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iPad Tips for Seniors: How Does it Work?

Photo courtesy of Flickr user Tom Raftery

ElderGadget recently received an e-mail from one of our readers, explaining to us her unfamiliarity with the iPad:

I have heard the word iPad, but have no idea what it does, or how to use it – I have wondered how us elderly ever learn how to use any of the new gadgets (even finding out how to use my cell phone was a hard
and even now I don’t know how to use all the features.) Really sucks as I am sharper than ever, but have no grandchildren to show me how the new stuff works!

To answer Barbara’s first quandary, the iPad is a touchscreen laptop. And in our opinion, it is quite an easy device to use. Especially for those that don’t have a grandchild to walk them through the process of figuring it out, we are here to provide a basic tutorial. We should note that the tutorial is not comprehensive; essentially we want to show you the necessary building blocked, needed to understand the tablet’s primary functionality.

How to Turn the iPad On?

-Press and hold the Sleep/Wake button (the tab in the bottom center) until the Apple logo appears.

What to Do Now?

-Once the iPad is turned on, you will arrive at the Home Page.

-On the Home Page, you will see a series of on-screen options: Calendar, Contacts, Notes, Maps, Videos, iTunes, YouTube, App Store, Settings, Safari, Mail, Photos, iPod. (If you go into Settings, you can customize this list, adding or subtracting selected icons).

-Whatever part of the section you want to visit, touch that icon with your finger. A new page will then appear and, pending on your selection,

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9 Responses to iPad Tips for Seniors: How Does it Work?

  1. Patruck June 26, 2010 at 6:42 am #

    Do I use the same email as I now have? If everthing is the same will my hard drive on my home computer store whatever web page I used on the iPad?

  2. Max Baumgarten June 28, 2010 at 9:26 am #


    Thanks for reading ElderGadget. We are happy to answer your question/s to the best of our ability. The email you currently use now should be able to properly sync up with your iPad. As for your second question, you should be able to store information from your iPad onto your hard drive. For example, if you download a song off of the iTunes Store, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to store a copy of the song on a hard drive as a back up.

    Hope that helps!

  3. Kay February 11, 2011 at 7:29 pm #

    what is the differance between an ipad and a regular laptop?

  4. linda March 18, 2011 at 6:53 am #

    thanks for the help. I have cable internet for my pc can i also use it for ipad 1?

  5. Linda April 28, 2011 at 5:13 am #

    is the ipad the same as the Kindle reader. I want to download magazines and the Bible from a website and then use that instead of the actual paper books and magazines. once i buy the kindle reader, do i have to subscribe to a service to get these items? the site i will go to is a free download PDF file.

  6. Colm Gavin May 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm #

    Hi. Nice help but does the iPad work if you are not close to a Wi Fi outlet or does it grab a signal from a mobile network. If I am at sea will it work. I (think) understand it does not have mobile phone capabilities so you still have to carry a mob phone?
    Thanks. Colm.

  7. Emil, Franklin, TN October 5, 2011 at 6:45 pm #

    No one answered the initial question. Do I need a cell-phone accouint? Do I need an Internet provider?

  8. Tony Donaldson October 6, 2011 at 9:23 am #


    If you are at sea, with no internet connection, it will work. However, it won’t be able to access any online content, which means web browsing and email won’t work. You can still use any of the other apps installed, from games to word processing to eReader software (e.g. Kindle). And watch movies and listen to music.

    Emil, if you buy an iPad that has 3G built-in, you will need an account for that. If you buy the Wi-fi only version, you won’t need an account with a cell provider but you will need access to a Wi-fi network, whether that is your own or at a local coffee shop, or wherever.

    Either way, it doesn’t work as well as a normal cell phone for calls. It will work over skype, but that requires a consistent internet connection.

  9. virgie October 12, 2011 at 7:57 pm #

    Can you make calls from the I Pad ?

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