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Continuing the series on optimizing your iPad for various rooms in the house, today I’m going to take a look at preparing the iPad for what can be the least likely place to find it: the bedroom. Whether it’s getting your iPad ready for some hot love with your significant other or it’s relaxing before turning in for the night, I’ve got you covered.

Let’s dive in and get this show on the road.

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So, if you read last week’s instalment, you know how to get started with the iPad as a living room machine. Moving through the house our next stop is the kitchen, and how we might use Apple’s iconic tablet to help with cooking, planning, and other kitchenly activities.

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The iPad practically becomes whatever application it happens to be running at a time. With so many different applications available in the App Store, this means that the iPad can be a fundamentally different device based on who is using it, where they’re using it, and what they’re using it for.

Over the course of a few articles I’m going to provide some different use-cases for the iPad around the house (and, later, abroad) and how you can optimize the iPad for each room that you occupy. Today I’m going to take a look at how the iPad can become an integral part of your living room.

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I’ve spoken before about how the iPad can be used to increase productivity, and today I want to go a step beyond that and outline two different ways that the iPad can become essential to anyone’s workflow.

One way is fairly common, and the other might be something that you haven’t heard of before. Hopefully you’ll learn something either way and will find the iPad becoming less (or more) of a toy. Let’s get cracking.

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This is the third installment in our Buyer’s Guide series, in which we try to lay out what kinds of things you should buy for your iPad; or, in spirit of the season, what you can get for the person who already owns the most-wanted gift of the year!

This week we’re going to look at some of the most interesting accessories you can get for your iPad. They may not fit easily into categories but are definitely worth a look! Read on for your own personalized gift guide.

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Many consider the iPad to be a content-consumption device, with little to no possibility of creating something with the large screen and limited hardware capabilities. I’d like to say that, with all fairness, those people are out of their minds! The iPad makes it easy to do many things, and can replace laptops for a fair number of people.

Aside from the computer-illiterate, the iPad may be best for writers. How can you turn your iPad into the ultimate writing machine? Read on to find out.

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“When you go out and about with just an iPad, you’re sending a message that you’re not going to contribute. You’re just there to consume.” – Paul Thurrott (October 6, 2010)

“That’s what we keep hearing about the iPad as the justification for all its purposeful limitations: it’s meant for consumption, we’re told, not creation….all of us comment on content, whether through email or across a Denny’s table. At one level or another, we all spread, react, remix, or create. Just not on the iPad.” – Jeff Jarvis (April 4, 2010)

“Today’s iPad, the one that I just bought, is just a demo of something that could be very nice and useful at some point in the future. Today it’s something to play with, not something to use. That’s the kind way to say it. The direct way: It’s a toy.” – Dave Winer (April 3, 2010)

Those are three big names in the world of tech pundits. You’ve probably heard of all of them. And that’s what they thought of the iPad when it was first introduced. You’ve probably heard similar things from colleagues and friends, on Twitter and in chat rooms. People seem polarized over this idea of “content creation”, and whether the iPad is capable of it. Is this an active piece of technology, or just a passive one?

I contend that it’s an active one, in fact I would say it’s revolutionary in the way content can be created on it. I think the issue is with the definition of content. Let me explain.

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With GarageBand installed, an iPad is a powerful and portable tool for musicians. However, just like its desktop version, GarageBand for iPad can also be employed by non-musicians too, as I’ll highlight with a step by step guide to making a podcast on your iPad, complete with accompanying music.

This How-To will be aimed towards those who have a basic understanding of GarageBand, or at least the principles behind music software in general, but I will endeavour to keep each step as beginner friendly as possible. If you have any questions or problems, please let us know in the comments and I’ll attempt to help you through it.

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Photography is a form of art especially close to my heart. It’s something I enjoy immensely, and something that I’ve always thought would be perfectly suited to the iPad. There has always been a vibrant community surrounding iPhone photography, and some truly great apps have appeared to help with editing and organizing your photos.

But what about where the iPad’s concerned? The iPad 2 has a camera, but it isn’t of the same quality as the iPhone’s. There’s the optional Camera Connector Kit, to import photos from your camera via an SD card or a USB cable too. That’s really what we’re going to be focusing on today.

Unlike the iPhone, where it’s both the photo capture and photo editing device, the iPad really only excels at the one aspect: photo editing. I mean seriously, are you going to be waving a 10″ tablet device around, taking snapshots on vacation? No, didn’t think so.

Let’s dig into what the options are for editing and organizing photos on the iPad, and where iOS developers still have room to grow and improve.

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Ok, let’s be honest, right up front. While we all love our families, and can agree that children are truly wonderful gifts, no one wants to go on an extended road trip with a backseat full of little ones. If they’re especially young — let’s say newborn to 3 or 4 years old — the suggestions that follow may not work for you. I know I’d hesitate to hand over my $500 device to someone under 4 years old.

But for anyone older than that — how about we say the 5 and up crowd — the iPad could truly be a tired parent’s dream-come-true. There is an absolute wealth of kid-focused apps for the iPad. From honest games that’ll kill time and keep them occupied, to more educationally stimulating offerings, the App Store has you covered. Let’s dive in, and I’ll show you some of the best of the best.

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