Updated November 06, 2012
Apple is going into a sudden flurry of releasing newer iPhones and iPads. While we have seen the release of the iPhone 5, the latest buzz in the mobile market is all about the iPad 4 and the iPad Mini. The iPhone 5 challenged developers with its taller screen size; the fourth generation iPad stuns with its performance and the greatest advantages of the iPad Mini include its smaller form factor and the lower cost. So which of these is better for the iOS developer? Is it the 9.7-inch iPad 4 or the 7.9-inch iPad Mini?
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Here is an analysis of the advantages of the iPad Mini vs. the iPad 4, from the point of view of the developer.
The Apple iPad Mini: Advantages
The greatest plus of the iPad Mini is its lower cost, as compared to the rest of the iPads in the market. This little iPad is priced very reasonably, starting at $329 – the cost is also quite at par with similar other devices in the market.
The iPad Mini, it is expected, will be used more by students and for educational or research projects. App developers targeting that particular audience for their apps could well reap rich benefits from it.
The Mini being smaller, it is also more portable. It is expected that users would prefer it to the larger iPad 4, which is more of a hassle to carry around. Developing apps for this device or porting them from another mobile platform would be an easier task for the developer as well.
Though the iPad Mini does not include the powerful processor of the iPad 4, it still gives the user complete access to all the apps in the App Store and also delivers superior performance, in spite of its smaller form factor. The “Siri” feature helps both developers and users to work virtually “hands-free” on the device.
The iPad Mini does not include the Retina Display feature and hence, it may fall short of the resolution offered by the iPad 4. However, it does offer a far better screen resolution than the original and second generation iPads. This means that the app developer can work to provide a better user experience with his or her app, without having to worry too much about the resolution factor.
The Apple iPad 4: Advantages
Though much more expensive than the iPad Mini, the iPad 4 gives a great many benefits to both users and app developers alike. For a start, it includes a 9.7-inch screen and a brilliant Retina Display, with a much better resolution. Also, the fourth generation iPad presents a doubly powerful processor, plus four times the graphics capability. It gives one all these features at a mere $170 extra. This makes the iPad 4 a much more powerful device than the iPad Mini.
While the iPad Mini is small and portable, the iPad 4 is better for the longer haul, as it is far more efficient than the former. The larger screen helps app developers include more UI elements in their app, while also taking advantage of the far better screen resolution, to deliver a far better user experience with their app.
Game app developers, especially action, racing and RPG game developers, can take full advantage of the advanced graphic capabilities, coupled with the tremendously powerful processor power offered by the iPad 4.
The iPad 4 also offers better photo and video capabilities, thereby enabling developers to work with these built-in features to enhance their app’s all-round experience for the user.
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iPad Mini vs. iPad 4: Which is Better for iOS Developers?
Both the iPad Mini and the iPad 4 offer their own unique advantages to both app developers and users alike. Hence, there is no clear point of comparison between the two devices. While the former costs much less and is more portable, the latter scores by way of sheer power and performance. All-in-all, it really depends on the type of the app being developed, the target audience, and ultimately, how the developer would like to present his or her app to the end-user.