New iPad Speculation

It’s a rainy MLK day, and I’m home. What better time to speculate on what the next iPad version will be? Last year about this time a lot of people were wondering about the new tablet device Apple was about to unveil. Many thought it would be a real tablet computer running OSX, but a few thought it would be something else. There were plenty of different reactions after the announcement, but it didn’t take long to see that the iPad was going to be a huge success.

Now, a year later, the rest of the computing world is trying to develop the iPad “killer, and more rumors swirl about the next iteration of the iPad. How will it change?

The Outside:
For a while now people have been speculating on the new enclosure. There have been cases and mock ups that show a larger hole for a speaker. That would address one complaint about the current iPad, the speaker is just OK. It’s not bad, just OK. Many say flatter thinner case. Some have said that the bezel may be thinner, but I’m not sold on that. It all depends on the size f the new display and how the rest of the stuff inside has to fit together. Either way, it’s probable that your old iPad case won’t fit the new one.

The Inside:
There will be a higher resolution display for the new iPad. It probably won’t be as dense as the retina display on the iPhone, but several sources are reporting that it should double the current resolution: 2048×1536, 260 DPI. This would likely require a new graphics package that would have a bonus effect; 1080p HD output capability. There will probaby also be a ne version of the A4 chip, which would then filter out to all iOS devices.

Camera:
I think it’s a safe bet that the new iPad will at least have a front facing camera. The more devices that Apple can add Facetime to, the better for them. I still don’t think a rear camera (like the iPhone or even the lesser one on the iPod Touch) would be used very much. It’s just not the right size device for a rear camera.

Software:
iOS 4.3 is rumored to have some very nice touches. The ability to turn your 3G iOS device into a mobile hotspot (depending on carrier implementation, of course) as well as a more open AirPlay function. Third party developers should now be able to take advantage of streaming video via AirPlay. Just in time for the boxee app!

I said last year, and I will continue to say, the key to the iPad’s success is the apps that are developed for it. One year in, the hardware upgrades will be nice, but they still need apps developed to take full advantage of the potential.

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