Category Archives: iPad mini

First iPad mini TV Ad Starts Airing

Apple has started airing their first TV ad for the new iPad mini. It’s called ‘Piano’ and it couldn’t be any simpler. There’s no voiceover at all for the iPad, but it still manages to be a powerful demo of what you can do on the iPad, big and small.

My colleague Alicia summed this up much better than I when we first saw the ad previewed by Apple at the iPad mini launch event:

With the iPad mini, Apple has given us an short but sweet ad that instantly delights and shows why they excel at what they do – displaying a sense of humour and giving the right sense of what the user experience is like. No need for specs list or complex layered content. Just a tune. Played on a piano.

What do you all think of the first iPad mini TV ad?

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My Second New iPad mini in 24 Hours


As of about an hour and a half ago I’ve got a second new iPad mini – less than 24 hours after my original purchase. No, I didn’t feel a sudden need to double my iPad mini count – I just did an exchange because I discovered last night that I had a faulty unit.

The iPad mini I bought yesterday had spontaneously powered itself off several times, and was showing numerous kernel panics and crc errors in its diagnostics log. So this morning I called the local Apple store where I bought it, confirmed they still had 32GB black models like mine available, did a quick iCloud backup of the iPad mini so I wouldn’t have to set it up from scratch again, and arrived at the Apple store just 5 minutes after opening to do the exchange.

I explained the issue to an Apple staff member, showed him the diagnostics logs, and the exchange was done quickly. I also bought one of Apple’s new 12W chargers while I was there – hopefully that will lead to faster charging for both my iPad mini and iPad 3.

A couple of points of interest from my Apple store visit:

— They were sold out of iPad mini 16GB models. So either their initial supply was very small or interest picked up a lot after my early morning mini line experience.

— I had not wiped my data from the iPad mini prior to my visit because I wanted to be able to show the diagnostics logs. Once it was agreed the return would be accepted and the exchange would be made, the Apple staffer was going to just box up the old iPad mini and take it away. I stopped him and asked whether he was going to be sure to erase my data. He said yes they definitely would, but I said I preferred to see that done in front of me, and he let me kick off an erase.

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This iPad mini Has a New Home

iPad mini and box

As I mentioned earlier, the line for the iPad mini this morning at my local Apple store in Austin was very short. There were around 15 people by the time the Apple store opened at 8AM.

That may not be a great omen for Apple and the initial demand for the iPad mini, but it was just fine with me. I had my new 32GB black model fired up to ensure it connected OK to a WiFi network, grabbed a smart cover for it and a Lightning to 30-pin adapter, and was out the door at 8:05. I was back home by about 8:20. For me, that makes getting up in the middle of the night and standing round for several hours worthwhile – and a balmy 60 degree night was helpful too.

I’ve spent most of my time this morning getting a number of my favorite and most used apps installed on the iPad mini, as I had to set it up fresh – since there’s no way my roughly 30GB of apps will fit onto it.

I’ll post some first impressions on the iPad mini over the weekend.

For any of you who have been out getting the iPad mini or iPad 4 this morning, I hope your experience was as smooth and fast as mine.

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Teardown Confirms iPad mini Has 512MB of RAM

iPad mini

The iFixit team has finished up their teardown of the iPad mini, and provided us with lots of the finer details on the new smaller iPad’s internals.

Here are some of the highlights:

* Apple has reportedly been working to move away from Samsung as a primary supplier, so it’s somewhat surprising to see a Samsung chip driving the LCD. We cannot 100% confirm that this display is made by Samsung, although it seems likely. Apple could be multi-sourcing this component, since supply chain reports indicate that AU Optronics and LG are providing displays.

* The battery is a large, single 16.5 Whr cell.

* Components:
        * Apple A5 processor–same as the latest iPod Touch, with 512 MB RAM
        * Murata 339S0171 Wi-Fi, same as the iPhone 5.
        * Multi-chip Broadcom BCM5976 touchscreen controllers
        * Hynix H2JTDG8UD2MBR 16 GB NAND Flash

As you can see, this confirms that the iPad mini has 512MB of RAM, just like the iPad 2. I was hoping we might see 1GB, though I knew it was a bit of a longshot.

Check out the full teardown for all the details on the iPad mini’s innards.

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Theme Song For The Day Before iPad mini


Call me childish, a nerd, Apple fanboy, or whatever you like – I have to admit I still get awfully pumped up at the release of a new iPad. So I am more than a little excited at the idea of having the newest, smallest iPad in my hands tomorrow morning.

I think this Tom Petty song is a great anthem for those days between the Apple unveiling of a hot new device and the actual release day. Plus it’s just a great song and I’m a big Tom Petty fan – and happily the way-ay-ting is almost over now.

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Flipboard Updated for iPad mini

Flipboard for iPad mini

Flipboard, the hugely popular news magazine app for iPad and iOS, has been updated today – to Version 1.9.8.

The big news in this update is that it has been optimized for the iPad mini. In fact the first line in the update details says ‘Works great on iPad mini’.

Here’s a little more detail on what’s been done to make the app ready for the iPad mini, via Inside Flipboard:

Apple starts shipping the much-anticipated iPad mini this week, and Flipboard is ready.

Flipboard’s layouts and typography have been re-factored for the mini to make it easy to enjoy your Flipboard on the new smaller screen.

One of the changes made is that the font size in Flipboard is automatically made slightly bigger for the iPad mini – though this can be adjusted in the app’s settings.

I hope to be trying Flipboard out on a shiny new iPad mini just about 24 hours from now.

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iFixit’s iPad mini Teardown Already Started

iPad mini teardown.large

Those clever folks at iFixit, providers of the web’s best DIY repair guides for gadgets and devices, have already got their hands on an iPad mini and started on their teardown of it.

