• 2000021: iPad Guide for Windows Users Wanting to Switch P.3

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    AKB2000021: iPad Guide for Windows Users Wanting to Switch P.3

    by @Nathan Parker

    Published: February 25, 2020 | Rev. 1.0

    Purchasing an iPad
    Setting Up an iPad
    Getting to Know an iPad
    Getting Started with iPad Apps
    Getting to Know Apple Services
    Getting Support for an iPad
    Comments on AKB2000021 iPad Guide for Windows Users Wanting to Switch


    Getting to Know Apple Services

    In addition to iPad apps, there are a handful of services available from Apple that extend the functionality of an iPad and other Apple products. Some of these services are free, while others are available with a monthly or yearly subscription.

    Apple ID

    When first setting up am iPad, Apple recommends setting up an Apple ID{https://appleid.apple.com/#!&page=signin}. This is the ID that allows an iPad user to take advantage of all of Apple’s services with a single login. It’s Apple’s solution to a Microsoft Account. The one difference is Apple does not allow one to sign into an iPad using an Apple ID, so logging into an iPad will use a password from one’s Apple ID. Two-Factor Authentication{https://support.apple.com/kb/HT204915} is also available for Apple IDs. Apple Store account information can also be found here{https://www.apple.com/us/shop/goto/account}.


    iCloud{https://icloud.com} is Apple’s cloud storage and syncing service. More information about iCloud is available here{https://www.apple.com/icloud/}. iCloud currently offers the following features:

    iCloud accounts come with 5GB of free storage. Customers can upgrade to 50GB, 200GB, or 2TB of storage{https://support.apple.com/kb/HT201318}. I currently use the 200GB iCloud storage plan.


    Continuity{https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204681} is a feature on Apple devices that makes it easier to integrate multiple Apple devices together. Here are some of the features that are included with Continuity:


    Siri {https://support.apple.com/guide/ipad/ask-siri-ipad4bce70ef/ipados} on the iPad is similar to Cortana on Windows, and it is a way to quickly interact with one’s iPad using voice commands. If one has used Siri on an iPhone, one will find the experience to be similar.

    iTunes, Apple Music, and Apple TV+

    iPads include the Apple Music, Apple TV, and Apple Podcasts apps, which are Apple’s media apps on the iPad.

    iPad users can purchase music, movies, and TV shows on-demand using the iTunes Store app {https://support.apple.com/itunes}, as well as use the iTunes Store inside the Podcasts app to locate podcasts (App Store and Apple Books purchases also use the same account as the iTunes Store). iPad users who want to subscribe to a music subscription service can subscribe to Apple Music{https://www.apple.com/apple-music/}, which is similar to Spotify (individual and family plans are available, as well as discounts for students, plus some Verizon Wireless plans include Apple Music). iPad users who simply want to sync a large collection of music files between devices can instead subscribe to iTunes Match{https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT204146}, a lower-cost annual service that offers the cloud-syncing of music files without the extra music streaming service of Apple Music (I currently subscribe to iTunes Match since I don’t need full access to Apple Music).

    Apple also offers Apple TV+{https://www.apple.com/apple-tv-plus/}, Apple’s on-demand video streaming service which exclusively includes Apple original content. It is similar to Netflix or Amazon Prime video, without any non-Apple-produced content. When purchasing a new iPad, Apple includes a year of Apple TV+ for free, plus there is an Apple Music and Apple TV+ bundle for students. I tried Apple TV+ for a month, but I didn’t keep it long-term since I wasn’t interested in most of the content on there.

    Game Center and Apple Arcade

    Game Center{https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT210401} is a feature that allows iPad users to play some iPad games with friends who also use Apple devices. While it offers some basic social features, it pales in comparison to some of the other social game-centric services such as Microsoft’s Xbox. Game Center is being used less overall by Apple device users.

    Apple also offers Apple Arcade{https://www.apple.com/apple-arcade/}, a game subscription service that allows iPad users to access a range of Apple original games. It is a low-cost and popular way to play select Apple original games on an iPad. I personally don’t subscribe to Apple Arcade, since I don’t have time to play games.

    Apple News and Apple News+

    iPads also include Apple News which is a handy app for bookmarking and quickly accessing popular news sites. I use it regularly to access Apple-related news sites, plus a handful of news sites to make it my own “customized newspaper”. iPad users can also subscribe to Apple News+{https://www.apple.com/apple-news/} to access hundreds of magazines, as well as premium news content such as the Wall Street Journal. I tried out Apple News+ for a few months, and while there is some excellent content on there, I didn’t use it enough to justify the monthly expense.

    Apple Developer

    For those interested in developing apps for iPad, Apple offers a Developer Program{https://developer.apple.com} available in basic or paid annual membership tiers. Those who wish to go deep into developing iPad apps will want Apple’s annual developer membership, although Apple’s IDE and SDKs are available for free (Apple’s IDE and SDKs require a Mac; the developer membership includes distribution to the Mac App Store, the ability to validate apps with an Apple security certificate, pre-release beta access to future iPadOS versions, and additional developer support from Apple).

