The iPad Mini was unveiled yesterday by Apple, and we learned a lot about the new smaller iPad during the course of their special event. For starters, we learned that while it’s substantially smaller than the standard iPad it’s also quite a bit bigger than some of the currently popular small tablets on the market. It offers a nearly 8 inch display (7.9 inches) as opposed to the 7 inch screens of the Kindle Fire and Google Nexus 7 devices, and Apple says that gives it a 35% larger total screen size when totaling up square inches.
We also learned that the iPad Mini will have a non-retina 1024X768 display, and it has an overall set of specs that matches and in several places beats those of the iPad 2, it has expanded LTE coverage for its WiFi + cellular models, the same great iPad battery life as its bigger siblings, and Apple’s new Lightning cable, among other notable features.
It also boast two other significant features that have been much less talked about so far – one that is already established and very effective and one brand new one which will hopefully be as good as Apple says it is.
The already established feature is support for Siri, the useful and slightly cheeky iOS voice assistant. I like using Siri whenever I remember to, but far more important for me is the voice dictation feature that comes along with Siri. Dictation is a feature I use more and more often on the iPad, and it works tremendously well. I’m sure it will get as much or perhaps even a bit more use on the iPad Mini once I’ve got one.
The brand new feature that sounds very promising, and will have to deliver on that promise for the iPad Mini to be as great as advertised, is related to the substantially reduced width of the bezel on two sides of the iPad Mini. Here is how Apple describes the feature:
iPad mini intelligently recognizes whether your thumb is simply resting on the display or whether you’re intentionally interacting with it.
If this feature works well that’s great news; if it doesn’t work as well as advertised, it could be very frustrating and have potential for a bit of ‘Bezelgate’ sort of reactions from users. Here’s hoping it works as well as we’ve come to expect from features of this type in iOS.
What do you all think about these two features? Which other key iPad Mini features are you most interested in?