So far there are no big surprises in what iFixit is finding – but some of the interesting things they’ve confirmed include:

— The iPad mini does have two speakers for stereo sound – though the two are placed very close to each other.

— The unit they’ve got hold of has an LCD made by Samsung, though Apple has been said to be spreading out their display orders to several manufacturers, so other units may have displays made by other companies.

— The battery is notably small:

Whatever the capacity, it’s decidedly mini when compared to the massive 43 Whr battery in the iPad 3. Even the venerable iPad 2 sports a 25 Whr package, 50% more than the iPad Mini.

—  The chip is the A5 that Apple told us it would have.

I have not seen a number for the amount of RAM in the iPad mini yet – that’s the one detail I’d still really like to see.

The teardown is still in progress and you can check it our at iFiixit’s page for it right now.

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iPad Mini Early Reviews: Mostly Stellar

iPad mini in smart cover stand

A number of early reviews of the iPad mini have now hit the web. These are reviews from a number of ‘A List’ sort of journalists who’ve had the pleasure of the iPad mini’s company for around a week prior to its public release.

These early reviews are mostly very positive about the iPad mini. The only two negatives mentioned often are the lack of a retina display and the price being a little higher than some would like to see.

Here’s a selection of quotes from some of these reviews that caught my eye last night and this morning:

Jim Dalrymple at The Loop:

I was wrong. I have wondered publicly whether or not a smaller tablet would fit into my workflow and even suggested the larger iPad would be better. I was wrong. I picked up my iPad mini and iPad 4 from Apple just after the special event ended last week in San Jose and have been using them ever since. I haven’t used the mini to the exclusion of my iPad, but I wanted to see where this new device would fit into my lifestyle without being forced. What I found was surprising to me. I actually used the iPad mini more than my iPad.

Walt Mossberg at The Wall Street Journal:

I’ve been testing the iPad Mini for several days and found it does exactly what it promises: It brings the iPad experience to a smaller device. Every app that ran on my larger iPad ran perfectly on the Mini. I was able to use it one-handed and hold it for long periods of time without tiring. My only complaints were that it’s a tad too wide to fit in most of my pockets, and the screen resolution is a big step backwards from the Retina display on the current large iPad.

Joshua Topolsky at The Verge:

It doesn’t feel like Apple is racing to some lowest-price bottom — rather it seems to be trying to raise the floor.

And it does raise the floor here. There’s no tablet in this size range that’s as beautifully constructed, works as flawlessly, or has such an incredible software selection. Would I prefer a higher-res display? Certainly. Would I trade it for the app selection or hardware design? For the consistency and smoothness of its software, or reliability of its battery? Absolutely not. And as someone who’s been living with (and loving) Google’s Nexus 7 tablet for a few months, I don’t say that lightly.

The iPad mini hasn’t wrapped up the “cheapest tablet” market by any stretch of the imagination. But the “best small tablet” market? Consider it captured.

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iPad mini Accessories: New Portenzo Line of Cases, Including the Composition Case

Portenzo iPad mini cases

Portenzo has a nice lineup of their classic iPad cases ready for the iPad mini. These are all journal style cases, made with using bookbinding techniques right here in the USA.

I’ve tried out a couple of Portenzo iPad cases in the past and been highly impressed with them – so I’m glad to see they’re already creating iPad mini versions of some of their most attractive cases.

Their lineup for the iPad mini currently includes the Alano, BookCase, HardBack, Wingtip, Designer, and Composition cases. The price range on these runs from $30 (for the HardBack) to $100 for the Alano.

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iPad Mini & iPad 4 Pre-Orders Start Late Tonight

iPad Mini

Pre-orders for the new iPad Mini and iPad 4 are set to begin on October 26 – and if Apple handles pre-orders the way they have in the recent past for their big mobile device launches then that should mean pre-orders will start at midnight Pacific time tonight.

On recent launches of the iPad and iPhone two things that stood out on launch night are that Apple’s servers get slammed and many users find it difficult to get their orders in, and pre-order stock gets sold out fairly quickly. So if you’re planning to pre-order one of the new iPads tonight, you may need to start right at midnight Pacific and be ready to keep trying if it’s difficult to get pages to load and orders to complete. It may also be helpful to try the Apple Store app on your iPhone or iPad – that can sometimes be a faster way to get an order in.

Prices for the iPad Mini start at $329 for the 16GB WiFi only model. The iPad 4 starts at $499 for the WiFi only model. You can compare iPad specs, see prices for all the models, and get ready to pre-order at Apple’s Shop iPad page.

I won’t be pre-ordering – as usual, I’ll be out in front of a local Apple store waiting in line at Crazy O’Clock on release day.

Are any of you pre-ordering either the iPad Mini or the iPad 4 tonight? If so, good luck.

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Apple’s delights with iPad mini “Piano” ad


With each new goodie or upgrade that Apple serves up, there is the accompanying ad that attempts to showcase the innate qualities of the New Thing in Question, giving observers and buyers a peek into what Apple thinks is most important about it. Let’s be honest, Apple has proven time and time again that it is best-in-class with regard to advertising choices. Examples easily spring to mind: the “1984” or the iconic iPod silhouette ads of yesteryear. Of course, not everything has been a hit, but in general, their instincts are spot on.

With the iPad mini, Apple has given us an short but sweet ad that instantly delights and shows why they excel at what they do – displaying a sense of humour and giving the right sense of what the user experience is like. No need for specs list or complex layered content. Just a tune. Played on a piano. Check it out below:



Feel free to tell us what you think in the comments!

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