So, last week I went to the Apple Store to take a look at the new iPad mini. Although I really like its sleek design and insane portability, it made clearer than ever to me that my next iPad will still be the base model, The iPad (That’s right, you read it well, the one without a Second Name). Let me explain.
I’ve been an iPad user since the iPad 2 came out (Although back then I bought the first generation). Since the very first evening, the iPad totally hacked the way I consume media and websites while sitting on the couch. Previous to the iPad, I usually brought my Macbook and surf the web while torturing my body due to the very uncomfortable position I had to adopt (You know, just to keep the laptop over my lap while still facing the TV). But all that changed the moment the iPad came home. I could surf the web, read and play Youtube videos without plug it and with a more comfortable body position. It was like a revelation, I thought “This is it! This is the way content is meant to be consumed”.
Over the last decade, I’ve been lucky to try different models and sizes (Even a first and fourth generation iPad mini). And I understand the buzz when all of a sudden, back in 2015, Apple introduced the 12.9 inches iPad Pro. Some people worshipped its giant screen’s real state and I get it, if you plan to get things done on an iPad this is probably your go-to size. For me, it’s not.
I work primarily on my MacBook Pro, mostly Xcode stuff; For the past year we have seen Apple making steps into the iPad as a programming device way of life but let’s face it. Xcode will may run on an iPad someday, but this does not mean a programmer can through its laptop away. For instance, Usually I multitask between 7 and 10 apps when doing my job, and I have to easily switch back and forth multiple times on a single minute; and I know some people say they “multitask” on an iPad but let’s face, to put it in Steve Jobs words: iPadOS’s multitasking is like baby multitasking. And I get it! This is why the iPad is so amazing! You can focus on a single task and perform that task in a superb way. But this is just not compatible -yet- with some heavy work stuff.
So the question follows: What is the iPad for?. And for me, the answer is pretty simple: The iPad is an amazing tool for consuming content and when I say consuming content I mostly mean surfing the web and play Youtube videos.
To accomplish this simple task; I think (and notice the bold type), the iPad mini falls behind. Nor just the videos play in a screen witch is too small, but the websites usually render as mobile due to the lack of space. It’s awful, it feels like browsing the web in a very big iPhone.
And here is when it gets complicated; the iPad Air would still be the best possible device (Sleek design, screen size… ) But I think (again, the bold type), it has one big flaw and this is its aspect ratio. While every iPad (Excluding the ones with the new design) had a respectable 4:3 aspect ratio witch IMHO was AMAZING for reading and browsing, the iPad Air has a 23:16 aspect ratio witch is… weird I guess? I do not know how to phrase it, but it certainly felt weird in my hands.
So what can I say? The cheapest and most boring iPad is the one that checks all the boxes. And coming from Apple that’s a nice surprise!