Have you heard the big news? Apple held a press conference this morning to announce several new products which included an upgraded Mac Mini, an amazing new iMac, new 13″ MacBook Pro, the 4th generation iPad, and a new iPad Mini. There’s no hiding that the iPad has radically changed the computer industry since its release just a few years ago. In fact, they have transformed the “tablet market” that was once only considered the red-headed-stepchild of the computing world and made it common to everyone from children to senior citizens. Because there is virtually no end to the potential of this device, iPads can be seen in offices, classrooms, hospitals, police departments, and even churches. What do you do when you have the best selling product in an industry? You find a way for more people to use it in more ways. When Apple announced that they were releasing the iPad Mini today, I believe they succeeded in that.
I have always been a fan of the 9.7″ screen size of my iPad, but I can definitely understand that it’s a bit too large for some people to carry with them all the time. This new, smaller size (7.9″) seems like it will really be convenient for people to stick in their purse or coat pocket. This should translate into users carrying it with them to more places. Luckily, it has the same screen shape, so that all of the iPad apps will work on it without losing any visibility. While I’m not super thrilled over the modest tech specs of the Mini (basically has the horsepower of an iPad 2), I don’t think that it’s a show stopper. Developers will surely keep those specs in mind when creating their apps.
Probably the most exciting news that came with this new product is the price. The $499 price tag that comes with the regular sized iPad is just too steep for those working on a tight budget. Now that the iPad Mini is available for only $329, a lot more people will have the opportunity to own one of these powerful devices. This is going to be great in our church in cases such as our praise and worship team. The preferred and the easiest way for them to carry their music sheets is with their OnSong app (soon to transition to Planning Center Online). There is also a lot of music/sound gear that works with iPad. For example, we use a PreSonus StudioLive mixer that allows for each of its 10 aux’s (monitor feeds) to be controlled from an iOS device. I think that this screen size and price are going to work great for our band members for this purpose. We also use iPads in my small group each week. It makes things so much easier when we can read ebooks and distribute pdf discussion guides without having to print out the materials. I’m not convinced that the Mini is going to be big enough for me to preach from like I do with my current iPad, but I’m interested in trying it!
What do you think of the new iPad Mini? Do you currently use iPads in your church?