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Weekly Poll

Earlier this week Matthew Guay wrote an in-depth article regarding using an external keyboard with the iPad. It got me wondering how many of you guys use an external keyboard with your iPad?

Is it something that you couldn’t live without or just a beneficial tool for some situations? I personally don’t own one, but how many do?

I could have chosen to do a poll on which external keyboards people have decided upon, which would be interesting but wouldn’t answer what I’d really like to know – what proportion of iPad users go out and complement their purchase with an external keyboard?

Feel free to comment below regarding what keyboards you’ve found to be great, or even why you’re so fond of the external keyboard in general. Should the casual iPad owner seriously consider getting on board?

Following some discussion over whether the iPad is beneficial in education, it would be very interesting indeed to see whether you think the iPad should be used en masse by schools around the world.

A fascinating article in TUAW reported recently that the school board in Auburn, Maine decided to launch a pilot program which would place an iPad 2 in the hands of the district’s 300 kindergarten students.

School officials hail this program as “a revolution in education,” but some parents are questioning this decision. Is it a waste of money outright? Does it sound hopeless to give iPad 2’s to five-year olds, would it be far more beneficial to older children and teenagers?

Perhaps it’s too early in the existence of the iPad to begin rolling it out across educational institutions, it might be a revolution in computing but we should wait for it to develop (and prices to come down) before launching into an expensive buying program.

For the poll I’m more interested in whether you think the iPad should be brought into institutional education now, rather than whether the iPad can be a useful educational tool. Will placing an iPad 2 in the hands of every school-age child dramatically improve their education? Is it worth the cost?

While I absolutely love the reading experience of the iPad, I have yet to truly branch out from reading shorter form articles and the like. I have read bespoke ePUB apps, such as Our Choice, but as for text based novels and the great classics I have forsaken them.

What I’d really like to know is how you read books on you iPad?

Did you already have a selection of Kindle books before the launch of iBooks and so have stuck with it? What style of page turning do you prefer?

Do you use a variety of different apps for reading?

Maybe a single solution hasn’t quite grabbed you yet, and for now you’re happy to switch between a few contenders. Do you wish that iBooks came with a rich mahogany theme…

Is there an app that I have neglected to mention – do feel free to leave a comment below!

Over the last year or so it’s become patently obvious that the iPad is a fantastic platform for gaming! From excellent iPad versions of iPhone games, such as Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja, to more serious console contenders, I’m thinking Infinity Blade and Real Racing, there has been an explosion of games available for the iPad.

The size of the iPad’s screen and it’s powerful processor lend it perfectly to running really quite advanced games, the iPad 2 makes a bold move even further in this direction with the serious increase in graphics power.

But, the real question is, what type of iPad gamer are you?

Just because the iPad can handle complex games doesn’t necessarily mean it’s suited to them, do you prefer to use iPad games to pass the time?

Or, are you someone who simply loves to get fully involved in your games – does the racing experience of Real Racing, and using the iPad’s gyro, take your love of games to the next level?

As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts – simply post a comment below! What is your favourite iPad game?

It’s fascinating to me the way each person adapts differently to fit the iPad into their life. Before I owned one I thought that it would be a (slightly) frivolous toy, I couldn’t see exactly where it would fit in…

Within weeks, however, it finds its place in your life (and heart?).

If you were looking for my iPad then the two best places to check would be my desk and my living room, it moves almost seamlessly between those two locations. I barely even notice the frequency with which I carry it up and down the stairs!

I rarely remove it from my house, apart from those occasions when I’m going travelling – I couldn’t imagine a better companion! Has the iPad found a specific place in your life? Do you keep it on you at all times?

We’d love to hear where your iPad primarily resides, get involved with the poll and feel free to leave a comment below! Especially if you think I’ve missed a place, and I’m almost sure I have…

Is it an expensive living room accessory, or does it never leave your side?

