iPad Mini: Five secrets that Apple never mentioned
Last night, Apple unveiled the new iPad mini to the world, a slimmed down, 7.9-inch version of its astronomically popular tablet. It’s a strong, if pricey offering aimed at wooing away shoppers tempted by low price seven inch Android tablets like the Google Nexus 7, and while marketing boss Phil Schiller bigged up most of its features, it appears he’s left a few out. Here are five things you need to know about the iPad mini Apple never mentioned.
Check out the iPad mini on video now
Surprisingly, Apple made no mention of the fact that the iPad mini supports Siri, its smart voice-controlled assistant. Given that the iPad mini sports much of the same hardware as the iPad 2 (but in a smaller shell), we thought Apple had left it out – the iPad 2 doesn’t support Siri, for instance. Fret not though: the iPad mini does indeed support Siri, as well as all the new commands it can follow in iOS 6.
Apple’s UK arm got a slap on the wrist from the Advertising Standards Agency for promoting the third generation iPad as 4G-capable, given that it couldn’t possibly work with the planned frequencies for 4G in the UK. No such concerns for the iPad mini. The Wi-Fi plus cellular model coming in late November supports both UK 3G and 4G frequencies, so whatever network you’re on, you’ll be able to get high speed data on the go.
A smart bezel
Apple’s iPad mini looks subtly different from the iPad: that’s because its longer sides have narrower edges around the screen. It makes it look more attractive, but it’s also not been done on a tablet before because it means your fingers can easily touch the screen by accident while gripping it. With the iPad mini, Apple’s come up with a solution: it can tell whether you’re deliberately interacting with the screen near its edges, or just resting your paws on it. It’s a great idea – let’s hope it works in practice.
The iPad mini also has a different front camera than the iPad 2: where the 2011 tablet could only muster grimey VGA resolution for video chats over FaceTime, the iPad mini can do crips 720p HD, so you’ll be able to see every pore on your friend’s mug. Maybe that’s not a feature, actually…
Like the iPhone 5 before it, the new iPad mini uses a new type of SIM card for data on the go. It’s a nano-SIM, which is even smaller than the micro-SIM pioneered by the iPhone 4. It saves on space, but it does also mean converting your current SIM, regular or micro, is very tricky. If you’ve got an existing data-plan, you may well have to port it to a new nano-SIM first.
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