October 19, 2021

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Unlimited Technology

Apple Says iPad Mini ‘Jelly Scrolling’ Is Normal Behavior

Apple’s new iPad mini with a larger display is a welcome update except for one annoying problem: jelly scrolling. But we’ve got bad news for anyone hoping for a fix.

The 6th-generation iPad mini currently suffers from a subtle screen effect on its 8.3-inch display, which seems to refresh each half of the screen separately rather than refreshing the entire screen at once. It’s most obvious when scrolling websites or pages of text, and the suspicion is this is either a hardware defect or a software bug that needs fixing.

Apple has since responded to Ars Technica’s coverage with some bad news: It’s not a defect or a bug, it’s just “normal behavior.” Apple says this happens because LCD screens refresh line-by-line so there can be a delay between when the lines at the top and bottom of the screen receive their update.

While a surprising response, it’s also hard to believe simply because it isn’t happening on other devices with similar displays running at 60Hz. The iPad Air and iPad don’t experience the same jelly scrolling problem, for example. This response also doesn’t explain why there is a dividing line down the middle of the screen.

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I suspect this won’t be the last time we see jelly scrolling mentioned. Anyone who just paid $499 or more for a new iPad mini is not going to be happy with a display that doesn’t scroll smoothly and has a line down the middle. This will either turn out to be a real defect or something Apple quietly fixes with an update.

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