Book Review: My New iPad – a useful and practical guide


Book Review: My New iPad
Quick Mac Tip, 13 March 2011

Would you like to win a copy of this book? Read on for instructions.

My New iPad, 2nd Edition.

My New iPad, 2nd Edition by Wallace Wang.

I recently received a printed review copy of My New iPad, 2nd Edition by Wallace Wang, No Starch Press. Published: December 2010, 384 pages.

I’ve been using an iPad for around 7 months now, and have even written MacTips for it, but still I learned some useful pointers from this book.

Practical, clear instructions

If you’re a fan of MacTips you’ll love this book. It’s down to earth, practical and straightforward. Over the course of 40 brief chapters Wang takes you through anything you could want to know about your iPad.

The screenshots are large and clear. Everything is explained with logical step-by-step directions.

Each chapter begins with a one-page introduction in large type followed by a short list of the things you will need to use for the tasks in that particular chapter. Each chapter explains half a dozen activities with lists of the steps to achieve a particular outcome.

At the end of each chapter are a couple of paragraphs with additional ideas.

Really useful tips

Even though I’ve been using my iPad happily for a while now I still discovered several useful new tips. For example, although I’ve used Google Maps quite often I didn’t know that you could bring up a compass by tapping the location icon twice. Page 277 came up with that.

And although I’ve used Spotlight on the iPad to help me find things I hadn’t ever noticed that there were settings to customise Spotlight. Page 298 revealed that gem.

I also discovered several other really valuable tips that I don’t want to give away here because I intend to write about them as weekend MacTips later.

The final chapters offer a brief rundown of a handful of “best” iPad apps and a troubleshooting guide. Obviously there are hundreds, if not thousands of apps available in the App Store. No book could possibly mention all them. I already use a couple of the apps mentioned, such as GoodReader and Kindle.

The troubleshooting tips are good and practical.

Sustainable paper

The actual paper the book was printed on seemed of slightly lower quality than I might have liked. Apparently it’s Abitibi-Bowater Equal 42.5# Smooth. I was happy to overlook that though when I saw that it came from a sustainable forestry initiative with certified fibre sourcing. And after all, useful though the book is, I doubt I’ll want to keep it for ever and ever.

The RepKover binding lets the book lie flat when it’s open.

Overall impression: a useful book

My overall impression of the book was that it was a very useful and worthwhile read. Even as an experienced iPad user I learned new things.

I can hardly wait to share the best tip I learned (about Auto-Correction), but more on that next week.

The font was clear, the screenshots large enough to be useful — rare in a technical book.

I have no quibbles with the book. I didn’t notice anything missing or wrong.

Who the book would be good for

This book would be an excellent read for anyone with a new iPad. Because the iPad shares a lot of its functions with both iPhone and iPod Touch the book would also be very useful for owners of those devices.

The book is available as a paperback for US$24.95 (print book and free ebook), or as an ebook (PDF, Mobi, and ePub) alone for US$19.95. ISBN: 978-1593272876.

Would you like this book? I’m giving it away

Now that I’ve read my review copy I want to give it away. Would you like it?

To be in for a chance at winning this book you must:

  1. Leave a comment on this Review.
  2. Use a valid email address. The address won’t be published and will be used only for contacting you in relation to this review and your comment. It won’t be supplied to anyone else or used for any other purpose.
  3. Tell me one thing you think that would improve the MacTips website and the Tips I share. Any sensible and serious suggestions are welcome.

If you have more than one suggestion leave separate comments — each published comment counts as one entry.

I reserve the right to not publish comments if they seem spammy to me or otherwise disruptive.

Entries close at 11.59 pm (New Zealand time) on Tuesday 22 March 2011.

I’ll pick one email addresses at random from all entries.

Postage at the cheapest rate is free. If you win and you’re overseas you can pay for postage for speedier delivery. Books can take up to 3 months to travel from New Zealand to Europe or the USA at the cheapest postage rate.

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7 Comments

  1. Anita Campbell said:

    I now have an I
    Phone, iPad and iMAC and would love to get the most use out of my purchases. I am an older woman, but still love this technology and I know I’m not using all my devices to full potential. I need this book to help me

  2. Miraz Jordan said:

    Congratulations go to Dede. The random number generator chose the number 3 and Dede was the 3rd commenter.

    I’ll be in touch Dede to arrange getting the book to you.

    Cheers,

    Miraz

  3. Dede Dunn said:

    I guess I really need this book. I left a comment on the email.

