iPad Buying Can Be Tricky

So you think your ready to purchase a new iPad. If you’re upgrading from an older device to enjoy the new equipment and features that come with iOS 7, it’s a joyous occasion, or so you think. There are quite a few choices to be made now that Apple has given us two new models to choose from, the iPad Air and the iPad mini with Retina. To add even more complications to the selection process, you need to pick out which storage capacity is right for you. Oh and don’t forget, if you listen to the rumor mill, there’s an iPad Pro to be released hopefully this year. Are you confused on which one to get yet? I get a kick out of shopping for Apple gear and even my brain hurt when I recently upgraded my iPad. A friend of mine is in this exact situation. So I thought I would share the brainstorming side of iPad buying through 3 factors I like to think about when I venture through the iPad buying maze.

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The first factor I always evaluate when I know I’ll be upgrading my iPad is seeing how much storage I currently have left on my iPad. This gives me an immediate idea if I purchased the right amount of storage for the device I’m currently using. I have only gone up to the 32GB size in my last two iPad purchases since I seem to always have at least 10GB of storage space after stepping up from 16GB. Another thing to think about regarding capacity is; has the way you used the device changed? What was once a device you may have only used for listening to music, reading, email, and surfing the web, might have changed when you downloaded and started using different more dynamic applications. If your storage space has shrunk, I would venture to guess your usage patterns have changed a bit. Don’t worry though, you might be able to clear up some space by getting rid of things you no longer use or try storing items in the cloud. Checkout my post on “Storage Wars: An iOS Space Saving Saga” for ideas on how to clear out some room. This may help you get a more accurate representation of what space you’re actually using, which could save you money since you won’t need the higher storage amount. But what about those of you buying for the first time?

If you’re buying an iPad for the first time you might want to checkout how much storage space you have remaining on your smartphone. This can also give you a good idea of how much storage you may need for your first iPad. One thing I’ve noticed is I don’t really have too much music stored on my iPad since I prefer it on my iPhone. Keep things like that in mind since you probably won’t completely change all your habits when you purchase your first iPad. This doesn’t mean you won’t start enjoying the experience better on the iPad, but habits are hard to break and it could be something you address when you upgrade down the road if you need more storage space. Try to think about what you might enjoy more of or get involved with and then evaluate how this will impact storage. 

It’s very important to consider longevity, factor number two, when purchasing a new iPad. There are always rumors of what the newer device will come equipped with, but truth be told, nobody can 100% guarantee what these upgrades will be since Apple wants as much hype for the product information release. Does that mean the rumors are never true? Absolutely not (read my predictions for Apple in 2014). There always seem to be signs pointing to what the next device may be equipped with. Manufacturers for Apple always seem to let some information slip, its good for business since it gets their name out there.

So when you’re considering if or when you should buy the newest iPad, decide if the current equipment is something you’re willing to live with for a while? That’s something only you can answer and depends on many different factors; will you be using it for business or pleasure, is size of the device important for travel, viewing pleasure, can you wait for the next release or do you need it now? If the next device is rumored to have something on it that you’ve been wanting or really need, you might want to wait if you can so there are zero regrets, unless your comfortable with upgrading again when the next generation comes out. You can always sell the one you currently own to help offset the new model price. Remember, you’re spending quite a bit of money on this device, so taking your time and figuring it all out before you head into the Apple Store will pay off in the long run (impulse buying is easy to do at the Apple Store, there should be a warning label). 

The final thing factor I like to consider before upgrading is how do I intend to use the iPad? Does some of the changes to the device impact how I will use it? I really liked using the very first iPad for viewing movies. Eventually I used it more for reading, social media, and surfing the web. Now that I have the new iPad mini with Retina, I notice I like playing games on it a lot more. This is something I would’ve never seen coming, but some of the games I bought on the iPhone look so much better on the iPad mini now. I never considered how this might change my habits. Try to expose all factors, no matter how subtle you may think they are, when deciding which iPad to buy. The price difference between the iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina may seem steep, but if you find you’ll use one more than the other, it’s the wiser decision no matter if you’re spending more or saving money.

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These factors to consider when buying your new iPad are not meant to confuse you, but help you brainstorm through the decision. Anyone can read the tech specs and such, which you should still do, but the  two new devices you have to choose from are the latest and greatest iPads Apple has to offer. The real key is deciding if they’re right for you and which one will make you the happiest in the long run. Take your time and get it right. If you don’t already own one, talk to friends and family members who have them. I’m pretty sure they’d love to give you advice on how they use it. Make sure to ask them if they would’ve done something different. Don’t hesitate to leave a comment if you have a question, since I’d be happy to help if I can.

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About Author

Jeremy McGinty

Jeremy McGinty is an iOS expert and has written over 350 articles relating to Apple and their products over the past two years. Writing about iPhones, iPads, and anything relating to Apple is what Jeremy does in his free time and you’re going to love reading how he’s a normal guy just like you. Jeremy is the most approachable person you’ll ever meet and you should try it out for yourself, send him a message here!

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