Book Review: iPad: The Missing Manual

Some can say that the iPad transcends the need for a user manual. While I want to agree, iPad: The Missing Manual is a great book for iPad users looking for an overall reference or those that want to fill in some of their knowledge gaps and learn something new that they may have missed in their tinkering with the tablet.

The book is a good soup to nuts introduction to the iPad with the first three chapters covering the basics of iPad setup, a tour of the iPad’s major parts, and the basics of interacting with the iPad. Chapter 3 is a must read for new iPad users who may not be familiar with finger moves and gestures. More experienced iPad users should get something out the chapter’s coverage of using voice and using keyboards for interaction and inputting information.

Chapter 4 is another standout part of this book especially for readers who may not be as familiar with iPad online options like cellular and Wi-Fi especially if they aren’t a longtime iPad owner lucky enough to be grandfathered into an unlimited data plan. The one thing missing in the chapter is how to monitor your data plan usage, something a newly minted first time iPad owner is going to have to get familiar with real quick if they want to use cellular data and not break the bank.

The rest of the book does a solid job at covering web surfing, using email and messaging, productivity and organizations, and shopping in the App Store. There is also extensive coverage of reading iBooks, music, videos, iTunes, and synchronization with iCloud.

The book ends out with an appendix about troubleshooting and care information. While good in its own right, I would have liked to see some coverage of some of the more notable online support sites for the iPad like what help content is available in support.apple.com and some of the leading third party iPad sites out there.

Lastly, J.D. Biersdorfer has a friendly and approachable writing style that can even reach more novice technology users wanting to learn more about their shiny new iPad. I recommend this book to new iPad users and even more experienced iPad users who are wondering if they are missing something and not getting everything they can out of their iPad.

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