What was your reaction to the Apple iPad Mini? Did you immediately think you needed one or that the current size of the iPad was just right? The reaction from custom A/V retailers was swift and before the iPad Mini even hit the shelves, they knew Apple had struck the perfect balance between functionality and portability, predicting the iPad Mini would be the ultimate remote control device.
Soon after the introduction of the original iPad, systems integrators saw its tremendous potential as a controller for automated systems. Some manufacturers actually started bundling an iPad rather than a custom branded touch screen controller with their home automation systems. Others just provided an app so their systems could be controlled with an iPad.
Not to take anything away from the larger iPad, and for some tasks it may still be preferable, but the smaller size of the new iPad Mini makes it the perfect choice as a home automation controller. While many automation systems do, in fact, work on an iPhone as well, which certainly has portability as a key advantage over the iPad, it’s the iPad Mini that hits the sweet spot. With considerably more screen real estate (7.9-inches vs. 4-inches for iPhone 5; 3.5-inches for iPhone 4), the iPad Mini is easier to navigate than the pocket-sized iPhone and the more manageable hand-held size (5.3-inches wide) makes it even more portable than the iPad (7.31-inches wide).
Most manufacturers still offer a branded touch screen controller that may still offer you some advantages. Even with a branded touch screen controller from the manufacturer of your particular automated system, an iPad Mini or two may serve as handheld remotes you carry around the house or service a specific room. We can help you determine what types of controllers will work best for your particular setup.
Additionally, since many systems allow you to control them remotely while you are not at home, with the iPad Mini it not only controls all your home electronics, lighting, security, HVAC and more but it serves all your other computing needs such as web browsing, checking your email and Facebook status, online shopping, reading books and magazines, playing games, placing FaceTime phone calls, organizing photos, making HD videos and so much more with the 275,000 iPad apps in the Apple App Store. It even incorporates Siri, Apple’s proprietary virtual assistant. Moreover, due to the tight Apple eco-system and the proprietary AirPlay technology, if you also own an Apple TV, you can stream content directly from your iPad Mini to your TV such as photos, videos, and movies or TV shows from the many Apps that support AirPlay.
What Apple did with the iPad Mini surprised most people including industry insiders. Instead of just making a smaller tablet and eliminating certain functionality along the way, either due to the size or to hit a specific price point, they instead kept all the same functionality of the larger iPad and made it possible for iPad apps to automatically downsize perfectly to the smaller dimensions. Moreover, they were able to do so at a considerably lower cost plus any app you’ve already downloaded (paid or free) on an existing iPad is available for the iPad Mini.
Contact us about setup or a demonstration of how you can benefit from integrating an iPad Mini into your whole-home system.