iOS 7 on iPad mini: First Impressions and Performance

The iOS 7 update is now available for the iPad mini, bringing Apple’s latest update to the smaller iPad. Unlike the earlier iOS updates, iOS 7 brings a radical change to the look and feel of iOS 7 that is different, but somewhat familiar at the same time.

Apple includes several exciting new features for the iPad mini in the iOS 7 update including a revamped spotlight search, the Control Center and much more.

The iOS 7 update is a free update that is now available for the iPad mini as well as the iPhone 4 and newer, iPad 2 and newer and the iPod touch 5th generation.

While iOS 7 will shine brightest on new hardware, the iPad mini feels as if it was designed with iOS 7 in mind. After a day of using iOS 7 on the iPad mini, and several months on the iPhone 5, I’m very much a fan of the iOS 7 iPad mini experience.

When it comes to the iOS 7 experience, it will take a few days to get used to the new changes and to adjust muscle memory. I’m still double tapping the home button to change music and brightness, when all I need to do is swipe up to access those controls in the control center.

The iOS 7 update for the iPad mini is a great upgrade.

The iOS 7 update for the iPad mini is a great upgrade.

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Here are my first impressions of iOS 7 on the iPad mini. In short, it is a great experience that makes using the iPad mini with one hand easier and the new look for iOS 7 is right at home on the iPad mini’s small form factor.

iOS 7 Update Process Wasn’t Too Bad

While the iOS 7 update process was full of errors for many users, and continues to be a problem for some users less than 24 hours after the iOS 7 release date, upgrading to iOS 7 was simple and relatively error free on my iPad mini.

After downloading the large update, iOS 7 installed and prompted me to complete the iOS 7 setup, as shown in the video below.

Users should experience a smoother upgrade process now that Apple’s servers are not under the load of millions of uses updating at the same time.

Overall Performance

So far the iOS 7 performance on the iPad mini is very good. I’ve yet to run into an app that crashed or any kind of system crash, which is good considering there were reports that iOS 7 for iPad was still behind the iPhone version of the software.

With iOS 7 on board all of my common activities are working perfectly so far. Multitasking is smooth and even though the iPad mini uses an older processor animations for exiting an app or moving between a folder and the home screen are quick.

The new Apple apps and third-party apps work very well so far, including the new Safari experience, the much improved Notes app and many others.

Battery Life

It’s tough to nail down any major changes in the iPad mini battery life on iOS 7 thanks to the long battery life of the iPad mini in general, but that’s a good thing.

In the first 24 hours of using iOS 7, I am not experiencing any abnormal battery life issues on the iPad mini. Normally the first major upgrade to a device can reduce battery life, but it seems that the iPad mini escaped the iOS 7 upgrade with good battery life intact.

iOS 7 Bugs

While there are certainly iOS 7 bugs to be found as users attempt to use the new software on older devices, In my time with the iOS 7 on the iPad mini I have not encountered any bugs with apps or using the new version of iOS.

WiFi and 4G LTE connectivity are also good. Earlier iOS updates crippled WiFi functionality for some users, but this is not affecting my iPad mini on iOS 7. My iPad mini includes Verizon 4G LTE, which is also performing as fast as on iOS 6, and there is no longer an annoying popup that tells me it is not on a data plan.

Overall Feel

When it comes down to using iOS 7 on the iPad mini it is a great user experience. The new design looks great and even though much has changed it is not a confusing experience for me.

The biggest changes simply require breaking my habits of double tapping for certain activities and re-training myself to use the Control Center for fast access to my most used settings.

Control Center is Awesome

Fast access to iPad mini settings in Control Center on iOS 7.

Fast access to iPad mini settings in Control Center on iOS 7.

In short, Control center is an amazing feature that lets me toggle brightness, settings, control music and more from a small pull up bar at the bottom of any screen on the iPad. this is great for changing the brightness without a loud double-click while watching a TV show in bed. The setting controls are also handy as I can easily turn WiFi or Bluetooth on or off when needed.

Multitasking Feels Right

iOS 7 multitasking feels at home on the iPad mini, even more than on the iPhone 5. The iOS 7 multitasking uses cards that show a preview of each app so I know what that app is without looking at a small icon.

iOS 7 multitasking is at home on the iPad mini.

iOS 7 multitasking is at home on the iPad mini.

Multitasking also works in landscape mode, which is how I often use my iPad mini. In this mode some apps will still show up with a portrait orientation in the preview spot, but it is much nicer than multitasking on iOS 6. Swiping up on one or more apps will close them.

