, e.g. Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo etc.   
  1. Tap Settings in the Home Screen  
  1. Tap Mail, Contacts, Calendars  
  1. Tap Add Account  
  1. Select the type of email you have e.g. Gmail  
  1. Fill in the details in the boxes; Your Name, Your Email Address, Your Password and Description (this is how you want the email to be described, e. g “My Mail” or “Gmail” or “Mary’s Gmail” etc.) 
  1. Tap next and the email will be verified, in the next section click save.  
  1. You may be asked to fill in more information after step 7, depending on your email, if this is the case; please ask your tutor to help you, if not go to Step 9.  
  1. Your account will now be activated and you will receive emails under the “Mail” app. 

Create and send email  

Open Mail, tap the New Message icon. 

  1. Enter a recipient’s address in the To: field.  
  1. If you have saved addresses in Contacts, tap the plus (+) symbol in the address field to choose an address from the Contacts list.  
  1. Tap the subject line and enter a subject for the message in the Subject field. Tap in the message body and type your message. Last thing to do is tap send. 

Reply to an email 

1.  Tap on the inbox and select the email you would like to reply to.  

2. Tap the arrow on the right-hand side to reply as shown in the picture above.  

3. When you tap Reply you will not have to retype the email address you will only need to do this when you are writing a new email so all you need to do is write your email and when you are ready tap send. 

Delete an email   

1.  To delete emails in the iPad simply tap on the email you wish to delete.  

2. As soon as you tap on the email look for a picture of a trash can, it is normally on the top right hand side of the screen.  

3. Tap on this trash can picture to delete the email. 


Apps (applications) are shortcuts that allow you to get straight into the website or programme you are looking for. Lots of different organisations and companies have their own apps.   

Pre-Installed Apps  

The iPhone/iPad has many applications that are pre-installed on the operating system.  

The calendar allows you to plan your daily routine.  

Reminders allow you to put reminders in for birthdays, appointments etc.  

The App Store is where you purchase apps. In order to use it you need to set up an Apple ID  

Settings changes how things work. For example, you need to access settings to set up the Wi-Fi.  

Safari allows you to browse the internet to search for information.  

Mail: you can send and receive emails.  

The camera allows you to take pictures and videos. There are two cameras; one facing you and one on the back.  

Photos: All saved photos and videos are stored in photos.  

Contacts allow you to save email addresses and contact details of family and friends.  

Notes allow you to make lists and notes.  

Maps allow you to search for places, and routes.  

FaceTime allows you to make video calls to other iPad and iPhone users.   

iTunes: Allows you to purchase music, audiobooks and buy or rent films that you can store on the iPad for later and listen to or watch whenever you wish.  

Music: Allows you to download songs, and store them on the iPad. You can purchase the songs on iTunes.  

iBooks: You can download and read books on your iPad. Some books are free, others you will have to pay for.  

iMessages: You can send text messages to other iPhone and iPad users as well as other users.  

All of these apps will appear on the screen, there may be too many to fit on just one screen so you will need to swipe the screen to the left or right with your finger to get to the next page. 

Downloading Apps While there are many apps that come pre-installed on the iPad there may be ones that you have heard of but that are not on your iPad, for example the RTE Player. You can download new apps through the App Store.  

Setting up an Apple ID  

Your Apple ID is the email address and password you will use to access your Apple account. This account can be used to contact Apple if you have a problem, however mostly it is used to access apps run by Apple on your iPad such as iTunes and the App Store. When you create an Apple ID it will ask you for your credit card details, this is so you can purchase products such as music, movies and some apps that aren’t free. Alternatively you can set up your Apple ID without using a credit card.  

Firstly set up your apple ID but skip the part where it asks you for a credit card. Tap back into the App Store into the search button and search for a free app, for example the RTE app. When you tap on free, then install, the option will appear for you to select None as your payment option.   

In order to download an App you need to search for it in the App Store. You need to log into the App Store with your Apple ID. If you do not have an Apple ID you need to create one.  

