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16 July, 2014

Tablet Tips: A Gamer's Guide to Getting the Most From Your iPad – Part 2

You’ve just been given a brand, spanking new iPad for your birthday. In your excitement, you rip the box open with inhuman strength, and fling it to the far corner of your room where it can hang out with long forgotten household chores and half-completed projects. Like an ill-disciplined chimp, you start blindly hitting and slapping your new toy in the hope that it will magically operate. Before long you’ve downloaded a thousand dollars worth of IAPs and activated the self-destruct function.

Welcome to your new iPad. Here at Grab It, we understand the excitement that comes with owning a new iPad, but also being too impatient to take the time to learn the ins and outs. Well you’re in luck. For your convenience, we’re continuing a series of articles that outline our top tips to get the most from your iPad experience.

Be sure to also check out the following articles:
     - Tablet Tips: A Gamer's Guide to Getting the Most From Your iPad - Part 1
     - How to Play PC Games on Your iPad
     - How to Play Quake III on Your iPad

This Guide has been developed using iOS version 7.

Capturing the Moment
Did you just achieve a totally awesome score in Avoid Sensory Overload or Super Hexagon and desperately want to share the glory (i.e. brag) with your friends? Or maybe you’re getting ready to do a speedrun of Sometimes You Die, and want to preserve the memory forever. Well, in that case, you’ll definitely want to capture the moment.

1. Take a screenshot
Taking a screenshot is incredibly straightforward with iOS 7. Simply press the “Home” button (found at the bottom of your iPad) and “Lock” button (found on the top of your iPad) at the same time to take a screenshot.

2. Record gameplay
Recording gameplay from your iPad requires a little bit of playing around, but if you’re looking to become the next Youtube superstar, it’s worth your time. The most obvious (but expensive) method is to go out and buy yourself some decent hardware that will do the job. There are some nice game capture devices out there, but we can recommend the Elgato Game Capture HD. You'll also need to get the HDMi adapter from Apple. You can then stream your gameplay via HDMI through the game capture device, which records it all ready for upload.

Another way to record iOS footage is to download a program to your PC or Mac called Reflector (visit the website here). As the name implies, the program allows users to wirelessly mirror (over the same network) the contents of your iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch to any Mac, PC or Android device. You can try out Reflector for free for 7 days, although it will only set you back just over $10 for the full program. Once you have downloaded the program to your PC/Mac, swipe up from the bottom of your iPad to open the Control Center. Then, select your PC and ensure the “mirroring” function is turned on. Having done this, all you need to do is select record from the menu. A word of caution: this program works best with a strong network connection and short videos. So maybe don’t go recording your mammoth playthrough of Oceanhorn or The Shadow Sun.

Sharing the Moment
So now you need to prove to the world that you actually got that high score. There’s a few ways to go about this.

1. Share via email and social media
To share photos and screenshots, first go to your photo album. You will notice in the top right hand corner there is a “Select” button. Press that button and choose which photos you want to share. Then, press the “Share” button in the top left corner (it looks like a rectangle with an arrow coming out of the middle). You will then be presented with a number of options to share your photos/screenshots, including via email, Facebook and Twitter.

It’s worth noting that you may only be able to share a small number of photos at once, for example via email, due to size limitations. I’ve found that I can only send 5 photos at once by email.

2. Transfer files to another device
This method goes beyond purely sharing photos and screenshots for the fun of it, and is quite useful for sharing any type of file between devices. One way is to share files via the Airdrop service. To enable Airdrop, swipe up from the bottom of your iPad. Next, tap the “Airplay” button and choose the type of discoverability you are comfortable with (i.e. friends-only, or everyone.) You can now send files to nearby people using the Airdrop function (for example, using the process outlined in step 1).

Alternatively, there are some pretty decent file sharing apps out there. One that we use is Instashare, which is available for free. Simply download the app onto the devices that you want to transfer files between. As long as both devices are on the same network, it’s as simple as dragging and dropping files via the app.

Reduce Motion Sickness
You may not have thought twice about this one, but it’s quite possible to experience motion sickness while using your iPad. The release of iOS 7 saw the introduction of a bunch of fancy animations; sure they look great, but not so much if last night’s dinner is now coating your iPad. To turn off these animations, and hopefully settle your stomach, first open up “Settings.” Navigate to the “General” and then “Accessibility” sub-menus. Finally, select the “Reduce Motion” function and you’re good to go.

Quick Fire Tips
To finish up our article, here are a few quick fire tips that are sometimes easy to overlook.

1. View usage information
Are you getting frustrated that your iPad is quickly running out of space, but not sure which games are space hogs? Open up the "Settings" menu, select "General" and go to "Usage." From here you can easily view and manage all of your downloaded apps and games. 

2. Force quit an app
Sometimes it all goes horribly wrong and the game you’ve just been playing for the past half-hour (without saving, of course) will freak out and freeze. To force quit an app, double tap the "Home" button." Then, simply find the app in question and swipe upwards to quit. If it truly does go belly up, then you may need to switch off your iPad altogether, which can be done by holding down the power button for a few seconds until a prompt appears on screen.

3. Keep apps automatically updated
This feature, which should already be enabled with iOS 7, is pretty nifty in that you don't have to worry about manually checking for app updates. However, to ensure that it is on, open up "Settings," go to "iTunes & App Store" and ensure that "Updates" is checked.


We hope you find these tips useful in enhancing your gaming experience on your iPad. But what’s the use of a guide without having any games to play? As a starting point, make sure you check out our Grab It Episode 5, featuring a massive world exclusive on World of Tanks Blitz. Episode 5 also includes eight other exclusive interviews, three features, 15 showcased games and plenty more.

Stephen Mitchell

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