Siri is Upgraded, But Still Unreliable

Apple moves Siri out of beta on iOS 7 and adds several new features to the voice assistant, including the option for a male voice and the ability to control more settings.

New Siri features, same unreliable Siri.

New Siri features, same unreliable Siri.

That’s great news, but Siri still fails often enough that I get tired of telling the service to remind me to do something five times before it works. I still use Siri, but it is too unreliable for anything where i need to create a long note or when I need something to absolutely happen the first time.

FaceTime Audio is Amazing

FaceTime Audio is a new feature in iOS 7 that lets user make calls over WiFi or LTE to an Apple device without using up minutes. This means free calls internationally and more, but the best part is that call quality is amazing.

Make crystal clear calls from the iPad mini on iOS 7 with FaceTime Audio.

Make crystal clear calls from the iPad mini on iOS 7 with FaceTime Audio.

Compared to a regular phone call on the iPhone, a FaceTime Audio call on the iPad mini is like being in the same room with the person. It’s something you absolutely need to try.

Should You Install iOS 7 for iPad mini?

The easy answer is yes. IOS 7 for the iPad mini is a great upgrade that feels like a perfect fit for the small tablet. From the ability to swipe anywhere on the lock screen, to the new gestures for going back in apps and in Safari, the iOS 7 iPad mini update is one most users should install.

Comments

  1. Paweł says

    What a crap. How many “they” paid you to write “so amazing” review?!?! I already installed ios 7 on my mini and it worked os shit, especially when we are talking about keybord, notetaking, splitting keybord, rotating the screen. Did you do a clan install of ios7?

  2. colin brunton says

    its certainly not as glowing a picture as you are painting. i was checking if i could backwards os in the store after a few hours on my ipad mini. i dont like safari at all in this new format. I had issues never experienced before on certain websites with too many redirects keeping popping up instead of new page. Also the pre installed tabs are staring at me with disney apple and espn.. htf do i get rid of them and put my own bookmarks in. not impressed Apple :(

    • colin brunton says

      Still not sure .. i have a non techy wife who hates the “io7″ experience and wants me to put io6 back . i am prepared to give it time tho. Having said that battery drain is a prob if you dont switch off background app update and bluetooth as mentioned in this article. Some instructions or walk through would have been useful but like most folks i just switch it on and use it.

    • Dan says

      That’s wat Im Worried about if u update iPad mine to iOS 7 do u have re enter passwords for Skype , App Store, game usernames etc?

  3. Sue says

    Please help me with the clock… it is
    to San Francisco time and I am on Honolulu time ever since I did the upgrade!

  4. Dmrts says

    IOS 7 is terrible. They shit into Iphone/ipad. Time / battery / wifi status bar become so small. How to make it bigger. Below line for 4 app ( settings etc.) has blur background & it is terrible, if your wallpaper is not bright colour it seems like shit colour now. If you ask that technician/developer army in apple to shit into operating system, I believe they cant be that successful.
    Look like someone paid apple techn. and say, finish apple.

    Phone/ipad turns to basic models of sony or old anroid. Apple made me lost my appetite to iphone/ipad. I m really regret to buy ipad recently once this update shit into my ipad.

    Apple again? I don’t think so.

  5. AJ says

    I call bs. I can not multitask at all on my mini anymore. After I open 2 apps and switch to a third and go back and forth it reloads the entire app as if it was a clean start. Thus hanging for 10 seconds or so…how is that good performance?

  6. cuddlybear says

    i updated my ipad mini using itunes.

    i cannot login my imessage
    i cannot login my facetime.
    i dont seem to have push notifications.
    typing lags about .5secs
    overall theres a noticeable lag

    i am also having trouble trying to login password to new wifi network, i often fails and i was able to connect only after 7 attempts.

  7. Bruce says

    I upgraded both my iPhone 4 and my iPad Mini yesterday. I have to say that both upgrades went very smoothly. I have had zero issues or problems – in fact, I am posting this right now from my Mini.

    And no, Apple did not pay me to write this. Sheesh…

  8. Scoobylution says

    Did mine 24hr ago and so far so good. Mine updated on its own merits. Waited on it all finishing patiently and have had nothing but pleasure. All works a lot smother, and personally it feels and looks brilliant

  9. Hieu Phan says

    Ipad video no longer works on ipad 4 device. You can only take pictures now. What a waste

  10. Nafis says

    Since I updated my ipad mini with IOS 7 it freezes and typing with keyboard takes forever please guide me how I can reinstall IOS 7. Thanks

    • joseph says

      i have the same problem,you can just connect it to your computer and restore from itunes

  11. dicks says

    after upgrading to ios7 my ipad mini is going off and on continuously. The screen blanks off after every 5 sec,you unlock and goes off again.

