Ordered iPad Mini – Pretty sure I will be returning it

03 Nov 2012 admin In G+ Posts Tags: , , ,

I am not quite sure what Apple might be thinking with this thing.

Clearly I will give it a few days but it is very uncomfortable to hold for any time in one hand unless you are pinching an edge. Suggestion #1 Hold it before buying one.. I give this advice for the new iPod Touch also…

It desperately needs a case to make it easier to hold or stand up etc. Maybe the smart cover sort of solves that but overall the aspect ratio is strange….I will break this if I use it as the tool it is designed to be used as without a case. The new iPod Touch is in the same boat sadly…

It is very sluggish, but I have to say so is the new iPod Touch, this is when using apps or updating mainly but it is so sluggish when updating or loading apps it will not respond in some cases. I have seen this on many tablets other than apple devices but this thing really feels overloaded. They should probably turn off multiple app downloads and that would more than likely help that feel of TAP TAP TAP Hello? on the touchscreen…

Sad part is this could be a really good tablet, but there seems be enough issues so far that my overall feel is not so great. I had this same feel till I got a case for my full size iPad that I ended up selling some time ago when I transitioned to the Nexus7. 

I will report back in a few days.. but initial overview – not too stellar.

That said I have nothing good to say about iCloud or setup on the apple devices these days…. It is just broken and horribly laid out and not user friendly. I test software all the time and how they think this works well is beyond me.

I got the new iPad Mini today – fired it up and set it up with Backup to iCloud etc. Then I made the mistake of plugging it into iTunes and now it is erasing all of the items it just synced and resetting it up with everything I do not want on it. iTunes must feel like I want every app on the unit, but there is not room so it is over capacity and still syncing. So at the end of this it will throw up on itself and make me sync again after removing 100's of apps. Then there is  iTunes Match – Remind me to never enable that or pay for that service again, because my iPad is now so stuffed with apps that there is no room for any music..

And I will not comment on the Podcast app – it is just horrible and they need to just revert to having Podcasts in iTunes. Everything feels very disconnected now.

I have seen this issue before with other companies I deal with and I am curious if lately people fail to understand how important it is for engineers to get out of the office and use the products they design in the real world. I think that really seems to be lacking. I will admit it sure seems Google has beaten Apple in that department as not only do Google employees interact with users but I have actually seen them outside of the buildings using their products.

I will report back, but I fear that this purchase and the purchase of my 5th Gen iPod touch have been the worst two tech purchases resulting in the worst customer experience I have ever had with Apple Products.

#ipadmini   #ipad   #apple  

Comments: 18

  1. Mike Spinak 3 Nov 2012 Reply

    I'm intrigued to read this. Thank you for sharing your experiences.

  2. Brent Burzycki 3 Nov 2012 Reply

    +Mike Spinak I am not sure what to make of it … use of space on the UI, form factor, responsiveness  ease of use of the software when setting up with other devices already setup on the account. 

    I do not consider myself a tech god, but my mom should be able to understand and easily setup devices like this.

    On my Nexus7 I put in my Google Acct and I will basically done other than adding apps I wanted. This with iCloud and Match, then with the possibility you then hook it to iTunes is like a horrible fight to get it to actually sync with what you want on the device.

    Not to mention this did not ship with the latest build of iOS – you have to update that out of the box – I find that strange unless that was just released today… 6.1 I believe…

    Maybe I am just confused or tonight I am a tech idiot, but it really seems the past ease of use Apple was known for seems to be slipping into the need for features that are not quite so well thought out..as they used to be….

  3. Benjamen Meiers 3 Nov 2012 Reply

    Failed attempt at copying the Nexus7?

  4. Brent Burzycki 3 Nov 2012 Reply

    +Benjamen Meiers Possibly… but it is so different than the Nexus7 in the form factor it seems like it could just be wrong from the start…

    And this is what you do not want to see on an iOS update ….


    So if this was my first device and I was not a seasoned user of Apple iOS etc.. this would concern me on my new purchase….

  5. Christopher Woo 3 Nov 2012 Reply

    My Acer A100 is similarly awkward (and probably heavier). It's tolerable without the case, but still too heavy to hold without my hand cramping after more than 15-20 minutes. There's something to be said for either more bezel or less weight (like a Kindle).

  6. Benjamen Meiers 3 Nov 2012 Reply

    4:3 resolution is horrible, the low resolution is horrible. I thought a device for this market would need to be centered on content consumption. Just a bit odd.

  7. Benjamen Meiers 3 Nov 2012 Reply

    From Cult Of Mac…

    The Mini's screen is bigger and has a lower resolution than the Nexus 7 and also has a aspect ratio of 4:3 instead 16:9.

  8. Brent Burzycki 3 Nov 2012 Reply

    I will admit I am looking at this for use in many more areas than photography….. The mini feels big when it is supposed to be small….

    The resolution is ok.. I would no refer a retina display but I have to say the apps need to catch up in general… All aps should be hd quality and optimized for iPad then scaled down to work on Iphone and Ipad mini touch etc… I think part of that is I expect amazing looking apps from the Apple ecosystem… I seem to get wonky apps that are not in many cases the resolution they need to be… Nexus does this better….. On the ipod touch 5th gen the aps really suffer from the form factor much like the Iphone5 I assume with that longer screen… Most are not optimized yet and using them feels imperfect and un apple like….

