Apple’s March Special Event Wishlist




No one is ever quite sure what wonderful product Apple is going to bring next, and thankfully, we won’t be forced to hold our collective breaths much longer. As we all know, Apple is holding a special event on Wednesday, March 2nd, so all the electric buzz of speculation will soon come to a close, and we will finally see what the next iPad will feature.

The biggest question that seems to hover around this announcement is whether Apple will release an incremental upgrade akin to an “iPad 1.5”, or if they will choose to fully blow all potential competitors out the water…even before most other tablet computer makers have a chance to respond to last year’s groundbreaking iPad announcement. Only time will tell…and we won’t have to wait much longer for it to do so.

Currently, the iPad 2 is rumored to have practically everything under the sun. There are all kinds of possible additions to the iPad. But that raises a question: what really are the “must have” features for the iPad 2?

So, I’ve compiled my iPad 2 feature “wish list”. Now, all of these features aren’t necessarily guaranteed or even likely, but they’re not necessarily out of the realm of possibilities, either. And as long as we’re wishing, let’s just go for it.

More Memory
The iPad really needs about 1GB of RAM for truly smooth multi-tasking, as well as the ability to run more powerful apps. The current iPad has 256MB of RAM, and there are definite hardware restrictions as a result. Let’s face it, there’s nothing like a little more RAM to really boost performance in nearly any device. Besides, four times the memory would make for great, fast app-switching and could even lead to true multi-tasking of running two apps at once, perhaps in split-screen on the iPad.

Cameras…and Great Ones
A deluxe, rear facing camera on the iPad would be great if it was powerful enough to replace the need for a stand alone camera. The five megapixel camera with LED flash and the 720p video camera featured in the iPhone 4 would be a fantastic start, but as long as we are wishing, why not have a little bit better camera with 1080p video?

Of course, featuring any camera at all will open up the world picture and video taking on the iPad, which is something that was clearly missing from the first generation release. A camera will allow for scanning and augmented reality apps. As for a front facing camera, a 720p HD FaceTime camera like on the new MacBook Pros would be an amazing upgrade. Ideally, this would also allow you to take still shots at a higher resolution than VGA or one megapixel, as is the case with the FaceTime camera on the iPhone 4.

iLife Suite for iPad
Apple has recently made iWork for iPad, so why not port iLife to the iPad as well? After all, there’s iMovie for iPhone, and with the addition of a deluxe camera system on the iPad, why not open the iLife Suite to iPad as well? I think touch-based versions of iPhoto and iMovie on the size of the iPad screen would improve the appeal of the iPad greatly.

The ease of use and power of the Mac software could make it to the iPad with a more powerful iPad. The iPad could really become a creative traveling tool. Competitors could potentially have a tough time bringing similar apps to their platforms.

4G
Hey, we can dream can’t we? 4G is available in very few areas right now, so Apple may wait a generation before adding this feature, but it’s coming. As long as we’re making a wish list, 4G is definitely on it.

Faster Processor and Graphics
This one is almost a sure thing at this point. The iPad 2 will most likely feature Apple’s new A5 processor, and the graphics chip will probably be two times as powerful, which is sure to position the iPad2 as even more of a gaming and multimedia device than it already is. With this kind of power, the iPad will leave its tablet competitors even more in the dust.

An Anti-Glare Screen Option
Wouldn’t this be a nice option? The new 15″ and 17″ MacBook Pros now have an anti-glare screen option, so maybe Apple can work this feature onto the iPad as well.

iOS 5 Sneak Peek
Okay, so this isn’t a wish about the iPad as much as it is about the actual media event tomorrow, but as long as we’re wishing, wouldn’t it be great to hear a little about iOS 5? Maybe we could hear a bit about a new iOS notification system, or even a better multi-tasking implementation. And perhaps the multi-touch gestures can make it to prime time outside of the developer beta. We already know Mac OS X 10.7, or “Lion”, will have some features from iOS. Could iOS pick up some features from Mac OSX?

Alas, even if we don’t hear anything about iOS 5 tomorrow, just an iOS 4.3 release with support for third party Air Play and subscriptions would hold us over.

Wireless Syncing/Cloud Based Solution
Wouldn’t it be great if we didn’t need that white sync cable? What if we could get our media from our computer to our iPad the same way AirVideo or DropBox does it? A cloud solution for the iPad would be a dream come true.

A New Screen Aspect Ratio
The iPad is a great size when you hold it in your hands. With that said, there’s nothing like watching a video in full screen, 16:9 aspect ratio. Currently, watching videos in full screen cuts off part of the video, and watching in letterbox just isn’t as much fun to me. An iPad with less bezel on the top and bottom could allow for a new screen aspect ratio.

Thunderbolt/Multi-Purpose Port

Imagine the possibilities with super-fast transmission of data. You can sync up with all kinds of devices without that $30 special connector. It will also allow for display output to hook your iPad up to any kind of external big screen.

A More Powerful Speaker System
A second speaker as part of a more powerful system would do wonders for the iPad experience by making it generally more immersive.

Thinner and Lighter
This one is also almost a guarantee, but how could you not want the iPad to feel thinner and lighter? This one is definitely on the wish list.

A Built-In Stand
If Apple could build in a kick stand for the iPad, it would put a lot of case makers out of business. It would also make for a much more enjoyable experience if you could stand your device for typing and movie watching, without the extra bulk.

An Option To Enable Flash
This isn’t that essential for me, but I know some really do wish for it. The MacBook Air currently comes without Flash installed, but you can still go out and get it. Apple should adopt the same policy on the iPad: to ship the iPad without Flash but allow those who really want it to get it. Just warn us about stability and battery life and leave us on our own. Many iPad users probably wouldn’t know or care, but to some it would make a huge difference.

Verdict
We’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see what happens for sure, but until then, I’m keeping my fingers crossed for some of the features above. Either way, the special event should be amazing, and we’re all looking forward to it wit the rest of the iDevice-loving world.



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