    Anyone has a solution to this. Its still the same after 1 hr of installing the ios 7.

    Anybody had this experience.

    pl share the solution

    • Steve says

      Having the same issues myself. Constantly shutting off. But now my sin is playing a game and no problems. I’m sure all problems will go away within 24 hours. I’m excited for the changes but also worried until everything works well. Hang in there like me and all will be well.

    • tpol says

      I’m having the same issue, mini is about 2 months old. On Charge all night, connected it computer, no life. wish I could go back to ios6.

  12. Peter Pan says

    Aweful stuff: iOS7 has caused my flight software (for real flying) to crash without any ability to start it up… thank god I flew yesterday before I did the stupidity of updating to iOS7. On top of that I can’t add/edit the CONTACTS app (made by APPLE!). That too crashes… So really…Josh… you can pay for my loss of time chasing this crap out of whatever Apple paid you for such an absolutely imaginary review of the shit

  13. Arthur says

    I updated my iPhone 5 and my wife’s and also my ipad retina and they all are operating without a hiccup so far. The ios7 is a welcomed upgrade and has a lot of new features.
    I do not understand all of the negative feedback. I have never had an issue with any ios upgrade.

  14. Mark Merryweather says

    I get the feel of Android when using iOS 7 – not sure if that’s a good thing. Apple seem to be following the competition – before Steve Jobs passed away they were leading them.

    A lot of the “amazing” apps Apple are singing and dancing about are actually missing from the iPad mini update – they’re only available for iPhone and iPod – I feel a little cheated about this.

  15. Anne says

    I have the iPhone 4S and the ipad mini. I am one that likes the iOS 7. I though am wondering about something. When I go to safari on the iPhone the pages have a layered look now to see what pages I have opened but I can’t do that on the ipad mini. Is it even available on the ipad mini? If so does anyone know how. It’s very convenient!

  16. Susan Lee (@doozie921) says

    I almost never download anything new until most of the glitches have been worked out. As usual, I see a lot of apple product owners were in a white hot rush to be the first to have the latest options available, only to regret it almost immediately. So, to those of you who rushed to be first, thanks for testing iOS7 for those of us who waited. In a few months, after the glitches have been ironed out, I’ll give it a try. But for now, I’ll stick with the previous OS until things are going a bit more smoothly!

  17. George Pabon says

    Cons:
    I use to like my iPad mini, but now I can’t stand it. It’s hard to read the folder names and there’s very little contrast between the folders and the wallpaper. I also don’t get the point of these tiny icons in the folder. They’re so small they are useless. I looked at my wife’s iPad 2 and it looks way better.

    Fragmentation. My friends were raving about the new camera features, but they don’t exist on the iPad mini, too bad. Then again I never use the iPad to take pictures.

    The new look overall. I don’t get it at all. Apple changed the look of the GUI for what reason? I think it makes the iPad mini look like a toy. Too bad you can’t change anything with IOS. I would like the ability to go back to what I had with some of the new features.

    If you tilt your phone the wallpaper will move, really? I’m getting in line for hours for this?

    Pros:
    For a minute I thought I was using my palm pre or my HTC DNA when closing apps. I’m glad Apple copied a better way of closing apps.

    Slide to unlock is different, but at least it’s okay.

    Control Center. I finally have the same functionality across platforms.

    This is all I can think of, but for me IOS7 on the iPad mini is irritating. I’m stuck looking at the poorly designed folders with tiny icons that are unusable and it’s hard to make out the names of the folders. It’s hard to believe that the writer didn’t bring this up.

    • Kathy says

      You can make the text and icons “bold” – go to settings – general – accessibility – “bold text” – HUGE improvement. You can also adjust the contrast

  18. Gabe says

    I’m currently using my 64gb black mini and have noticed several annoyances:
    1. Keyboard is very lagged
    2. Multitasking Gesture for pinch to home screen lags, but hitting the home button does not
    3. Doubletapping home or multitask swipe up shows the app to the right, not the current app
    4. As stated earlier, switching between opened apps after a short amount of time causes them to completely reload
    5. Both Safari and settings have crashed on multiple occasions

  19. Doris says

    I don’t like IOS 7 either. When I read a book on it, the next page takes a sec to come in and it is not as seamless as it was before. Also, an app called Overdrive which lets me borrow and read library books no longer works. I want to go back to IOS6. How?

