M&M minis, mini snickers, mini mars. Chocolates, nowadays, are not the only ones with minis. In fact, Apple has released its very own iPad Mini. It is a tablet as powerful and as amazing as its predecessors but is significantly more portable and a lot cheaper. It can even be used to handle VoIP calls from Skype or your RingCentral virtual office since one of its variations is the 3g enabled model.
The iPad mini is somewhat similar to the second generation of the iPad. It has a built-in Wi-Fi connectivity and an optional cellular connection. There are front and back cameras, a speaker, a microphone, a digital compass and GPS, Apple’s latest iOS6, and a 1024 x 768 touch-screen. Its battery life can last up to 10 hours of business and play.
iPad Mini is called a mini because of its size. It weighs half of a normal iPad. It is only 7.2mm thick and weighs only 308g.
It has a 7.9 inches panel compared to iPad’s 9.7-inch. However, it has no Retina Display like iPad4 but it can offer the same resolution as that of iPad2. These are not the only differences. The mini version has its own connector called Lightning. Unlike the Dock connector, Lightning is smarter and smaller.
Aside from its extra portability, the iPad Mini has a lot of business-friendly features that makes it very useful for a virtual office.
First, it has a VIP inbox. This inbox allows you to mark certain contacts as VIPs. When your favorite clients, suppliers, and employees marked as VIP send you a message, you will receive notifications on your iPad Mini and not through your email, and you can see the messages directly.
Second, the iPad Mini has an improved attachment system which increases the ease in attaching multiple items from your tablet to email. Instead of sending multiple files individually, you can send them all in one email.
Third, the mini version also has an iMessage and FaceTime for SMS messaging and videoconferencing. These built-in applications will make it easy for you to collate business correspondents from various states. Video conferencing will not be a hassle because, as long as all your remote employees has the same tablet, you can connect with each other whenever, wherever.
Fourth, iPad Mini also enjoys Apple’s voice control application Siri. The good news is Siri can now act as your virtual secretary. You can command her to invite your remote employees for a meeting at 10 am on Wednesday or release a holiday memo. You can even dictate certain directions when using email and word applications.
Fifth, it has an Apple Configurator application which helps business owners to manage their virtual office. This configurator application allows you to put all Apple devices used in your small business into ‘Supervised Mode’. This mode allows you to control and synchronize the applications in the remote devices. You can give your employees temporary access to company data and applications depending on the duration of projects or contracts. Apple configurator can also block social networks or route all the Internet traffic of the remote devices into your own servers to prevent remote employees from accessing or uploading data that they should not.
Despite being a mere mini version, iPad Mini can be an ultimate virtual office tool for small businesses.