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I don’t think I’m alone in saying that Facebook’s announcement yesterday at their headquarters in Menlo Park, California, didn’t get me stoked up one bit. I didn’t even realise it had started until I checked my Twitter during a break from revision in my university’s library and discovered that the event had temporarily hijacked my feed. So, to procrastinate a bit, I started watching the live feed and reading a bit more about it on various technology blogs. The results, unfortunately, didn’t impress.

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Smaller is always better, correct? Smaller is more portable, easier to hold, and is more likely to be used in most situations, correct? That’s typically correct, especially in the technology world.

But that isn’t taking into account the loss of potential productivity, or the advantages of the larger size. At some point, a smaller size begins to impact the capabilities of the device, even if the two devices run identical software. While the iPad mini really is an excellent device that is designed to please most users, there is at least one group of users that likely will not find the iPad mini’s smaller form factor an improvement over the more traditional, 9.7″ iPad.

That segment of users are the true iPad power users, the people who consistently use the iPad not just to consume, but also to create.

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Reports of kids racking up huge bills through in-app purchases (IAP) is certainly en vogue in the mainstream media at the moment. The tech media, too. When the story ingredients include young children, the (on occasion) largest company on the planet and mammoth credit card bills for normal, hardworking parents then you’re guaranteed eyes on the page. The conclusion being that Apple is, after all, evil.
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This week we’re asking: what do you use your iPad’s side switch for? Of course, you’ve got the standard offering between locking the screen rotation or muting your iPad, but if you’ve jailbroken your iPad then you’ve got almost infinite possibilites with it! It seems like a pretty mundane question but one that will be sure to divide our readership community! So go ahead and let us know what you use your side switch for in this week’s poll on the right!

This week’s weekly sponsor is DraftCode, a fantastic new PHP development tool for the iPad.

DraftCode features built-in code execution which allows you to develop PHP offline without requiring access to a server or the internet. The app includes standard PHP 5.4.10 and supports a growing list of popular PHP extensions, POST and GET forms, includes and linking to other PHP files in your project, along with a whole host of other features. With its easy to use workspace for all your files, the option to hand over your code to other apps like Dropbox and an extended iPad keyboard, you can take PHP development into the creative and casual habit field of an iPad.
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Last week, Jonathan made a very compelling argument as to why we would need an external keyboard on the iPad. Now while I concede that on some occasions this would be a boon — typing on the mini for instance — I have to disagree that an external keyboard is needed. Let me share a few of my thoughts on why I feel that it could even be a hindrance and maybe sway you to agree with me.

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This week, we’re asking whether you prefer to use your iPad in either portrait or landscape mode. I personally love landscape mode as it allows me to type easier, it works better with my Smart Cover and it gives me a much better view of my screen, especially when I’m watching videos or editing articles, but sometimes working in portrait view is far easier.

So, it’s over to you! Do you use your iPad mostly in portrait or landscape mode, or a bit of both? Let us know in the poll box on the right!

From the very beginning, the iPad was meant to represent a limited device. While Apple continuously pushes it as the harbinger of the next generation of computing, there is no denying the fact that it simply isn’t good at certain tasks. Some of those tasks are trivial: file management, multitasking, and various other small issues annoy those who try to get actual work done on the device. Thankfully, applications are released daily that help to alleviate many of these pain points, and limitation often helps breed creativity.

The largest issue, however, isn’t one that developers can fix: data entry on the iPad is abysmal for any task that involves typing more than 500 characters.

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Freemium apps have become something of a boom recently. Some of the most popular games on the App Store go by this model, whereby the actual app is “free” but to progress through the game, you’ll need to spend some real cash to actually get anywhere. Hannah Richards wrote an excellent piece arguing why freemium apps are great but now it’s time for me to vent my anger at them and why I won’t be downloading any in the future.

Before I start my rant, let me say that I was a fan of freemium games. I used to play quite regularly on The Sims: Freeplay, The Simpsons: Tapped Out and Pocket Planes (all of which received highly favourable reviews on this site) and I enjoyed it until I realised that I was actually wasting my life, money and, indirectly, my university degree trying to make my Sims to fall in love and get married or get my Bearclaw-P to Stockholm to deliver a valuable batch of screws.

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I have reviewed a number of freemium apps during my time here at iPad.AppStorm, and have come to notice that this particular revenue model tends to polarize opinion, with people either strongly for or strongly against it. I fall into the former camp, and firmly believe that the freemium model is a worthwhile addition to the App Store. Want to know why? Hit the jump to find out!

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