I’ve now had the iPad Mini for just over a week and thought I’d share my thoughts on using it now that I’ve put it through its paces for both work and play.
Based on my last post, I’m sure you can tell I’m loving the iPad Mini. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say it’s my favourite ever Apple product.
And I’ve owned a few.
I’ve wanted a smaller form iPad since the first model came out, and for me (your mileage may differ) it’s almost perfect in every way.
Rather than slavishly go through detailed specs, I thought it would be more interesting to share how I’ve actually been using the device this week. Bottom line, I’ve been using it a lot.
OmniFocus has been absolutely brilliant on it. I put my entire life – personal and private – into OmniFocus, to help me stay on top of a hectic set of work and personal projects. One of the main reasons I couldn’t get to grips with the Google Nexus 7 was the lack of OmniFocus. It is my outboard brain.
Well, it works beautifully on the smaller iPad, because unlike when using the iPad 2, I can easily review my various projects by holding the iPad Mini in one hand and either a phone or a coffee in the other. I did my weekly review on the tube the other morning and didn’t have to change hands once. It’s more like an A5 notebook that just happens to contain every piece of information you could ever want.
I’ve read an absolute ton on the iPad too. I use the Kindle app and have been tearing through books but also magazines and newspapers. Don’t know if it’s due to the display or just placebo, but I don’t find the screen as tiring on my eyes as the iPad 2. It’s probably a combination of screen resolution and holding it at a different distance from my face.
When commuting, I’ve actually just held it in my hand when switching between tubes and trains. With the iPad 2, I always felt it was a better idea to put it away in my bag for safekeeping. So it’s just like commuting with a book in my hand and as such, I get to read more.
I’ve actually read so much – and enjoyed it – that I’ve put all plans to get a Kindle Paperwhite on hold. I really don’t see the purpose of it – bar having “the latest thing”. And I’ll probably sell my Kindle 3G – as part of a wider clearing out of gadgets and general detritus, in an effort to de-clutter.
Now that the podcasts app has had an upgrade – which was well overdue; seriously, what a buggy piece of crap – it syncs well with my other iDevices and so I’ve been using the iPad to catch up on video podcasts. But as it’s so small and light, audio podcasts too. Flying back from Scotland last weekend, I enjoyed a couple of video podcasts and I don’t think I’ll ever attempt this on an iPhone screen again.
Other apps that are great on this screen size – partly due to recent updates – include Path, Flipboard and Evernote. I’ve used Evernote to take meeting notes this week, holding the device on my left hand and typing with my right. The recent upgrade to Evernote on iOS is deserving of its own blog post, but suffice to say it makes both creating and finding content a breeze.
A really interesting thing about my first week with the iPad Mini is that I haven’t yet connected it to my iMac. All of my data is in the cloud now, and I was able to set it up and get going while sitting in the BA Lounge at Gatwick Airport. With iOS 6, podcasts download directly onto the device, while iCloud keeps all my calendars, contacts and emails organised. As noted above, the Kindle app just pulls in all of the books I bought from Amazon. And I rely hugely on Dropbox to keep various other files available regardless of device.
The point? Well, for me at least, it highlights how devices like the iPad Mini are really becoming “post PC”. No, I wouldn’t write a book on such a small screen. But this week, I read books and magazines, wrote meeting notes and extensive emails, organised my projects and schedules and watched video.
All without physically connecting it to a desktop computer of any kind.
I’ll continue to wax lyrical about the new iPad in the weeks and months to come. Yes, others have pointed out their deep disappointment that it doesn’t come with a retina display. Well, firstly I don’t need that, but secondly it’ll come with the next model in 12 months – or less.
For now, I have the always-on computer I’ve wanted since… forever.
Now: where’s my iPod Nano with Dick Tracey video-phone capability?