iPad mini + [insert non-iPhone here] = a potent combo


Hey, you. Yes, you, without the iPhone over there: I don't care how much you hate iOS, odds are you have dozens of friends on iPhones playing Letterpress right now.

You're missing out. Trust me.

And if it's not Letterpress, it's something else. Once upon a time, it was Words With Friends, which started on iOS before hitting Android. Where would any of us be without access to Words With Friends?

Maybe these are bad examples for some of you, but the point stands: even today, the best and most popular apps come to iOS first, and some remain iOS exclusives indefinitely. The variety and quality still easily outclass Android (as much as that pains me to say), and Windows Phone isn't even in the same league.

But I don't always want to be using an iPhone. Don't get me wrong, I've had every iPhone on launch day — a fact I'm not particularly proud to admit, considering the hours I've spent languishing in lines — but I do feel a sense of obligation to switch it up fairly regularly between iOS, Android, and Windows Phone. Next year, I'll need to add BlackBerry 10 into that rotation, which scares the hell out of me.

Every time I switch, I'm thrown into a bit of disarray: I lose apps, I lose content, and I leave droves of games in limbo (I don't know how many times I've stopped playing a Strategery game halfway through with Dieter or Bryan because I got rid of an iPhone recently). It sucks. I was actually really enjoying using my Lumia 920, for instance, but I'd occasionally find myself waiting around somewhere and I'd reach into my pocket to blast through a few rounds of Letterpress, only to remember the cold hard truth of my Windows Phone circumstance.

Enter the iPad mini. It's my rock, my constant. I now know I've always got iOS nearby in case I stumble on an exciting new app or a game all my friends are playing, which is having a surprising impact on my stress level. I no longer feel bad about not having an iPhone from time to time.

The foundation of my suggestion, obviously, isn't new: you could buy an iPad or an iPod touch for years now and accomplish a similar effect. But carrying around two devices of the same form factor — an iPod touch and a Nexus 4 or Lumia 920, for instance — seems insane. And the iPad, as some others have described, is better suited to leave the coffee table as little as possible. But the iPad mini is the best of all worlds: it's small and light enough to take with me everywhere I go, large enough to be used as a legitimate tablet, and yet still small enough to not feel too silly running the occasional non-iPad-optimized iPhone app. And it keeps me close to the trove of apps that I'm not getting on my phone du jour.

I'm not saying that a go-everywhere tablet / phone combo is right for everyone, but it makes a lot more sense to me than any other mix (a Nexus 7 and an iPhone, for instance, or a Surface and a Galaxy Nexus).

Cyan? Strategery? Count me in.