The iPad mini is going to be so cool

iMore’s iPad mini concept by John Anastasiadis from last week, says it well.

I bought a Nexus 7 a couple months ago and it has just whetted my appetite for the real thing — an iPad mini. Even though the Nexus 7 is the best tablet for Android, it doesn’t quite cut it for someone who uses a Mac and has or has had an iPhone or iPad. If I were a big Gmail fan and strongly preferred Chrome over Safari and a few other things like that, I might be happy on an Android device, but I’m not.

The apps are better on iOS. No argument there. App quality on a glass slab is a big deal. If you only use the most basic apps plus games, it doesn’t matter as much. But, I’m an independent knowledge professional living by my wits and I need the best apps available full stop.

With that disclaimer, let’s get down to why I’m so excited about an iPad mini which I fully expect to be available sometime in October (or possibly even September).

Size matters. This time in a reverse direction. This argument also applies to the iPhone relative to the big iPad. If you can get the job done on a less expensive, smaller, lighter, more portable device, do it. With the addition of the iPad mini, we will have three sizes to choose from. That might seem like a lot but look at notebooks in the paper world. There are tiny notebooks the size of an iPhone, lots of them the size of an iPad mini and other larger ones including many that are 8-1/2 x 11 — letter-sized. People have been carrying these around for centuries. As paper really does fade back into a special-circumstance material, we need devices of different sizes that come with unlimited pages.

Size matters for Creativity. Now here’s the reverse of this notion. A bigger work area helps you when you are trying to wrestle a creative challenge to the ground. It would actually help to be surrounded with 4 walls of screen even to get the full immersion that is like a murder room for a murder investigation. Same creative challenges. So, the iPad mini will be smaller than the iPad we’ve come to know. That will be a limitation for some things. Keep in mind, though, that we already have AirPlay to throw your iPad screen up on a TV screen. There will be more and more that kind of thing going on. Screens keep getting bigger and cheaper.

But it’s the notebook (Device) you have with you that matters. Just like the camera you have with you. A lot of people, even me sometimes, don’t carry their iPads everywhere they go. They keep them at home – which is a great place for the iPad but it is a shame that they are often left there to sit.

The iPad mini is going to be easier to hold one-handed for all kinds of reading which we know is job 1 for most iPads. How many times do you use your iPhone to read even when an iPad is available? I use my iPhone a lot for reading while standing around, when it is handiest and in bed. I’m betting I will choose the iPad mini a lot more often than my big iPad when it comes to both creation and consumption just due to its nice size and weight. The big iPad will be like Steve Jobs’ truck to a car analogy when compared to the iPad mini.

The iPad mini will be easier to take with you:

  • It will fit in pockets — not all pockets but percentage-wise, way more pockets than the 10″ iPad can fit in. Cargo pants might work well with the mini.
  • It will fit in purses. Yes, big purses are popular but there are many women (and men) who carry something smaller — too small for the 10″ iPad to fit comfortably.

It’s Cheaper. Vast quantities of rumors are out there right now and the consensus is that the base model iPad mini will cost somewhere between $199 and $299. That’s a country mile from $499 and means that many more people will be able to buy these iPads – all those students and underpaid knowledge professionals doing good work that doesn’t happen to pay well. All those younger family members who might also be smaller and more mini-sized anyway. All those kids and adults in developing countries where incomes are lower than in the US.

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4 thoughts on “The iPad mini is going to be so cool”

  1. I couldn’t agree more. I’m sure it will be very cool. Steve jobs could be quite bullheaded. no more than when he said that anything less than a 10 inch tablet would not be useful. by that logic the iPhone should be totally useless.

  2. Very good, thought-provoking article! Even so, I’m going to argue with you.

    I use my iPad all the time, but almost never by holding it. Either on a table propped up by its fold-back cover, or propped up on my knees in bed. That way I can read, type, do the finger tricks on the screen. I do only “mini writing” on the iPad–answering emails, online forum responses, capturing idea fragments.

    Where would the iPad Mini fit into this? Reading, for sure. And of course typing and searching, but only if it’s lying flat. I don’t see how I could hold it with one hand and type with the other. Likewise with the finger gestures on the screen.

    I could hold it with two hands by the edges. And even with one hand, if my hand is large enough to reach both top and bottom edges. But the most natural way to hold it would be with my thumb on the screen and fingers on the back. I’m sure this would cause difficulties, because the thumb would activate things inadvertently. (Perhaps somebody will develop a “dead zone” app to deactivate the spot on the screen where your thumb goes.)

    The Mini’s benefit over a regular iPad is as a light-weight, hand-held reader, but for my other uses, it would be less convenient because smaller. Smaller screen space. Smaller keyboard means harder to type with fat, fumbly fingers. Unclear that it will be small enough to fit in my jacket pocket, and I’m sure not going to carry it in my hip pocket where I could inadvertently sit on it.

    For the small hand-held reader I carry in my pocket, that’s still the iPhone. And maybe the next iPhone will be slightly larger.

    Of course I’m saying all this about a product I’ve yet to see. But we consultants don’t let details like that stop us!

  3. I agree. Devices smaller than 9 inches are defenitely for reading. Which is most of what I do anyway.
    I like my Galaxy Note for reading (5.2 inches). And the Nexus 7 is good too.
    I have hopes for the iPad Air, as I’ve postulated it will be called.

    Oh, and for the paperwhite Kindle! Oh dear, I’ve wanted that since I took a hammer to the grey screen of my very first Kindle. (Not really.)

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