So Apple is going to announce their new iPad next week on the 7th. It's not a surprise, as it's been about a year since the last announcement, and that seems to be a pretty consistant release schedule for Apple so far (of course anything is subject to change at this stage of the game). There are a lot of release announcement predictions, but I'm not going to make any. What I've heard has been pretty consistant with expectations, so let me tell you what I expect:
- Retina Display: It's about time the iPad had a retina display. This is what kept me from trying to convince my wife to get an iPad 2. Sure there were a lot of awesome features that I could have used up to now, but I wanted a display that was easy on the eyes. The Retina display (from my experience with my iPhone 4) is very easy on the eyes.
- More Memory: This sounds pretty intuitive, but I would like to see more memory on the iPad 3. Not storage, but RAM memory (processing memory). It will boost performance without sacrificing too much battery life.
- More Battery Life: I really want to see more battery life come out of the iPad 3. It's already killer in it's performance, so I'm not worried about it slumping down behind other tablets. Rather, I'm hoping for more distancing from the rest of the pack. Apple's delivered killer battery life thus far, and it's a trend I would like to continue. It's definitely a good thing considering the huge piece of mind it gives me while traveling.
So that's pretty much it. I'm not expecting a lot, because that's all I really need. That being said, let me tell you what I would want:
- New Connector: Sure, to date I've had no trouble connecting my iPad and my iPhone to the same cable I've used for my iPod Touch, but I want something that can move more data faster with a smaller connection point. The 30-pin connector that is currently used seems so fragile to me, I'm always afraid I'm going to break something. What with syncing over the Air and iCloud for our iOS devices, perhaps a data connection isn't even necessary.
- LTE: I wouldn't use it a lot, and I wouldn't want it on all the time, but when I'm traveling and happen to stay at a hotel that doesn't have wireless access (only wired? Really?), having an LTE connection for Netflix, web work, and email would be very handy.
- Digital Hub: The iPad is a powerful device that has the potential to be a digital hub for all your devices. For now, I'm just looking at perhaps a built-in VNC client for controlling your Mac remotely, a better-designed Remote app for the Apple TV, and perhaps a way to report on other iOS devices registered in your name. It would be great to keep track of what the kids are doing on their devices, then control what's on the Apple TV, and then switch over to the Mac for some quick work that can't be done otherwise on the iPad.
So that's about it for the wants. Now, what about the wishes?
- Waterproof: I would LOVE to see an iPad that was waterproof. I don't know if it can be done within the price range of the iPad and still have it be a money maker for Apple, but I would just about kill for a waterproof iPad. And when I say waterproof, I mean survive a tumble in the bathtub from a wandering toddler. Not very likely, but that would be KILLER!
- OS Lion Server Admin Tools: There are some tools out there by third party developers, but I would love to be able to manage my server remotely from my iPad easily, while also pulling up data points and setting alerts on critical data. It's probably not something that would be widespread considering the market for iOS devices, but it would be nice.
- Calendar and Photo Book Publishing: With iOS 5 Apple released a Cards app for creating and printing high quality greeting cards. They need one for calendars and photo books too. Do that, and my wife will never let her iPad out of her sight again.
- Command Line/SSH: There are a lot of third party tools out there, but I would really like to have a command line tool on my iPad. It doesn't have to be a command line tool to access iOS, but rather a built-in SSH console that will allow me to access my computers at home and at work for quick code updates and HTML changes that are minor.
- iBooks Author for iPad: I know it was just released, but as it's just another iWorks app (more or less), it would be nice to see an iBooks Author app for the iPad.
- Xcode for iPad: This is definitely pie in the sky type stuff, but I would love to have Xcode for the iPad. A chance to get some real development done on a very mobile device that doesn't need a clamshell open while working: that would be awesome. If you need help with the special character set for programming, look at the way iA Writer has their keyboard set up, I think you would be very happy with that setup.
That's about it. Honestly, only Xcode and iBooks Author keep me on a laptop for right now, which is probably why at least Xcode will remain only a desktop app (and probably for the best). Still, it would be awesome to have, if not Xcode Express (all the coding and code check, none of the compiling or virtual environment testing).
Also, notice I didn't say anything about a quad-core processor. Honestly, as long as the graphics chip screams, why waste power on multiple cores? Tablet computing doesn't take a lot of processing power, so why have all those cores sitting idle? I also didn't say anything about SD slots for extended storage. With the expected iCloud improvements, SD cards will be less useful than getting data through the cloud. Even now I find that using Dropbox does more than enough for transferring files back and forth.
What would you like to see in the new iPad?