Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

Skip Navigation LinksHome > Blogs > PRSonally Speaking > Hidden Features on your iPad
PRSonally Speaking
Monday, October 28, 2013
Hidden Features on your iPad
by Dr. Ash Patel
The journey from San Diego back to Albany gave me plenty of time to gather my thoughts about the annual meeting. I was honored to be a moderator at the PRS GO resident bowl, and also to give a PRS tech talk on using the iPad. The turnout for my talk was humbling, and made me realize that there are many frequent iPad users who are not aware of many of the device’s features.

The iPad was first released in April 2010, and was a catalyst for the mobile computing revolution. Over 170 million devices have been sold worldwide over the past 42 months. Since the launch, there have been a number o f updates, with the newest iteration unveiled on October 22 2013. As well as the hardware refreshes, there have been 5 different versions of iOS that have been iPad compatible, each with their own features. The current operating system is known as iOS 7.

The first hidden feature I want to discuss is the screenshot function. This allows you to take a picture of what is visible on the device’s screen. This feature is activated by holding down the power button, and then pressing the “Home” button. The screen will flash, and the screenshot will be available in the Photos app.
The screenshot can then be shared, just like any other photograph. I find this feature useful to send screenshots of abstracts and figures from within the PRS app.

The iPad can easily be used for typing if it is placed on a flat surface, but with a full sized iPad, typing with both hands, while holding the device is difficult. The user can compensate by either holding the device in portrait orientation or by typing single handed.  Another option is to split the keyboard, into two smaller keyboards, and type with both thumbs. This can be achieved by swiping both thumbs apart on the keyboard, or by holding the keyboard icon in the bottom right of the keyboard. The split keyboard can be moved up and down the screen by touching the keyboard icon and swiping up or down. When the keyboard is split, holding the icon down will enable the user to merge the keyboards. This can also be done by swiping your thumbs together while on the keyboards.

The split keyboards have a series of hidden keys, along the central edges of the keyboards, which correspond to the key across the gap on the other keyboard. Using these hidden keys can allow for faster typing.

Once again, if you have any questions or suggestions, please e-mail me at

About the Blog

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery

PRSonally Speaking is the official blog of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the journal of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. Visit our blog for exclusive previews of and discussions on hot topics in plastic surgery as well as insider-tips on open access content. PRSonally Speaking is now powered by frequent contributions from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons’ Young Plastic Surgeons Forum (YPS); these practicing plastic surgeons provide the personal side of the plastic surgery story, from daily challenges to unique insights. PRSonally Speaking is home to lively, civil debate on hot topics and great discussions pertaining to our field. So, bookmark us, subscribe to the RSS feed and join in the on-going conversation with Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery. This is your Journal; have fun, be respectful, get engaged and interact with the PRS community.

The views and recommendations of guest contributors do not necessarily indicate official endorsements or opinions of the Journal, PRS, or the ASPS. All views are those of the authors and the authors alone.


Anureet K. Bajaj, MD is a practicing plastic surgeon in Oklahoma City. She completed residency and fellowship in 2004, had a brief stint in academia at the University of Cincinnati, and then chose to join her father (Paramjit Bajaj MD, also a practicing plastic surgeon) in private practice in OKC, where she focuses on breast reconstruction and general cosmetic surgeries.

Devra B. Becker, MD, FACS, is an Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery in the Department of Plastic Surgery at University Hospitals/Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland, Ohio. She completed Plastic Surgery residency at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, and completed fellowships with Daniel Marchac and with Bahman Guyuron. She currently has a primarily reconstructive practice.

Henry C. Hsia, MD, FACS is at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey and also holds an appointment at Princeton University.  When he’s not working hard trying to be a good father and husband, he runs a practice focused on reconstructive surgery and wound care as well as a research lab focused on wound biology and regenerative medicine.

Stephanie K. Rowen, MD is a senior physician at The Permanente Medical Group in San Jose, California.  She joined TPMG upon finishing residency and a hand surgery fellowship in 2005.  She has a primarily reconstructive practice, about 50% hand surgery.  Outside of work she enjoys participating in triathlons and spending time with her family.

Jon Ver Halen, MD is currently Chief of plastic surgery, Baptist Cancer Center; Research member, Vanderbilt- Ingram Cancer Center; Adjunct clinical faculty, St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. He also acts as Program Director for the plastic surgery microvascular surgery fellowship. His practice focuses on oncologic reconstruction.

Tech Talk Bloggers

Adrian Murphy is a plastic surgery trainee in London, England. He studied medicine in Dublin, Ireland and has trained in Ireland, Boston, MA and the United Kingdom. He is a self-confessed geek and gadget aficionado.

Ash Patel, MD is Assistant Professor of Plastic Surgery and Associate Program Director at Albany Medical College, in Albany NY. His practice is primarily reconstructive.