After seeing Dave Caolo's post about his first impressions of iOS 7 on an iPad 2, it occurred to me that I ought to write up my feelings about the OS on an iPad mini. The device isn't equipped with a Retina display, but it is one of the devices that can take full advantage of the features of iOS 7. So how does iOS 7 stack up to its predecessor on the iPad mini? The quick answer: very well.
Why? Well, for some reason iOS 7 seems to scale to the smaller size of the iPad mini screen better than it does on a full-sized iPad. While the thin Helvetica Neue text almost seems to get lost on a Retina display iPad, it's right at home on the smaller iPad mini display. As my middle-aged bifocal-equipped eyes are not as great as they used to be, I still used this video tip to set the system text on the iPad mini to bold.
Perhaps it's the fact that the iPad mini's processor doesn't have as many pixels to push around, but it definitely seems snappier to me on the iPad mini than on a Retina display iPad (third generation). As for battery life, that also seems to have improved. Your mileage may vary on both of these counts, but I was able to pump music from iTunes Radio to a Bluetooth speaker for three hours yesterday and only saw a 7 percent drop in battery level. That's much better than I had experienced in the past.
I was happy to see that my browser of choice on my iDevices -- Chrome -- today provided me with the option to get data compression on the fly. This capability, although it isn't part of iOS 7, is also making the iPad mini seem brand-new.
As with Dave's post, I'll follow up with any quirks or items that seem to merit attention, but for the most part, I'd recommend the iOS 7 update to anyone with an iPad mini. Just remember to back up first, OK?