A mini return


Since I got my iPad Pro 9.7″, my iPad Mini3 has been relatively unused. As in, completely unused. The Pro has replaced it in all things, to the point where when I picked it up yesterday, the little red notification illustrating app updates from the App Store was in triple figures.

A sure sign that I haven’t been using it.

Sure, it’s regularly been placed on the charger to keep it full of juice, but that’s it. I almost felt guilty for abandoning this little, previously-loved, iPad. So I decided to do something about it.

Why so slow?

Opening up the iPad after using the Pro was something of a shock. It seemed to be crawling. Frustratingly slow. It’s a real mark of just how powerful the iPad Pro is that this previously great iPad seemed to be like something from the 90’s in comparison.

I’ve obviously been spoiled by the speed of the iPad Pro 🙂  Putting them side by side and opening apps (almost) simultaneously really brought this home to me. But it’s an unfair comparison.

Remember that there is already more up to date version of the iPad Mini – the iPad Mini 4 – which has been around since the back end of 2015. So the iPad Mini 3 is probably beginning to show its age.

Back to basics

With far too little consideration for the consequences, I decided on the nuclear option and reset it to factory settings. A complete wipe of its memory and deletion of all information. For me, this is like spring-cleaning my devices and isn’t too difficult as everything that’s important to me exists in the cloud: photos, music, podcasts, emails, contacts, books… You get where I’m going with this.

On restarting, it was noticeably faster. I’m not sure of the mechanism, but maybe leaving it unused and in need of app updates slowed it down? Or perhaps it was just a very full hard drive? Of the 128GB on the device, when I picked it up there was less than 11Gb of space left. A sure way to slow down your iOS device.

Either way, I was more selective about which apps I installed this time, and it seems to have had the desired effect. I then spent a couple of hours on the couch, Spotify streaming to my bluetooth speaker, playing around with the iPad Mini and wondering why I’d abandoned it in the first place.

I think it comes down to this: the iPad Mini is superb for portability and media consumption. It’s also great for social media and the screen makes it a dream for looking at photos. It’s less great for the things I use the iPad Pro most for: writing and editing. But the iPad Mini was never pitched as a laptop replacement in the first place.

I noticed that, while I installed Editorial – my writing app of choice – it was vastly outnumbered by the social and media apps. The Mini is just great for podcasts and catching up on TV shows while out and about. So maybe this iPad will spend more time in my day bag at the weekend, or maybe on days at the office when a laptop is absolutely essential.

(Mind you, the latter are occurring less and less these days. Since getting the iPad Pro and using a bluetooth keyboard, I’ve ‘survived’ without my Macbook on several work days. I used it for email, note-taking in Evernote, calendar management and task management via ToDoist, contacting the team via Slack. No laptop required.)

Now what?

So I think the iPad Mini will be in my bag this weekend, not the iPad Pro. I might even swap over the SIM I have in the Pro, as my Mini is data-enabled and my deal with Three includes 20GB of data a month.

I do need to get some kind of cover for it though. For some reason, the flip cover I had for it has disappeared. Not sure if it was removed as a part of one of our regular ‘spring cleans’, but I’m sure I can get a 3rd-party knock off on eBay for a couple of pounds. I need to keep that screen nice and scratch free.

Let’s see how I get on without access to that gorgeous 9.7″ iPad Pro screen for a couple of days. Again, the fact that the vast majority of my apps hold their content in the cloud makes swapping between iOS devices so much easier now.

2 comments on “A mini return

  1. ethnicolor

    I’ve been trading off a 2nd gen Mini for a couple of years now. I think it’s the ideal form factor, but I have been thinking more and more about the Pro in the past month or so. I’ve been telling myself my technology budget is going towards a Pro at the end of this year, and I had previoudly written off the 12″ as too large, too expense. However I was in CompuB in Grafton St. this weekend and the larger Pro doesn’t seem *outlandish* any more, and the weight is (incredibly) almost on a par with my current Mini. What’s your thoughts on having not gotten the larger form factor? I baulked at it a few months ago when I held one first, but now I’m not so sure.


    • Hey there!

      I’ve personally found the iPad Pro (the biggie) to be just too hilariously big for my needs. I’m really happy with the 9.7″ iPad Pro – its speed and form factor make it a lovely laptop replacement on many work days. It’s also great to trips where I want to bring along entertainment – much better than trying to watch a film on my MacBook’s screen. The weight in my bag is negligible.

      The iPad Mini has been an interesting experiment this weekend. I’m in no danger of updating it to a newer model, but it’s a great size for quickly checking something online or reading my Instapaper queue. Not great for writing anything longer than a brief email, though.

      I may continue to be a dual-iPad kind of geek from this point on. Who knows?!

      I think iPad preferences are a really personal thing though – what works for me may not be great for you.

      Liked by 1 person

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