iPad mini

About a month ago just before Christmas I bought an iPad mini on impulse. A had just gotten paid for a website I designed, and since I work at an Apple Reseller I already got to play with the device a few times, so I knew I wouldn’t dislike it.

But I wondered how and if the device would fit in my digital life style. Which is a fancy expression for, is it as good for reading and taking notes as its bigger sibling? It was an impulse buy, because I didn’t really need it, so somewhere logic kicked in and I (only) bought a 16Gb black Wifi model, and not some high-end LTE enabled model.

I consider myself an iOS user first, Mac user second, and when at home, most of my screen time is behind an iOS device of some sorts, and not my Mac. My main device was a 64GB iPad 3, which was filled with 200-something apps, movies, video’s, you name it. But since the mini was a test project, and my iCloud backup was bigger than the storage of my new iPad, I decided/was forced to start from scratch.

So I decided, just as many others online these days, to start using the iPad in it’s default configuration, and add apps when needed.
It took me an hour of using it to quickly decide that my ideal iOS device needs at least the following apps:

  • Netbot, TweetBot, IMDB
  • Reeder, Instapaper, Comixology
  • Evernote, ByWord, OmniFocus
  • TextExpander, DropBox, 1Password, Screens

These apps enable me to enjoy content, communicate and work on the iPad without needing to resort to a Mac for most of the time. All the apps interconnect in a way that information easily flows from one to the other, and I know these are apps that I can trust on.

The key to a developing a trusted system is just that: trust. You have to figure out what works for you so that you can sit in the dark, drink your coffee, write your thoughts and trust that they will not disappear on you. - James Gowans

Hardware wise, the lack of retina only bothered me the first few hours, it’s better than a non-retina iPad, and worse than an iPhone 5, but since icons are smaller and everything looks more dense on the screen to me, I don’t really noticed it. I did notice the opposite though, when I turn back to my big iPad, everything looks huge and fake to me.
I really like this pocket size iPad, it has the same capabilities as a regular iPad, but is lighter, fits in one hand and the chamfered edges are more enjoyable to hold.
It’s the essence of an iPad, and since I haven’t touched my iPad 3 since I got the mini, I can say, my only iPad.

And then there’s the cloud. I’m a bigger believer in cloud services than ever before. Because I use Rdio, not iTunes, I had all my music right away. Because I use Evernote to take reporting notes, everything that I was currently working on still existed. Dropbox and 1Password re-opened every door for me in a way that would have been impossible if I were just storing passwords locally via my browser. - Wired

The only thing I’m worried about is storage, I choose 16GB for this device because, since I considered it a test and not a real purchase, so wasn’t willing to spend more than needed. But 16GB is not that much, I haven’t added any movies, have (only) 50 apps at the moment, my Photostream and half a dozen books and 5 magazines on it at the moment and have only 2Gb left. Since all my data lives in the cloud I can rely on a 100GB Dropbox as an external storage, but I can’t really add any movies or TV Shows.
I’m tempted to upgrade to a bigger one, but with a possible retina release on the horizon, I’ll wait a bit I think.

There’s just one thing I don’t like and that’s Apple’s new smart cover. It’s not sturdy, there’s no symmetry so you can’t really fold it in two when reading, it’s flimsy and doesn't attach as strongly as the original smart cover.
So a better cover is definitely a future purchase.

Office

Had Microsoft launched Office on the iPhone and iPad early on, they could have furthered the impression that Office was a must-have for anybody serious about anything, even on iOS. But they let years pass, and now Microsoft’s flagship applications aren’t so must-have anymore and Apple isn’t overly eager to accommodate them. It’s easy to imagine that four years ago when preparing to launch the iPhone App Store Apple may have been more willing to negotiate with Microsoft to get flagship apps like Word and Excel on the smartphone. But today? Apple’s doing just fine without them.

I disagree. For people who have lived in the iOS ecosystem for a while, this logic is ok. But for people who haven't yet experienced the iPad, Office is still the defacto platform for writing. When they buy a PC or Mac, they buy Office. So when they fire up their iPad for the first time, they'll probably go to Facebook, open the Twitter app (and not Tweetbot), and start looking for Office on the App Store.

So I expect, when Office does launch for iOS, people who found an alternative will keep using that one, but new users will go to Office, and won't look for an alternative, because for them Office is the only way to write.

Source: http://www.imore.com/office-no-longer-ios-...

Foldify

I once saw a little kid on a sunny beach sitting in the shadow playing with his iPad, his back turned to the sea, completely ignoring the environment. I found it a sad image, a kid so consumed by technology that it didn’t play with sand, or jumped in the water.  

The iPad is a window into other media, and with the tap of an app the screen is turned into a book, a TV, a puzzle or a book of cards. It replaces the physical. Giving children an iPad means they loose the tactile feeling of playing with Lego’s, the joy of making a puzzle or the practice of drawing with pencils instead of drawing on a screen.

Foldify is a new app that attempts to join the digital and the real world. I remember those pre-printed papers where I drew on when I was a kid, then cut out and folded them into cars, little puppets or boxes. They learned me that lines on a flat surface don’t always meet up when you fold them together, and at the same reminded me that I shouldn’t draw on the table cloth.

Foldify takes this same idea, but digitizes it. You choose a template, color it in on the iPad, and next to the drawing you can immediately see the folded result. You see how drawings line up, and the flat image immediately gets real.

But the genius part is, that after coloring the drawing, you can print the page via AirPrint, cut it out and have a real version of your digital creation.

Great app. The iPad is quite cheap at 2€, which gives you 10 basic forms, a color pallet and a couple of stencils featuring eyes, noses and other face-parts. In-App purchases allow for extra stencils to be installed for a buck a set.

Great app.

Source: http://foldifyapp.com/