This year has undoubtedly been an interesting one for Apple fans. The iPad (codename K48) was released, and all around the world people started pinching and swiping at 9.7-inch, HD screens. Apple’s creation became a success, and the device was one of this year’s most wanted Christmas gifts.
However, we’ve already heard talks of the “iPad 2″; the second generation version of the Apple iPad. Currently, we’re all expecting this device to hit stores in April 2011, following Apple’s tradition of yearly releases. But, will the device be worth buying? What could change?
Read on, and find out what we’re expecting for the iPad 2.
This year, Apple introduced FaceTime: its own video calling service, which premiered on the iPhone 4. Since then, FaceTime has moved to the iPod touch, and to the Mac. Obviously, Apple is pushing FaceTime for more and more devices. We’ve even heard rumors of a FaceTime for Windows program being developed. So, it would make sense if, in 2011, FaceTime moved to the iPad.
While some “sources” have labeled these speculations as being unlikely, I think FaceTime for iPad could certainly be a feature for 2011.
Back Light Units, LCD Displays, Retina display?
One of the best features of the iPhone 4 is, in my opinion, the Retina display. However, the cost of adding this to the iPad will be huge. The iPad already boasts an HD screen. For an iPad’s screen to be considered “Retina” quality, the resolution would have to be ridiculously high.
Digitimes has stated that the iPad 2 will come with “back light units,” provided by Coretronic. These are supposedly going to be combined with LCD displays (built by LG and Chimei Innolux). We’ll keep you posted.
Flatter, Smaller, Louder?
A recent report (MacOtakara) has noted that the iPad 2 will be flatter, smaller, and will include a “large wide-ranged speaker unit covered with metal mesh.”
The rumors, supported by an “anonymous Chinese source,” stated that the iPad 2 will be 3mm smaller, and that the second generation device will be “flat like an iPod touch.”
Just to set the record straight, we’re pretty sure 2011 won’t see the release of a 7-inch “iPad Mini.” Some time ago, a leaked image of a 7-inch iPad hit the web, and many got excited at the thought of an “iPad Mini.”
Following this, Steve Jobs decided to set the record straight in an historic conference call with financial analysts. Of the speculated 7-inch iPad, he said:
This size isn’t sufficient to create great tablet apps, in our opinion. While one could increase the resolution of the display to make up for some of the difference, it is meaningless unless your tablet also includes sandpaper, so that the user can sand down their fingers to around one quarter of their present size.
So, there you have it; straight from the mouth of Steve Jobs himself.
A “world iPad”?
According to Wedge Partners analyst Brian Blair: in 2011 Apple will release “a new world iPad that is powered by Qualcomm and will run on both GSM and CDMA based networks around the world.” We’ll keep you posted on this when more news becomes available.
We’ve also heard that Apple is considering carbon fiber as a means of creating a reinforced housing for the second-gen iPad. This would make the device more durable, while maintaining the device’s relatively light weight. For more information, check out our article on Apple’s interest in carbon fiber.
Two dock connectors?
A while back, a few pictures hit the web showing off an iPad enclosure with two dock connectors. Two connectors would obviously allow iPad owners to dock their device in portrait, and in landscape.
However, the supposed iPad 2 cases we told you about recently do not have a slot for a second dock connector. As of this moment, we’re not sure what the final iPad 2 product will have, I’d be happy with just one dock connector. What about you?
Other “under the hood” improvements
It’s likely the iPad 2 will have various “under the hood” improvements, too, such as a bigger flash drive, and more RAM. Personally, this doesn’t get me all that excited. If Apple wants me to buy the second-gen iPad, it’ll have to boast at least two of the above predictions.
You don’t need me to tell you that any iOS device is defined by the apps it runs. Next year will undoubtedly see the development of even greater iPad apps. Some of these will be spurred on by some of the above hardware advancements (if they’re made), but most will come down to the genius of iOS developers.
In 2011, we’re bound to see more games, more GTD (getting things done) apps, more utility apps, and more productivity apps grace our iPads. All of them will take advantage of the device’s 9.7-inch HD screen, and hopefully most of them will further “revolutionize” the device.
We’ll be posting when more iPad 2 news becomes available.
One behalf of the whole team here at AppAdvice, I’d like to wish you a very happy new year – and all the best for 2011!