This is an interesting one. This app is basically an iPad How-To guide for using the iPad. It’s somewhat of an instruction manual. Kind of like an eBook, (but in an app), Tips and Tricks – iPhone Secrets teaches the intricacies of the iPhone user interface to the general public who may not be aware of the multiple shortcuts, fun options, and simply unknown iOS features.
The app works much like a flip book in that you flip through the pages. Graphics combined with text create an easy read where understanding is simple. The app is broken up into sections including Shortcuts, Organize, Troubleshooting, Safari, Typing, Mail, Battery, Security, Photos, Maps, Music, Your 3G iPad, Advanced, Be Generous. That’s a mouthful but in an information app like this – the more the merrier.
The interface is simple. On the bottom is a control panel with options (from left to right) of Table of Context, Favorite, and Settings. On the right side of the page is a button to Gift the App – which is a great gift to go along with the gift of an iPad. Tweet the tip you are currently on, or email the tip. These options pack the tip into a nicely formatted option and will tweet or send the email right from within the app, nice! From the settings menu, there are options turn page flip sounds on or off, contact the app makers through email, join their newsletter, or rate the app.
Enough with the User Interface, let’s talk about how they explain the tips and the general usability. First of all, each tip will show what version of iOS that tip will work with. For example, on the top right part of the multitasking tip’s page, it reads Tips & Tricks iPad Secrets – iOS 4.2+ – Tip 2. This makes knowing what version each tip will work with easy to find.
Because I am very in-the-know with how the iPad works and the functionality available to me while using it, I have a tough time gauging the usefulness of the app. On one end of the spectrum, there are those completely unfamiliar with Apple products and just hopping on board. For these folks I can see this being the bible of iPad. On the other extreme – longtime members of everythingiCafe and users of iPhones or iPad for a while may find the guide to be a refresher and not much more. I feel most will fall somewhere in between. For those people, this app is still well worth the $0.99 app fee. While I won’t list all 100 tips this app contains, they range from creating folders and how to hard reset and why, to navigating the Usage settings pane and force quitting bad apps through a technique of which even I was not aware. These activities range from novice to expert, if there can be such a thing in terms of using an iPad.
I found going through this Tips & Tricks guide to be enjoyable as the pages are designed very well and the Tips are written in a very professional manner. The graphics look good and the screenshots are all relevant. I would label this a must have for any new iPad owner if you’re really looking to get the full potential out of the device.