iPad: The Missing Manual
Publisher: O'Reilly Media
Released: May 2010
Pages: 320

The iPad 2 is faster, lighter, and more versatile than its predecessor, but there's still no printed guide to using its amazing features. That’s where this full-color Missing Manual comes in. Learn how to stream HD video, make video calls, manage your email, surf the Web, listen to music, play games, and maybe even do a little iWork. This is the book that should have been in the box.

  • Build your media library. Fill your iPad with music, movies, TV shows, eBooks, photos, and more.
  • Share with others. Stream music, HD movies, TV shows, and more, to and from your iPad.
  • Create your own media. Use the iPad’s new Photo Booth, iMovie, and GarageBand apps to express yourself.
  • Get online. Connect through WiFi or Wi-Fi+3G, and surf with the iPad’s faster browser.
  • Place video calls. See who’s talking with the iPad’s FaceTime app and its two cameras.
  • Consolidate your email. Read and send messages from any of your accounts.
  • Learn undocumented tips and tricks. Get the lowdown on cool iPad secrets and workarounds.
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O'Reilly MediaiPad: The Missing Manual
 
4.1

(based on 8 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (5)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (0)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (2)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (0)

75%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Easy to understand (7)
  • Accurate (5)
  • Concise (4)
  • Helpful examples (4)
  • Well-written (4)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Intermediate (6)
    • Novice (5)

    Reviewed by 8 customers

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    (4 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    I hoped for a lot more...

    By tSeeker

    from West Coast, USA

    About Me Bookworm

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

    • Easy To Understand

    Cons

    • Disappointing
    • Incomplete

    Best Uses

    • Reference

    Comments about O'Reilly Media iPad: The Missing Manual:

    I like the paperstock and slick picture book appearance of this "reference," but that's about it...

    Apple doesn't include a printed manual in the iPad box, nor does Apple include a PDF version of said iPad manual(s) on the iPad, itself. (How would you read the PDF, anyway, when Apple doesn't even bundle iBooks on the iPad? Which is a whole other story and pet peeve of mine.)

    But, Apple has released at least *three* (that I'm aware of at the time of this writing) iPad/iOS User Manuals. These are reasonably well done, once you gain access to them (from the Manuals section of the Apple iPad Support website).

    The official Apple iPad User Guide covers the basics of hardware that are covered in i:TMM, but, perhaps, with fewer illustrations.

    What i:TMM doesn't have, that the official Apple iPad User Guides have, are details specific to a relevant point-release of iOS.

    In the month of March 2011, Apple released iOS 4.3 and then 4.3.1. This edition of i:TMM is tombstoned at iOS pre-4.2.1. Apple also releases PDFs of iPad Important Product Notes and iPad accessory manuals. So, quite frankly, I expected more from i:TMM than what I found. (i:TMM is a book that needs to be kept in perpetual update mode via Safari.)

    i:TMM does go into some introductory/novice detail about "apps," gaming, managing local storage that the offical Apple iPad manuals do not address. None of this stuff was news to me.

    I am deeply bothered by the fact that no iPad book that I've come across devotes any serious attention to iPad/iOS security, or lack thereof. What little I do see is lip service to official Apple mantra that fails to ask any of the right questions in this department.

    Full-disk encryption, the tyranny of iTunes and a download-hobbled Mobile Safari are no substitute for a full security model. As long as JavaScript can execute, as long as e-mail attachments can be opened/saved, as long as scriptable file content can be shared/accessed, there are ways around Apple's fig leaves of iPad/iOS security. Allowing multiple people to use the same iPad in this context is InfoSec insanity.

    Someday, when there are writers who will write frankly about the iPad, without feeling any need to toe the official Apple line, there will be an introductory iPad "manual" that will fully discuss the pros/cons of "jailbreaking" iOS and then go on to address some of the third-party solutions to the gaping holes in Apple's imagining of iPad security.

    This is a very important subject for every iPad user that allows their iPad to come into any contact with sensitive/regulated data, not just limited to company financials, medical patient records, etc.

    As such, any Missing Manual can and should explain and examine the world of Cydia.

    There, I said it.

    (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    2.0

    Disappointing

    By OREJr

    from Orlando, Florida

    Verified Reviewer

    Pros

      Cons

      • Too basic

      Best Uses

        Comments about O'Reilly Media iPad: The Missing Manual:

        This book is ok if you have never owned a previous Apple product. It pales in comparison to the iPhone books. Very dull and very basic. The iPhone books are full of tips and shortcuts and advice on using the device to its fullest. This book seems like it was rushed out before the author had time to do more than use the device for a week or so. Not many recommendations and very limited app reviews.

        (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

         
        4.0

        Excellent quick-start guide & reference!

        By humedini

        from Haywards Heath, UK

        About Me Designer, Developer

        Verified Reviewer

        Pros

        • Accurate
        • Concise
        • Easy to understand
        • Well-written

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Intermediate
          • Novice

          Comments about O'Reilly Media iPad: The Missing Manual:

          Apple famously doesn't see the need to include manuals with their products. Aside from the basic "finger tips" leaflet that comes with most iOS devices information no how to actually use the product is scarce. With the launch of the iPad, tablet computing (and in a lot of cases just plain computing) became a lot more accessible. Many people who weren't interested in having a smart phone, and therefore have never used an iPhone have been attracted to the iPad - with its excellent performance for basic Internet based activities it isn't hard to see why. But what do all these Apple novices do when they get their products home? How do they know how to use them? Things that seem so basic to IT professionals and those in the "industry" are not always apparent to these new users who may have little or no computing experience, let alone experience of using Apple products!

          This situation has opened up a market for publishers to fill the void in information, and provide a text that can be used as an introduction to the platform, and as a reference guide for when the user gets stuck. One of the most successful series of these books is the 'Missing Manual' series from O'Reilly Media, and the latest incarnation entitled "iPad: The Missing Manual" is an excellent addition to the ever growing stable of titles in this genre and series.

          The book is broken into sections covering all the basics that will be required to get things done with the iPad. These sections cover the physical build and layout of the iPad and what the buttons do, interacting with the iPad, Getting online and surfing the web, keeping in touch via email, the basic apps built into the iPad, using the App Store and iBooks, using iWork – and in my opinion the most important section syncing the iPad with iTunes and mastering iTunes in general. These last two sections are vital for a new user as iTunes continues to grow into a sprawling multimedia mess that is far less intuitive than almost every other Apple software product. This is the aspect of Apple product ownership that is most likely to be alien to a new user, and one of the questions I am most frequently asked to help people out with. In addition to the above there are valuable sections dedicated to helping the user with copying music and video to the device, as well as troubleshooting tips for those having specific problems with the iPad.

          The content is delivered in a clear and concise fashion, and absolutely hits the right mixture of narrative and instructional content to ease inexperienced users through the early days of iPad ownership. Readers aren't talked down to, nor are assumptions made about their pre-existing knowledge of the iPad or associated systems. The book delivers information at an appropriate pace to gently take a user by the hand and lead them through their first experiences with this revolutionary computing solution, without the frustration of feeling under qualified or incapable. In my experience, even users with a minimal number of hours under their belts can pick up fairly complex systems as long as they have the confidence to give things a try. As the iPad is generally conceived to be a fairly simple device to master once you get the basics under control I felt that this book would make an ideal companion for someone who feels they are either in need of a little confidence boost when using the iPad for the first few times – or those who feel they are not getting the best from their iPad and could use it more.

          I reviewed the .epub eBook version of the publication and read it within iBooks on the iPad. The formatting of the book was excellent and it looked great on the iPad screen. The screen grabs were very clear and well annotated and overall the reading experience was very good. Carrying around this enhanced user manual on the device itself is a great idea, as if and when you come across any potential pitfalls it is possible to consult the book wherever you are – this is after all a mobile device! (unless you value the opinion of Mark Zuckerberg).

          The only negatives I could find were that the version of the eBook that I had was slightly out of date following the iOS 4.2 update. The rotation lock button changes and multi-tasking additions are not covered yet. All in all, I felt that this would be a great gift for someone receiving an iPad for Christmas, and if you are giving an iPad as a gift, why not pre-install the eBook on there as a special personal touch to ensure the recipient can get stuck into using the iPad right from the get-go! A valuable addition for any new iPad user!

          (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          The *Best* Computer Book I've Ever Owned

          By MJ

          from Western Mountains of NC

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Accurate
          • Concise
          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples
          • Well-written

          Cons

          • None

          Best Uses

          • Expert
          • Intermediate
          • Novice

          Comments about O'Reilly Media iPad: The Missing Manual:

          I'd like to echo another reviewer - the wonder of this book isn't just that Ms. Biersdorfer presents a complete, thorough, detailed look at the iPad from the very basics and up, it's *how* she does it.

          I started with an iPad won in a contest, my first ever mobile device, and I was lost. Everything else I tried to read, or people I asked, assumed I was familiar with material and techniques that were new to me. The nicest ones left me still clueless, the less nice ones left me feeling stupid. I was about to give the thing away when I found this wonderful book. I've gone from clueless to being able to show an Apple salesperson a thing or two thankyouverymuch :)

          The writing is clear and detailed with a step-by-step approach, but more importantly it is friendly and fun. I felt as though a good friend were looking over my shoulder showing the way, anticipating my questions. The topics are arranged logically in chapters and I was able to start with a solid basic foundation and then go on to explore the various features, from apps to games. I learned how to sync painlessly too.

          This book is never out of the iPad's case and one I don't lend. Now that the new iOS 4.2 is out, I am hoping that this author will write The Sequel and plan to buy several copies this time around so that I can share with others as well.

          Thank you, Ms. Biersdorfer. Thanks to your book I've learned a lot about the iPad and even more importantly, regained a sense of the fun adventure that the learning can be.

          MJ

          (1 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Love the Tours and Tips

          By gregorywest

          from sarnia, ontario, canada

          About Me College Instructor Macs, Educator

          Verified Reviewer

          Pros

          • Colour Screenshots
          • Easy to understand
          • Helpful examples

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Intermediate
            • Novice

            Comments about O'Reilly Media iPad: The Missing Manual:

            [...]

            (7 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            Better than a Manual

            By HartleyJ

            from Lyndon, Vermont

            About Me User Group Ambassador

            Verified Reviewer

            Pros

            • Accurate
            • Concise
            • Easy to understand
            • Helpful examples
            • Well-written

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Intermediate
              • Novice
              • Student

              Comments about O'Reilly Media iPad: The Missing Manual:

              I have not read very much in iPad: The Missing Manual because my wife is reading it. My wife will not read, or even look for answers to questions in, computer books because they are written by computer people in a language that she cannot understand.

              iPad: The Missing Manual is different. It is not like computer manuals. It is written by a real writer, J. D. Biersdorfer, in sentences real people can understand. It even has a touch of humor. For example after explaining how to edit a Safari history list so that you understand what it is and how to edit it, she adds, "Congratulations. You have just rewritten history!"

              Contrary to the myths, not everything about iPad is intuitive and obvious. As an example, editing and reorganizing bookmarks is easy to do, but not obvious until you do it. With iPad: The Missing Manual learning to do it is easy, fast, and even enjoyable.

              My wife likes her iPad. She is learning how to do more with it, and how to get the most out of it by reading iPad: The Missing Manual.

              She sometimes asks me computer questions, but she does not ask me iPad questions. She knows I have not read yet iPad: The Missing Manual.

              (4 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Quite helpful

              By maisry

              from SoCal

              Verified Reviewer

              Pros

              • Accurate
              • Easy to understand
              • Helpful examples
              • Well-written

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Intermediate

                Comments about O'Reilly Media iPad: The Missing Manual:

                Only halfway through and I've learned several handy techniques. The Missing Manual reveals lots of hidden possibilities. Did you know you can take screenshots? I was going to pass this on to my daughter, but it's such a handy reference, I'll be getting her a copy of her own.

                (5 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Pretty nice

                By Eolake Stobblehouse

                from Lancashire, England

                About Me Maker

                Verified Reviewer

                Pros

                • Accurate
                • Concise
                • Easy to understand

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Intermediate
                  • Novice

                  Comments about O'Reilly Media iPad: The Missing Manual:

                  I like this book. Simple to read, and tells me things I didn't know about the iPad even though I've already learned lots about it.

                  The ebook could have been formatted smarter. *Some* publishers of ebooks format their pages in landscape format, which makes it easier on a computer screen or iPad. (Yes, you can turn the iPad to portrait orientation, but with the whole page on the screen, the text is *just* too small to read comfortably (for me).

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