How to set up your new iPad the right way

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Get your new iPad ready to go in record time  with these tips.
These handy tips and tricks will get you up and running with your new iPad.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

Congratulations — you got a new iPad! Whether it’s a high-tech marvel of a new 9.7-inch iPad Pro, the beastly 12.9-inch iPad Pro, a perfectly capable iPad Air 2 or “just” an iPad mini 4, you’ll want to set up your new iPad with the least amount of fuss.

We’re here to help you do just that with a ton of little tips and tweaks that will make sure you’re off and using that new iPad as quickly and easily as possible. From backing up your old iPad (if you had one already) to getting up and running with a brand-new iPad from scratch, we’ve got you covered.

Still wondering which iPad to get? Check out our handy iPad buyer’s guide, as well as our breakdown of the two Pro models.

As Expected, iPad’s Retina Display Offers Better Color, Sharper Text Than Microsoft Surface RT

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We had a feeling Microsoft was a little optimistic about the Surface RT's display.
We had a feeling Microsoft was a little optimistic about the Surface RT's display.

Shortly before Microsoft began shipping the Surface RT tablet, the company claimed its ClearType display was superior to the third-generation iPad’s Retina display. We had our doubts, and now Dr. Raymond Soneira of DisplayMate Technologies has confirmed we were right to dismiss Microsoft’s claims.

In a display comparison between the third-generation iPad, the Surface RT, and Samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1, Soneira found that Apple’s device offers significantly better color saturation and color accuracy, and sharper text. 

iPad Mini Goes Up Against New iPad, Google Nexus 7 In Drop Test [Video]

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The iPad does not like being dropped on its face.
The iPad does not like being dropped on its face.

Now that the iPad mini’s been on sale a few hours, it’s time to address the issue you’re all itching to know about. I’m talking, of course, about the drop test. Apple’s new tablets have been put to the test against Google’s $199 Nexus 7, and the iPad mini does surprisingly well, only sustaining any real damage when dropped on its face onto concrete.

iFixit Tears Down The 4th Gen iPad: Spot The Difference

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The 4th gen iPad looks almost exactly the same as the 3rd gen iPad — inside and out.
The 4th gen iPad looks almost exactly the same as the 3rd gen iPad — inside and out.

iFixit has now performed its customary teardown on Apple’s fourth-generation iPad, and it seems like a lengthy case of déjà vu. While there are some differences between this model and its predecessor, such as the introduction of Apple’s new A6X processor and Lightning connector, it seems the device remains largely the same — inside and out.

Some Apple Stores Will Let You Swap Your 3rd Gen iPad For The New 4th Gen Within 30 Days

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Pick up a new iPad within the last 30 days? Ask Apple to swap it for the latest model.
Pick up a new iPad within the last 30 days? Ask Apple to swap it for the latest model.

While some companies churn out new smartphones and tablets every month, Apple has traditionally given us at least 12 months with our iOS devices before replacing them with newer models. So it was a big surprise to us all when it announced a new and improved fourth-generation iPad on Tuesday, just seven months after the third-generation iPad went on sale.

If you bought a “new” iPad within the last 30 days, however, don’t be too miffed your device is already obsolete — because you could be one of the lucky ones. If you take your device into an Apple Store, there’s a chance you’ll be able to swap it for a brand new, fourth-generation model free of charge.

Why The Microsoft Surface RT Probably Won’t Have A Clearer Display Than The New iPad

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Don't be fooled by Microsoft's claims just yet.
Don't be fooled by Microsoft's claims just yet.

Microsoft claims its new Surface RT tablet, which begins shipping later this month, has a display that’s superior to the Retina display in the third-generation iPad. But according to DisplayMate CEO Dr. Raymond M. Soneira, that may not be the case. After some basic comparisons, Soneira found the Surface tablet’s display is “significantly less sharp” than the new iPad’s.