Setting up your Apple ID with your credit card  

Note: Your password must be 8 characters long, it must contain at least 1 capital letter and 1 number, otherwise, it will not be accepted. For example: Dublin2012 or 99Redballoons or 101Dalmatians  

1. Go to Settings > Store  

2. Tap “Sign In”  

3. When asked select “Create new Apple ID”  

4. Tap Store and then Select “Ireland” as your country, then tap “Done”  

5. Tap “Agree”, to agree to the Terms & Conditions  

6. Now you must fill in the information details such as name, email, password and select and answer some security questions. NB it is important that you write down all of the information you have filled in on this page so that you have it for future reference if you forget  

7. In the next section you will have to fill in all the relevant details of your credit card, and then click next.  

8. You will now be asked to “Verify your email address”, this means that Apple will send you an email and you must click the link in the email in order to confirm that it is your email.   

9. Go to Mail and open the new email from Apple, click the link and verify your email, you will now be brought to a page and asked to fill in your email address and password and to tap “Verify Address”  

10. You now have an Apple ID and you can view the details of it an anytime by going to Settings > Store and selecting your Apple ID 

Using the App Store  

Tap on the App store icon.  

1. Now that you have set up your Apple ID you can browse through thousands of apps. There are apps there for everything from games to sports, books etc.  

2. Once you have tapped on the App Store Icon, on the right-hand side you will see a magnifying glass; tap this to activate the keyboard.  

3. Type in what you are looking for and tap go.  

4. If you find something you like tap on the app to read more about it. If you like it and want it on your iPad tap where it says free and the last step you do is tap on get.  

5. That’s it you have now downloaded a new app on your iPad.   

Deleting Apps  

When you no longer need an app that you have installed, you can delete it. (You can’t delete pre-installed apps)   

Display the Home screen that contains the app you want to delete.  

Press and hold the app until all apps begin to jiggle.  

Tap the Delete button for the app you want to delete.  

Tap OK to proceed with the deletion.  


You can make Facetime calls with other people who have an iPad, iPhone, iPod or Mac computer. You can call one person, or several people in a group call. You will be able to see and talk to them all at the same time.  

Tap on the FaceTime app.  

In the FaceTime app just tap on a name in your list.  

Apple Wallet 

Apple Wallet is a mobile app included with the iOS operating system that allows users to store Wallet-passes, meaning coupons, boarding passes, student ID cards, event tickets, movie tickets, public transportation tickets, and store bank cards. 

Extra Tips for the iPad 

Set Brightness 

To make your screen brighter, tap on settings>Display & Brightness 

Tap and drag the Brightness slider to the right to make the screen brighter, or to the left to make it dimmer.  

Alternatively, swipe the screen up from the bottom to display settings, then you can adjust the brightness slider by sliding it either up or down.  

Screen Rotation  

If you hold the iPhone/iPad in portrait position the screen will stay in portrait. If you move the iPhone/iPad to a landscape position the screen will move with it.   

Swipe the screen up from the bottom to display settings, here you can turn on or off the “screen rotate”. 

Iphone Torch 

A very handy light is built into the iphone.  

To turn this on or off, swipe the screen up & cap on the torch symbol.  


 The iCloud allows you to store all of the information on your iPhone/iPad in cyberspace. You can download iCloud from the App Store.  

For example if you have taken photos with your iPhone/iPad, you can upload these photos onto the iCloud. If anything was ever to happen to your device you would still be able to access your photographs by logging into from a different computer.  

You will need to set up an iCloud account for this to work. It is similar to setting up an email account with a username and password. When you download the iCloud app it will ask you to do this. You can switch on a setting so that all of your photographs and music will automatically upload to the iCloud when the iPad is charging and connected to a WiFi connection. 

 If you were ever to lose your iPhone/IPad, you could log into the iCloud on a different computer and check the last known location of your device, as the iCloud can track it through GPS technology. If you buy a new iPad or iPhone you can access all the material from your old device through the iCloud.   

iCloud gives you a certain amount of storage space for free. This is 5 GB of data which is normally enough for the average iPad user. If you were to take thousands of photographs you might have to buy extra (cyber) storage space to fit them on the iCloud. All of this is virtual not physical storage space.   

Leave A Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *