In the past I’ve written about my many mobility adventures and with the new wave of devices from Microsoft, Google, Apple, Samsung and so on I figured I’d offer an update on what’s in my bag.
First of all, I got rid of my iPad 2 3G – ever since I got the Surface RT I barely used the thing and it’s only redeeming quality is that it had an Internet connection. Except it was 3G Verizon and it sucked. Then I eventually got rid of my Surface RT as well. Much like an iPad, it was a toy, except without apps. So if it wasn’t on the web, it wasn’t really happening on the Surface and eventually it made less and less sense. My office Android tablet (I think it’s the 7” Google Nexus) got taken by developers for some testing and I haven’t had a reason to go ask for it back.
First off, why the iPad at all: For the same reason I still rock Windows – familiarity. I have an iPhone and I love it and we’ve spent a lot of time developing iOS apps for Shockey Monkey and now ExchangeDefender so I can actually do something work related with it – making a Windows-powered device unnecessary.
Why the iPad Mini?
We have a few iPad Air tablets floating around the office that we’ll be giving away at trade shows and frankly it just seems to bulky: Lot’s of people who don’t really need a laptop or a desktop would say that it’s a “desktop replacement” but for me it’s really just an extension when I’m not taking my laptop with me. I own a Macbook Air which is as light as it gets with a ton of battery so I rarely go far with out it.
Which brings me to the reason for iPad mini: the size.
It fits in the back pocket of my jeans. It fits in my agenda cover and is barely noticeable weight-wise. It runs all the same apps as my iPhone and with more screen real estate I can do the basic stuff like reading, writing, chat and so on.
The ergonomics of this are so big that I really do not want to understate them: When you’re talking about mobility you’re not just talking about throwing a device in a bag. You have to think about the charger too. With the phone and the tablet using the same charger, this is no longer an issue. Ditto on applications – same stuff runs on both so all the data is always accessible. And with it connected to the cloud, so is everything else.
When I look at my Macbook Air and the iPad Air, they seem a bit redundant in a sense of size. Yet the Air comes so much shorter in terms of functionality compared to the laptop.
To each his own and everyone has an opinion but here are the questions:
When will I use this?
Will I be away from wifi and need Internet access?
What is the purpose of it? To get rid of a laptop?
Do I need apps (avoid Microsoft) or is it all on the web?
Does the size matter? (ha!)
Does the battery matter?
Do I have to lug other stuff with it (chargers, cases, keyboards)
To me, the iPad Mini with Retina and 4G was small and friendly enough to take around as an afterthought but capable enough to be an actually productive companion to my iPhone. With them sharing apps, chargers and having Internet access, it was hard to make a case for anything else.
Well done Apple.
P.S. Not paid or sponsored by Apple in any way; and one of the biggest unmentionable criteria is that the Air and Mini have the same display and CPU so there is nothing “mini” about the thing, it’s actually a plus – the physical device size is the plus not a diminutive.