When the iPad mini launched it garnered universal acclaim for its smaller, thinner, and lighter 7.9-inch form factor that looked light-years ahead of the then 4th generation iPad. Slightly cheaper, the only thing it really seemed to lack was the high density Retina display of its 9.7-inch elder sibling. The reason for that? Retina is hard. You can have Retina, you can have lightness, and you can have battery life, but not all three at the same time. At least not back then. So what about now? Has time let technology catch up? Can Apple ship a Retina iPad mini in 2013?
The Retina iPad mini has the same gorgeous 2048x1536 pixel resolution as the 9.7-inch iPad Air, but in a smaller, denser 7.9-inch package. Along with the same improvements to the LTE radio and FaceTime HD cameras that have come to the 2013 iPhones, other improvements include an Apple A7 processor with Apple M7 motion coprocessor. New colors, including space gray are also options.
The long rumored Retina iPad mini might become reality this fall according to yet more rumors about Apple's small-sized tablet. This time the supplier-based reporting comes by way of Lorraine Luk of the Wall Street Journal:
The new Nexus 7, the 2013 edition, was unveiled last week, beating the current iPad mini on specs, including display density, and trouncing it on price. Yet in terms of tablet software, the story remained the same - more big phone apps than real tablet apps. But with those specs, that cheap, will anyone care? Android Central's Andrew Martonik has just finished his complete Nexus 7 review and here's his take:
Small tablets are back in the news this week with Google's new, 1080p capable Nexus 7, prompting many folk to question why Apple can't do the same with the iPad mini. It isn't quite as simple as slapping on a 1080p display, and there are many things to consider in a theoretical Retina equipped iPad mini. One big one is battery life; Apple won't ship until they've managed to get the battery life to their liking, so we're asking you guys. What's more important to you for the next iPad mini, battery life or a Retina Display.
If Asus can get Google's new Nexus 7 to Retina-like densities while retaining its small, 7-inch form factor, why can't Apple do likewise and launch an iPad mini Retina? That's a question that's been asked again and again since Google introduced the Nexus 7 earlier this week. Last fall, when Apple launched the iPad mini, it was with their standard 1024x768 panel at 163ppi. Going to Retina would require the double LED backlighting, quad-core GPU, and power demands that come with it. That meant either shorter battery life or a thicker, heavier body, both non-starters for Apple back in October of 2012. So how could Asus do it now, and what does that mean for Apple?
The iPad 4 now has a 128GB storage option. Would you want that amount of space on the iPad mini? The iPhone 5 has not only a faster Apple A6 processor than the iPad mini's A5, but a much better 8mp iSight camera to the mini's 5mp shooter Would you like either of those moved over? The iPod touch comes in a far greater selection of colors than the monochromatic iPad mini. Would you like to see the mini spruced up with red, blue, and yellow? How about rumored, next generation technologies like new sensors or fingerprint readers? Do either of those appeal to you?
Starting today, Canadian carriers TELUS and Rogers will offer the cellular versions of both the iPad 4 and the iPad mini directly to customers for use on their respective networks. Rogers will allow customers to add it to their existing cellular plan, and while TELUS did not mention if that will be available on their network, both carriers will offer customers the option of a separate, contract-free data plan for their device.
The just-released iOS 7 beta 2 has now hit Apple's developer portal and the big news is -- an iPad version is now available for download alongside the iPhone and iPod touch version. Two weeks ago, at WWDC 2013, Apple released iOS 7 beta 1 but restricted it to iPhone and iPod touch only, saying an iOS 7 beta for iPad would coming in the following weeks.
Looks like those weeks have followed. If you're an iPad developer and you've been waiting on it, go get it at developer.apple.com.