How long will iPad Mini 4 be supported?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by SB-MBP, Mar 11, 2017.

  1. SB-MBP Suspended

    SB-MBP

    Joined:
    May 11, 2013
    Location:
    N. Ireland
    #1
    I'm selling my 13" MacBook Pro because the battery is done, and the keyboard is failing and the eBay options to fix it keep failing to the point I always fit the original battery and keyboards.. I can't afford a new Mac without debt and all of the Windows PCs that come close to having a nice screen, usable trackpad etc are way more expensive than even Macs!!! My options have screens that bleed light, plastic bodies, crappy batteries etc. So in short, I'm considering an iPad to get me through university.

    The iPad mini 4 is the perfect option by cost. 128GB for my photos, apps etc and the rest on my 200GB iCloud Drive plan. The only thing I do on my Mac that I can't do on the iPad is Minecraft PC Edition.. but Pocket Edition has come a long way. Not sure how well the Mini 4 can perform it.

    I depend on Word, Excel and PowerPoint. I study accountancy, so I was concerned about not being able to run things like Sage but people have told me that I'll always have university PCs to use if I need this and in the future at work they'd give me a work station laptop due to confidentiality so I am thinking an iPad has no problems.

    There's no filesystem, other than iCloud which should work.

    Am I crazy or does this make sense? Apple and the industry seem to be making tablets the future. I now we're not there yet, but with updates I feel the iPad is going in the right direction. Especially with the attention the iPad Pro has gotten.. That's brings me to my main concern how long until the iPad mini 4 stop getting iOS updates or begins to perform like dirt? By dirt, I mean, iPhone 3G on iOS 4 level of lag and intolerableness for all of you who ever endured that?!

    Thanks
    --- Post Merged, Mar 11, 2017 ---
    Forgot to mention, I'd be buying this
    http://www.apple.com/uk/shop/produc...aos-uk-kwgo-pla-btb-slid--product-HHXE2B/A-UK

    So that I'd have a familiar way to type long letters / coursework.
     
  2. snow755 macrumors 6502a

    snow755

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2012
    #2
    I would get your self a iPad Air 2 or iPad Pro. Or if you can I would wait this a little bit more for the new iPad line up
     
  3. gobikerider macrumors 68000

    gobikerider

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    #3
    Yes definetly look at least a Air 2 but ideally wait like a month and get one of the new iPads really. As for Mincecraft yes it has come along ways on mobile it's essentially the pc version and it will run fine on any A7 or newer iPad so your fine there. iPad Mini 4 longevity honestly I'd say 2020 would be around last update I think the 2gb of ram and A8 can carry it 6 years basically considering a iPad 2 got 5 years of support and as far as future slow down is concerned I'm not sure how big of a issue that will even be as these newer 64bit chips just have a lot of overhead in terms of just navigating ui, opening apps, and doing the usual stuff and 2gb ram has yet to become a limit on os performance so really I'd say these devices are really just hitting there prime in iOS 10. The big telling factor will be iOS 11 and wether we see a major change in performance and how going 64bit exclusive for iOS affects things.
     
  4. bensisko macrumors 65816

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    #4
    You know exactly as much as we do. Anything we tell you is only a guess. At BEST we can look at the past and attempt to extrapolate, but even that's flawed.

    In the end, The mini 4 will continue and run for as long as it can. It really depends on what Apple does with future versions of iOS and what features they will have. A lot of people assumed iOS 10 would spell doom for the Mini 2, but it actually made my mini 2 run better than it had on iOS 9.

    Apple may decide to concentrate on performance updates instead of feature updates which would mean the Mini 4 will have a long prosperous life. Or they may decide to focus HEAVY on new features, which may shorten the Mini 4's life.

    In the end, if it meets your needs now, buy it. If not, hold off.
     
  5. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Land of Bongos and Beatniks
    #5
    I'm going to buck the trend here and recommend that you find the latest model used Macbook Air that you can afford. For university work (for non-CompSci majors) you'll easily get by with 4GB/128GB base models of 3-4 years ago, and 8GB/128GB of newer.

    You say that you rely on Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. The iOS versions are NOT fully functional equivalents of their desktop counterparts. There are functions that are missing in the iOS versions. In your accountancy studies you'll probably use some pretty advanced spreadsheets. You might be able to LOAD such a spreadsheet in iOS Excel, but you'll most likely not be able to modify some of those advanced functions.

