After using the iPad mini for a day now, I have noticed it already has affected how I see my iPhone 4 and a hypothetical iTV. I find that this is very much like any other experience in life; the best way to form an opinion about something is to contrast it with something else. This is true from cultures to operating systems, and is also one of the reasons why I encourage people to travel.
The iPad experience
So even though I’ve had the pleasure of using an iPhone 4 for several years now, only now do I notice immediately after switching from the iPad mini how heavy it is! It’s actually heavier than the much bigger iPad mini, and feels uncomfortably heavy initially. Up until now, the solidness of the iPhone 4 has always been a positive to me. The iPad mini is almost (but not quite) too light and this changes the expectation of a smaller device.
After using the the mini for a while, I’m also painfully aware when launching Safari how short the phone’s screen is. So I am not surprised that Apple responded to its iPad advances by adjusting the expectations of how an iPhone should look and feel. I just wasn’t prepared for it!
As I currently don’t have a cover, I’m wondering how to take the iPad with me to work. I already much prefer it in terms of speed, easy of use, and screen estate, to the iPhone. Typing feels a lot easier as well making it much more suitable for articles like this one.
On first use
Oh, and how annoying is it to restore from an iPhone backup as your first iPad experience only to find out that half your apps have been miniaturised? Personally, I think iPhone apps shouldn’t restore to iPad at all, and instead if and when iPad versions are available one should see a list of apps to upgrade to.
Also Instacast, why no iPad version? Perhaps it’s makers agree the iPad is not optimal for enjoying podcasts. I wish we had the option to try it.
So far, it seems I have successfully post-predicted the iPhone 5, the podcasts app and Smart Cover! That makes me think Apple has been using the iPad mini internally for one or two years prior to the iPhone 5, and concluded similarly.
On the TV experience
Later that night as I lay awake and watched BBC News two more things hit me:
- How suitable the iPad mini is for watching TV and using apps like Netflix; not just in terms of screen size and crisp visuals but also in terms of content browsing.
- How any future Apple TV has to group content apps within a dedicated interface as you don’t want to intersperse these with regular apps on the springboard.
- There really should be a way to rest an iPad like how laptops are held up by their bodies, so I can lie back and watch.
So I wouldn’t be surprised to see some kind of devices bundle where a small iPad acts as the content guide for an apps enabled Apple TV. Maybe add a content browser app with the content apps inside. The tv itself is then just a bigger output of the content already viewable on your tablet.
Plus In the future I would hope to see some sort of evolution of the Smart Cover that can support a device in a 90 degree angle like the iMac stand.