Rumors of iPad 2.0 features surface

According to a report floating around the web, Apple’s next iPad will include five new hardware features:

  • A thinner chasis with thinner glass
  • A 3-axis gyroscope
  • A FaceTime camera
  • A USB Port
  • A Retina Display

Those first three items are pretty safe guesses. Apple is usually good about making subsequent products lighter and thinner. At 1.5 pounds, the iPad could lose a little weight. Thinner glass would go a long way.

Both the iPhone 4 and the current iPod touch sport a 3-axis gyroscope. This sensor allows the device to know if it is being spun around a central pivot. It’s a little hard to explain, but here’s a video of Steve Jobs showing the technology off.

Thirdly, the addition of a FaceTime camera really seems like a no-brainer. With FaceTime now running on the iPhone, iPod touch and the Mac, the iPad is the odd-man out. I think a rear-facing camera will make an appearance as well, but I think taking a photo with a 10-inch tablet would be more than a little awkward.

The USB port rumor is an interesting one. A USB port would allow for the possibility of connecting more devices to the iPad. Currently, the company sells a kit with two dongles — one to connect an SD card and one to connect a camera (via USB) to the iPad for importing photos. Why not simply add more capabilities to this USB dongle?

If Apple does add a USB port to the iPad, I don’t see it replacing the 3o-pin Dock Connector. Apple has been using the Dock Connector on its mobile devices since the third-generation iPod. There is an abundantly healthy third-party market based on this connector. A market Apple can influence, since manufacturers have to abide by the company’s compatibility guidelines to be a part of the “Made for iPod” program. A USB port in conjunction with the Dock Connector makes more sense, but honestly, I don’t see it happening. Why would Apple want to fragment the hardware accessory market?

Adding a mini USB port could fulfill an up-coming European Commission requirement for a “universal charger” on mobile devices.

Finally, the Retina Display. While I do think Apple will improve the display quality on the next iPad, I don’t believe Apple will be quadrupling the pixels on the iPad, as it did with the iPhone 4.

As Ryan Block at gdgt explains, this display would be pretty ridiculous:

However, using standard resolution increments, one can achieve an almost identical PPI to the iPhone 4 on the iPad at a stunning 2560 x 1920 pixels, or the same 330 PPI as in the iPhone 4.

Maybe 2560 x 1920 doesn’t sound like a lot, but it should. Let’s put that in context with the kinds of high resolutions you get on some professional-grade desktop products:

– MacBook Pro 15-inch = 1440 x 900
– Macbook Pro 15-inch high-res = 1680 x 1050
– Macbook Pro 17-inch = 1920 x 1200
– Dell 24-inch monitor = 1920 x 1200

Think about that for a moment: a 9.7-inch screen that displays more visual information than two high res 24-inch monitors stacked on top of one another.

A true “Retina Display” on the iPad would be really, really dense. Probably too dense.

One wildcard is the Multi-Touch technology itself. Some have said Apple will improve this on the next model. Since the launch of the original Multi-Touch device — the original iPhone — Apple hasn’t mentioned any improvements it’s brought to Multi-Touch. Adding new gestures or new technology here would certainly only put Apple’s products further ahead of its competition’s products.

Rumors aside, it sure seems like Apple will unveil the next generation iPad early in 2011. We can all simply wonder until then.

Article Via The Next Web

Stephen Hackett, formerly a Lead Mac Genius at Apple, now spends his days running the IT department of a large non-profit in Memphis, TN. He writes about Apple, design and journalism at Like all twenty-somethings, you can find him… Full Bio