iPad iPhone Physical


To show you the iPad iPhone physical details, what they can do, how you use them, and how you can change the way some of them work. To provide links to where you can get more information and support.


Apple prides itself on simple user interfaces, that are intuitive and flexible. This means that users should find the buttons etc easy to find and understand. They have succeeded (to a point). But if your new to the technology, and until you know it, some explanation is necessary. These devices have:

  1. 5 buttons (although each button may serve more that one purpose)
  2. 2 cable connection points (Lightning (or 30 pin) and headphone)
  3. 2 cameras (front and rear, older models may have 1 or 0 cameras)
  4. microphone(s)
  5. speakers
  6. iPhones and some iPads may also have a SIM Card (telephone network connection) insertion point
iPad Buttons - Click to link to iPad Tech Specs

iPad Buttons – Click this image to go to Apples site iPad Tech Specs

iPhone Buttons

iPhone Buttons – Click this image to go to Apples site iPhone Tech Specs

You can get official support information for your Apple device at the Apple Support Page, including Technical SpecificationsUser ManualsVideo Tutorials and Downloads.

Button Modes

The App Switcher Screen - Shot taken with a button press combination

The App Switcher Screen – Shot taken with a button press combination

Sleep/Wake button can also turn your iDevice On/Off. A quick press is all that is usually needed. This will put your device to Sleep, or Wake it (the magnetic covers of the iPad will also do this when you open or close them).But if you want to turn your device off completely, you can press and hold the button for 4 to 5 seconds, and you will see a “Slide to power off” option that you can select.

Think of the Home button as the MAGIC BUTTON on this device. It will do many useful things. The Home Button will take you back a step each time you press it:

  • a single press (if you are in an App) will take you back to the App Launch screen where you started the App. One more single press will take you to the first App Launch screen. If your unsure of where you are, whether to go ahead, or what to do next, PRESS the Home Button. Still unsure, press it again.
  • a quick double press will bring up the App Switcher, where you can quickly see and select Apps you have already opened (four finger slide up also opens this mode) See Picture above
  • press and hold will activate SIRI, Apples personal assistant (on later model devices only, covered later).

When the Home Button is pressed and held at the same time as the Sleep/Wake Button :

  • quickly, the Home button and Sleep/Wake button pressed together will take a camera picture of the screen you have open, and add that picture to your Camera Roll See Picture above, taken using this tip
  • for about 7 to 10 seconds, pressing the Home button and Sleep/Wake button together will RESET your iPad. You shouldn’t lose anything, and this is occasionally useful if your iPad is frozen (rare).

Volume button also acts a the camera take photo button when the camera App is active.

Ring silent button also acts as a screen orientation lock (set in settings).

Cable Connections

There are only two, a stereo headphone mini jack for sound out (and voice in using proper earphones), and the Apple Lightning connector (previously a 30 pin connector).

The Lightning connector will:

  • charge the iDevice
  • connect it to your computer, and
  • for various external connections using adaptors including camera, HDMI (TV), projector and screen, various docks and more. Check the Apple Store for some.


The iPhone comes in one size only. iPads come as standard or mini. Go to an Apple store (or corner some friends) and handle both before you decide (not the friends).

Mini’s are definitely lighter, and more portable (some larger pockets will do). But the screen size is an issue depending on your eyesight. They are great for reading in bed 🙂

The standard iPad size comes with a very high quality screen, is heavier (but not so heavy). You will probably need a bag to carry it.


iDevice memory capacities range from 16 Gigabytes to 124. Your needs depend on your usage. If you want to watch a lot of videos or movies, and not be constantly downloading while travelling, go for the larger capacity. It will save you a bundle in Wireless broadband costs. If you stay at home mostly, you can use your home WiFi to connect and you will need less total storage.

WiFi and/or 3-4G

All iPhones are connectable to 3 or 4G, or they wouldn’t work as phones. With iPads this is optional (and costs about $100 or so more to have it).

All these iDevices have WiFi, They can connect to your home network, and internet café, or a portable WiFi 3 or 4G Wireless router (which has the added benefit of connecting more than 1 device). I have a Wireless Router, and connect all my family devices to it when we are travelling. This saves me on both purchase prices, and connection costs for more Wireless plans. There is a small inconvenience cost.

Heres what Apple says
  • Wi-Fi model: Uses high-speed Wi-Fi networking to connect to the Internet. It’s ideal if you have a wireless Internet router in your home or if you’ll be using your iPad mini near a wireless hotspot in a coffee shop or school library, for example. There are Wi-Fi hotspots nearly everywhere around the world — iPad mini with Wi-Fi finds them automatically.
  • Wi-Fi + Cellular model: Keeps you connected to the Internet using a fast cellular data connection when Wi-Fi isn’t available. So you can stay connected when you’re commuting on the train, hanging out at the park, or looking for directions during a road trip. It’s available without a contract, and service is sold separately. See your carrier for rate plan information.


For your iPad, definitely get a screen cover, and the Apple magnetic covers work very well. There are so many accessories available for these devices, you could devote a web site to just that 🙂

Useful Links




Grab an iPhone or iPad (preferably yours) and start pressing buttons to see what happens. STOP and back out if you get into the settings area, you need be careful in there. If you are asked to confirm something, and you’re not sure what, don’t, just back out by pressing the Home Button (Magic Button) 🙂  The aim is to GET COMFORTABLE with your device. Nothing you do while learning should be a major problem. Find the games, and play them, it all helps. Talk to your family, friends and partners about what you discover. Ask them to show you how to (whatever). Take notes if that helps you. BUT USE THE DEVICE, three or four times a day, until it feels natural in your hands.