Week in Review April 2 – 6

iPad Mini

John Gruber mentioned that Apple has a “7.85 inch iPad that runs at 1024×768” in its testing labs, and Apple sites went nuts. My first response echos what Jim Dalrymple said on Amplified on Friday: of course Apple is testing a smaller iPad. It’s safe to assume that Apple didn’t ship a 10″ iPad without first testing a slew of other sizes. Further, I don’t doubt that Apple is fiddling with larger and smaller models to this day.

This is how big companies work. Do you think something as beautiful as the Pontiac Aztec just happens?

The question is about Apple’s intention. Will it see a need, a reason, to produce and ship a smaller model? I don’t know the answer, but I do know that Apple won’t ship one without a compelling reason, and “to compete with the Fire” is not a compelling reason.

A.T. Faust III wrote a nice piece in favor of the 7.85-inch screen. Meanwhile, Federico Viticci at MacStories describes the “technological issues, software questions, and market debates” that leave him skeptical.

I’m with Federico. I don’t see why Apple would ship a smaller, less expensive iPad when the current model is selling so well. But Apple has a habit of seeing things I miss.

Instagram’s Big Week

Instagram, the popular photo-sharing service, finally released an Android version, breaking 18 months of iPhone exclusivity. More than 1 million Android users downloaded the app in the first 24 hours, which contributed to its pool of 30 million total users. That’s a lot of blurry photos of food.

Some iPhone users were a bit snarky as Android devices sullied their photographic playground, as CNN pointed out:

“Conflict-minded Apple fans argue that Android phones are less slick and uglier, and that they junk up the system with low-quality apps generated in its open developer community. Android diehards counter that many Apple fans will blindly buy up anything the company produces and that the closed iOS system stifles creativity.”

It’s a good thing there are no real problems we should be worried about.

iTextEditors

My friend and colleague Brett Terpstra went nuts while comparing iOS text editors, and the result is iTextEditors. It’s the most detailed comparison of writing apps for Apple’s mobile devices as you’ll ever find. In fact, anyone considering writing a side-by-side comparison of, say, ByWord and iA Writer should abandon that idea. The definitive comparison has been written.

AT&T To Unlock Qualifying iPhones

Well, look at that. AT&T has decided to unlock out-of-contract iPhones for customers in good standing. AT&T:

“Beginning Sunday, April 8, we will offer qualifying customers the ability to unlock their AT&T iPhones. The only requirements are that a customer’s account must be in good standing, their device cannot be associated with a current and active term commitment on an AT&T customer account, and they need to have fulfilled their contract term, upgraded under one of our upgrade policies or paid an early termination fee.”

Hot Apps

  • Facebook for iOS received a Retina-compatible update. Now those Cityville requests will be gorgeous.
  • Tweetbot 2.2 offers iCloud Sync for timelines, DMs, and mute filters.
  • Sparrow 1.1 comes with new archive and delete options plus a built-in browser.

Apps I Used All Week

  •  Fish – A Tap Essay appeals to the meditative person that I am behind closed doors. I like this thing a lot (via Minimal Mac).
  • Zombies, Run! is a super fun running app. It’s also an immersive game that puts you in a story involving zombies, rescue and so on. Really, really fun.
  • One more I can’t tell you about until Tuesday. But it’s my new hands-down favorite.