Weekend with iPad Mini
This post maybe should be titled – The Nine Year old and the iPad Mini…. The two were inseparable all weekend.
So a week and a bit ago, Apple announce a new product, the iPad Mini. It appears to be something between an iPad and an iPhone. Not as big as an iPad, but bigger than an iPhone. Hmmm. Do we really need something like this? Some say it’s meant to compete with the various e-readers from various companies. Some say it’s overpriced – and hardly worth it. Some say it’s an ingenious device that everyone will want.
A couple of years ago when Apple was rumoured to be working on a tablet computer, we watched with great interest. And then when Apple announced the iPad, but of course not shipping for quite some time in Canada – we were again waiting with baited breath. I managed to pick the original iPad 3G up the weekend it was released – and wow, it was an awesome product. The iPad has become the most used piece of technology in our house – constantly fought over, borrowed and taken, travelled everywhere we go – has become indispensable. And then when I started using an iPad 2 at work, my family is always using the original iPad, and has become Rhonda’s primary computer.
So Saturday morning, Josh and I stopped at the Apple Store in Chinook Mall to see if we could try an iPad mini – thinking it might be interesting, but not holding our breath.
Well, it’s magical. Josh and I both got to play with them, try them out, try games, everything. It just feels natural. Not big and bulky – not that the iPad is big and bulky, but frankly it almost seems like it next to the iPad mini. The iPad mini is light, responsive – everything you’d expect it to be. The screen is nice to look at, easy to use, easy to read, and did I mention light? Requires no effort at all.
Sadly the Apple Store didn’t have any in stock. Fortunately my phone beeped – got an e-mail from Staples – they have them in stock! We go to the Staples, nope, they have one in stock to show people, but nothing available to sell – anywhere in Calgary. We were crestfallen.
But, we stopped at a Best Buy, and lo and behold, they had them in stock, so we picked one up. I wouldn’t let him take it out of the plastic until we put on a Zagg Invisible Shield, but as soon as we were in the car, the wrapper was off, and Josh and Hannah were messing around with Photobooth – the ingenious software that lets them mess with pictures of themselves – with big mouths, fat heads, pin-heads, alien eyes – you name it.
And so started the endearing friendship between the 9 year old and the iPad mini. Don’t get me wrong, he uses the iPad frequently – he plays minecraft, and a handful of other games. But after we picked up the iPad mini – they were inseparable. He helped me load some apps and games and some music, and he took it away. Sitting at the table, sitting on the bed, sitting on the couch, taking it in the car – it was almost permanently in his hand. Trying all kinds of things, and he loves SIRI! He and SIRI were trying all kinds of conversational things like “Tell me a joke” and “Beam me up” and “How old are you?” and “What’s my name”. Pretty much anytime you looked for Josh Saturday and Sunday – he would have the iPad mini in his hands, or close by.
It is an incredible device that engages everyone in our house within moments of them touching it!
So what do I think is the reason Apple made this “in-between an iPhone and an iPad”?
It has found the sweet spot. The perfect place between form and function. I have a suspicion that separating the iPad mini from the family may be tantamount to declaring war! On Monday you may need to send someone to rescue me!