you will have to do is set up an iTunes Store account (which is the same place you will go to get apps, music, movies, podcasts, books and even access iTunesU)- This way you can actually get to the fun stuff and download a few apps!
you should do is set up your free iCloud Account – This way you can actually get productive and at the same time have a backup of some of your important information! This also allows you to use Find My iPhone, as seen on the left here!
The biggest issue with these two items is that people really get confused about which email they should be using! I am a huge proponent for using a non-iCloud account for your iTunes Store account. I set mine up years ago using our local internet providers email they gave us. Since then we have abandoned that email account and I have had to connect several other real emails with my iTunes Store account but my login is still the same as it has been for years. It is important to realize that if you have multiple people in your direct family using the app/music store then it is advantageous for you all to use the same iTunes Store account name. No sense in paying for those apps two or three times – Apple allows 5-10 devices to share apps and music. Thank you Apple!
As for the iCloud account… I don’t understand when people use a gmail account for their iCloud account. That just confuse me! That means to signing to their iCloud Account they are signing in with something like johnnyappleseed@gmail instead of simply setting up their iCloud with a new user name like firstname.lastname@example.org – Apple gives you a free account so use it!
WAIT YOU SAY? WHAT IS THIS iCLOUD YOU SPEAK OF? Email and a whole lot more is the short answer.
iCloud is the service Apple provides for us to help keep our multiple devices in sync with themselves, it is also a way for us to access our information through any web browser on any computer (yes, even a windows machine!) Most importantly it gives you a PhotoStream online that keeps the last 1000 pictures you have taken and it also gives you a way to recover a stolen device through Apples Find My Phone service (which is NOT just for iPhones but it also is for iPads as well)
iCloud puts all your Contacts, Calendars, Notes, and Reminders in the Cloud – accessible and synced on any device! It was so cool when I got my last iPhone and the sales person asked if I wanted help setting it up – I simply said no thanks, signed into iCloud and left the store. By the time I reached my car all my contacts and appointments were already on my phone!
The other spiffy feature of iCloud is that it gives you Pages, Numbers andKeynote all in the cloud! Considering that these apps are all free on new devices, using the iCloud version alongside the iPad apps are a no brainer!
As for PhotoStream…. you will not see PhotoStream on the web page when you sign into your iCloud account online but it is there in the cloud streaming your photos and syncing them across your devices. If you take a bunch of pictures on your iPhone you can then simply open up your iPad (assuming you have been someplace with wi-fi) and view those pictures on your iPad. Of course if your Apple TV is hooked up then you can also view those pics from your phone on the really big screen through the ATV! Of course then you should always import those pics into your iMac/MacBook – simply open up iPhoto and there they are sitting there too! PhotoStream also allows you to use PhotoStreams to share your pics with other people. Simply add a group of pics to a public/shared PhotoStream and send the link out to those you want to share the stream with. Apple is not putting a limit right now on how many of these shared streams we can have. That means you could have a bunch of these “shared streams” and not even have to share them with anyone for real but that gives you a bunch of online storage of your photos for free! BUT the warning is that if you have a smaller sized iPad (like a 16GB or even a 32GB) those shared streams are downloaded into your iPhoto app and take up storage space that you may not want to give up! It’s a double edged sword.
And while you are setting up your iCloud Account and email, in the Settings app, you may as well setup your other email accounts too! That is assuming you already have a Gmail or Yahoo or Hotmail or some other kind of mail! Use the Mail app that Apple gives you – it is so much faster than trying to access your email through Safari (the web browser)
You need to install a bunch of apps. This short list of apps here are the generic ones that I think everyone should have and should install right away;
- Find My iPhone - This is not just in case someone steals your phone – it’s for when you stupidly misplace it!
- Pages - Everyone is going to need to type a paper, write a letter or something like that.
- GarageBand - Who doesn’t like making music!
- Google Search App - This app has the coolest voice search feature I have ever seen! (Of course SIRI isn’t bad either!)
If you are into the Social Scene;
- Twitter - Not that I use the actual Twitter client but it is free – I actually use Tweetbot
- G+ - Not that I actually use Google+ much but Google gives you an amazing chance to automatically upload your photos for free! This means they are backed up! They are not automatically shared but they sit there until you want to do something with them.
After downloading those apps you also need to familiarize yourself with the Contacts, Calendar, Reminders and Notes apps that Apple provides to you at no charge. Of course there is always SIRI to play around with and ask questions to! (Can’t find SIRI? Hold down the home button until you hear the two short, quick beeps – let go and ask her a question or two (or forty!) Questions like, “what time is it”, “What is the Phone number for “—–” ” (of course you have to put that phone number into you Contacts app first! You can even ask her “What planes are flying overhead right now?” – Want more questions, simply do a Google search using the Google app you downloaded earlier!
Then you need more apps – go have fun!
Did I forget something critical? Remember, this list is for the first day of having the iPad though! Leave me a comment if you think there is something else that should be on here! I will get into more specific apps later, those listed above are just the quick fast and “everyone needs these” list.