    When you write papers, your professors may have specific formatting requirements, footnotes, endnotes, citations, etc. While some of that is possible in iOS Word, you don't have the finer control as you would on the desktop version.

    Some universities use custom web browser plug-ins to access to some of their online instructional material. Those plug-ins won't exist for iOS. Something to research before making the decision.

    My daughter is wrapping up her 4 year Ed degree in a few months and she said that it would be near impossible to do what she did with only an iPad Pro. Her 4GB/128GB 13" Macbook Air was indispensable.

    Here's an off-the-wall option: I don't know what the used computer market is like over there, but here, one can find high quality ThinkPads (running Windows 7 or 10) for about $200. Why ThinkPads? Because they are built to industrial standards. Even though Lenovo ThinkPads aren't to the same level of build as IBM-made ThinkPads, they are still head-n-shoulders above the competition. I can't think of any other notebook line that has so many units still in service 10, 20, or more years later.

    For example: T420. That's a 14" Core i-5 8GB RAM/128GB SSD. The T420 was released in 2011 but it is still dependable, and parts are still readily available at decent prices. If your budget is higher then you can find a newer one.

    At the very least I hope that I've given you some additional points to ponder.
     
  6. bensisko macrumors 65816

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    #6
    I hate to say it, but @sracer is right - at least when it comes to Excel and accounting.

    I use the iOS versions of Word and PowerPoint every day and they're fantastic! Rarely do I miss any features from the desktop version. I've written huge guidance documents and created training presentations in the iOS versions of Word and PowerPoint!

    ... then there's Excel. Excel, to me, feels much more like the old Windows CE version. Mobile Excel is pretty terrible. Given your degree, the full version of Excel is probably desirable.

    If you still want a tablet, you can find the Surface Pro 3 at VERY reasonable prices and it's a great laptop that also has a stylus!
     
  7. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #7
    The issue with features and functions has more to do with the content of the document rather than the length. In some respects iOS Word is even more primitive than iOS Excel (when compared to their desktop counterparts)

    But interesting that you should mention huge documents. There is no easy way to jump directly to a page. If you have a 50 page document, you have to swipe through the document to get to page 50. How do you create a new paragraph style in iOS Word? Or redefine one? These are not "advanced" tasks. Cutting and pasting paragraphs of text within different parts of a document is not straightforward. There are more basic functions that are missing... important ones for someone in university.


    Comparing to the CE version? Ouch, that's harsh. :) I'd rate it somewhere between MS Works Spreadsheet and Desktop Excel.

    My comments regarding the iOS version of Office is not about how *I* use Office but how a university student does.
     
  8. SB-MBP thread starter Suspended

    SB-MBP

    Joined:
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    Location:
    N. Ireland
    #8
    Thanks for your replies.

    @sracer I went to a local PC store today to try iOS Office and I naturally realised that it's FAR from the desktop version. I assumed because the OSX version is currently excellent it would be the same. Nope. Point accepted.

    I also looked at everything in terms of PC laptops. Funnily enough, you mention Lenovo. Lenovo were the ONLY products there that weren't built like sh*t. One laptop moving the screen flexed the entire lid...

    I was looking at the ThinkPad E470 as it's 14", full 1080p screen is a £20 option, apparently it has extremely good keyboard ergonomics and can take a beating, a Core i3 latest gen is a step down from my Mac's i5 but should do fine. With educational discount I can get it for £470. The only thing then, is Windows, but last time I properly used it was Windows Vista so I'm sure it's come a long way!

    This is it:

    http://www3.lenovo.com/gb/en/laptops/thinkpad/edge-series/E470/p/22TP2TEE470
     
  9. MBP_187 macrumors member

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    May 10, 2016
    Location:
    Dhaka, Bangladesh
    #9
    Thank you for starting this thread.

    Following it with much interests, since my father was gifted a iPad mini 4, and I am responsible for its updates etc.

    Relatively new to Apple products myself, so hope to learn more.
     
  10. Jeremy A-H macrumors newbie

    Jeremy A-H

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2015
    #10
    I have to agree with many of the posts above, the iPad is great for reading content, but much as I love mine, it is not a pc/mac replacement unless all you are likely to do is web browsing, light email and light Word/Excel work.
     
