Jun 22, 2013

iPhone vs. iPad vs. iPad Mini: Strengths of Each

I've owned three different iPhones over the last five or six year but I recently bought my first iPad, a fourth-generation iPad. Shortly after buying mine, my daughter bought an iPad Mini. After having some time with each of these, there are definitely things that an iPhone does better, things that an iPad does better, and things that an iPad Mini does better.

If you own an iPhone and are wondering if you should get an iPad, or if you own an iPad and are wondering if you should get an iPhone, it helps to know what the strengths of each are. Here are some general comments about each:


This is the computer in your pocket, but as such, it's screen isn't as well suited as your iPad options to viewing full (non-mobile) web pages, reading books, watching videos, or serious content-creation. It's size makes it ideal though for listening to audio, geolocation/navigation, diet and fitness tracking (or any kind of quick logging activity), audio recording, video recording, photography, and basic photo post-processing. It's great for most mobile games, also. In addition, it's a phone.


The iPad is the best at web browsing, video watching, magazine and catalog reading, document reading and editing, note-taking, and content-creation in general. It's the best way to truly go paperless, which was one of my primary objectives in buying mine. It's also very good for detailed photo editing, because you can really make detailed selections for masking in powerful apps like Photoshop Touch.

The iPad is a suitable laptop replacement for most people, especially when when paired with a Bluetooth keyboard, though in landscape mode, the built-in keyboard isn't bad at all once you get used to it. I'm writing this blog post right now on my iPad without the Bluetooth keyboard, though I have one. I'm using the very powerful Blogsy app, in case you are curious. You can even use your iPad to effectively remote-control a Mac, Windows PC, or Linux PC.

The iPad has become known as a powerful platform for board game fans. In fact, there is a web site devoted to board games on the iPad.

iPad Mini

The iPad Mini, as a smaller version of the iPad, has a few strengths over the iPad. I think it's size and weight make it the best for reading books, for example. On an full-sized iPad, you'll find your eyes moving a lot from left to right when reading a book, unless you turn your iPad to landscape orientation to show two pages. Also, the iPad will get heavy to hold after a while. The iPad mini shows you a book page at about the size of a book page and you can hold it without it starting to feel heavy after a couple of chapters.

The iPad mini also does many of the things an iPad does. It does not do them as well, but much better than an iPhone. Web browsing, video watching, and photo editing are all still good on the iPad Mini. I wouldn't consider it a laptop replacement though.

Perhaps one of the biggest advantages of an iPad Mini's size is one that it fits in many purses. As a man, I don't mind carrying my iPad when I know I'm going to use it but I'm not going to carry it everywhere (unlike my iPhone). However, a woman with an average-sized purse could easily carry an iPad Mini everywhere she carries her purse.


I love my iPad and my iPhone, for a multitude of reasons. If you are thinking about any of these, it helps to know what they do best. I hope I've helped you in that respect.


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