On Wednesday, March 2nd, Apple has invited to a media event where it will announce the iPad 2 – just smack during CeBit. Here’s what I expect, and what I don’t expect:
Well, it will get more memory and a faster processor, eventually dual-core. Not much of a surprise here.
I hope that it’ll get the necessary power to support CoreImage filters, one of the few Core-Animation parts that are still OS-X only. What is in for the user? Well, fast blur and shadows mostly, with all the consequences this has for interfaces.
At least some of the models will have a camera and most likely even a 2nd cam – though I’m not convinced that the latter makes a lot of sense. I really hope that the old model or a variant without camera will still be available, otherwise the iPad is mostly out in automotive, engineering and related fields, where such cameras would not be acceptable.
The case material will most likely change, as the sharper radius shown in prototypes most likely could not be machined in aluminium. Though rumor sites claim a carbon casing, I’d rather expect a „Liquid Metal“ back that looks similar to th current iPod touch back.
Retina display – would be a dream, yet highly unlikely. A resolution change will (hopefully) come next year. Yet I hope they glue the screen to the glass similar to the iPhone 4, it does wonders to image quality. I see no reasons why the display size should change.
The touchscreen could be improved in two aspects, though this is pure speculation on my part: At least some limited pressure sensibility (or rather pressure area sensibility) would be interesting, and a display that would additionally accept standard pen input without the thick pens we can use today would be great for many applications.
SD-Card slot? Nope. The camera connection kit works fine, this is not an issue Apple will deal with further IMO.
Thunderbolt aka Lightpeak? Maybe this is the small „mystery port“ at the upper edge of the device which was reported by some sites. This would make a lot of sense, because it would speed up synchronizing plus it could double as a high resolution video output. However, not much actually points to that direction. Nonetheless much more likely than SD-Card-slot or Retina ツ
Basic me.com for free? Apple’s invitation usually means something. I doubt that it’s coincidence that the calendar motive is so big here (currently the calender certainly is not the strongest part in the iPad). So I expect that they open me.com for all their customers at least for calendar sync and similar light weight features, with the (paid) option of storing photos, videos, apps, data etc.
The event will start on Wednesday 19:00 European time. Don’t you dare to call me then ツ