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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.

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        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 May 25, 2020

        10 Best Task List Apps to Boost Productivity in 2020

        10 Best Task List Apps to Boost Productivity in 2020

        Organizational drag is anything that eats up time and keeps people from getting things done in time. Companies that wish to boost productivity do so by creating more efficient processes.

        This also applies to individuals, freelancers, and entrepreneurs. Whether you work alone or as part of a team, it is important to use the right tools to boost productivity, and having an accessible and easily manageable task list can go a long way.

        Here is a list of the top ten productivity apps that you can use to achieve more.

        1. ToDoist

          ToDoist is an awesome to-do task list app that is used by over 10 million people. To use the app, you just have to write down all the activities that you plan to do. The software will then interpret these activities and categorize the tasks accordingly.

          For instance, if you create a task to go for lunch at noon with a friend, the app will automatically categorize this task as a meeting and will send you a reminder at the right time.

          However, this app is more than a personal activity planner. You can use it to plan activities for the entire team. It is also good for planning entire projects, discussing details about the project, and monitoring the deadlines.

          The basic functionality is free, but you can unlock premium features for $36 or $60 a year for full access.

          Available on iOS and Android

          2. monday.com

            This productivity app lets you manage your workflows and tasks. It is a great tool for creating a task list and helping you have a clear view of your work and the status of each task.

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            The app is a bit similar to a spreadsheet. However, it looks much nicer, and it allows you to toggle between multiple views. It gives you alerts and notifications, and it allows you to attach files as well as communicate with colleagues.

            The features of Monday.com include a task board that can be customized to manage due date, hours spent, task status, and much more. Users can upload and attach files, make comments, mention members of their team, and more. It can also be integrated into Google Drive, Slack, GitHub, Jira, Dropbox, and many other platforms.

            If you have problems setting it up, you can contact the customer via email or phone.

            Available on iOS and Android

            3. CloudApp

              CloudApp is a great app for boosting productivity. It offers highly intuitive communication, which can help you save up to 56 hours a week. Your only problem will be deciding how you can utilize all the extra time.

              Whether you are talking with a customer, colleague, or client, this app has all the features you need. With GIFs, screenshots, and image annotation, you no longer have to write lengthy emails. Instead, you can show people what you want them to do.

              The app has over 3 million users. It has proven quite reliable when it comes to helping users to boost productivity. You can opt for the free version or you can opt for a $9 a month upgrade to access premium features.

              Available on iOS

              4. Quip

                If you are working closely with members of your team, Quip is a great app for team activities. The platform combines spreadsheets, documents, slides, and chat. Its main strength is that it comes with a suite of Live Apps. You can use them to increase the functionality of Quip.

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                Moreover, you will waste less time by being able to streamline the use of various tools. Quip is one of the most adaptable productivity apps in the world.

                There are options to use connected tools to track time, manage work, and much more. Some of the integrations of Quip are Dropbox, Github, Slack, Salesforce, and much more. The app costs just $30 a month for 5 users.

                Available on iOS and Android

                5. Trello

                  Trello is an app that makes managing projects an easy task. This is made possible by the app’s Kanban philosophy. It is a visual and intuitive platform.

                  Users can break huge tasks into small chunks, making it useful for creating a task list. This is made possible by creating cards for each task. The cards can be organized into different columns, which are representative of various stages of the project. Once a task is complete, a card is moved from one column to the next.

                  The app is free but it comes with a premium plan with $9.99 a month.

                  Available on iOS and Android

                  6. Focus Keeper

                    This app is perfect for those who wish to improve their work habits and minimize distractions while maintaining focus on current tasks. Focus Keeper is based on the Pomodoro technique. This method utilizes timeboxing to ensure each task is complete.

                    This is more than a task list app. If you wish to understand how you work best, the app delivers a suite of tools that you can use to set up your workday. It tracks your hours, analyzes, checks interruptions, and much more. Some of the integrations of Focus Keeper are Trello, Asana, Todoist, Basecamp, Outlook, Google Keep, and many others.

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                    The app costs $2.99 a month for those who wish to access premium features. It is accessible on Linux, iOS, Android, web, macOS, and Windows.

                    Available on iOS and Android

                    7. Quire

                      This app is designed as a professional and personal to-do task list manager. The app has a very efficient and optimized design due to the developers’ philosophy on visual task management. It allows you to easily get updates and work with your teammates.

                      The app also allows users to customize and choose templates based on their preferences. It is easy to use, but it helps you get things done. The app is currently free.

                      Available on iOS and Android

                      8. Asana

                        This Kanban-style app is quite popular. It helps you visually organize your tasks. With this app, you can set deadlines, tasks, assignees, and visualize your workflow. It is quite popular and used by many people.

                        The app features a sleek clutter-free design and comes with several integrations. As a result, it can be adapted to a wide range of projects. The app costs $9.99 a month.

                        Available on iOS and Android

                        9. Toggl

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                          You can use this simple time tracker to help boost your team’s productivity. It works on different devices across several platforms, and it comes with numerous friendly reminders to ensure that you remember to keep it on. It usually sends you a report once you complete a task to help you make improvements next time.

                          The app is free and those who wish to access premium features pay $9 a month.

                          Available on iOS and Android

                          10. Omni Focus

                            This app is considered the gold standard of the to-do apps. Omni Focus delivers a huge number of features that can be used to sort, prioritize, and plan tasks. It features several ways to categorize tasks such as location, energy needed, and priority.

                            It is only available on Apple devices and it costs $39.99 for the standard package.

                            Available on iOS

                            Summary

                            All the apps above are great for boosting productivity. However, you will need to pick one that best suits your needs. Try a number of them out before you decide to settle on one.

                            More Tools for Productivity

                            Featured photo credit: Bram Naus via unsplash.com

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