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iPad problems or questions? Someone can help

Are you thinking of getting an iPad but are not sure if you can cope with it or understand what it could do?

Do you already have one, but can't get it to do what you want? Do you start on something and then get stuck, unable to go back to where you were before?

Can you place an order with your usual supermarket and have it delivered in a one or two hour slot, probably tomorrow? Useful if you're not too mobile, can't carry heavy shopping, don't drive, or are unwell.

Can you use Skype to chat with (and see!) family in New Zealand? For free. (Or the other side of Charlbury, for that matter.) Can you choose from thousands of films and recordings of classical, rock, folk and other concerts whenever you like and for free? Do you make use of the BBC's online catch-up services? Do you know how to stream music? What's legal and what isn't?

Do you use Street View to check out where you are thinking of going on holiday, before you book? Do you have apps to plan railway journeys across the country (and across Europe: Istanbul or Moscow, here you come)? Can you see the departures and arrivals board for any station in the country (so you don't turn up on time at the station for a train that's running half an hour late, or has been cancelled)? Zoom in on Ordnance Survey maps for any part of the country, and save them for future use (for free)?

Can you see if you can get by bus from Robin Hood's Bay to York? On a Saturday or a Sunday after 2? Or whether part of the journey would be better by train? First Great Western are not running trains on Boxing Day, but is there any other way of catching public transport to London on that day?

Do you find newspapers expensive or just wasteful? Have you used the apps some papers provide? Checked tonight's TV programmes on the way home? Booked cinema, theatre, gig or concert tickets and reserved a meal table before or after? Did you know cinema tickets can often be cheaper bought online, plus you don't queue?

Indeed, have you really got the hang of apps at all? Have you ever looked for those that might be useful? Does the idea of tapping on something called App Store just terrify you!? If you have done, was the result just bewildering?

Do you realise that many colleges and universities worldwide provide free courses and lectures in countless different subjects, from science and psychology to music and languages? Have you tapped into the wonderful world of podcasts (also free)?

Above all, have you noticed that what I've mentioned here is a mere scratch on the surface of what an iPad offers? It really is the iceberg's tip. Some people use iPads almost exclusively for playing games! Or sharing family or holiday snaps.

Well, if you are used to a computer and going online, adding an iPad to your repertoire won't come as too much of a shock. But there are still some differences, and tablets of all kinds are designed to shortcut you to tasks and places that would take you much longer to achieve on a laptop, if at all.

I'm certainly not the world expert on these things, but I'm 70, I've years of experience online, I've taught myself to use an iPad, and I'm local. And I'm very happy to help anyone of a certain age who would like to get more from their iPad, or is wondering whether to buy or ask for one for Christmas. NO CHARGE! iPads are of course the Apple brand, and there are other makes of tablet, the cheapest decent one being, according to Which?, the Hudl from Tesco. I've no experience of the android operating system but it achieves similar results to the Apple through a similar process of fingering and tapping!

If you'd like to look, touch, ask or experiment, or see if two heads are better than one at solving your problems, do get in touch. As I say, I'm not doing this for money. Click my name, or email

Jon Carpenter · Mon 1 Dec 2014, 14:05 · Link

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