When opening the box for my new iPad, I was surprised to find virtually no directions, which left me with many questions. How do I turn it on? What do those side buttons do? How do I set up my Wi-Fi connection? Why do the desktop icons wiggle around like that?
Those longing for additional instruction, shortcuts, and troubleshooting tips should own iPad 2: The Missing Manual, Third Edition, the newest release from O'Reilly. Author J. D. Biersdorfer gently guides the reader through virtually every aspect of the device, avoiding overly technical jargon and assuming a casual tone (such as telling the reader what to do if an iPad acts "weird"). A welcome addition to this book, full-color photographs and screenshots, helpfully detail how to change settings and just what those side buttons really do.
Biersdorfer organizes the information into easy-to-follow chapters, allowing for quick and easy reference. The chapter titles describe the steps in order, obviously anticipating that the new iPad user would be consulting this book while setting up his/her new tablet. Chapter One provides a tour of the physical device, also leading the reader through setting up a new account, using iTunes, keeping the screen clean, and more essential information. The next chapter may be particularly useful for those people (like me) who were "raised" on PCs. Learning to execute functions with certain finger taps, swiping, and other gestures may seem daunting at first, but The Missing Manual lists them all in plain language.
For new iPad owners, Chapters One through Five are essential reading. The remaining sections can be read out of order, allowing the reader to pick and choose the most relevant information. If one already owns an iPod, he or she can skip the "Master iTunes" chapter. Not planning on purchasing Apple's productivity suite iWork? Simply move on to Chapter 15, which teaches how to organize and display photos. Apple's new iCloud product thoroughly confused me, but Biersdorfer succinctly explains the online storage service, including how one can sync various devices with iCloud in order to share music, videos, photos, and more.