    Well here is my real comment. I have really enjoyed the tips I have been sent so far. I am very new to “mac”, so they have been extremely helpful.

    The iPad sneak peek tips are a step in the right direction.

  4. Jo Fothergill said:

    This book would be cool – not just for me but as a reference book for the (so far) two other teachers who’ve just jumped aboard the iPad boat in the classroom. Both are mac users but neither have iPhones so much of the iPad infrastructure is new to them.

    As to how to improve mactips – I know you tag your posts but it would be good to have a sidebar link to iPod, iPad, MacBook directly.

    The tips are always helpful – I often pass them on to workmates.

  5. Miraz Jordan said:

    Ross MxT emailed:

    “”My New iPad” sounds exactly what I would find really useful.

    If I’m not the lucky winner, I certainly hope you will continue quoting further useful tips from the same source.

    As for suggestions to improve “Mac Tips” – it would be hard to improve what is already so good.

    However, here is one small tip: I frequently use the following, when writing as I am at the moment – in the middle of a section of text.
    When I make a typing error and then back up to correct it by using [option + left arrow] (repeatedly if necessary), I then return to the end of my text using [down arrow then left arrow] in quick sequence. This is much quicker than using [option + right arrow] repeatedly.

    Try as I might I cannot bring up a compass on Google Maps. Isn’t north always at the top of the screen in any case?”

    • Miraz Jordan said:

      Thanks Ross for the handy keyboard tip.

      I just checked the compass tip. On the iPad tap the arrow icon at the top of the screen twice. A compass appears at the top right of the map, but also a white ‘cone’ extends from the blue dot marking your location as a sort of confirmation of which way is North.

      On my iPhone 4 I had to tap twice on the arrow icon at bottom left of the screen.

      That didn’t call up a compass, but it did display the ‘cone of Northness’.

      Cheers,

      Miraz

  6. Andrew J. Gnoza, III said:

    iPad – first impressions after 48 hours

    I researched the iPad on line and had a touchy – feely one hour session at Best Buy. Finding an iPad at a local retailer was not in the realm of possibility so I ordered it online from the Apple Store. I opted for the 16GB wi-fi version ( $500 ) knowing it was the basic iPad and if need be I could always order a 32GB or 64GB model at a later date. FedEx delivered the iPad 18 days later, and I have been getting acquainted with it for exactly 48 hours, as a matter of fact I am typing on it at this moment.

    A friend just emailed me and asked what was the difference between the iPad and a laptop. #1 is lightweight portability – it’s really a ” take it with you everywhere ” device. I purchased a foam sleeve fitted for the iPad which fits like a glove and that fits into a padded handgun carrying case ( which looks like a small laptop carrying bag )  making it very transportable. It was a pain lugging the MacBook around town. #2 is the price of the iPad ( 50% less than a new MacBook ) and the functionality equal to that of my recently sold MacBook. With built in wi-fi I can use it around the house with my Airport / Time Capsule as well as traveling, the 3G model iPad was not a consideration due to the added monthly expense to AT&T. #3 is the applications available from the App Store are numerous and inexpensive and being released on a daily basis. Examples include: A1 PERFECT web browser for $.99 which runs circles around the supplied Safari iPad application, Easy Notes Pro, another $.99 replacement for the supplied Notes application. Plus a number of FREE applications including Skype, iBooks, Kindle reader, DropBox –  a utility to sync files from computer to iPad , Sudoku daily, USA Today and many more.

    Address Book contacts, Safari bookmarks and iCalendar entries were transferred to the iPad on it’s first sync.

    Typing on the touch screen is very straight forward, an optional wireless keyboard is available. Watching a DVD movie ( The Hurt Locker ) is very impressive with 1024 x 768 pixel resolution. 10 hour battery life is another bonus ( vs 6 hours on my MacBook ). To date I have 22 application, 1 DVD movie, 1 photo screen saver and have 12.7GB remaining of the available 14GB on the iPad – I assume the other 2GB’s are used by the operating system and imbedded applications.    

    What is missing on the iPad – the only thing that I miss is multitasking , which is rumored to be in the new O/S upgrade, due out this summer. Printing is another requested feature from iPad users, however several ” work arounds ” as well as printing utilities are starting to show up from developers. With 2 million iPads sold in the first sixty days there are a number of iPad  developers jumping on the band wagon.

    Would I sell my MacBook and buy an iPad again – in a heart beat !

    3. Tell me one thing you think that would improve the MacTips website and the Tips I share. Any sensible and serious suggestions are welcome.

    More ” undocumented ” Tips & Tricks .

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