    Bear in mind I am trying to see the good across multiple platforms and I am not sold on any of them yet….

  9. Cameron Siguenza 3 Nov 2012 Reply

    6.1 dropped yesterday I think. My next tablet will be Android based, although our previous gen ipad is very popular with the family, and is used a lot on car trips 🙂 I want a 7" Android tablet though. Maybe in the spring, no real need for it yet.

  10. Doug Welch 3 Nov 2012 Reply

    Great review. Thanks for your thoughts.

  11. Paul Hurley 3 Nov 2012 Reply

    I have an original Kindle Fire which seems to be roughly the same size as the mini (a little wider mostly). I absolutely love that form factor.   I have an iPad 1 that I never used because it was simply too bulky to carry around.  So I never upgraded to an iPad 2 or 3.  

    I have a mini on order because it gives me the form factor I liked in the Kindle, with all the photography software that I can only find on the iOS platform.  I do write software for an iPad 2 at work and it seems like the mini has pretty similar specs to that.  I am happy with the performance of the 2 as well as its resolution so I think I am going to be pretty happy with the mini.  The one thing I like a lot on my Fire is that I have a case with a hand strap in the back.  It makes it a lot easier to hold and use it one handed when I am walking around.    

    I agree that the iOS iTunes/iCloud syncing sucks badly.  I have 4 iPod's (don't ask) as well as the iPad 1 and trying to keep the right apps on the right devices is a real pain.  They seem to assume that you only have one device and might update it now and again. They seem blind to the fact that you might own and actively use two devices at once.  They really need to work on it. 

    I think iOS 6.1 beta just dropped yesterday.  Not sure when that goes gold.

  12. Cameron Siguenza 3 Nov 2012 Reply

    Right – 6.01 came out yesterday. 🙂

  13. Brent Burzycki 3 Nov 2012 Reply

    +Paul Hurley FYI – this performs more like an iPad 1 than a 2,3 etc and the screen resolution is basically the 1….

    As for iCloud – I think it works ok if you have one device.. for backup..but if you have more than one like you say and I also have…its a disaster….

    And I will not get started on the issues with wifi sync vs. syncing with a computer and god help you if you use iTunes on a PC because it is pretty much the largest crap heap software package – I can only imagine if the "new" itunes was actually released this week how disappointed I would have been when it was even less functional..

    Right now this thing is so confused with iCloud vs local sync that each time it trys to sync apps it trys to sync all of them, but then says it is full, so it will not sync, then I uncheck sync apps and it empties the capacity bar out. Ok perfect so please sync now, then during the sync it fills the bar to over capacity even thou no apps are being synced or are checked.

    One word – FULL RESET – ok that is two but if it doe snot work after that – it will be returned on Monday – if it works I will keep it a few more days to try to give it a better chance, but it is quickly moving to UPS call tag status..

  14. Paul Hurley 3 Nov 2012 Reply

    +Brent Burzycki , as long as it runs Stuck on Earth, Snapseed, etc… I will be happy.  I don't need anything too powerful in a tablet.

    I would suggest you manage the apps directly from the iPad mini.  You can just go to purchased apps in the app store and should be able to download individual ones from there.  No need to sync with iTunes that way.  I keep little to no media on my iPad so this approach has worked pretty well for me.  This is basically how I manage apps on my android phone and my Kindle Fire so I am used to doing it that way.  

    I did order the 64GB cell based version of the mini so I am not expecting any capacity issues for a bit.  Mine won't ship for a few weeks so it will be a bit before I can tell how it is going to work for me 🙂

  15. Brent Burzycki 4 Nov 2012 Reply

    Oh I know.. I am spoiled by Android as far as displays and ability to customize them to my specific needs…. Use of space in ios is pretty terrible.. Or I should say there is just too much space between icons… Having to page alm over is painful and basically no ability to customize is really limiting to what I can do with a device… I want one device as a tablet and my phone… I sold my Ipad when I found myself only using my galaxy nexus phone for everything because the screen was big enough…. Then I got the Nexus 7 tablet and found it worked well for daily carry but I think in general I suffer from two issues… One I seem to revert to paper for note taking most of the time and also I can never seem to remember to plug the tablet in when I need too and really need devices that can run all day…

    Maybe my perfect device is just not here yet… There are a to of choices thou so that is a good thing… Sadly I think this iPad mini will probably go back… Based on the issues above… I think I would like it more with a decent case where I was not worried about snapping it in half while using it…

  16. Paul Hurley 4 Nov 2012 Reply

    You can create folders to categorize application icons which helps a little, but I agree it pretty much sucks.  Maybe with Forstall out of Apple that will improve.  I will say that this isn't a whole lot better on all Android devices.  This was pretty limited, and generally badly limited on my HTC Evo.  It  is quite a bit better on my Samsung Galaxy SIII but still not great.

    I thought the battery life on the Mini was supposed to be 9-10 hours.  Were you seeing a lot less than that Brent?  

  17. Brent Burzycki 4 Nov 2012 Reply

    I would have to be compelled to use it for that long first… Maybe over the next day or two…

  18. Kevin Cummings 5 Nov 2012 Reply

    The Podcast app does suck. Fortunately, if you delete the app and restart the iPod, it will act like it used to. The podcasts will show up in the Music app after doing this.
    I don't mind a separate app for podcasts, but it doesn't sync fully with iTunes, and the rating function got lost along the way. I do like, however, the 1 1/2 speed playback.

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