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SMS, iMessage, BBM, Skype, Line, Twitter, Facebook: Which messaging systems do you use? [Poll]

Which messaging systems do you use?

My life is a series of dissonant beeps and buzzes. My friends and family contact me via Apple's iMessage or old-school SMS, which are at least both built into the same Messages app on iOS, and the former of which at least has a desktop app on OS X. We use Microsoft's Skype as our office phone system at Mobile Nations, so I that's firing away pretty much 24/7 as well (ironically, almost never because of our friends at Windows Phone Central). My colleagues over at CrackBerry use BlackBerry Messenger, so I get those too now. And, of course, the folks at Android Central use Google Hangouts, as do some of my legacy GTalk friends, so I get those in the Hangouts app, and erratically via Jabber in OS X Messages. (I get the occasional AIM there as well. Old school style.)

Twitter Direct Messages come in throughout the day as well. As do occasional App.net messages. Once in a while a Facebook message will join them.

Then there's the wide world of communications and chat apps which seldom if ever cross my radar. The KakaoTalk and Lines that are so popular in Asia, the WhatsApp and Pinger and WeChat as well. Hell, even the Snapchat. (This must be what my parents felt like after finding out what music I was listening to when I was a kid.)

Unlike email, there's no universal protocol that "just works-ish" in every client. Almost every messaging service is garden walled up unto itself. Even if I knew what Line was, I doubt I could just log in with my iMessage ID and suddenly have all my contacts and messages just show up in their interface. Or my Skype chats show up in BBM. Or whatever.

And that sucks, literally, because it means I have to either leave a multitude of battery-draining apps open and the notifications that go with them, or risk finding important messages too late to really do anything about them. It's fragmented. And, frankly, it's maddening.

So that brings me to this poll. How are you handling your communications? Your instant messages? Your chats? Are you using a multitude of services like me? Or have you gotten every that matters to you all in one place, and that's it? Vote up top and then give me the details below. How are you managing your messaging?

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Will you be buying an iPad Air?

Will you be buying an iPad Air?

The iPad Air launches this Friday and we want to know if you're going to order one at the stroke of midnight, line up to get your hands on it immediately, or get one at any point, at your leisure? Just like our full iPad Air preview says, it's pretty much an iPad mini gone maxi. All the 9.7-inch Retina display you want, none of the weight you don't. So, are you getting one?

If not immediately, are you going to wait and try it out first when it goes on display? This year, more than any other year, it could be hard to choose between Apple's iPad lineup. If you're not getting the iPad Air, at least not yet, is it because you've got the new Retina iPad mini on your shopping list? It's got a Retina display as well now, and in an even smaller, more mobile, 7.9-inch package.

If you're not getting a new iPad at all, is it because you're still happy with your current iPad, and aren't ready to upgrade yet? Or are you simply not interested in the iPad at all?

Vote in the poll up top, and give me the details in the comments below!

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How's your iOS 7.0.3 battery life? [Poll]

How's your iOS 7.0.3 battery life?

iOS 7.0.3 has been with us for almost a full week now, so it's about time we talked battery life. As is so often the way every time a new version of iOS drops, some people see improvements, some the exact opposite. As iOS 7 continues to update, we'd hope that the majority were in the first camp, but sadly it isn't the case. We've already discussed battery life on previous builds of iOS 7, so how does it compare now we're bumped up to 7.0.3?

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Have you upgraded to OS X Mavericks yet? [Poll]

Have you upgraded to OS X Mavericks yet?

Apple's event this past Tuesday in San Francisco was a busy one, with one of the big pieces of news being the consumer release of OS X Mavericks for the low, low price of free. As such, one potential barrier to upgrading was completely removed, but that doesn't necessarily mean that everyone has, or for that matter can. So, have you upgraded to OS X Mavericks yet?

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Just picked up a new iPhone 5s or iPhone 5c? Join us in the forums!

Today, October 25, marks the day a further 35 countries around the globe sees official availability of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c. So, understandably, there's likely more than a few folks out there who lined up overnight to secure their new device, and are now enjoying them for the first time. And we want to hear from you!

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What do you want to see most from Apple's October 22 event? [Poll]

What do you want to see most from Apple's October 22 event?

We're just a few days out from Apple's "still have a lot to cover" event in San Francisco, so what better time to step back, and ask ourselves what we're wanting to see most from the event. As is so often the way with Apple invitations, we're left with more questions than answers, but one thing is certain; there's a whole lot that we could be shown.

Top of the order are new iPads. The last refresh came 12 months ago when Apple introduced the iPad mini alongside the iPad 4. At this point it's pretty much a given we'll be seeing new versions of both, with a likely redesign of the full sized iPad. But, it doesn't stop there, not by a long stretch.

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#FollowFriday @iMore and team on Twitter!

Rene likes stories, cameras, and technology beyond Apple (who knew?!). Peter likes sci-fi and raging against the stupid (NSFW!). Richard likes lots of different phones, and proper British racing. Ally casts spells straight out of Harry Potter. Joe is an all-around geek. And me? Well, if you were following me - and us - on Twitter, you'd already know all about it! You see, on the internet water-cooler known as Twitter, you not only get hints at the stories we can't - or can't yet - make official, you also get to see our nerdier, off-duty selves in action. Sometimes we even have fairly decent advice to share and cool stuff to give away! So...

You really should be following us on Twitter!

And don't forget me!

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What would you like to see in a next-gen Apple TV? [Poll]

What would you like to see in a next-gen Apple TV?

The Apple TV was last updated back in the spring of 2012, gaining support for 1080p video. Flash forward 18 months and a lot of people are asking if Apple is going to update it again this year, this month, at the October 22 event. So, we're asking - what would you want to see in a 3rd generation update?

4K video (2160p) is on the horizon, but there's not a lot of content for it yet, and not many people have the download speeds or bandwidth to really make use of it yet. H.265 could help there, but it still seems more like the future than the present. A FaceTime camera would be interesting for families and conference rooms alike, but could it be integrated in a manner that fits Apple's demands for function and form? More channels are always possible, including networks and more sports, including NFL. Apple has added channels without hardware updates in the past, however, and could easily do so again. A software developer kit (SDK) and an Apple TV App Store could be interesting, and would require new hardware, but it would interfere with Apple's existing channel partner program, and doesn't seem to be getting a lot of attention lately. Cable passthrough, DVR functionality, and other traditional TV technology seem not only plagued by regionalism, but smack of the past and not the future. And built-in Blu-Ray still seems a bag of hurt.

So what do you think? If Apple takes the Apple TV to version 3, what should the bullet points be? Vote up top and give me the details in the comments below!

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iPad event wallpapers in Retina for iPhone, iPad, and Mac

Our own Derek Kessler has crafted up a stunning set of wallpapers based on Apple's October 22 event invitation.

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How accurate is the digital compass and level on your iPhone 5s? [Poll]

How accurate is the digital compass and level on your iPhone 5s?

For a while now we've been seeing ourselves, and hearing from a lot of you about the magnometer (digital compass) in the iPhone 5s and how it's consistently presenting abnormal results, even by digital compass standards. Now I lack science powers enough to understand exactly how it's supposed to work, but ever since it launched in Android devices and the iPhone 3GS, I've never had great results with it. Frustrating, figure-8-circling, direction spinning results, yes. Great, no. But with the iPhone 5s, not great seems to have been taken to all new levels. Pun somewhat intended...

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