How to Load Software to My iPad

By Anne Hirsh

Software works differently on the iPad compared to desktop or laptop computers. Instead of installing software from discs or downloading it from a software developer's site on the Internet, all software for the iPad comes from the App Store except the basic operating system. You download the OS through iTunes on your computer. This is also how you receive operating system updates and back-up your App Store purchases in case you need to reload them after accidental deletion or other problems.

Software Setup

Step 1

Download the latest version of iTunes to prepare your computer for your first iPad setup and sync.

Step 2

Connect your iPad to the computer using the sync cable. Wait for your iPad to appear in the "Devices" list, which may take a few minutes, then click on the iPad's name.

Step 3

Follow any on-screen instructions to download the iPad's basic operating system software. This loads the iOS operating system onto your iPad, making it ready to accept software from the App Store.

Disconnect your iPad from the computer when the sync and setup process is complete.

Loading Apps

Step 1

Connect your iPad to any available Wi-Fi connection. You can also use your iPad's 3G connection, but it may be too slow to download data-heavy apps. Tap the "App Store" icon on your iPad screen. This launches the Apple App Store, which is where you can find all approved software that is compatible with the iPad.

Step 2

Type a keyword or phrase into the search box to find the software you are looking for, or tap the "Categories" button at the bottom of the screen to browse apps by category. For example, if you want to edit MS Word documents on your iPad, try searching for key words like "Edit .doc" or "MS Word," or browse the "Productivity" category.

Step 3

Tap on any of your search or category results to learn more about the app. Tap the "More" button to reveal more features in the app description. Swipe your finger from right to left over the app image box to see more screenshots of your chosen app's interface. Read the user reviews and check the app's star rating to find out if the app works as it claims. Tap the back button in the upper left of your screen to return to your search results and continue browsing.

Step 4

Tap an app's price or "Free" button once you decide it is the right software for you. The button will change to an "Install" button. Tap this and enter your iTunes password to confirm your purchase. Your credit card connected with your iTunes account will be charged for the purchase for fee-based apps.

Tap "Ok" and wait for the app to download and install on your iPad. You do not need to perform any setup for this process. Instead, as soon as you confirm the purchase, the iPad will return you to your home screen and show you your new app icon and an installation progress bar. When the progress bar disappears and the app icon is opaque, your new software is ready to use. Tap the icon to launch the software.