I was looking to replace my iPod touch 4G for the longest time and initially considered the iPod touch 5G but it’s the wimpiest out of the entire generation of new iDevices. Consequently, some apps and games won’t even run on it. I also thought about getting a used, unlocked iPhone 5 but those seem to cost an arm and a leg regardless of the sources I looked at. Finally, after seeing Future Shop put a bunch of 4th gen iPads w/ Retina on sale, I considered getting one. In the end, however, I settled for a 32 GB iPad mini w/ Retina. I have owned it for about a week now and I LOVE IT.
Its size is so perfect to me~! And it’s so fast and light (compared to my other mobile devices)~!! The only things that are slightly annoying are 1) it won’t automatically replace deleted icons in a folder with an icon from a following page. This means that you have to manually move an icon to fill the gap, and 2) you can’t just tap on an image in the photo gallery to get a context menu that’ll bring you to the wallpaper editing screen. (Yes, I know these are problems related to the operating system and not the device itself. :B)
Speaking about wallpapers, every website I looked at will tell you that the wallpaper size for the mini is 1024 x 1024 or 2048 x 2048*. They’re ALL wrong*. The graphic needs to be 2524 x 2524. This is for the Retina/iOS 7 version though so I don’t know if lower OS versions and the older iteration of the mini is different. (This site seems to suggest so.)
Anyway, the reason for the larger size is the accommodate the annoying Parallax feature where the background will seemingly move under the icons on the home screen based on your viewing angle. It’s sort of neat, I suppose, but entirely unnecessary.
Getting iPad mini with Retina Wallpapers to Fit
Now if you use the usual 2048 x 2048, you will notice that images will be “zoomed in” which leads to parts of them being cropped out of the viewing area. If you wish to continue using such graphics, you will need to increase the border size around it to make it 2524 x 2524.
I’m sure there’s some easy way to figure out the optimal size for an image to fit properly on the mini’s screen but I had to do it through trial and error. ^^; For example, the adorable little bunny wallpaper on my lockscreen came from the 1680 x 1050 file found here. Knowing that the mini would end up cutting off the bunny and winter cap, I shrunk the image a bit. Afterwards, I opened the file in Photoshop and edited the canvas size to 2524 x 2524. Strangely, when I threw the picture onto the iPad mini, it fit snugly in landscape mode but when I rotated to portrait, part of the poor bunny’s face was chopped off. 😦
Here are 2 screenshots that show what happened. Landscape is on top and the portrait is on the bottom.
I went back onto the Web to search for a remedy and found this article. Along with some useful explanations on iOS 7’s behaviour, it contained information about apps that could more or less properly “resize” a graphic so it’ll sit properly in vertical and horizontal positions. I put resize in quotation marks because all these apps do is add that border I mentioned earlier. While you can certainly modify the wallpaper through photo editing programs yourself, the advantage of using apps devoted to fixing wallpapers is that they’ll take all the guesswork out of figuring out how large or small a drawing or photo has to be before framing it with a border.
Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, NONE of the apps I’ve come across are free. In the end, I opted for Wallpaper Fix. With this particular program, I can adjust and preview the image in both landscape and portrait modes before I commit to saving it. I recommend editing the wallpaper in landscape mode. Otherwise, you may end up with annoying black borders on the top and bottom (like a letterbox effect) of the wallpaper when the device is rotated to its vertical position.
* The 2048 x 2048 image might still work depending on the size of the drawing, photo, etc. on and/or whether or not you want to wallpaper to ONLY work in a certain orientation. For example, the background for a DecalGirl skin as seen here fits well because the pattern fills the entire screen and it has black bars on the left and right to prevent iOS from stretching it to fill the display area. Once it’s rotated into landscape, the bars become visible. In the case of the bunny above, it only worked in the large resolution for me because it’s meant to be in the center of the screen.
A Brief Look at the Belkin Quilted Cover with Stand
When I purchased my mini, I bought a case along with it. (I actually ordered a skin from DecalGirl as well since it’s my intention that I’ll only have the mini inside the case when I’m on the road. I’m only using the case right now so the back of the mini won’t get all scratched up and such. But I digress.)
Overall, this is a fairly lovely case and it definitely gives protection to the mini quite well with the exception of the sides. But I believe that unless you get a sleeve of sorts, this may be a common design.
The iPad mini is held firmly in place by four plastic corners that provide full coverage of the edges they are meant to hold. There’s also a small hole in the back for the camera so you won’t have to remove the device from the case should you want to take some photos. Finally, the magnetic flap certainly keeps the cover shut but I do wonder how long it’ll last since the magnet itself seems sort of weak.
Another con is the interior material which seems to be suede-like. It attracts dust like crazy. There’s always the option to go for the cream coloured version of the case to pretend that nothing’s settling onto it though. 😛 Anyway, some regular adhesive tape or even those blocks or brushes used to clean suede shoes should remove some of the white specks. Any sort of residue or marks are another story though.
I’m also not entirely crazy about the 3 viewing angles in that they’re all too “high” for me. (They’re determined by the 3 lines you see on the left in the photo above.) I’m actually placing my mini beyond the outer-most marker all the time and even then, I think it could be flatter/lower. I believe I only feel this way since I have the device close to my body most of the time. If I placed it further away, then typing on it and such wouldn’t feel as uncomfortable. ^^
Oh, I should note that the Belkin logo is adorned on the bottom right of the cover in shiny silvery plastic dots. This will probably be a turn-off for some that don’t like shiny silvery dots on their accessories.
At any rate, here’s the Amazon US link to it: http://www.amazon.com/Belkin-Quilted-Cover-Stand-Black/dp/B009T0NIXS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1389985951&sr=8-2&keywords=belkin+quilted+stand+with+cover but I got mine from Staples Canada.