I cam across this piece called 10 Things That Simply Need To Be In iOS 5 yesterday. I don't agree with all of them, like sideloading 3rd party apps. However, I do agree with #10 allowing apps to sync or update themselves in the background.
I'd never really thought of this before, but it is odd that Flipboard and other apps wait until I open them to update. Obviously there should be a refresh button, which there usually is anyway, so I can force a content refresh, but updating and pulling down content for off-line use would be really useful. If this were scheduled for say 6am every day then the iPad will be plugged in charging, connected to wifi and fresh content could be ready and waiting for me at breakfast.