My Shiny New iPad mini
Santa stopped by and dropped off a shiny new iPad mini for me on Christmas morning. I turned it on and proceeded to log in with my Apple ID. Oops. I used the wrong email and it created a new iCloud account for me. This was very distracting and I wound up simply factory resetting the thing and starting over, focusing on entering the id that has all my stuff. From there it was totally painless. My stuff came over in less than an hour and I wiped my iPad 1 and gave it to its new owner, who by the way is loving it.
I noticed my wife's Kindle sitting on her purse so I walked over and placed my iPad mini on top of it. With the smart cover, my iPad mini is exacltly the same width and height as the old wifi Kindle but it's a lot thinner. And it's an iPad. So yes I loaded iBooks and Kindle software and brought over my books but I also brought over my games. There are times I hesitate to take my iPad along because of its weight. While the iPad mini isn't in the same "go along all the time" category as an iPhone, it's definitely the right device to take to a meeting to take notes. I found myself increasing the default font in my favorite ebook readers but it's like reading a paperbook while my iPad 1 was like reading a hardcover dictionary.
My first new app? Google Maps. I've yet to try using Siri but I'll get around to it. I was impressed at how easily I could make this new iPad my own via iCloud and I'm delighted that all the apps I enjoyed on my iPad 1 "just work" on my new iPad mini. At $329, I bet Apple could sell a billion of these things. I visited several stores leading up to Christmas just to see what was going on. iPads were moving while Kindle Fires sat collecting dust despite being cheaper. This is anecdotal based on my observations and since Amazon refuses to report sales numbers it will be some time before I know whether what I observed was actually true.
I decided to open the photos app to see if my shared photostreams showed up. Yes they did. There are those that try to use iPads as their "only computer" and there are ways to do this but I'm just happy to have mine act as my portable computer. There are still a few niggles for me with iOS. One is the lack of "wifi analyzer" without jailbreaking. Another is the lack of ability to customize things like keyboard. But for usability, app selection, quality, size, weight and battery life, iPad mini is a true winner. I've read reviews saying it's "better" than the iPad. In terms of portability and light weight this is certainly true.