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The Question of the Week; Should You Buy the iPad 2?

The Question of the Week; Should You Buy the iPad 2?

    I was somewhat skeptical at first when the initial iPad was released. Not that Apple couldn’t use their marketing magic to sell a ton of devices, but that the tablet with a “limited” OS would be that useful. After getting my hands on the first iPad the day it was launched it took me about 15 minutes to convince myself to buy one and a couple of days to fit in my digital life and find the use for it.

    The iPad is perfect for some things and not so good at others. Many tech journalists throw around this idea of the iPad being a consumption only device and that creating on it is difficult and/or useless. I sort of agree with this notion, but at the same time say that with a bluetooth keyboard I can be productive on the iPad. Apple made a point at their keynote that the iPad 2 is a consumption device as well as a creation device showing demos of Garage Band and iMovie, both being extremely impressive.

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    All that aside, with the iPad 2 release happening in a little over 24 hours at your local Apple Store, there are two questions that remain.

    1. Should I jump now and finally get myself a tablet like the iPad 2?
    2. Should I upgrade my months old iPad and get the iPad 2?

    Let’s take a look at both situations seperately as they are quite different. Let me remind you I have owned the iPad since day one and have also not had the chance to see the new one in person, only video and photos.

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      Potential iPad owners

      To the new tablet buyers out there I have to say that the options you are given for tablet based devices is pretty slim at the moment with the iPad 2 being the most affordable and approachable. To cut to the chase, I have to say that if you are a new tablet buyer and you have the money to get the new iPad 2 it seems like a no-brainer; get the iPad 2.

      You have to remember though that Apple may or may not be upgrading the iPad again before the end of the year (this comes from John Gruber a known Apple pundit that tends to hit-the-head-on-the-nail when it comes to Apple rumors). The reason for this is for Apple to catch the holiday buyers and not put them in the position that they did this year by releasing a brand new iPad only two and a half months after Christmas. Yet, knowing this rumor, I still recommend buying the new iPad 2 as it is the best, most affordable tablet device on the market.

      Old iPad owners looking to upgrade

      Ahhh, the early adopters, innovators, and geeky types. My hat goes off to you for adopting a product that was somewhat questionable when first released. Now the question is, do you upgrade to the latest incarnation of the iPad or just plug along until the iPad 3 hits the market? This is a really tough call and it all comes down to three different talking points.

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        1. Do you really need those cameras?

        One thing that iPad 2 brings to the table is the front facing and rear facing “HD” cameras that allow users to Facetime and record up to 720p HD video. Many consumers were upset that the cameras weren’t available in the iPad 1, and in the normal Apple fashion “they have found a way” to put the cameras in the gen 2 device.

        Personally, I think that the cameras may only be useful for something like Facetime. I can’t see myself actually shooting pictures and video on the thing and if you are a real Apple fanboy/girl you have a iPhone 4 to do that heavy lifting anyways.

        2. Shear power of A5

        When the iPad was first released it seemed that the device was extremely powerful and quick to launch apps and process information. After about a year of use though, it does seem that the iPad has lost some of its “smoking fast” luster. The A5 is a dual core chip and said to bring up to double the processing speed and 9 times video performance. If that is somthing that you need then maybe the iPad 2 is your ticket. But, just remember that the iPad 1 is no slouch; it streams video beautifully, plays full 3D games like Infinity Blade flawlessly, and browses the web quickly.

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        To be honest, I can’t imagine a small spec jump in processor speed will make an extreme amount of difference.

        3. No screen upgrade

        This may be the most disappointing part of the iPad 2 announcement; it is the identical screen from the iPad 1. I’m not saying that the iPad’s screen is bad, but after owning the iPhone 4 with the Retina Display, you really do notice the difference in pixel density. This is the exact reason that I may wait for the iPad 3 as I can imagine that they will finally upgrade the display.

        Probably the reason that the iPad 2 ships with the same screen is to keep the cost down to the $499 starting price which is a good strategic move made by Apple.

        Conclusion

        For the first time iPad buyers out there that are on the fence, I say jump over it and get the iPad 2. Like I said before it is a no-brainer.

        For the iPad 1 owners looking to upgrade it is a bit more complicated. If you are really in need of cameras, faster processing, and don’t care that the screen is exactly the same then you may be standing in line tomorrow at 5pm with the rest of the Apple fans. But, if you are happy with your current iPad and don’t see the point this incremental upgrade, you should save the money and wait for the redesign of the iPad 3.