    • Helen says

      Doris, I use Overdrive too, and mine doesn’t work either; however, Overdrive has not updated the app for use with ios7. They are working on it so be patient. Otherwise, I have not had any issues with any other apps. I like it so far.

  20. Wends says

    I downloaded it on my iPhone 4s and ipad mini. My phone works perfect but my ipad mini keeps loosing cellular service. Otherwise i love the new update. Anyone know what i should do? When i rest the mini or switch it off and on i get cellular signal for about 5 minutes then it says no service.

  21. Kasia says

    I dont have Internet radio in my Music on ipad mini. I have it on my iPhone. Is it normal?

  22. shop apps says

    Hello – is anyone facing issues with the video quality on iOS 7 for ipad mini or any other devices? I have noticed that when I play videos using my iPhone five and airplay they stream HD quality but when I stream videos using my iPad mini and airplay this stream non-HD quality. My iPhone 5 is still on iOS 6 at this point. I also have a iPhone 4 upgraded to iOS 7 and it’s giving me the same results as the iPad mini. I’m hesitant to upgrade my iPhone 5 to iOS 7 for the same reason

  23. Sam says

    Does anyone know how to fully shut off and close apps in version 7? I used to double push the home button. Now that only gives what I see as a redundant review of the apps I’ve opened. Battery is running down fast! Help! Thanks.

    • Youuuuuu says

      Open multitask and swipe up in the app u want to close. I also turned off my background that thing that made it move around when you tilt your device.

  24. Morgana says

    I don’t know if anyone else is having problems but I’m beyond frustrated with the new iOS 7. Everything is just laggy and I’ve been having problems with the keyboard not waiting 8-10 seconds until it realizes I’m typing. But that I can deal with. What I can’t is the fact that I cannot sync up my Ipad Mini to the new Itunes and was wondering if this was happening with anyone else. Windows 7 Ultimate, Itunes updated 11.1 and Ipad Mini iOS7. I’ve done everything from updating drivers to removing and re-installing everything. I’d appreciate any help.

  25. Carol says

    I cannot download the epub book I borrowed from public library with Overdrive app.
    My jigsaw game won’t work. I can’t find how to upgrade apps to work on IOS7. Help!

  26. Jim says

    It’s horrible. Don’t install! Bought iPad mini in April, just did the update, – what a sucker. When it came on, it suddenly needed a password entered on to the same digal keypad display as my iPhone. I don’t have one and the one I have on my iPhone (because of company security requirements) didn’t work. My Apple password can’t not be entered because it has upper & lower case. After a few attempts I had a message the iPad was disabled. Now they say it needs a factory reset. BestBuy will do it for $30.

  27. Markus says

    Anyone else having trouble, with iTunes App after installing IOS7, it what load the store is just lags?

  28. Heather says

    IOS7 is pushing me to attempt using my iPad as a frisbee. WHY is everything so ridiculously slow!? I feel like I’m using dial-up again! And no, I do not have an excessive amount of downloads, apps or anything of that sort. Can I have my old life back, please? Nailed it, Apple…. Nailed it.

  29. Zmaaran says

    I installed ios7 on ipad3 over wifi, not through iTunes. Not a single problem, other than two old apps no longer working, but as they have both long been unsupported and no longer available in the store, I guess now is the time to let go … (sniff).

    I also like ios7. Yes, the look and feel is something to get used to, but it somehow makes my ipad 3 feel like a new toy again and the new controls just seem to gel for me. It used to have the occasional problem with airplay, which has now disappeared…. very happy about that. Dont see any extra drain on battery either. Im not experiencing any lag during my normal use, but i do find the new window animations alot less subtle and a bit annoying at the moment. im sure it will pass. Now that I know all my vital on-the-go apps work in ios7, I’ll update my mini as well.

    Improvements to FaceTime and the addition of the control panel are brilliant. Anyone who likes audiobooks will love the improvement to the music app. If it had bookmarking, it would be the perfect audiobook app now. Not sure if its my imagination, but audio seems to sound a tad better. Siri can do a lot more and I’m starting to quite like her/him/it. I really like the scrolling view for multitasking and app control. Feels like a more natural way to control apps.

