We here at ApplEvangelist.com aren’t too proud to
omit admit when we’ re wrong. That also gives us some license to boast. The New iPad was announced today and we’re forced to do a little of both.
THE BARE MINIMUM
It seems all but confirmed now that the next iPad will have a “Retina” display. This new display will have 4X the number of pixels as the current iPad; making it a better display than virtually every laptop currently made. The screen will be quite an achievement; with comparable crispness to that of a glossy magazine. To make this display go, Apple will need to include an upgraded graphics processor and more RAM.
In typical Apple fashion, these updates will be touted as revolutionary. And let’s be honest, we will still be in line the day it’s released. Set your expectations at this level and you shouldn’t be disappointed.
As for the name? Our bet is on iPad HD.
99% Probability (of at least this or more)
There’s lots of good news here for our ApplEvangelist prognosticators. But we’ll start with the bad.
IPad 3? iPad 2S? iPad HD? Nope. The new iPad is called…The New iPad. Yeah we didn’t see that coming either. It does make some sense. Apple wants buyers to think of this as the new PC. If they were to follow similar naming conventions with desktops as they do mobile devices, I could be typing this on an iMac 6 or MacBook Pro 8S. So Apple has borrowed more traditional naming conventions from the desktop and laptop lines in so much as they don’t have a naming convention. From this point forward,any new iPad will simply be called iPad. This may make its way to the iPhone in the fall, as well.
As for the rest of our prediction?
The new iPad will have an amazing screen. Better than any you seen most likely. On anything. The 9.7″ screen of the new iPad will have more pixels than your big screen television. Text will be amazingly clear and images almost photo realistic.
We’ll call this one “spot on” right down to the “revolutionary” part. Here’s Apple’s current home page:
But that was the softball prediction. Can of corn. Easy peazy lemon squeezy. How did we fair on our more risky predictions?
YOUR BEST BET
Along with a Retina display, most informed leaks are pointing to the next generation of Apple processor; a quad-core processor with a significant speed bump. This information directly contradicts some physical evidence of an only slightly modified chip from that of the iPad 2. The iPad 3 could come with only this slightly updated processor. But don’t be disappointed if it does. Apple consistently gets better performance than competitors who utilize beefier chips. Code in the iPad software points to both an A5X upgraded chip and an all new A6 chip, so either is possible. If it is an A6, bet on it incorporating a new type of architecture that could improve performance even more than the extra cores.
Probability of new A6 70%
The iPad 2 only has 512MB of RAM. Though less than many of its competitors, the iPad consistently performs better with less. At this point, Apple will need to up the RAM to a gigabyte in order to drive the new screen. Expect even better performance all the way around for your apps too.
Yikes. Whiffed on that one. Or did we? The new A5X processor in the new iPad is still only dual-core, but the graphics processor with it has been bumped to quad-core. We’ll call it a push. No A6 but still a little bit of quad-core action and we can all but guarantee that this combination will produce some amazing results.
As for the RAM, Apple hasn’t released that info. Does that mean we win by forfeit?
LTE is the next generation of cellular service. Verizon has a fairly robust LTE presence and AT&T is beginning a large rollout as well. With speeds up to 20 times faster than 3G, LTE would make for a drastically faster machine in regard to web surfing, etc. The issue with LTE is battery life. The chips currently made are fairly power hungry. The phones hocked by the hokey commercials on TV get great data speeds but literally can only last a few hours. If Apple includes LTE it will be first on the iPad where Apple has more space for the size of battery needed. The two things Apple won’t concede on are battery life and entry level price.
There we go. Now we’ve found our rhythm. Apple will be shipping LTE equipped New iPads next Friday for both AT&T and Verizon. This new cellular standard boasts speeds up to 10 times faster than standard 3G. Apple even found a way to preserve the great battery life of the iPad.
Naturally, with our predictions getting more and more “out there”‘ our average drops off considerably from this point forward.
Siri has been a big success so far; even in Beta. Apple has big plans for Siri and will most likely be rolling it out to most of its new mobile devices. Siri for iPad 3 is a safe bet. Dictation seems a natural fit for a device Apple is beginning to tout as a productivity tool. But, in all actuality, including Siri with the new iPad is simply a way to future proof the device for what will be a big year for Apple and voice commands.
Probability 80 %
The new iPad has voice dictation but Siri is nowhere in sight. Seems like the horsepower is there. Maybe they’ll add Siri in a future update.
Apple’s MacBook Pro line of laptops have a great camera for video chatting. The FaceTime HD camera offers video at 720p (technically HD). This seems a natural fit for the iPad. We’ve filed it under Cautiously Optimistic because we have no idea how hard it would be to fit a FaceTime HD camera into an iPad.
A facelift for the rear camera but not for the forward facing FaceTime camera. I would have preferred the focus to be forward. Apple added some nice functionality and quality to the rear camera on the new iPad. So if you’re into holding up your iPad to make movies, enjoy.
AirPlay is the future for Apple. They don’t make a big deal about it now, but along with iCloud and voice commands, AirPlay will be the vehicle for allowing your iPad or iPhone to become the only computer you need. Apple may very well take another step in that direction with their announcement on Wednesday. With improvements to Bluetooth and wireless technology, AirPlay will only get better. There’s something big in store for AirPlay. But no one outside of Apple knows what that is.
No news on this front today. Apple remains tight lipped about its long term plans for AirPlay. They did add features to an update of the current AppleTV (1080p and a new interface) and expanded iTunes Match to cover movies. Now, simply pay the $25 a year and all your music and movies will be available on all of your devices.
3D rendered maps software would look impressive on an iPad. Though, seeing as most people use maps on their phone, it could be released as a key feature of iOS 6 when the next iPhone is announced.
Unfortunately, we were right about this one. No new maps for Apple. The day is coming, though. I’ll go out on a limb and up my probability of Apple Maps being released before the end of the year to 75%.
The rest of our predictions were but mere fantasies. Haptic feedback and a massive push into TV are still in the cards. But not today.
WHERE DOES THAT LEAVE US?
Answer: With a new iPad next Friday. That’s right, we preordered one the minute Apple’s online store went live this afternoon. The Retina display and LTE speeds merit the purchase. In addition, Apple continues to fill out its iWork and iLife suites for iPad and iPhone. Today, Apple introduced iPhoto for iPad which looks to be an elegant, seamless, and robust way to manage and edit your photos on the iPad. IMovie and Garage band got big updates, as well. The iWork suite of apps (Pages, Numbers, Keynote) also gained features.
If you already have an iPad 2 this release may not warrant an upgrade. However, if you’ve held out on buying an iPad or still have the original, this is a great opportunity to hold the best screen ever made for a mobile device.