Users of the iPad 2 definitely may wish they had received this book in their Apple box. It is well-organized and well-illustrated and engagingly written by J.D. Biersdorfer, the popular “Gadgetwise” columnist for the New York Times and best-selling author of several previous tech books, including: iPad: The Missing Manual; iPod: The Missing Manual; and The iPod Shuffle Fan Book: Life Is a Playlist.
Along with the iPad 2, Biersdorfer’s new book also covers the original iPad and is structured to help you locate the right buttons, connectors and Home Screen icons once you have an iPad in your hands.
“Odds are,” the author notes wryly, “you had that iPad out of its box about 5 seconds after you got it, running your hands over its smooth edges, admiring its tapered thinness and high-gloss screen.”
But, with little else to guide you, you may not know what to do first to make it work and then set it up correctly. As the O’Reilly book points out, “there’s still no printed guide to using its features” — not in the iPad 2’s box.
Yes, you can boot up your PC, go online and find iPad setup and features information. You can even print out some pages, punch some holes, and stack the paper in a three-ring binder for future reference. But why bother? This book is an excellent, convenient and affordable guide to everything you need to know to become adept at using and enjoying your iPad 2.
Early on, it covers mastering iTunes, “your iPad’s best friend. You can do just about everything with your digital media here….”
The book also shows you how to find, buy, download, use, troubleshoot and uninstall apps.
Some of the other “important stuff” it covers includes:
1. Building your media library, by filling your iPad with music, ebooks, movies, photos, TV shows and other materials.
2. Using the iPad 2’s new still camera, video camera and Photo Booth app to create your own media projects.
3. Getting online and surfing via wi-fi or wi-fi + 3G.
4. Making video calls using the iPad 2’s video cameras and FaceTime app.
5. Sending and receiving email messages using any of your email accounts.
6. Discovering iPad tricks and workarounds for problems or limitations.
All in all, this is a fine, comforting and informative guide for new iPad users. Along with smooth writing, step-by-step procedures and logical structure, it also has a good index and numerous illustrations and screen shots.
Those who have owned the popular tablets for a while likely can also find some new tricks and helpful information in O’Reilly’s iPad 2: The Missing Manual by J.D. Biersdorfer.
The book is available in paperback and Kindle editions. O’Reilly also offers it via Safari Books Online.
— Si Dunn