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iPad mini 2 Retina – Missing features

The iPad mini 2 with Retina display has arrived next to the iPad Air, and we already think we want one.  A better screen, better processor and more-or-less the same tiny aluminium body as the last model – what’s not to like?

However, there are some things missing from the new portable Apple tablet. Here are the bits some of you may miss.

Touch ID

The Touch ID sensor was one of the most interesting features of the iPhone 5S. It’s a fingerprint sensor that uses a capacitive CMOS unit, rather than an optical ‘camera-like’ sensor, to check that your finger is present.

In the iPhone 5S it’s part of the Home button, making it virtually invisible. However, in the iPad mini 2 it’s – well it’s not there at all. You have to use a passcode to unlock the phone, or insert you password before buying anything from iTunes.

Yes it’s a total first-world-plus problem, but a Touch ID sensor would have gotten rid of it.

Should you care?
Yes, but it’s not really a deal-breaker.

FM radio

No iPhones or iPads have FM radios, and the iPad mini 2 is no different. However, as long as you have internet connectivity you’ll be able to listen to just about any radio online anyway.

We also think that an FM radio would be more useful in an iPhone than an iPad, as it would need to use a headphone cable as an antenna – and anyone using an iPad mini 2 as a ‘portable’ MP3 player is doing it wrong.

Should you care? 
Not really. We love FM radio for emergencies, but it’s not a great deal of use in a tablet.

iPad mini 2 video preview

iPod touch-style colours

As the iPad mini is the jollier range of Apple tablet, we had half-hoped it would start to come in a range of colours like the iPhone 5C and iPod touch. However, it doesn’t. Instead you’re stuck with space grey and white/silver shades.

Should you care?
Only a little. It’s a shame, but probably wouldn’t work as well as a colourful phone anyway.


This one comes as no surprise – the iPad mini 2 does not have NFC. It was predictable because the technology was left out of the iPhone 5S and the iPhone 5C earlier this year.

NFC stands for Near-Field Communication and is a short-range wireless communications tech that is used to connect up a few different kinds of devices. Most commonly, it hooks up tablets and phone with headphones or speaker docks.

It was touted as the future of the high street at one point – it can be used for wireless payments in some shops – but the proliferation of that has seem to have all but stopped over the past year.

Should you care?
Not hugely unless you own a snazzy NFC speaker dock. The iPhone 5S’s lack of NFC was already the nail in the coffin.  

Camera flash

Tablets make dubious cameras at the best of times, but the lack of a flash on the iPad mini 2 makes it all the more problematic. Apple has improved the quality of the camera – it now uses an 8-megapixel sensor rather than a 5-megapixel one – but in poor light conditions it’ll be more or less useless.

Should you care?
Only if you want to take late-night photos with the iPad mini 2.

Read our iPad mini 2 vs iPad mini comparison

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