With Facebook now having more than 500 million active users, and around half of them accessing Facebook from mobile devices, it’s not a big stretch of the imagination to think that most people who own an iPad probably have ventured into the world of Facebook.

Whether you’re the kind of person who keeps it small and intimate, with just your close friends and some serious privacy (if that’s possible), or someone who prefers to refer to their friends as fans, you’ll inevitably want to use your new technological marvel to access Facebook.

Facebook themselves have neglected to create a native app, possibly because they’re busy doing other things, or possibly because they believe the web experience is good enough. Not to fear, though, there are a multitude of alternatives.

There is a regular stream of new contenders, one of the latest being Friended. Would you, if the perfect app existed, be willing to pay for a truly intuitive Facebook experience on the iPad?

I, personally, find that using Facebook in Safari works very well for my needs (although I wish Facebook would up the resolution of their web icon), and sometimes I open up Friendly.

What are you looking for in you’re iPad Facebook experience? Do you wish they’d just make an app?

It would be great to hear your thoughts and find out how you use Facebook on the iPad, leave a comment and don’t forget to vote!

When settling down to write, be that short emails or the next chapter of our novel, the environment we’re writing in can have a huge affect on the outcome!

One of the biggest factors that exerts influence over us is the medium in which we are writing – it can fade away allowing total focus, or become more distracting than the house alarm down the street.

Writing on the iPad was something that I originally dismissed as impractical and a more awkward experience than simply using a laptop, which isn’t always ideal itself. I have, however, recently come round to the idea.

One of the major acquisitions that allowed my iPad to gain my affection as a writing tool was the purchase of iA Writer. In conjunction with the Smart Cover it transformed writing on my iPad into a thoroughly enjoyable experience!

If you’re intrigued, we reviewed iA Writer on iPad.AppStorm just over a week ago – you can read it here.

I’m just discovering how intuitive writing on the iPad can be, but I’m fascinated by other people’s experiences. Is there a bold future for writing on the iPad? Or is it always going to be a second rate way to get your thoughts down?

We’d love to know what you think about the writing experience of the iPad, post a comment below and don’t forget to vote!

A year ago the tablet market was almost non-existent, but with the release of the iPad and its ensuing success the wheels were set in motion for a surge of competing tablets.

It’s hard to believe but there were more than a hundred tablets on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas earlier this year! The tablet market is, the expert’s all tell us, set to continue growing at a rapid pace in 2011 – but who will benefit most from this boom?

Some of the biggest potential rivals for the iPad come from well known developers like RIM, Motorola, and Samsung. But there are also some outsiders looking to steal the limelight, with the likes of Asus and Compal also showcasing tablets at CES.

This glut of competition can only be good for the consumer, inevitably pushing prices down and forcing technology companies to drive towards a better product than their competitors. The question is, however, once the dust has settled in this shootout, who will be the victor?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the biggest potential rival to the iPad. Is there a key tablet that’s been missed? Feel free to comment below, especially if you’ve selected ‘Other’!

Following the hugely successful international release of the iPad 2, it seems particularly apt to ask the question: Will you be upgrading?

If you’re the proud owner of an original iPad then I would guess that it still feels like an amazing device. It’s probably created a niche in your life and is now something you wouldn’t want to live without!

But, there’s a new iPad on the block and it does some things that you kind of wish yours did (even it it’s only beautiful integration with the Smart Cover).

The inevitable feeling of slight dissatisfaction is something that’s an unfortunate byproduct of Apple’s product release cycle, and is deftly discussed by David Appleyard in his article: Thought’s and Reflections on Apple’s Product Release Cycle.

Are you someone who can afford the upgrade but prefers to wait for every second release, or do you prefer to wait until your Apple product is completely out of circulation? Is the iPad 2 irresistible?

Conversely, are you content with your original iPad for the time being, given that it’s still a long way ahead of its competition? We want to know what you think, so post a comment below and don’t forget to vote!

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