After purchasing the iPad mini I was curious to see what kind of apps I might “rediscover” on this smaller tablet. Over the past year-and-a-half of iPad ownership I’ve encountered a lot of gorgeous, innovative apps, but some of them I simply couldn’t put to proper use because of either the size or the weight of my iPad 2. The iPad mini’s altered dimensions change this dynamic significantly, so I took a peek at my home screen and my multitasking tray and noticed I’ve been using these three apps a lot more often:
- Drafts for iPad for note-taking
- Flipboard for RSS
- Air Video for streaming the media on my MacBook Pro
Drafts for iPad has become a lot more useful to me on the iPad mini, simply because I now have it with me everywhere. The device is easier to take out of my bag, and the thumb keyboard is a delight to use on this 7.9″ screen, which means that I can actually take notes while away from a desk (or equivalent flat surface). The Simperium sync is a killer feature for me, since it allows me to complete iPhone notes on my iPad mini, but I also really love Drafts for making copying-and-deleting a one step process.
It’s been a while since I’ve used Flipboard as a full-time RSS reader, but it has improved a lot over the past year. The most recent update added extra-large fonts for viewing on the iPad mini, which helps a lot with legibility. Flipboard has also addressed one of my biggest pet peeves: the inability to remove Facebook, Google Reader, and Twitter as active tiles. It used to be that adding my Google Reader account to the app, for example, would force me to use one of a limited number of tiles to simply display “Google Reader”. I wanted Google Reader to display only my Apple, Interesting Reads, and Gaming folders as tiles, so I found it redundant to have a base “Google Reader” tile that showed me all of my RSS feeds. Flipboard could well become my RSS reader of choice on my iPad mini (well, at least until Reeder 3 for iPad).
Air Video is also exciting to return to after a good six-month hiatus. I’ve always been really impressed by how Air Video can live-stream media files straight from my MacBook Pro to the iPad, and that feature makes a lot more sense now that I can take the iPad mini to more places. I do think the iPad makes a great movie-watching device, but it has taken this form factor for me to properly enjoy movies without hurting my wrists or craning my neck.
These are all of my “rediscovered” iPad mini apps thus far, and I’ll make sure to post an update if I dig up any more apps that really shine on this 7.9″ screen.