10 handy iPad tips and tricks

Chris Torney / 18 December 2015 ( 13 July 2017 )

Make using your iPad quicker and easier with our 10 handy tricks and tips.



Apple’s iPads are renowned for how well designed they are and how simple they are to use. But there are a number of 'hidden' features in every iPad that can make navigating between apps or using your favourite programs even more straightforward.

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1. The four-finger swipe

Normally if you want to jump from one app to another, you have to press the 'Home' button to go back to the Home screen and then select the new program.

But you can flick between any open apps by putting four (or five) fingers on the screen and then swiping left or right.

Go to Settings > General > Gestures to make sure this feature is enabled.

2. Select or close apps

Similarly, you can swipe four or five fingers upwards to display all the currently open apps: you can then choose which one you want, or swipe it upwards (with one finger this time) to close it.

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3. Get back home

Enabling this feature also lets you return immediately to the Home screen by putting five fingers of one hand on the screen and then 'pinching' them together.

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4. Take photos more easily

Normally you take photos or start video recordings by pressing the circular on-screen button. But you can do the same by pressing one of the volume buttons on the side of the iPad: this ensures your finger doesn’t make an unwanted appearance in the picture, and can help keep the iPad more stable when you are shooting.

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5. Lock the rotation

If you like watching TV or films on your iPad while in bed or lying on the couch, you might need to stop the tablet automatically turning the screen when it is tilted. To do this, go to Settings > General and scroll down until you find “Use Side Switch To”. Then select Lock Rotation.

Now when you move the switch just above the volume buttons on the side of your iPad, it will toggle between letting your screen rotate and preventing it from doing so.

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6. Zoom in and out

When you’re looking at a picture or web page or framing a shot with your camera, you can zoom in by putting two fingers together on the screen and then dragging them apart. To zoom out, do the reverse.

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7. Make web text fit better

If the text on a web page is bunched up at the side of your screen, double tap on it: this should make it expand to fill the width of the screen and make it easier to read.

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8. Access the Control Centre

Swiping up from the very bottom of your iPad’s screen brings up the Control Center: this lets you turn Wi-Fi and Bluetooth on and off, change the volume and brightness, and access the camera instantly.

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9. Use voice control

Pressing and holding the 'Home' button lets you use the Siri voice-recognition system: say what you want to do (for example, “Check email” or “Browse photos”) and your device should respond.

To make sure Siri is activated, go to Settings > General > Siri.

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10. Check notifications and calendars

Swipe down from the very top of the screen to show any notifications from your apps and see what is scheduled in today’s diary – provided you have a calendar set up on your iPad.

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The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.