March 2nd 2011 saw Apple hold one of its prestigious events in San Francisco. During that event, Apple announced the accessories new accessories such as the Smart Cover and Digital AV adapter, and announced Garage Band and iMovie for iPad.
Following this tradition, Apple has announced it’s next grand event, And if you take anything from the invite, it’s that the event is certain to be about the future of the iPad.
So lets jump into some predictions for next Wednesday.
“We have something we’d really like you to see. And touch.”
I guess the iPad 3 is the most obvious prediction for next Wednesday, but what can we expect from it? The most rumoured update (and perhaps most longed for) is a retina display. The rumours and those in the know, shows that Apple has been building up to this for a while now. It has been widely rumoured that the iPad 3 will carry a ultra-high resolution 2048×1536 display. Take another look at that invite, notice how crisp the water droplets and text looks on the screen? That is likely to be a big hint.
Next up, is a processor upgrade. The iPad 2 introduced the A5, a dual core system on a chip. This year there has been a lot of speculation on Apples new chip designs. Rumours from February hints to a new “A5X” chip for the iPad 3, However there’s evidence in the iOS 5.1 beta that points to another chip in testing: the A6. Both chips are expected to be an improvement on the A5, but to what degree is unknown. There’s speculations as to the A6 being a quad core part with higher frequency and upgraded graphics with more RAM in the package, where as the A5X sticks to the dual core architecture of the A5 but a higher clock speed, improved graphics and increased RAM.
The rumours and leaked images are probably a good indication of how the iPad 3 will look – very much the same as the iPad 2. The new casing is said to be slightly thicker with a more gradual taper. From the limited rumours we’ve heard, the front of the device is largely unchanged.
The iPad 3 is more than likely, to take a cue from the iPhone updates we’ve seen over the years, and will include better front and rear cameras. Some rumours are even going as far as the device including the same 8MP camera as the iPhone 4S!
Ah, voice commands, more specifically Siri. Although neither there iPad or iPad 2 has the ability to understand voice commands. But with Apples highly touted service, they would surely be missing a trick by not introducing it on the iPad 3. But don’t expect to see on previous iPad generations, at least not yet.
There’s been a great amount of speculation that the iPad 3 will be the first device Apple releases to include an LTE/4G chipset. Although I’m not convinced. Apple notoriously dropped 3G support from the first generation iPhone because it consumed so much battery life and the technology was fairly undeveloped. I believe the same reasons could hold Apple back again, the UK has next to no 4G infrastructure, and even in the US it’s young.
Although these are nice incremental updates, I don’t think it’s enough to convince me to upgrade. But never say never, especially when it comes to me and Apple products.
This update has been in beta for a couple of months, and is said to focus on Siri improvements. If Apple has waited until this event to release the update, it could be a good indicator of Siri being released for the iPad. I’m just hoping for the business search and directions working in the UK.
“I’ve finally cracked it” – Steve jobs
Now the next biggest rumour mill for this event is the Apple TV, Apple’s “Hobby” device. Although the device has become one of the greatest iOS accessories I’ve bought, and it might just make the jump to full time project.
The biggest rumour circles the form factor, will it stay as a set top box, or jump to a full-on television set(or both?) I don’t think Apple are ready to show off a television quite yet, but I am expecting to see an update to the set top box, in hardware and possibly software. Could this update explain the two new chips (A5X/A6) from Apple? I think so.
The software update is a little less likely, as Apple seemingly activate new features on a regular basis, and updates are usually tied to iOS updates. However, there’s no avoiding the possibility– or rumours, of Siri coming to the Apple Tv. It’s an interesting possibility, that will bring the power of voice to more than just iPhones.
And then there are Apps. In recent months I’ve become less convinced that Apple needs to bring Apps to the Apple TV. With the inclusion of AirPlay mirroring in iOS 5 your iPhone apps are available on the bigger screen. Nevertheless, I’d love to see some IPTV and catch up apps on the device, let’s hope Wednesday brings some new API’s for developers.
One more thing…
With inclusion of such a high resolution screen on the iPad 3, it pushes the resolution well above full HD (1080p). At present iTunes content maxes out at 720p, what’s the point in having this amazing screen without offering content that can utilise it? There have been some rumours of Apple working on a new high def audio format that’s to be available in the next month. This is my guess for Apples one more thing next Wednesday.
On the other hand, this will be Apple’s first mainstream keynote since Steve Jobs’ death. If Phil Schiller’s words to John Gruber, at the OSX Mountain Lion previews, are to be adhered to the one more thing feature could be gone forever.
- Retina Display
- Processor Upgrade
- Camera upgrade
- Upgraded processor
- 1080p airplay capabilities
- software update
- updated remote
- Full on TV set
One More thing
- Full HD content
- HD Audio
- iOS 5.1
Apple’s media event is scheduled for next Wednesday, March 7 at 6pm GMT at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco.