342 'iPad mini' stories
December 2011 - February 2022
The iPad mini is the tablet you’re looking for if you want a portable screen but bigger than your iPhone and as powerful as it. When compared to all other iPads, it looks closer to the iPad Pro, as it features a powerful chip, USB-C, 5G, Center Stage, and second-generation Apple Pencil support.
Table of contents
The iPad mini was first introduced in October of 2012. Back in the keynote, this iPad contrasted with the standard model: 9.7 inches for the base model, 7.9 inches for the mini one. “Easy to remember,” Apple said at the time.
One year later, in 2013, the company gave this iPad a minor upgrade with the A7 processor and a Retina display. Only in 2014, with the iPad mini 3, Apple introduced the Touch ID on this tablet while adding support for Apple Pay.
Alongside the first iPad Pro, the iPad mini 4 was announced in September of 2015, but with the iPhone 6s and a new Apple TV also presented at this keynote, the iPad mini 4 was overshadowed. It received an A8 processor and its first redesign with a slightly taller and wider body than the previous models.
When everyone thought Apple wouldn’t launch another iPad mini, the company released the fifth-generation in March of 2019. This was the most significant update for the mini line at the time, with a major processor upgrade and the first-generation Apple Pencil support.
Two years later, Apple unveiled the sixth-generation iPad mini. It changed everything about its most portable tablet. Now with Touch ID on the upper button, a larger display with thinner bezels, A15 Bionic, better cameras, and new colors
iPad mini Specs
The sixth-generation iPad mini has an 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display with thinner bezels. With the powerful A15 Bionic processor, Apple claims it’s 80% faster than the previous model, making it the most capable iPad mini ever.
Users also get 64GB and 256GB storage options and a new USB-C port, allowing faster connectivity and cellular models with 5G bringing more flexible mobile workflows.
With a new 12MP Ultra Wide front camera and Neural Engine, users can enjoy even more engaging video calls. As users move around, Center Stage automatically pans the camera to keep them in view. When others join in, the camera detects them too, and smoothly zooms out to include them in the conversation. Center Stage makes video calls more natural in FaceTime as well as third-party video-calling apps.
It also has a 12MP main camera that can record in 4K for the first time. This iPad also brings for the first time support for the second-generation Apple Pencil, also attaching to this tablet’s side.
Apple offers third-part wireless keyboard options for customers who want to type with a proper keyboard.
It’s available in five new colors: black, white, dark cherry, English lavender, and electric orange. You can choose between the Wi-Fi and Wi-Fi + Cellular (5G) models. This iPad offers an “all-day battery life” with 10-hour support and has a Lightning port for charging.
iPad mini 6 ‘jelly scrolling’ display refresh bug and other screen problems
Although many people praised the new iPad mini, some customers started noticing a “jelly scrolling” bug.
When looking at the iPad mini in portrait with the camera at the top, the right side of the display updates faster than the left side. Upside down, the left side will now update quicker than the right side. Curiously, the lag is much harder to discern when using the iPad mini in landscape mode.
Some people are also complaining about LCD discoloration and distortion issues
iPadOS 15 features
The new iPad mini comes with iPadOS 15. This operating system brings a redesigned Home Screen with widgets and App Library support.
On iPadOS 15, FaceTime group calls can finally appear in a grid, so it’s easier to see everyone. It’s also possible to share your screen, listen to Apple Music songs together, or watch Apple TV+, HBO Max, Disney+, and others while in a call.
In the productivity section, Apple, unfortunately, didn’t bring all the features pro users wanted to take full advantage of their new M1 iPad Pro, even though Apple made it easier to rely on multitasking features.
With the Quick Note feature, users can use the Apple Pencil to add a quick note. They just need to slide the pencil through the bottom right corner to the center of the screen and start writing.
iPadOS 15 launched for all iPads on September 20. Learn more about it here.
iPadOS 15.1 features
One month after releasing iPadOS 15, Apple released iPadOS 15.1 More notable, the company finally brought SharePlay support for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV. Unfortunately, Universal Control wasn’t one of the features added with this new version. Here’s what else is new:
- Mandarin Chinese (Taiwan) support in the Translate app and for system-wide translation
- New automation triggers based on the current reading of a HomeKit-enabled humidity, air quality, or light level sensor
- New pre-built actions let you overlay text on images or gifs, plus a new collection of games lets you pass the time with Siri.
iPadOS 15.2 features
Five weeks after releasing iPadOS 15.1, Apple is releasing iPadOS 15.2. It brings more features that were expected to launch alongside iPadOS 15 but, unfortunately, Universal Control is still nowhere to be seen. Here are the top features of this version:
- Apple Music Voice Plan is a new subscription tier that gives you access to all songs, playlists, and stations in Apple Music using Siri
- App Privacy Report in Settings lets you see how often apps have accessed your location, photos, camera, microphone, contacts and more during the last seven days, as well as their network activity
- Communication safety setting gives parents the ability to enable warnings for children when they receive or send photos that contain nudity
- Digital Legacy allows you to designate people as Legacy Contacts so they can access your iCloud account and personal information in the event of your death
- Apple TV app: Store tab lets you browse, buy, and rent movies and TV Shows all in one place
iPadOS 15.3 features
Six weeks after releasing iPadOS 15.2, Apple is releasing iPadOS 15.3. This update foregoes new features in favor of under-the-hood bug fixes and improvements. One of the most notable changes here is a fix for a Safari vulnerability that may have been leaking your browsing history and Google ID data to the websites you visited.
iPadOS 15.4 features
iPadOS 15.4 finally brings one of the most important features expected from iPadOS 15 and that got delayed: Universal Control. Here’s everything new with iPadOS 15.4:
- Universal Control: This feature allows you to control your Mac and iPad using the same keyboard and mouse/trackpad. Universal Control needs iPadOS 15.4 and macOS Monterey 12.3;
- New Siri voice: Siri has a fifth American voice. Apple says a member of the LGBTQ+ community recorded the voice and it’s non-binary;
- More emoji: iPadOS 15.4 also brings new emoji. You can discover all of the new characters here;
- Shortcuts automations: Adds support for running Personal Automations in the background without requiring a pesky banner notification.
You can learn everything new with this update here.
The sixth-generation iPad mini pricing starts at $499 for the 64GB storage option with Wi-Fi only. The prices can go up to $799 with the 256GB storage option and Wi-Fi + 5G. Here are the full prices of the sixth-generation mini Apple sells:
- 64GB with Wi-Fi: $499
- 64GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $649
- 256GB with Wi-Fi: $649
- 256GB with Wi-Fi + Cellular: $799
Lower prices may be available from Apple’s official Amazon store.
iPad mini Review
In our sixth-generation iPad mini review, we praise its versatility to be used as a powerful device while still compact enough to read a book, use social media, and keep it anywhere near you.
The iPad mini 6 is hands-down the best portable tablet on the market today. It’s a portable device that can pretty much do everything well, but it isn’t necessarily amazing in any one area. For example, it’s a wonderful reading device because of its large screen and lightweight, balanced design, but it suffers due to the lack of ProMotion. And the screen is larger than the iPad mini 5, but there’s no jump in screen fidelity, color, or brightness.Although the design of this iPad looks a bit outdated in 2019, it’s still by far the best small-form-factor tablet on the market. And now with the added performance of the A12 Bionic chip, it’s not just portable — it’s a portable powerhouse.
You can read the full review here.
Over at 9to5Toys, you can find the best deals on the iPad mini and other Apple products. Download the 9to5Toys iPhone app to receive push notifications for new deals as well.