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ipad mini

When Apple introduced the first-generation iPad in 2010, Android manufacturers were fairly slow to respond. Android 3.0 Honeycomb was Google’s first official tablet-oriented variant of their operating system, releasing a year later as a rushed product to power the Motorola Xoom. It wasn’t until mid-2012 that Google took Apple head on with their own first-party tablet, the Nexus 7, shortly followed up by the 10-inch Nexus 10.

Now, almost four years after Apple’s initial announcement, the Cupertino company has revealed their lineup for the 2013 holiday season: the 7.9-inch iPad mini with Retina Display and 9.7-inch iPad Air. In this article, we’re going to take a look at what the tablets are about and just how it stacks up against the Android competition. (more…)

Google’s Nexus program has been going full speed ahead as of late. The company has been able to continue the high level of excellence that we have come to expect from it while making necessary adjustments to offer reasonably-priced hardware. Thanks to the implementation of their latest Nexus line, we finally have a concrete idea of Google’s overall goal with their own device line-up.

However, with the most recent releases, the role of the “Nexus” in the Android ecosystem has shifted slightly. Android is currently standing on its own two feet without the need for Google to rescue it with a new device every year. Thus, instead of aiming to alter the current market by steering other manufacturers in the right direction, the Nexus line is finally at a point where it is tailored to supplement an already healthy industry.

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Last Friday, Apple began shipping the 7.9″ iPad mini, a new addition to the iOS family and a device set to rival with Google’s Nexus 7. An interesting product, the iPad mini will compete with seven-inch Android tablets but has attracted a lot of discussion regarding its entry price set at a higher $130 premium.

I stood outside an Apple Store and queued for the launch with a Nexus 7 in tow. Now, in this article, we’re going to take a look at the iPad mini, comparing it to Google’s device and seeing what it means for the market landscape of smaller tablets.

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Last week, we asked you whether you would go for Microsoft’s Surface or an Android tablet. This week, the debate seems to have also been steered towards tablets, by Apple’s own Phil Schiller. During his announcement of the iPad Mini, Phil decided to tackle the Nexus 7 heads-on by looking at both devices’ processors, screens, build and app catalogues.

Leaving aside the direct comparison for a second, the iPad Mini is definitely an interesting piece of technology. It carries almost the same specifications as the 2nd-generation iPad in a smaller and thinner body adapted to fit a 7.9″ screen. However, the main advantage is that it offers access to Apple’s growing ecosystem, which includes 250000 apps tailored for the iPad, and a huge number of accessory makers ready to build cases, keyboards, docks, and a myriad of other gadgets just for it. That argument alone can be enough to win over a lot of enthusiasts.

But on the other side, the smaller resolution screen, the higher entry-point price, the older-generation processor, and the lack of “openness” in Apple’s ecosystem might tip the balance towards the Nexus 7. That’s also helped by the recent surge of applications dedicated for Android tablets, which might level the ecosystem-argument a bit. For instance, we’ve already covered 50 must-have apps, 10 social apps, 40 news apps, all tailored for Android tablets and we even looked at 10 specific apps that you wouldn’t find on the iPad.

Personally, I’ve long been convinced that 7″ tablets cater to a different market than the regular 9.7″ iPad. These smaller tablets are more portable, more practical, and all-around more useful than ~10″ devices. A year ago, when I bought my Iconia A100, there wasn’t much competition in this space, and the decision was relatively easy to make. However, if I was to choose right now, it would be a lot more complicated. Both the Nexus 7 and the iPad Mini offer their own advantages so it’ll be interesting to watch how the market will react when given the option to go for Android or iOS.

Apple took to the stage yesterday to make a variety of announcements prior to the holiday-buying season, including the anticipated launch of their Nexus 7/Kindle Fire rival, the iPad Mini. Ever since 2010, Apple has led the tablet movement with iOS strongly posed as the dominant tablet platform. It seems that the Cupertino company is set on keeping their position by crushing any competition and covering all the markets.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at some of the announcements Apple made at it’s special event and discuss whether they might have an impact on Android and its third-party offerings.

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