Last week I posted this question to StackOverflow: Detect iPad Mini in HTML5.
In short: a webpage can’t differentiate between an iPad 2 and an iPad Mini.
Today I offered a bounty of half my StackOveflow rep which made frontpage Hacker News and caused people to respond in two ways:
- Offer possible technical solutions
- Defend Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines and state that if we follow it, we shouldn’t need to be able to detect the difference at all
I find the latter a complete load of BS, so I updated the original question with some more arguments as to why I think we should be allowed to know if someone is using an iPad Mini or not.
And as I feel that’s a totally different discussion than the search for a solution, I thought I’d post my update as a separate blogpost here (so yes, the text below is an exact copy of my update on StackOverflow).
Personally, I think browsers should be able to tell the differece between an iPad Mini and an iPad 2.
The iPad mini is not only a much smaller device (9.7 inch versus 7.9 inch) but its form factor allows for a different usage. The iPad 2 is usually held with 2 hands when gaming unless you’re Chuck Norris. The mini is smaller but also much lighter and allows for gameplay where you hold it in one hand and use another to swipe or tap or whatnot. As a game designer and developer myself, I’d just like to know if it’s a mini so I can choose to provide the player with a different controlscheme if I want (for instance after A/B testing with a group of players).
Why? Well it’s a proven fact that the majority of users tend to go with the default settings, so leaving out a virtual thumbstick and putting some other tap-based control on the screen (just giving an arbitrary example here) when the player loads up the game for the first time is what I and probably other game designers would love to be able to do.
So IMHO this goes beyond the thick fingers / guidelines discussions and is just something Apple and all other vendors ought to do: allow us to uniquely identify your device and think different instead of following guidelines.
Look at how it’s advertised:
Even the first paragraph on Apple’s iPad Mini page states the big difference:
“And you can hold it in one hand.”
That’s right Apple. It’s not an iPad 2. So don’t fool us into believing it is.