iPad mini ▪ July 15
iPad mini ▪ June 19
Last week, above. Today, below.
The original iPad mini has quietly disappeared from Apple’s web site, and is no longer available to purchase new from the Apple Store. Introduced in October 2012, the first iPad mini established the industrial design that was subsequently used in the iPad mini 2 and iPad mini 3, as well as the larger but otherwise nearly identical iPad Air and iPad Air 2. Apple notably continued to sell the 16GB iPad mini as an entry-level model alongside two of its sequels, dropping its price to $299 in October 2013, then $249 in October 2014. In recent months, falling street prices for other models made the classic mini a tougher sell.
Apple’s discontinuation of the iPad mini leaves the remaining iPads as a completely 64-bit family, all using either A7 or A8X processors rather than the iPad mini’s aging A5. It also means that all remaining iPads have Retina displays and unified Wi-Fi + Cellular models. Refurbished iPad minis continue to be available from the Apple Store, and start at $209; new iPad minis will continue to be available at third-party resellers such as Amazon until they run out of stock.
iPad mini ▪ May 21
Facing slowing growth for the first time since the iPad’s 2010 debut, Apple is working on several significant software and hardware updates to reinvigorate the tablet over the next year. Apple is developing a dual-app viewing mode, 12-inch iPads codenamed “J98” and “J99,” as well as support for multi-user logins, according to sources briefed on the plans. First planned for debut last year, the split-screen applications feature for the iPad could be introduced as soon as June at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference, while multi-user login support and the 12-inch iPads will apparently arrive later…
iPad mini ▪ May 20
Four years ago, I wondered why Apple sold such seemingly simple plastic docks for $29, so I cut two of them in half to see what was inside. I was impressed: in addition to a larger-than-expected collection of electronic components, they were filled with substantial zinc plates that kept Apple’s devices standing safely upright, no easy feat since the docks kept shrinking every year. The only problem: most (but not all) of Apple’s docks have been model-specific and case-unfriendly, issues that were particularly pronounced in the official iPhone 5s Dock and iPhone 5c Dock. When Twelve South released the handsome multi-device and case-compatible HiRise and HiRise Deluxe, many people — including me — had no need for a more limited, Apple-designed alternative.
Somewhat belatedly, Apple has just released the iPhone Lightning Dock ($39), its first docking solution for the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. It’s not clear why Apple took its time releasing this accessory, which uncharacteristically has a 2014 date on the back of its box. But it’s the dock Apple should have released three years ago, delivering case compatibility, multi-device support, and the expected Apple minimalism. It has no back support for your iPhone, instead relying on a stiffened and modestly padded Lightning connector to hold your device on the traditional Apple light recline. And it also includes an audio-out port, which has been absent from all of its third-party rivals. Now that Apple has released the right sort of dock, should you consider buying one?…