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Poll: How many of your friends and family use iMessage?

How many of your friends and family use iMessage?

Apple shocked a lot of us back in 2010 when they announced iMessage, probably none more than the carriers who for years changed an absolutely obscene amount of money to send short text messages to and fro. When Apple made iMessage free (except for the data change, if you were on cellular) that carrier gouging was put to an end -- presuming everyone you texted used iOS. But is that the case? Do enough of your friends, family, colleagues, and contacts use iMessage to really put the kibosh on SMS?

For me it's still a very mixed bag. Some of my friends use iPhones, so iMessage is easy. Many of my family and the people I work with still don't even use smartphones, let alone iPhones, so iMessage is a non-starter. Also, with the just-released OS X Mountain Lion, Apple has brought iMessage back to the Mac, and you can quickly send and receive texts, pictures, locations, and contacts right on your computer. It's really fast, but it's also messy. Right now my iPhone, iPad, and MacBook Air are all in a constant race to see which can beep and buzz first and most often.

iOS 6 promises to make some things better, letting us combine our phone numbers and Apple IDs, so at least we won't have to wonder which message is going to which device any more.

But that still leaves us stuck on the old SMS system for all our Windows, Android, BlackBerry, and other non-iOS or OS X using friends and family, with no real future in sight. (Because the odds of Apple creating iMessage clients for those platforms are about the same as the odds of them putting a keyboard and kickstand on the next iPhone...)

So given all that, when you're typing away on Messages all day, are most of the ones you send and receive good old iMessage blue, or cold hard carrier cash green? Do most of the people you text with have iMessage, or do most of them not? Hit the poll up top and then give me the details in the comments below!

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Did you upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion today?

Did you upgrade to OS X Mountain Lion today?

Apple released their all new OS X Mountain Lion operating system for the Mac today, and at only $19.99 it's priced to move. But did it move you? Did you update to OS X Mountain Lion today, the very moment it came out? If so, how's it working for you?

If you didn't update, are you waiting a day or a week to see if there are any bugs first? Are you using those who did update as your final line of beta testers? If so, how long will you wait, and what specific issues are you looking for?

Are you working on a production machine and can't afford to update to any new software any time soon? Are you always a few months or a year behind? Are there apps you absolutely need updated before your OS is updated? Which ones?

Or are you simply never going to update? Is your Mac too old for OS X Mountain Lion? Or do you just not like the direction Apple's going with its desktop operating system?

And if you don't use the Mac, but Windows or Linux or something else, does Mountain Lion tempt to switch, or make you even happier you're not using the Mac?

Vote up top and comment below!

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Poll: Is it time for the iPhone to go multi-colored?

Should the iPhone 5 go multi-colored?

Apple usually keeps their flagship lines on a strict palette -- just metal for MacBooks lately, and metal and black or white for iPhones, iPads and iPod touches. The lower end lines get to have much more fun, with cool, chromatic options like silver, pewter, blue, green, yellow, pink, and red.

During the first few years of the iPhone there were always rumors a product Red version would ship around the holidays, but nothing ever came of them. To this day, if you want to add a splash of color to your iPhone, you have to go with a case or skin or sticker or after-market color swap.

Now, as the iPhone 5 approaches, is it time for Apple to revisit their color palette? Is it time to give iPhone owners the same options iPod nano and iPod shuffle owners have enjoyed for years? Is it time for the iPhone to get as multi-colored as the old Apple logo and original iMacs?

Or would that ruin the simplicity, class, and elegance of the iPhone line? Are even black and white one too many options?

Vote up top and then leave a comment below telling me why you voted the way you did, and which color you'd buy if you could!

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Poll: Sparrow users, are you sticking with Sparrow for iPhone or switching to one of these alternatives?

Sparrow users, what will you do for Gmail on iPhone now?

Google has bought Mac and iPhone Gmail app, Sparrow, and while it will still be maintained, it will no longer be kept in active development. What that effectively means is, no more Sparrow for iPhone, at least not in the way that matters.

So, if you're a Sparrow user, what do you plan on doing?

You can certainly keep using the Sparrow app we have today until, at some point in the future it stops working. You won't get that push update you've been waiting for -- you won't get any new updates, but you'll keep what you have. For a while, at least. But you also have some other options...

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Poll: Which next-gen iOS device do you want the most?

Which next-gen iOS device do you want the most?

There will almost certainly be an iPhone 5 this fall, likely October, and it may well come with a 4-inch, 16:9 screen and an LTE radio for super-fast networking. But is that the next-generation iOS device you want most?

Rumors are also running hot and heavy about a new addition to the iOS family, the first new addition since 2010 -- a 7.85-inch iPad mini. With the same powerful specs as the iPad 2, but in a much smaller package, it could be easier to carry, cheaper to buy, and much more attractive for education and mobile business. Is that the iOS device you've been lusting over?

The iPod touch hasn't been updated since the fall of 2010, so if Apple gives their gaming handheld the same kind of 4-inch, 16:9 inch screen, and maybe a redesign, would that be your dream iOS device?

Some kind of Apple TV variant? A full on Apple television? A larger screened iPad? Or something else entirely?

Which next-gen iOS device is also next on your iOS shopping list?

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Poll: Will you be switching to a shared plan on AT&T or Verizon?

Will you be switching to a shared iPhone plan?

AT&T has announced their shared plans and like Verizon before them, you'll need a masters degree in applied arithmetic to figure them out -- or just be smart enough to cheat off our own Leanna Lofte who did all the heavy counting and showed you which is better between AT&T and Verizon and by how much! Of course, you'll still have to figure out if a shared plan is cheaper than your existing individual plan...

But once you crunch those numbers, we want to know what you've figured out? Will you be switching to a shared plan on AT&T? A shared plan on Verizon? If so, how many iPhones will you be paying to put on it? How many iPads? Anything else?

Or are you waiting for something, like maybe the iPhone 5 or iPad mini before you make up your mind?

Or maybe you just think there's something fishy about shared plans in general, and that bits should be bits, and you want not part of them?

Whatever you decide, even if it's to wait before deciding, we want to know! Check out Leanna's walkthrough and then come back here and vote in the poll up top and tell me the reasons why in the comments below!

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