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Summary:

Were you lucky enough to open an iPad Christmas morning? Then you might be wondering what to do with your new tablet now that you’ve got one. We’ve got you covered, with a healthy selection of info, tips, apps and accessory reviews.

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Were you lucky enough to open an iPad Christmas morning? If you’re wondering what to do with your new tablet we’ve got you covered, with a healthy selection of info, tips, apps and accessory reviews.

First, you may have some questions about your iPad. Like for instance, why isn’t it a standalone device? If it’s such a game-changer, then why does it still rely on being plugged into a computer occasionally to operate? Dave Greenbaum has some answers. They may not be the ones you want to hear, but at least your iPad’s role as a companion device might make a bit more sense.

In case you’re curious about what exactly your iPad is made of, what powers it and how much battery life you can get out of it, you can check out Kevin Tofel’s initial look at the iPad’s vitals.

James Kendrick’s post about five things to do to get ready for the iPad was originally intended to prepare users for its initial launch, but it applies just as well if the iPad’s only new to you. It’s a very basic list, but you may find that you’ve overlooked one or two items.

Unsure about how to get your iPad up and running after you get it out of the box? Try Dave Greenbaum’s walkthrough of an initial iPad setup. It’s far easier than trying to get Apple Technical Support on the phone Christmas morning!

Now that you’re setup, it’s time to get some apps on your iPad. Alex Layne’s list of 10 must-buy iPad apps from shortly after its launch remains surprisingly applicable, even eight months later. Jon Buys has a roundup of iPad RSS reader apps, and Alex provides a list of the best TV and movie apps, for watching and for reference. Be sure to check out Nick Santilli’s list of religious iPad apps, too, and Dave’s list of food diaries and calorie counters, although you might want to hold off on those until after the holidays. Dave also has a list of iPad apps to manage your finances, but that’s another category you might want to bookmark for later. Write up your thank-you notes right away before you forget, though, with Mark Crump’s list of writing apps for the iPad.

There’s also a whole host of iPad accessories out there, and we’ve got you covered for those, too. James Kendrick has a series of iPad accessory roundups, including stands, cases, and portable Bluetooth keyboards. We also have in-depth reviews of the Kensington KeyFolioZAGGmate and Dooble iPad Bluetooth keyboard cases.

If, instead of an actual iPad, you just got a very large gift certificate or a significant amount of cash, you can check out Weldon Dodd’s iPad buying guide to help you decide which model you want. I should’ve consulted it more closely, because for my usage habits, 16 GB turned out to not be nearly enough storage space, and I find myself hitting the limit all the time.

The most important thing you should do if you got an iPad this morning, however, is to give a huge “thank you” to whoever got it for you.

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  1. Why should Apple make the iPad work by itself? It seems to me that Apple would just be shooting itself in the foot it did that. It’s smart of Apple to have the iPad be dependent on another OSX-type device (hopefully another higher-cost Mac). I think it’s a great way for the halo to stay in effect. RIM or Google doesn’t need to do something like that because they don’t make desktop or notebook computers. If they are able to push their updates over the air then good for them. Apple could easily do the same if it wanted to. Apple is best served by keeping its whole product line in demand by consumers.

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  2. If you are just starting out with iPad I would definitely check out the typing trainer app TapTyping.

    It really helps you get the most out of your device. Some peeople have reawched typing speeds of 110+ words per minute: impressive for a virtual keyboard!

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  3. wish i could get one but didn’t get it till now. It’s a dream for me. Will fulfill it in 2011 when my blogging income increases…

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  4. Hamranhansenhansen Sunday, December 26, 2010

    A Windows netbook is just as much not a standalone device:

    • it has to be activated with Microsoft before use
    • it has to be connected to another device for backup
    • it has to be connected to another device for system updates

    Most Windows users don’t do the last 2, so with iPad, the fact that you can plug it into iTunes and it does both automatically is a feature, not a bug. A lot of Windows netbook users would love to be able to plug their netbook into a bigger PC and have it completely backed up and patched automatically. The fact that you can lose your mobile iPad and buy another and plug in to iTunes and be where you were after your last sync is a great feature for a mobile PC that you take everywhere.

    Apple will do the activation in-store if you just ask.

    The fact that mobile phones get over the air updates is irrelevant because iPad is a mobile PC. How it compares to other PC’s is significant. It’s way, way, way easier to administer.

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    1. Youmake 2 very odd claims:

      1. • it has to be connected to another device for backup
      Well, if I could plug a USB hard disk into an iPad to bck it up, I would! The ability to do this is a bonus.

      2. • it has to be connected to another device for system updates
      No it doesn’t!! A netbook is a proper computer, what other device does it need to be connected to?

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  5. I need to voice my agreement with Mike Consentino – I presented my husband with an ipad for christmas and as we had not ever set up an i product before we too were not happy by the lack of information on how to I also find the comments made by Jeff on 25th Dec as offensive – I guess from the tone of his reply he has ALWAYS been a proper know all and not a very nice person….. It is very nice to be important but also very important to be nice sir….

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  6. Hey Darrell – thanks again for another awesome post. I “nearly” did the same one over on tcgeeks. I focused mainly on the things I see my readers run into all of time when they get their new iPad – and most of the things I see are syncing, integration with online services, and how to do things beyond the basic apps that Apple gives you.

    http://www.tcgeeks.com/how-to-use-new-ipad/

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