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Were you good this past year? Well I’m sure you would have to have been really good if you were lucky enough to be unwrapping a brand new iDevice on Christmas morning, instead of biltong and socks.
A lot of friends and family have asked me to set up their new iDevices, so I though this would be a good time to show how really easy Apple has made it to get up and running within minutes of opening the gorgeous box your new toy came in.
A lot of the steps are identical between the iPod/iPhone/iPad, and I will point out device-specific settings.
– Initial Setup –
With the release of IOS 5 in October 2011, the iDevice’s operating system, Apple has removed the requirement to use a computer to activate the iDevice, which is great news! If you did buy your device before October, it will still have IOS 4 installed on it, which will require a computer to activate. This simply means that the steps we are going to follow on the device, would simple need to be followed on the computer, through iTunes.
How do you know if you are using version 4 or 5? Simple. Switch on the device. If it shows an icon indicating that you need to connect to iTunes, then sorry, you are still on IOS 4. If it simply says something like “Slide to Set Up”, then congrats, you are on IOS 5.
It will start off with your language of choice. Select it and move on.
It will then ask for your location. If it defaults the USA, simply change it to SA.
If you are in reach of a wireless network at home or at the office, it will prompt you to join it. If you are going to be using 3G, on your iPhone or iPad, you won’t need to join a wireless network as it will jump to 3G to activate.
You will then be prompted to decide if you are setting up your device from scratch, or restoring from a backup, either from iCloud or iTunes.
If this is an upgrade device, then go ahead and choose to restore from a backup. Note that you will need a PC to do the restore. The backup will transfer settings and content.
If you ‘d like to start a fresh, then do so.
Regardless of your choice, you will now need to input your Apple ID. If this is your first iDevice, then go ahead and create a new one. If this is a new device to your Apple arsenal, then use your normal Apple ID of course. Read my previous post on how to create a US Apple ID.
It will then ask you to enable “Location Services”. It would be of no benefit to disable this, as so many applications use locations services to be effective.
One of the new features built into IOS 5, is the “Find my iPod/iPhone/iPad” app. This integrates with iCloud, so that you can always know where your iDevices are, based on your Apple ID of course. Stay tuned for an upcoming post on iCloud.
The last page relates to Diagnostics. Go ahead and choose any option you wish, it won’t affect you either way.
That’s it! Your new iDevice is ready to go. Naturally there may be an extra step here and there between the different devices, but I’m sure you’ll figure it out.
– Connect up iTunes –
I strongly recommend that you get your device hooked up into your iTunes ASAP, before you start making content changes to the device, as it becomes very simple to manage your devices through iTunes, as well as the device itself.
Simply plug the device into your PC with the provided USB cable, and open iTunes. Give it a moment or two to get detected and installed by iTunes, until eventually the device is displayed under “Devices” in the left panel in iTunes.
When you connect it up for the first time, select it, and iTunes will allow you to customise the name as well as register it with Apple.
Work your way through the tabs in iTunes, once you have selected your device, and have a look at the options. The main ones that I recommend you configure first would be Applications and Music.
If you were lucky enough to receive one of the larger flavours of the iDevices, then you can simply select to synchronise your entire music library. If not, go ahead an choose which artists, playlists or even genre you want to synchronise. I like to create a playlist for each device, and synchronise that.
With the applications, I recommend you select the “Sync apps” options, so that you can manage your apps from the device as well as the computer.
Hit Sync and your off.
– Speaking of Apps –
Apple’s Apps have revolutionised the way we work with our SmartPhones. Essentially, the limits are endless with the sheer variety of apps that are downloadable from the App Store. If you chose the previous option, you will be able to downloads app straight from the device, as well as the computer, giving you flexibility.
Apps are very simply Pay vs Free. Most pay-apps will have a “lite” version, giving you some of the features or limiting you to certain functionality.
Most iPod and iPhone apps are compatible with each other, but you will always be able to tell when reading the description of the app. All apps from the iPhone/iPod will work on the iPad, but not vice versa. Take note here, that the apps from the smaller devices will always work on the bigger iPad, but might not adjust to the larger resolution of the iPad. This means that it will open on the big screen, but will only use the screen size of the iPhone/iPod. They will have a “2x” button to zoom in and make the screen almost full, but it will inevitable look terribly pixelated.
Luckily, many apps are developed to work on both the larger and smaller devices, and is intelligent enough to detect which you are using. You will identify these apps by the tiny “plus symbol” next the price of the app.
– Whip those icons into shape –
You’ll notice that your screen will start to fill up with apps pretty quickly once you start getting the hang of how they work. So best you manage them, the way that you want to. You can easily rearrange the icons, by selecting an icon, any icon, and keeping it selected for a few seconds until they all start to “shake”. You can then move them around, add or remove from the dock at the bottom, or even delete them by hitting the “x” on the corner of the app. If you don’t want to use multiple screens for your plethora of apps, go ahead an organise them by folders. Drag an icon onto another, and IOS will create a folder with a suggested name too. You can change the name to whatever you want, and add or remove icons as you wish.
– Essential Device Settings –
Pre-IOS 5, if you had multiple iDevices, including your MacBook, you would need to manually download the same app onto all of the devices you wanted it. Also, music was not transferrable between devices either. Thanks to IOS 5, and automatic downloads, you can now choose to have app/book/music downloads pushed to any/all of your devices. Have a look in your Settings app, and navigate to the Store. I personally tend to keep the Apps option off, and would rather select which app goes to which device. Take note, disable the option to “Use Cellular Data” to do these downloads in order to avoid a rather large phone bill from your provider.
Another little tit-bit that Apple added into IOS 5 is the Emoji Keyboard, for free. Stay in your settings and have a look at the Keyboard settings. Add the international keyboard of Emoji. This will allow you to use all sorts of wacky emoticons for anything that is text-related on the device. Simply tap the “globe” on your keyboard when typing and choose what you want.
To lock your device from prying eyes, setup a passcode lock from within the General settings App. This will require a key-code or a password to use the device.
To save some serious battery-drainage, choose to disable the Wifi when you are not at home or at the office. In order to provide real-time wireless connections, the device is constantly searching for wireless networks to join. Disable it from within Settings, again.
The iPhone will be the only one of the devices that will support a voice-sim card, which will allow the use of Voice Mail. This is not impressive. But if you are with Vodacom, feel free to go ahead and SMS “VVM ON” to 123 to activate the Visual Voice Mail option. This is truly a great little extra, as it will show you the caller’s name/number, and allow you to play the message from a list, as well as return the call or simply delete it. Vodacom will charge a ridiculous R10 to use this awesome service though, so to deactivate the option, simply SMS “VVM OFF” back to 123.
There are lots of little tweaks and changes that can be made on each device, but once you have these few set up, your device will be in a great state to start working effectively.
And as always, Enjoy.