Last Wednesday (September 18th), Apple released the latest update to its operating system for iPads and iPhones, iOS7. While there are many new and exciting features, and a sleek new designs layout, there are some drawbacks, not the least of which has been reported motion sickness with the zooming and animations. Although you are not currently required to update the operating system on your iPad, you will need to upgrade at some point and I thought I would provide step-by-step instructions on how to complete this task as well as a few tips and tricks you can use with your iPad.
First, be sure your device is connected to a wifi network such as UGDSB public or your own home wifi system. If you are upgrading your own personal device, this is a key step too so that you will not be charged for large amounts of data usage. Also, you may wish to connect your iPad to a power source, so there is no chance for it shutting down during the process. Go to ‘Settings’, tap on ‘General’ and then ‘Software Update’. Your current operating system will automatically begin checking for updates. If an update is available, tap ‘Download” and the process will begin. Once the download is complete you will receive a notification that the system is ready to install, tap on ‘Install Now’ and wait for the device to complete this process. If your iPad has a great deal of apps, videos, or pictures stored on it, you may receive the message that “This update requires at least X.XG of storage”. In this case, you can use iTunes to complete the installation if you are able to connect it to your own personal device (many UGDSB desktops and laptops are unable to install iTunes) or simply delete some videos or apps you no longer use and begin the process.
So what’s new?
The first thing you will notice about the new operating system will be the look of the lock screen, password and home screen. Additionally, the home page icons may not appear to all be there. This is because your folders will now have multiple pages and there is no limit to the number of apps you can store in a single folder. When you open a folder you may see dots along the bottom of the insert, these indicate how many pages are within the folder and which page you are currently viewing. By swiping to the left or right, the next set of apps will appear for you to tap to open. This will end the multiple folders titled ‘Math 1’, ‘Math 2’, ‘Math 3’, etc.
You may be wondering where your search feature has gone, considering swiping to the right from the home screen no longer brings up this feature. Instead, swiping from the top down on the home screen will bring up your search bar and keyboard.
Closing running apps used to be achieved by double clicking on the home button. While this is still the case, there are a couple new changes. Simply swipe each app toward the top of the iPad and it will disappear. If you are feeling particularly savvy, or pressed for time, you can close multiple apps at one time by swiping upwards with multiple fingers on each app. Swiping from the left or right and tapping on an app, will allow you to switch between apps that are currently open.
In mail or settings, etc. you can swipe from left to right (backwards swiping) and it will allow you to return to the previous page.
iOS7 has some new sounds available for use as notifications, you may like to explore these by tapping ‘Settings’ and going to ‘Sounds’
Useful for teaching is the iPad dictionary feature. When you are reading an ebook or article online, simply touch and hold the desired word and it will highlight, then tap on define.
Finally, one key feature I would like to highlight is the restrictions function. As a teacher, multiple students may be using the device in one day and some tech savvy children may be able to delete or install apps on the iPad without our permission. Instead we can lock the ability to perform these functions unless a password is provided. Go to “Settings” and tap on “General”. You will have to scroll down to “Restrictions” and tap “Enable Restrictions”. Here you will be asked to enter a four digit passcode. Then you are able to allow or deny access to multiple features on the iPad such as FaceTime, iTunes store in addition to Adding and Deleting Apps. Also, you can alter the level of content allowed for the various features, so there is no chance of students playing inappropriate videos or visiting adult content websites accidentally.
So, while it is not necessary to update your iPad with the new operating system now, it will become a requirement in the future; and although there may be a few bugs and kinks in the system, there is no reason to fear updating your iPad to iOS7. I do however suggest trying it at the end of the day when you will not need it and getting used to the new features and app layout. This way you will not be frustrated trying to find an app you had wanted to use in a lesson, or share with a student.
If there are any questions regarding the new operating system or iPads, please feel free to message me.
Have a great weekend,