Years ago when my wife started her current job there was talk about company iPads.  Weeks turned to months and then into years.  A couple of months ago I decided that it was never going to happen and just bought her a 32GB Verizon iPad mini.  She loves it, uses it everyday and has really grown attached to the LTE data connection.

Fast forward to the present.  The company issued her a 64GB WiFi iPad mini.  My amazing wife offered one of her iPads to me and after we discussed who would carry which one and I got the WiFi-only model while she would keep the LTE model.  Not a problem for me, I can  tether it to my phone when I’m not around WiFi. 

This marks the first personal iOS device since I traded my iPhone 3G for a Samsung Epic on January 6th 2011.  Time to set it up.  Since its a company device Jailbreaking is out.

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Here is the starting point.  Every device looks like this on the first boot.  First thing, lets get rid of those apps I will never use.





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The brave few apps that survived the first wave of cuts, the rest are banished to a folder on page 3.  I was surprised to find that newsstand can’t be placed into a folder.  However there is a neat trick to hide it without jailbreaking.




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On to installing all the things!  I had clicked install on about 10 apps and clicked “Not Now” on this message when I realized that it wasn’t going to let me install anything until I complied.  I filled out the security questions and was back on track.





I downloaded all the google stuff.  I discovered that you have to log into to each one individually. I saw this screen a lot.  

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I saw this sign in screen a couple of times and was delighted to see what I had grown accustomed to on Android.  I was quite sad that it wasn’t in all of the Google apps.  Apparently, Google hasn’t updated all the apps yet, get on it done googs.





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After logging into all my apps I was reminded why the iPad apps are clearly labeled separately from iPhone apps.

Seriously Apple, there is this thing called scaling.  The internet has been using it for decades.  Another thing, why is the keyboard so tiny? Isn’t that a system feature?

Google, I understand that you’re going to roll Voice into Hangouts, please do it soon or update the app.

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I did manage to avoid using the mail, calendars, and contacts account for everything but contacts.  Goog you need to release a Calendar and People app. Skeuomorphism in its prime, so much wasted white space.


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Steve Jobs once said 

There are clear limits to how close elements can be on the screen before users can’t touch accurately. We believe 10-inch screen is minimum necessary.

I never understood that statement because the touch zones work great on the of my 3.5in screen iPhone 3G, 4in Epic, and 5.5in Note 2.  But on the iPad mini If I try to hit this button I fail 9 times out of 10.  I don’t even try anymore, I just use the back button. 

2013-08-27 21.42.54The final product after a couple of hours and its no where near complete. I have lots of app searching to do, but the basics are in place.  I’ve got all my Google apps (Chrome, gmail, hangouts, search, drive, voice, youtube), Netflix, Newsblur, and Marvin.  Plenty to make this device very useful.

I really don’t like the look of the homescreen.  Lines of square boxes and lines of boxes within boxes are not my cup of tea.  I feel like there is a lot of wasted space again.  The screen could easily fit another column and row without crowding the icons.  This is one area where Android thrives, but I’ve talked about this already.

Enough with the snark and nit picking though.  This is a fine little internet machine.  I’m quite excited that I will no longer be left behind with the prevailing “iOS first” developer mentality.  I can finally play all the games, try all the new startup apps, and have all the new features that haven’t made it to Android yet.  

The majority of apps I use on my phone are cross platform and the rest have reasonable alternatives.  A major exception is Pocket Cast which hasn’t updated to Ver. 4 yet and won’t until after iOS7 releases.

Speaking of iOS7, I’m looking forward to trying it out.  The my little pony theme shouldn’t be too big of an issue since I’ve banished all the stock apps to a folder on page 3, the enhanced notifications are a step in the right direction, toggles will finally be available through control center, and Airdrop might be a nice alternative to dropbox or plugging the device into a computer.

I’ll give iOS a couple things, animations are smooth as silk, multitouch (when the touches work) is integrated better into the OS, and the battery has been amazing (only had it for a day).  

It’ll be an interesting experience seeing the difference between and which one I reach for first; my 5.5in Android screen or my new 7.9in iOS screen.

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