    Family Sharing

    Apple offers the ability to share some Apple services with other members of one’s household who use Apple devices through Family Sharing{https://www.apple.com/family-sharing/}. The current Apple services can be shared through Family Sharing:

    • Purchases (apps, music, movies, TV shows, books)
    • Calendar and Reminders (a shared family calendar and family reminders list)
    • Apple Music (with family plan)
    • Apple TV+ (included with base plan)
    • Apple News+ (included with base plan)
    • Apple Arcade (included with base plan)
    • iCloud Storage (200GB or 2TB plans)
    • iCloud Photo Sharing (a shared family photo album)
    • Find My (the ability to locate shared family devices or family members)
    • Purchase limits and Screen Time limitations (for children)


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      Getting Support for an iPad

      While iPads have a simple user interface and overall run smoothly on a daily basis, occasionally one will encounter issues with their iPad, or simply have questions on how to perform certain tasks. The great news is, there is a wealth of solutions for getting support for iPads, and unlike Windows PC’s, Apple offers support for both the hardware and iPadOS operating system, as well as any of Apple’s own apps and services.

      Here are the main sources of support available for iPads:

      • Apple Support Website{https://support.apple.com}: This is Apple’s official support website. It is loaded with articles on just about everything anyone needs to know concerning using an iPad or troubleshooting common issues with regard to an iPad. I heavily consulted Apple’s support website during the preparation of this guide. It also outlines additional support options for iPad users, as well as any current repair or exchange programs. This link{https://support.apple.com/ipad} takes iPad users directly to the iPad section of the Apple Support Website.
      • Apple Support App{https://apps.apple.com/us/app/apple-support/id1130498044}: Apple also offers an official Apple Support app for iPad, making it easy to locate general troubleshooting questions, or get in touch with Apple Support for deeper issues. It is a handy app to keep on one’s iPad to ensure Apple Support is always a tap away.
      • Chat Support{https://support.apple.com/contact}: Apple offers a way to chat with Apple Support for tech support-related issues, as well as chat with an Apple product specialist when shopping at the Apple online store. Apple also offers the ability to chat with an Apple product specialist when shopping using Apple Business Chat{https://www.apple.com/ios/business-chat/} over Messages.
      • Phone Support{https://support.apple.com/contact}: Apple Support can be reached via phone at 1-800-275-2273. Apple product specialists when shopping at the Apple online store can be reached at 1-800-692-7753.
      • Apps Retail Store{https://www.apple.com/retail/}: Apple retail stores offer tech support sessions using Genius Bar{https://www.apple.com/retail/geniusbar/} appointments. It is also a place where Apple retail stores can perform in-store repairs or replacements. Apple product specialists are also available at Apple retail stores for assistance for in-person purchases, and Apple retail stores offer free Today at Apple{https://www.apple.com/today/} educational sessions on using Apple products and topics including: photography, video, music, coding, and art. These sessions are one other excellent way for iPad users to learn more about how to use an iPad, as well as how to apply iPad skills to a handful of select creative topics.
      • Apple Authorized Service Providers{https://locate.apple.com/}: For Apple customers who do not live near an Apple retail store, Apple offers Apple Authorized Service Providers{https://locate.apple.com/} as another option for tech support and in-person repairs. All Best Buy locations{https://www.bestbuy.com/site/services/apple-service-repair/pcmcat1554741516170.c?id=pcmcat1554741516170} are Apple Authorized Service Providers. Many Best Buy locations also offer a place to purchase Apple products and include an Apple Solutions Consultant{https://consultants.apple.com/us/} on-site.
      • Mail-In Repair and Replacement{https://support.apple.com/repair}: Apple offers the ability to mail-in Apple products for repair or replacement. However, if one runs into an issue that requires a repair, I always recommend visiting an Apple retail store Genius Bar or Best Buy Geek Squad as a first option instead of opting for the mail-in repair option, as I have had issues with mail-in repairs (including receiving a Mac back that wouldn’t boot). This allows a store rep to get their hands on your iPad when running hardware tests, with at times repairs able to be done in-store, and if a repair needs to be mailed in, the store has a chance for you to come in and look it over before receiving it back to ensure the repair was done correctly.
      • Apple Support on Twitter{https://twitter.com/AppleSupport}: Apple Support is also available on Twitter @AppleSupport{https://twitter.com/AppleSupport}. It is a handy first-level option for contacting Apple Support, as they can generally assist with basic troubleshooting, then escalate an issue to Apple Support via phone or another option once basic troubleshooting is completed. I use Apple Support on Twitter frequently for basic troubleshooting, since it saves me time on the phone with Apple Support for larger issues.
      • Apple Support on YouTube{https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYFQ33UIPERYx8-ZHucZbDA}: Apple Support offers a series of quick videos on YouTube. These are especially handy for new iPad users who need to learn how to get the most out of their iPad.
      • Apple User Groups{https://www.apple.com/usergroups/}: While these are less frequently available now that Apple products are more mainstream, there are still Apple User Groups who occasionally meet, generally with seasoned Apple users and experts. These groups are a fun way to meet with other iPad users in person and get assistance with using an iPad.
      • Apple News Sites: There are a handful of excellent Apple-related news sites which also offers a wealth of tech support and how-to articles. Some of the sites I frequently visit are Macworld{https://www.macworld.com/}, AppleInsider{https://appleinsider.com/}, MacRumors{https://www.macrumors.com/}, and MacSources{https://macsources.com/}.
      • AskWoody{https://askwoody.com}: Of course AskWoody is also a place to get support with Macs! I am one of the site’s MVP contributors and AskWoody’s Apple expert. I post a weekly column each weekend on Apple products, as well as I occasionally post Apple-related news throughout the week. Feel free to post a topic on the AskWoody forums or send me a personal message with any iPad questions!


      Thanks for taking the time to read this iPad Switchers Guide for Windows Users. I hope it has been beneficial, and feel free to send me feedback or ask iPad-related questions anytime!

      Nathan Parker

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