The ability to open the iPad's settings can be very important both in basic troubleshooting and in configuring the iPad to act as you want it to act. There are numerous settings that can be tweaked in order to turn on parental controls, configure push notifications or even get better battery life.
To get into your iPad's settings, simply touch the icon that looks like gears turning. I have it highlighted in the picture above this article. Notice how I have mine on the iPad's dock? It can be a good idea to move the settings icon to the dock if it is not already there. This makes it easy to find should you have any problems or want to tweak any settings. (Find out how to move app icons.)
What can you do in the iPad settings screen?
There are a number of great tweaks you can make in the settings screen that will change how your iPad behaves. Some of these are very useful, like turning off 3G to save battery life, and some are very important for those who need extra help using the iPad, like the accessibility settings.
Here are a few things you can do with the iPad settings:
- Add a new Mail account. Easily the most popular reason to go into your iPad's settings, you can add new mail accounts under the Mail, Contacts, Calenders settings. You can also configure whether or not the mail should be pushed to your iPad and how often the mail is fetched.
- Turn off push notifications for a specific app. Sometimes, an app can get a little hyperactive in sending you notifications, so rather than turn off push notifications for the entire ipad, you can go to the Notifications settings and turn them on or off for an individual app.
- Adjust the iPad's brightness. This is a great tip for saving battery life. In the Brightness and Wallpaper settings, simply slide the brightness down to a point where the iPad is still easy to see but not quite as bright. The lower this setting, the longer your battery will end up lasting.
- Configure the side switch. The latest update to iOS defaults the side switch to being a mute button, but it is already easy to mute the iPad by simply turning the volume down. If you find yourself sometimes annoyed when the iPad changes orientation based on how you are lounging on the couch, you can turn the side switch to lock the orientation by choosing General settings and flipping the Side Switch setting from Mute to Lock rotation.
- Jump Ship from Google. You don't have to use Google as your default search engine. Under the Safari settings, you can configure the default search engine to be Google, Yahoo or Bing.
- Turn on automatic downloads. A neat feature of Apple's move towards the cloud is the ability for the iPad to automatically download music, books and apps made on other devices, including purchases made on your PC.
- Change the iPad's sound settings. If you use the iPad as a music player, you can change the EQ settings on the iPod application to better represent the type of music you are playing. This setting defaults to acoustic, but it can be changed to anything from classical to hip hop to bass booster.
- Change the Picture Frame to a specific album. If you like using your iPad as a picture frame, you can change it to only display photos from a particular album under the Picture Frame settings. You can also configure the iPad to zoom in on faces, shuffle photos and display each photo for up to 20 seconds.
- Configure FaceTime. Want to change how you are reached at FaceTime on your iPad? You can turn FaceTime on or off or even add another email address to the list.
- Stop being bugged by Wi-Fi. iOS's ability to ask you whether or not you want to join a nearby Wi-Fi network can be handy at times, but if you are traveling in a car and passing by different networks, it can also be quite annoying. In the Wi-Fi settings, you can tell the iPad not to ask you to join nearby networks.