Maximizing the iPad Mini II

Seemed like a good time to update my original iPad Mini review to share some of the experiences in content creation I’ve gained having now fully broken-in my iPad Mini.

I’m still composing most of my posts on my Mac Mini, but that’s mostly out of habit and familiarity and not any inherent limitation of the iOS WordPress app (or the lack of other useful blogging utility apps). There are some niggling issues with the app itself, but nothing that is a deal breaker. For one thing the app will drop the HTML code for the pictures I upload into the bottom of the post I’m working on, forcing me to cut and paste it to where I want the pic to appear in the post, but that is a rather minor perturbation.

Biggest Issue

I’m not a big fan of virtual keyboards and I’ve yet to make the plunge into a bluetooth keyboard like I use on my Mac Mini. I’ve definitely got one in mind for my iPad though. A Logitech cover, case, keyboard and stand combo that runs about €80 here in Germany.


The main issues I have with my current iPad mini cover/stand are its lack of magnetic auto-power switching and the flimsy nature of trying to stand it in portrait mode on my lap, with the latter being a huge issue to me. Logitech has both those issues covered.

The cover/stand I currently use is just not stable enough to stay upright against the pressure of finger input without stabilizing it from behind with my other hand. It’s simply a function of the high center of gravity of the tablet and the narrowness of the stand.

It works fine on a flat surface, but my lap isn’t flat. The Logitech keyboard has a much larger footprint. Even allowing that the keyboard will save me a lot of “surface” input to the device, I imagine it will not totally eliminate the necessity of direct screen finger input. When mated to the iPad, the Logitech stand looks to be a lot sturdier option than what I am own now.

If this Logitech keyboard also had backlit keys (like some of the other keyboard-cases out there) I’d already be an owner. I keep hoping and waiting on that upgrade, but if it fails to materialize soon, I’m going “all-in” on this Logitech unit as it currently exists.

Software (Apps)


I use a combination of photo editing apps to tweak my photos. Camera+ makes quick work of cropping and rotating, as well as enhancement and filtering (I don’t use much), though there are at least a half dozen other apps you can use to accomplish the same thing.

For text over graphics I’m a big fan of Over. For composing collages I use Collage or one of the other free photo compositing apps. I used to use Photolettering for text overlay of graphics, but the free font list is too restrictive. If you can do multiple text layovers without saving and re-opening for each new line, I must have missed it.


For video I use iMovie. For screen capture and white boarding, I use the free watermarked version of Doceri software on both my iPad and Mac Mini.

Other Apps

I rely on the Google search app with voice recognition to do quick fact or link searches. I often run Spotify (mobile Pro) in the background for sonic accommodation.


Apple Oversight

I had an electronics experience yesterday that totally blew me away.  My wife bought herself a new Mac Mini and I was tasked with setting it up.  Be aware that you cannot set up a Mac Mini using APPLE’S BLUETOOTH KEYBOARD!!  You must do the initial setup with a wired USB keyboard, which you can then totally discard once the bluetooth keyboard has been synced.  I was BLOWN AWAY that Apple could overlook something so freakin’ obvious.  I have no problem with their changing connectors and having to buy adapters, but when I buy a brand new Apple PC and an Apple wireless bluetooth keyboard, I do not expect to have to return to the electronics store to purchase a USB keyboard to use ONE time.

I love the new mini, but FFS Apple, please don”t task all your creative juices towards ONE product (iPhone) at the expense of the rest.  FWIW, I bought (and still have) an earlier MacMini (solo processor, 1.5ghz).  Note that the new Mac Mini has shed the CD/DVD drive, but for some reason, the footprint on the new mini is larger than my old one.  It is slimmer by about a third (probably from losing the CD drive) but has been “squashed out” into a footprint at least 25% larger than the old one.  My question is WHY?  Every bit of electronics that goes inside this thing has been miniaturized much further than when I bought the original MacMini (like five years ago now!!)  Makes no sense to me at all that this Mini has a bigger footprint.