        More by this author

        CM Smith

        A technologist and writer who shares advice on personal productivity, creativity and how to use technology to get things done.

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        Last Updated on February 15, 2019

        7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

        7 Tools to Help Keep Track of Goals and Habits Effectively

        Now that 2011 is well underway and most people have fallen off the bandwagon when it comes to their New Year’s resolutions (myself included), it’s a good time to step back and take an honest look at our habits and the goals that we want to achieve.

        Something that I have learned over the past few years is that if you track something, be it your eating habits, exercise, writing time, work time, etc. you become aware of the reality of the situation. This is why most diet gurus tell you to track what you eat for a week so you have an awareness of the of how you really eat before you start your diet and exercise regimen.

        Tracking daily habits and progress towards goals is another way to see reality and create a way for you clearly review what you have accomplished over a set period of time. Tracking helps motivate you too; if I can make a change in my life and do it once a day for a period of time it makes me more apt to keep doing it.

        So, if you have some goals and habits in mind that need tracked, all you need is a tracking tool. Today we’ll look at 7 different tools to help you keep track of your habits and goals.

        Joe’s Goals

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          Joe’s Goals is a web-based tool that allows users to track their habits and goals in an easy to use interface. Users can add as many goals/habits as they want and also check multiple times per day for those “extra productive days”. Something that is unique about Joe’s Goals is the way that you can keep track of negative habits such as eating out, smoking, etc. This can help you visualize the good things that you are doing as well as the negative things that you are doing in your life.

          Joe’s Goals is free with a subscription version giving you no ads and the “latest version” for $12 a year.

          Daytum

            Daytum

            is an in depth way of counting things that you do during the day and then presenting them to you in many different reports and groups. With Daytum you can add several different items to different custom categories such as work, school, home, etc. to keep track of your habits in each focus area of your life.

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            Daytum is extremely in depth and there are a ton of settings for users to tweak. There is a free version that is pretty standard, but if you want more features and unlimited items and categories you’ll need Daytum Plus which is $4 a month.

            Excel or Numbers

              If you are the spreadsheet number cruncher type and the thought of using someone else’s idea of how you should track your habits turns you off, then creating your own Excel/Numbers/Google spreadsheet is the way to go. Not only do you have pretty much limitless ways to view, enter, and manipulate your goal and habit data, but you have complete control over your stuff and can make it private.

              What’s nice about spreadsheets is you can create reports and can customize your views in any way you see fit. Also, by using Dropbox, you can keep your tracker sheets anywhere you have a connection.

              Evernote

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                I must admit, I am an Evernote junky, mostly because this tool is so ubiquitous. There are several ways you can implement habit/goal tracking with Evernote. You won’t be able to get nifty reports and graphs and such, but you will be able to access your goal tracking anywhere your are, be it iPhone, Android, Mac, PC, or web. With Evernote you pretty much have no excuse for not entering your daily habit and goal information as it is available anywhere.

                Evernote is free with a premium version available.

                Access or Bento

                  If you like the idea of creating your own tracker via Excel or Numbers, you may be compelled to get even more creative with database tools like Access for Windows or Bento for Mac. These tools allow you to set up relational databases and even give you the option of setting up custom interfaces to interact with your data. Access is pretty powerful for personal database applications, and using it with other MS products, you can come up with some pretty awesome, in depth analysis and tracking of your habits and goals.

                  Bento is extremely powerful and user friendly. Also with Bento you can get the iPhone and iPad app to keep your data anywhere you go.

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                  You can check out Access and the Office Suite here and Bento here.

                  Analog Bonus: Pen and Paper

                  All these digital tools are pretty nifty and have all sorts of bells and whistles, but there are some people out there that still swear by a notebook and pen. Just like using spreadsheets or personal databases, pen and paper gives you ultimate freedom and control when it comes to your set up. It also doesn’t lock you into anyone else’s idea of just how you should track your habits.

                  Conclusion

                  I can’t necessarily recommend which tool is the best for tracking your personal habits and goals, as all of them have their quirks. What I can do however (yes, it’s a bit of a cop-out) is tell you that the tool to use is whatever works best for you. I personally keep track of my daily habits and personal goals with a combo Evernote for input and then a Google spreadsheet for long-term tracking.

                  What this all comes down to is not how or what tool you use, but finding what you are comfortable with and then getting busy with creating lasting habits and accomplishing short- and long-term goals.

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