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TUAW's Daily iPad App: Tapatalk

Although Internet forums are the illegitimate offspring of the old dial-up Bulletin Board Systems and the Web, I find myself using them a lot. Whether I'm checking with fellow cruise enthusiasts over at Cruise Critic or looking for tips about hardware issues over in the MacRumors Forums, these online discussion groups can be a lot of fun and educational as well.

Tapatalk (US$2.99, universal) works with all of the standard forum software, including the big two names, vBulletin and phpBB, to bring iPad ease of use to forum participation.

Since the iPad first shipped last year, I've found it difficult to use many of the forums because of some incompatibilities with Safari. For example, I had to discover by accident that I could scroll a text entry field by using a two-finger swipe, a "feature" I then passed along to my forum-frequenting wife. That still didn't make using forums a pleasure...

The way I found out about Tapatalk was through the aforementioned Cruise Critic forums. As I entered the forums one day, a pop-up appeared telling me about Tapatalk, which I promptly purchased. Since then, I've been using Tapatalk to easily navigate my way around forums and I think it has actually resulted in an increase in my forum activities.

Tapatalk requires that the forum operator enable mobile access from the server, but once they do (and over 16,000 forums worldwide are already set up this way) you can use the app to enjoy your forums. Not only does the app include a way to automatically log into forums that you frequent, but there's a search tool for finding new Tapatalk-compatible forums. Once you're found them, it's easy to register from the app to participate in a new forum.

If you're a forum moderator, Tapatalk includes a way to delete, unapprove, lock, or stick posts. For the rest of us, it's a breeze to add photos from the iPad's Photo Library, maps, or links to any forum post.

Tapatalk has very good ratings on the App Store and for good reason -- it's a well-executed app that makes forum participation from an iPad easy and fun.

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