Mysterious ‘jelly scrolling’ problem plagues new iPad mini owners

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2021 iPad mini packs 5G
Well, that's not good.
Photo: Apple

iPad mini’s glorious upgrade for 2021 isn’t without its faults for some early adopters, who are being plagued by a mysterious “jelly scrolling” issue on its new 8.3-inch Liquid Retina display.

The problem, which causes one side of iPad mini’s screen to scroll ever so slightly faster than the other, only seems to surface when using the tiny tablet in portrait mode. Some may not notice it until seeing the effect in slow motion.

‘Jelly scroll’ hits 2021 iPad mini

Apple’s newest crop of devices has been largely well-received by users and reviewers since new tablets and iPhones dropped last Friday. But almost all — with the exception of the ninth-generation iPad — seem to have shipped with frustrating bugs.

Unlock with Apple Watch is currently broken for most iPhone 13 owners (Apple has promised a fix), while those with a 2021 iPad mini are noticing a strange effect when they scroll webpages and other content in portrait mode.

Dieter Bohn of The Verge highlighted the iPad mini problem Twitter, noting “a small amount of jelly scroll, where one side moves faster than the other,” on the iPad mini’s new edge-to-edge display.

See it in slow motion

The problem is not present in landscape mode and difficult to see in normal use, “but every now and then it becomes noticeable,” Bohn said. It’s much easier to identify in the slow-motion video below.

Others users on Twitter report seeing the problem on their own devices. Some say they discovered it on iPad mini units in an Apple Store. Owners can use an online diagnostic to find out if their device suffers from the jelly scroll problem.

It remains unclear what causes this effect. But 2021 iPad mini owners surely will be hoping it’s a software glitch that can be easily addressed with an update, rather than a defect with the tablet’s new display hardware.

The fact that the problem only occurs in portrait mode suggests that it stems from the way iPad mini’s display refreshes vertically. Cult of Mac asked Apple for comment. We will update this post if we get a response.