What to make of the new iPad mini

30 10 2012

Apple’s new product announcements always garner waves of attention from media and consumers alike.  The most recent announcement included a smaller version of the iPad – the iPad mini.  For consumers, the tablet’s new 7.9-inch screen means a more portable tablet; for Apple, the iPad mini represents a foray into competition with smaller tablets, like the Kindle Fire.  For developers, it’s a different story.

The new tablet’s resolution remains the same as its larger cousin, the iPad 4th generation model, so software built for the iPad will still function on the mini.  But, just as the introduction of the touchscreen presented a new challenge for mobile developers, the introduction of yet a different sized touchscreen is another hurdle for mobile application developers.

Apps on smartphones are designed for use with one hand, and often feature finger swipes, button presses and scrolling.  Apps for tablets are often designed for use with two hands, and allow users to pinch and zoom, and to maneuver through the app using two sets of fingers.  In this sense, the iPad mini presents a challenge. It’s designed to be held in one hand, but it is yet unclear as to how developers will navigate the touchscreen features on forthcoming apps.

Thought the iPad mini wasn’t specifically designed for the enterprise, Keynote’s DeviceAnywhere Platform will support the device shortly in order to support the new opportunities for developers and to facilitate easier porting of existing apps, and development of new apps geared toward the smaller screen size.  It will be interesting to see what companies and developers make of the new screen size. DeviceAnywhere will be there to make the process more efficient.




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