More than a month after the launch of the iPad mini, it’s making headlines. Now it’s come to light that the smallest of all iPads doesn’t offer optimization for web pages, having the same features as the iPad 2. This is pretty bad news for developers, since Apple has not decided to offer the necessary tools to optimize pages for the iPad mini. Below we analyze the pros and cons of this decision.
It is quite normal for websites to have multiple style sheets and different layouts for certain devices to maximize screen space and optimize the user experience. For example, we have for the iPad the desktop version and for the iPhone the sites are usually optimized. In most cases, a developer can target each user by optimizing their website for the user’s device, providing a unique user experience. Well, in most cases, except for the iPad mini. According to a developer at StackOverflow, Apple has made it impossible to optimize pages for the iPad mini, instead offering the same information as for the iPad 2.
This news has its upside and downside. Starting with the positive side, perhaps what Apple is looking for is to avoid the defragmentation that is so critical of Android. Thus creating the minimum number of possible versions, so that developers have it easier when developing applications and websites. Taking into account that the resolution of the iPad 2 is 9.7 inches and the iPad mini is 7.9 inches, they have only had to “compress” the content, since the proportions are the same. The negative part is that all the content will be seen on a smaller screen, which means that it is more difficult to interact with the content. The normal iPad is normally held with two hands, while the iPad mini is made with one hand, this directly implies different ways of interacting, whether they want it or not in Apple.
While writing this entry I remembered the keynote of the iPad mini, where reference was made to Android tablets and how badly they are optimized for websites due to their different proportions, while those of the iPad are the same. Well, it seems that Cupertino has overlooked a detail, the proportion may be the same, but the size changes, and -without double meaning, please- the size does matter. Let’s hope they solve this somehow from Cupertino, since for now web developers have a hard time optimizing their web pages for the iPad mini.
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