    And finally …. anyone having trouble with third party apps in a new ios7 install should try deleting it, rebooting and then reinstalling it. Worked brilliantly for one of my apps not taking too kindly to the update. Credit where credit is due…. its good. I’m happy to recommend the update …. and no, I’m not on apples payroll either :)

  30. Seifer says

    I was playing a racing game, it slowed down and crashed….log is flooded with “low memory messages” (i have 3gb free space)…

    Adjusting volume while playing game ? The game starts to crawl…

    Im not even considering to upgrade my iphone4. Damn Apple made my Iphone 3G sluggish few years ago. They are not going to get me this time !

    Basically what you get is “better” looking UI at the cost of speed… (Which sucks big time…)

    • Polanic says

      I have the same issue with Real Racing 3. Constantly crashes ( not the car), yesterday, my mini scrolled through start up (Apple logo) and shut down for about 3 hours before it finally came alive. Now it will shut down on its own without warning. This update sucks, wish I could go back to 6.

      BTW – anyone figure out how to delete photos yet. I don’t see a trash can anywhere!

  31. Carol says

    iPad mini no longer has FaceTime or texting!!!!! iPhone 4 slow as shit!!!!!! Typing is ridiculous!! Ugh!!!!

    • Bruce says

      I have to wonder what’s going on with some people’s upgrades.

      I did my upgrade on my iPad mini and my iPhone 4 a few days ago. I use both devices quite a bit, and both are working great with no issues at all!

  32. romit3 says

    Upgraded my iPad mini 5 days ago, and so far happy with the experience and the interface (I always loved Helvetica Ultra Light). Only one glitch – I lost 3G connection (with Three) – it just kept saying ‘no service’ – but I did a hard shutdown (hold top button down for several seconds) and it reset the connection.

  33. Martin says

    Would not reccomend upgrading. The best thing about the mini was the onstant response. With ios7 all that is gone. I experience so mich jerkynes and slow response that it does not even seam like an apple experience at all. Huge step backwards. Dont ipgrade!!!!!

  34. Farah says

    So should I upgrade my ipad mini through wifi or itunes ? What I can say and see is that people have probs with ios 7 under itunes but not wifu . So is wifi better than itunes or what ?

  35. unmesh says

    i dont know about all this FUSS , cause My IOS7 on my ipad mini installed ,
    worked butter smooth as ever

  36. Kay Mikeal says

    I lost all my books from my kindle app with the new upgrade of my ipad mini. Now it is saying download error on some of my books I am trying to retrieve. I am reluctant to upgrade my iphone 4 for fear of losing all of them. Any suggestions?

  37. Femi Jaiyeola says

    The Ipad mini,ipad 3 and 2 lag as hell on IOS 7. Bad choice for these devices by apple. they should have been left on IOS 6.* which they are best suited for. They now run like an android tablets on ICS 4.0. IOS7 runs smoothly on the Iphone 5S,5C,5 and 4S and 4th gen IPAD.
    My own candid advice for anyone wishing to buy an ipad. Wait for the new models. they will probably run on an A7 processor which can handle the new graphical content and OS smoothly.

  38. Youuuuu says

    No weather app for the ipad mini ios7? And the new features eats a lot of battery. Also, on espn website, I can’t watch videos on safari. Anyone else having this issue?

    • Bruce X says

      I’ve seen a lot of people complaining that power usage is up. I don’t know; I find both my iPhone 4 and my iPad mini are just the same power usage as with iOS 6.

      However, I am pretty religious about killing apps when I don’t need to use them.

  39. Ipadmini says

    I think most people who has issue on their device for the ios7 has got an old warn down device. Mine is almost new and works like a dream, but on espn, I can’t watch videos, I have to go on the espn app to watch vids.

  40. expert-review says

    My ipad mini is soo laggy after updating to ios 7
    Safari doesn’t work
    Mail doesn’t work
    And all the apps gets jammed

  41. APPLE-HATER says

    my battery lasts about and hour on FULL BATTERY!! and it takes hours to fully charge!! WTF APPLE?

  42. 'm ochan says

    Can’t take this review seriously when its so ingnorant. For instance, you say you had to get used to swiping up to use the control center for music and brightness?

    Clearly you didn’t know that IOS6 and below has the exact same feature. I’ve been doing that since my first iPad, which was a Gen 1 iPad.

    When your comments are as ignorant add this, it’s hard to take anything else seriously.

  43. Kinchit says

    Hey guyz shall I upgrade to ios7? I am reluctant to do it as many people are saying its laggy…. What will happen if I dont upgrade? Will my apps stop updating on ios6 after some time? Please guide me.

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