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Four handy iOS 5 tricks for the iPad

Now that you've upgraded your iPad to iOS 5, check out these handy tricks for navigating your apps and entering text faster.

iOS 5 further improves the iPad as a productivity device, with new features that streamline navigation and speed up word processing. Four of these new features stood out to us, two of which are only available on the iPad.

All of these tools are built in, so you can start using them right away. Watch the video and follow the tips to get started:

Now playing: Watch this: Four new iPad features in iOS 5

1. Multitasking gestures
With iOS 5, the Home button is nearly obsolete, as you can now navigate and manage your iPad using multitouch gestures. To enable gestures, go to Settings > General, and turn on multitasking gestures at the bottom. There are three navigation gestures:

  • Anytime you're in an app, pinch with four or five fingers to return to the home screen.

  • To show the multitasking bar (usually accessed by double-clicking the Home button), swipe up with four or five fingers.

  • Swipe right or left with four or five fingers to navigate through open apps instead of switching with the multitasking bar.

2. Text shortcuts
Composing quick e-mails and messages just got much easier on the iPad with AutoText. Head to Settings > General > Keyboard and scroll down to Shortcuts. You'll see that a shortcut for "On my way!" has already been created for you. To create a new one, simply tap "Add new shortcut." Check out these really creative ideas for iOS 5 text shortcuts.

3. Definitions everywhere
Like the Nook and Kindle, iOS now has a built-in, quick-access dictionary. If you come across a word you don't understand, long-press it, and select Define. A window will pop up with the complete definition.

4. Type with your thumbs
Any iPad owner who attempts to type while standing knows it's a cumbersome task; stabbing at the keyboard with one finger while holding the iPad with one hand is less than ideal. Fortunately, Apple made things easier in iOS 5 with a split keyboard. How it works:

  • Whenever the keyboard is prompted, literally pull it apart with your thumbs. Or, long-press the keyboard button (bottom right) and select Split.

  • To go back to the regular keyboard, push it back together with your thumbs, or long-press the keyboard button and select Merge.

  • You can now undock the keyboard when it's in the way of something on the screen. Long-press the keyboard button and select Undock. You can then split the keyboard, if you like.

Learn more about improving work flow on the iPad with these five productivity-boosting iPad tips.