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Throughout the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the iPad series, I’ve been subtly approaching things from the perspective of someone traveling for pleasure. Possibly an individual on a road trip, or maybe a family on a summer vacation.

But, there’s a large segment of the traveling population that isn’t exactly traveling for pleasure. They’re traveling for business.

Yup, I’m talking to you, weary road warrior. That guy who spends more time in airport terminals than in an office building. For you, advancements in technology have really been a godsend. The smaller and thinner and lighter the better, right? But you can’t sacrifice portability for power. And so for many, a laptop is really the only option. But before you drop $1000 on a shiny new MacBook Air or something, just hear me out. The iPad just might be perfect for you.

Let’s take a look at how to get down to business with the iPad.

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Reference material. Not very exciting, is it?

Undeniably useful, but until you need it, it never crosses your mind. It’s ok. I’ve remembered it. In a lot of ways, an iPad is the perfect vehicle for storing and retrieving information while on the road. It’s thinner and lighter than a book, but larger than a smartphone. Even the cheapest model has enough storage to cover what you need.

There’s a lot of information you could potentially need on a trip. And the less familiar the place, the more important the accuracy of the information. From where to go, and what to see and do, to making sure you’ve got the right flight, and knowing your way around a traffic jam.

Let me show you the essential apps to give you the information you need, making sure it’s right at your fingertips.

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When Steve Jobs launched the iPhone in 2007, pundits thought he’d lost his mind launching a phone with just a touchscreen. Surely no one wanted to tap on glass all day! Then, the iPhone proved the pundits wrong, and even Blackberry launched a phone with an on-screen touch keyboard.

Last year, the iPad faced the same dilemma. People had come to accept typing on a touchscreen phone, but for a laptop-sized device, surely that wouldn’t cut it.

Then we got the iPad, and discovered that you could actually type quite fast on a full-sized touch screen. So much so, in fact, that many declared the iPad the perfect writing device!

So, is there still any need to get an external keyboard for your iPad? I’ve recently picked up an Apple Bluetooth Keyboard for mine, so keep reading to see what advantages a “real” keyboard brings to the iPad and whether it’s worth getting … or not.

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Ah, yes, the dreaded pre-trip. Depending on the kind of person you are it could be a month-long process, or just consist of throwing a change of clothes in your car and filling up your tank with gas. In any case, it’s probably stressful. Something’s bound to go wrong, or at least not go according to plan. And so adding one more thing to do – preparing your iPad – isn’t a really good thing, is it?

That’s why you’re reading this, right? Because I’m going to tell you precisely what you need to do so your iPad is perfectly prepared for any trip. Well, perhaps that’s a stretch, but I’m definitely going to give you the best head start I can. Just remember: don’t panic!

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I’m a huge Douglas Adams fan. And by that I mean, I love The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

I also mean that a small part of me feels a twinge of sadness when Douglas Adams and the iPad cross paths in my mind. Simply because I hold in my hands the closest thing to the fabled Guide that our world has yet seen.

And so it is with great honor that I riff off of Mr. Adams, and present to you my Guide to the iPad for Hitchhikers.

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