  11. gobikerider macrumors 68000

    gobikerider

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    #11
    Keep a close eye on iOS 11 this summer it could be the last smooth good performing upd
     
  12. MBP_187 macrumors member

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    #12
    Thank you for this input.

    Do you suggest I should not upgrade to iOS 11 then?
     
  13. gobikerider macrumors 68000

    gobikerider

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    #13
    No I suggest to just wait and see first, even on my Air 2 I'll be waiting to see what actual performance will be after a few updates. iOS 10 definetly though.
     
  14. MBP_187 macrumors member

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    #14
    Thank you for the reply.

    I just updated to 10.2.1 yesterday.
     
  15. Mad Mac Maniac macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

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    #15
    I expect iPad Mini 4 to be getting updates for many years. It will almost certainly be getting both iOS 11 (fall 2017) and iOS 12 (fall 2018). And I think there is a good chance it will also get iOS 13 (fall 2019).

    Recent history tends to show that iOS devices get updates for 5 years (there are certainly some anomalies) and iPad mini 4 was released in 2015.
     
  16. MBP_187 macrumors member

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    May 10, 2016
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    Dhaka, Bangladesh
    #16
    Its comforting to know the iPad Mini 4 will be getting updates for good while :)

    I just updated to 10.2.1 yesterday, and my father is complaining it has gotten 'slower'. I asked him to elaborate and he stated slower 'start up time' [ "..before...after Apple logo it was just there!..now takes a while"]

    I explained/used an excuse, that sometimes, after an OS update, the device needs some time to 'settle in' (happens with BlackBerry OS 10 devices sometimes).

    Meanwhile, I turned off all the Background refresh options.

    He mostly uses the iPad for web browsing, email, light Word/Excel work, reading PDF files, and the occasional photograph. No 'heavy' use.

    Any suggestions for simple 'tweaking' for performance? maybe Settings I should turn off/on for smoother performance?

    I have tried to add his hotmail email account to the iPad, but it was taking long time, and I had to cancel. will try to add it again tonight and then try to synch his email contacts.

    Already started an thread on how to import his phone contacts from an Excel sheet.

    Thanks in advance for the replies.
     
  17. gobikerider macrumors 68000

    gobikerider

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    #17
    Spotlight Search indexing and background app refreshing are my go too for performance saving also turn off Siri if he doesn't use it.
     
  18. MBP_187 macrumors member

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    #18
    Thanks gobikerider. How do I turn off Spotlight Search indexing? and Siri?
     
  19. gobikerider macrumors 68000

    gobikerider

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    #19
    Settings > General>Spotlight Search > toggle all apps off

    Settings >Siri> Toggle Off

    Settings >General > Background App refresh > Toggle off all apps but leave app refresh to prevent the system from trying to override your settings later. Also keep in mind any new app you install you'll need to go in settings and turn off these settings for it each time.
     
  20. MBP_187 macrumors member

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    #20
    Thank you for the instructions gobikerider. I have turned off the suggested settings.
     
  21. Mad Mac Maniac macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

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    #21
    I'm confused by the Apple Logo comment... did you set the background the the Apple Logo? He doesn't turn the iPad on/off whenever he uses it does he? Because that would definitely take a while.
     
  22. gobikerider macrumors 68000

    gobikerider

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    #22
    Oh yah I just noticed that comment dang I bet the old guys turning it off accidentally as that's all that would explain seeing the Apple logo.
     
  23. MBP_187 macrumors member

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    #23
    No, background is not the Apple logo. He is referring to the Start up logo. Yes, he turns it on/off only when he uses it ( which is only a few hours a day) and does not want to keep it powered on when not using.
     
  24. Mad Mac Maniac macrumors 601

    Mad Mac Maniac

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    #24
    I would highly recommend that he NOT turn the device off. But only to turn off the display by pushing the sleep/wake button on the top of the iPad. iPad's have a TREMENDOUS inactive battery life. It only will use like 2-3% of battery life a day when not in use. Definitely not worth it for the convenience of having immediate access to your iPad at any time. Plus I would argue that the boot up process probably uses a decent amount of power meaning he's saving even less power, if any, compared to just leaving it on.
     
  25. macgeek18 macrumors 68000

    macgeek18

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    #25
    The E470 is a good machine. My personal and only Windows computer is a E550 and it's been great.
     

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