Its been a week since my drive into the world of iOS again and I have thoughts to share.
The battery of the iPad mini is awesome. Coming from years of plugging in my phone every night, without fail, to having a device that lasts 2 or 3 days is awesome.
I love the lightning connector. Its small, its simple, its REVERSIBLE! Huge downside is that its expensive and its proprietary. If Apple would license this out, it would replace microUSB. The odds of that happening are none to anti-slim.
I’m terrified of dropping this thing so I immediately bought a case. Its painful to cover up a all glass and aluminum device with bulky plastic, but its almost necessary. I bought case by Photive on Amazon. It has three amazing features. First it has a kickstand, awesome for watching youtube while making dinner. Second, its sturdy. Third, it doesn’t have a flip cover that has always made devices harder to handle for me.
I’m having a great time playing the games I couldn’t play before. I found Star Command and can’t stop playing it. I have my eye on XCOM: Enemy Unknown and just waiting for a sale or promo. Though it would mean foregoing playing it on Xbox and the achievements it would unlock.
I’m desperately trying to hold onto the thought that this is a home screen that is functional. But the longer I use iOS, the more I am being forced away from that ideal. There is no way to display any information without opening an app. I guess widgets would ruin the aesthetic.
These are the apps I use daily and the only apps I have notifications turned on. The rest of my apps start on page two, and are alphabetized. No folders. Page three remains the single folder of banished stock apps.
I was reintroduced to what I like to call the “workaround apps” Since I used Google Voice for all my texting needs and the Official Google Voice app was iPhone-only (Looks horrendous) and will most likely not be upgraded ever I returned to an app I used to use on my iPhone, GV Connect. It looks great on the iPad but lacks push notifications. Enter Boxcar. A push Notification service for all sorts of things including Google Voice. After about 30 minutes of tinkering, I can text to and from my iPad with notifications in a pretty app. I honestly expect Google to announce Hangout-Voice merge this week since I went through all that.
One of my biggest hesitation on buying a tablet all these years has been, “Why would i use it rather than my phone or laptop.” The answer is twofold i discovered. First, I am lazy and the iPad enables my laziness. Its much easier to grab my iPad than find, boot, then use a laptop for simple things like web searches and email. The second reason is that the screen size difference between my phone and tablet actually makes a big difference. Just using Chrome is a different experience that is more akin to a desktop than on a phone. It really is a melding of the two platforms. I understand why the tablet market is turning PC sales into the latest nosedive platform.
I have issues with the screen size. Its a screen that was obviously made to view photos on. Its a 4:3 aspect ratio, 1024×768. Which is perfect for photos because most are also 4:3. But, and this is a huge but, every piece of video media created in the last 5 or 10 years has been 16:9. I remember the pain and turmoil over buying movies in widescreen (16:9) or standard (4:3) back in the late 90’s and early 2000’s. I thought we were past this conversation and done with black bars. I was wrong. Anything video produced on anything, other than an iOS device, looks like this, black barred. The video is only using 75% or 22.2 sq. inches of the screen. Any advantage of the 7.9 in screen evaporates with video. Its a rare instance of Apple comprising hardware to suit an older media (photos) rather than the new (video). This even conflicts with Apple’s main hardware of the iMac, which is 16:9 and Macbook, which is 16:10.
Luckily the iPad still works great as a Chromecast remote for YouTube and Netflix. It’s missing the lockscreen controls though.
It also not a device that is easy to wield as a thumb typer. Its imposible in landscape even with the split keyboard. In portrait its better but still slightly too large to comfortably thumb type. I’ve been reduced to single finger touch typing while supporting the iPad with my other hand. Reading on it is awesome though.
Overall, I’m nit-picking again. I like the device, its part of my daily routine now. I use it as much as I can and I haven’t come across anything that would make me not use it.
The “Its new and shiny” phase is done. Now it time to see how much time it steals away from my phone on computers.