Menu Sign In Contact FAQ
Welcome to our forums

Wait for the next generation of iPad Mini?

I can’t put it up it anymore, my beloved laptop quit in a puff of smoke (literally) and I’ve deceided I want an iPad Mini, to also use it for Skydemon and – although I understand it’s not optimal – for the SeeYou Navigator from Naviter.
It’s not only going to live in my flight bag, so I’m probably going to read the internet in the mornings, ocassionally post on EuroGA, but I won’t play on it. Now that I write it, it’s probably too small to watch a movie on a train, but if the quality is good enough, I might just carry this instead of the kindle I use for reading.

As the current model is from 2020 rumor has it, that there will be an updated version, soon – So I wonder if I should buy the current model or wait for the next generation. I feel that the current iteraton should suit my requirements.

I’d also appreciate if you could point me in the right direction of necessary accesories. I need a keyboard, preferably one that folds up as a cover and stand – if something like that is available, as it is so small.

Opinions? Advice? Lessons Learned?

Berlin, Germany

I own an iPad mini 4, and a 5, and use them for basically everything, book reading, writing these very words, flight planning, flying with SD or the VAC or the approach plate in portrait position in it’s Xnaut active cooling cradle on a RAM mount.
To type and protect, i’d suggest a protective with keyboard, such as this one. Very easy to remove the iPad from, and place it in the flying cradle.

Assuming you’ll do an adventurous trip of some and want to hold a presentation during one of our EuroGA fly- ins, then you’ll need to buy a HDMI adapter

Be sure to buy the 5G version with integral GPS working without external antenna in most aircraft.

ain't the Destination, but the Journey
LSZF, Switzerland

I use two iPad Mini 5s, each bought ‘refurbished’ for about $300. They are identical to each other in every respect and I can use either interchangeably when not flying, the only way I can tell which one I’m using is by a small scratch on one of them. They are both stored in the same sleeve, back to back.

In flight, one is carried as an onboard spare, out of sight. I have yet to need the spare but its nice to have three devices simultaneously running the same flight en-route, including my phone. They both have max available memory and integral GPS – which is a backup to my normal WiFi’d GPS and ADS-B IN data source. My cradle is fan-cooled for use on hot days, same setup as @Dan.

I like to have two Mini 5s versus one 6 for the same money. With that in mind I plan on having two devices indefinitely, buying a couple of ‘new to me’ units occasionally and remaining one generation behind.

This works OK for me

Last Edited by Silvaire at 15 Nov 19:59

This may help your decision making, but in general, being one generation behind isn’t a issue. I use a Mini5 with a Mini4 (or my iPhone) as backup, no issues.

Dan wrote:

Be sure to buy the 5G version with integral GPS working without external antenna in most aircraft.

SIGNIFICANT! Don´t miss this point.

I have the latest iPad Mini (7 I think). It was a remarkable CPU speed upgrade compared with my previous version 4.
A thing to be aware of with the version 7 is that the on off button is NOT on the front panel of the iPad (screen facing side) but on the upper/top side panel – just search for photos. This can be an issue depending on possible aircraft “installation”.

Last Edited by Yeager at 15 Nov 19:37
Socata Rally MS.893E

I bought an iPad Mini 6 a few months ago. It’s only for flying, although I occasionally use it around the house. It does an excellent job with ForeFlight and SDVFR. As others have said – be sure to get one with GPS. You pay more, but I’ve NEVER had a problem with it in the plane – 182, TB20 , and various other things I’ve flown over the years. Its predecessor was a Mini 4 I bought about 7 years ago, which also worked fine but ForeFlight was starting to crash on it. No idea why, but it’s ine on the new one.

LFMD, France

I could never replace a laptop (of any size) with the Ipad Mini, in any even remote productivity comparison; by “productivity” I mean generating something, rather than watching stuff, or “consuming multimedia” as it is called.

For sure a keyboard is essential, as is a pointing device; I believe one can nowadays drive Apple tablets with a mouse or a trackball.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

I too run 2x ipads simultaneously.
They were mini 4’s but the newer version of Garmin pilot was trashing the one it was installed on, so it got swapped out to a 5.
The 4 runs SD perfectly, the 5, runs SD, Golze, Garmin Pilot, and is usually connected to Internet for all route planning via Autorouter. Several clicks later it’s loaded in Pilot, SD and the panel.
As already said…..I recommend the GSM version. It has the inbuilt GPS which I have found solid. In fact my Ipads have not complained of GPS loss when both panel units did! If I didn’t carry mobile Internet in the aircraft I’d put a Data SIM in one of them, as I cannot be arsed to keep tethering to the phone.
So I’d say a 6 should be ok.

Last Edited by GA_Pete at 15 Nov 20:51
United Kingdom

I’m using a 2-3 year old regular ipad with GSM so I’ll have GPS running skydemon. I also use the Skyecho2 for traffic in. The ipad has failed me due to overheating twice. Both times when I really needed it, but I also have the moving map on my panel-mounted EFIS, and a backup iphone using airnavpro for redundancy. If all those fail, I guess I’ll be forced to actually look out the window!

It will be interesting to see if the new ipad pro with M2 has overheating issues. The screen is supposed to be much brighter. I have not really had any trouble reading my basic ipad’s screen, but it’s not nearly as bright as my panel-mounted EFIS or my iphone.

Everyone recommended the mini due to space in the cockpit, so that’s something to consider. My regular ipad is not too big for my cockpit. I have a knock-off brand ball mount for it, which works great, even in turbulance.

Fly more.
LSGY, Switzerland

For what it’s worth, The iPad mini 4 will not be supported in Foreflight from January 2024 onwards. So my understanding is that one can still use it and download the plates, but no further updates will be provided.

42 Posts
Sign in to add your message

Back to Top