Federico Viticci has been on a roll lately, posting article after article of lengthy reviews and personal insights into his technological experiences. One of his latest articles, iPad Mini for Content Creation, touches on a subject dear to my workflow heart.
In the article, Viticci addresses the latest advice about which iPad to buy after [Apple’s latest media event](http://joshuaginter.com/my-brief-thoughts-on-yesterdays-apple-event/]. Seemingly unanimous, Internet consultants are advising consumers to buy an iPad Air if they plan to use their iPad to create content. In contrast, an iPad Mini is assumed to be the ideal device to absorb and consume such content. Viticci talks about how he uses his iPad Mini to create content for Macstories and how the iPad Mini has actually revolutionized the way he works.
While Viticci uses the article to discuss his own personal workflow and how the iPad Mini fits into his creation processes, he does not dig into the underlying reason for the unanimous iPad advice.
The introduction of the iPad in 2010 marked the beginning of Apple’s endeavour to overtake the content consumption market. The original iPad was marketed as a sofa-device, allowing the Internet to rest “in the palm of your hands”. The iPad offered the ability to fully immerse yourself in a world of content.
Then, since the introduction of a camera on the iPad 2 in 2011, Apple changed the marketing strategy of their 10” tablet. A camera on the iPad 2 is evidence that Apple was looking to add to the purposes of the device. Content creation became a “thing” for Apple.
Applications like iPhoto and iMovie for iOS only solidified Apple’s approach to the iPad 2 (and beyond) as a “creationist” device instead of a “consumptionist” device. Apple recognized how developers were utilizing the strengths of the original iPad and correctly adapted its own iOS development (and marketing) strategy.
Therefore, since the introduction of the iPad 2, consumers have learned — or assumed — that the full-size iPad is the creator.
Fast forward to late 2012. Apple announces the iPad Mini to complement its tablet lineup. Apple packed the iPad Mini with hardware that debuted with the iPad 2 in early 2011. It also included a fairly sub-par and low resolution display. How did anyone expect consumers, who were now accustomed to Retina Displays and far faster internal processors, to use the slow and bland iPad Mini for content creation?
Due to these poor internals and the poor display, the iPad Mini became designated as the content “absorber”. It became logical at this point to designate the iPad Mini as such.
I think it becomes apparent, then, why everyone assumes the iPad Air is the creator and the iPad Mini is the absorber. While both now have the same internals, the preconceived notion that the iPad Mini is not meant for creation has overruled analytical and advisory minds. It actually makes sense to associate “smaller” and more “portable” as an absorber.
So, long story short, the assumed purpose of each iPad has lagged behind the actual capabilities of each iPad. Everyone assumes the Mini is an absorber because it has always been an absorber. Everyone assumes the Air is a creator because it — for the most part — has always been the creator.
Now the real question still remains: which iPad model should you buy? And why?
Federico has a pretty good argument as to why you should buy the Mini. Maybe you should start your research there.