Second-gen iPad may feature better display, video calling

Having already predicted the arrival of a second-gen iPad early next year, the rumor mill is now going into detail about the upcoming slate’s features. DigiTimes, which bases its story on an Economic Daily News report, says Apple has five features up its sleeve for the new iPad: "video phone, better mobility, USB port, new display technology and 3-axis gyroscopes."

Features one, four, and five are pretty self-explanatory. Apple already implemented a fancy gyroscope, a high-DPI display, and a front-facing camera in the iPhone 4, so similar improvements in the iPad 2 make sense. I even pointed out last time that a higher-resolution display would be a useful addition, since the current iPad’s 1024×768 panel looks a little old-fashioned next to the iPhone 4’s Retina display.

Talk of better mobility and USB connectivity is a little more vague, especially since DigiTimes doesn’t really go into much detail. (All it says is, "The USB feature will allow the device to be more connection friendly.") I can hazard some guesses, though. First, the current iPad requires a $29 adapter to connect to a digital camera; a standard, built-in USB port would remove that problem and help make the iPad more usable as a laptop replacement. As for the better mobility, that could simply mean longer battery life. Perhaps Apple will also make the second-gen device thinner and lighter—the current iPad does feel a little heavy at 1.5 lbs.

Comments closed
    • Farting Bob
    • 9 years ago

    Only an apple product can have one of its 5 main updates be “a USB port” lol. Its hard to find a gadget these days that doesnt have one, the ipad being pretty much it. Hell ive seen watches with USB ports.

    • Hance
    • 9 years ago

    I have had an iPad 3G since a couple of days after they came out. For my use I can’t think of anything I would want to improve.

    • Spotpuff
    • 9 years ago

    Second gen ipad may be better than the first.

    • anotherengineer
    • 9 years ago

    I will wait for the 4th gen lol

    • HisDivineShadow
    • 9 years ago

    I expect them to make the aspect 16:9 to have access to panels that aren’t special order (since few even use 4:3 any more). This cost cutting will lead to somewhat lower prices, even with a CPU (multicore improvements) and memory increase (up to iPhone 4 levels at least). This will help multitasking.

    Resolution will go up to 1366×768. Improved gyros. USB port used not for charging, but for connecting a camera/iPod/iPhone. Still has dock connector for its own charging/data sync. Smaller due to the aspect change, battery improvements, and the change in metal used on the device (liquid metal) leading to lower weight. Flat back like the iPhone 4 with flat sides.

    The change in aspect ratio will drive people crazy as they rush to fix their iPad apps to work on both aspects. Jobs will argue that the resolution bump is worth the “minor” change to aspect ratio and that “it’ll make movies look great.”

    Facetime will be included.

    Apple will continue to ignore the awesome that would be wireless sync.

      • jdaven
      • 9 years ago

      “Apple will continue to ignore the awesome that would be wireless sync.”

      Airplay and Airprint are still pretty cool even if somewhat limited right now (only get better).

      I have a feeling that somehow wireless syncing is restricted by DRM. Or at least the huge market of accessories that are available.

      • blastdoor
      • 9 years ago

      I’m skeptical about the 16:9 prediction. Apple’s volumes are enough to make any part they use cheap. So it really comes down to what makes the best product. 16:9 would be ideal for HD video, but 4:3 seems more useful for just about everything else.

    • crsh1976
    • 9 years ago

    Hopefully it’ll be a tad lighter; it’s no behemoth, but after about 10 minutes of holding it I tend to feel a bit of a strain.

    • FuturePastNow
    • 9 years ago

    I just don’t see the display size or resolution changing. It’s perfect for what it is. Maybe they could give it pressure sensitivity or stylus support for drawing.

    I also doubt the iPad will get a USB port, but the USB “camera” adapter it has now has some limitations they could address- it’s not powered (or not powered enough) so it doesn’t work with flash drives. And it can only copy photos and videos from a device. If Apple can make the iPad work as a true host device, that would be great.

    A Facetime camera is obvious, but a rear-facing camera would make for some awkward photography.

      • esterhasz
      • 9 years ago

      For my purposes the current screen resolution is the iPad’s biggest weakness. I essentially work with text and a higher resolution would make handling PDFs a much more pleasing experience. The iPad has been a big success with students and researchers as a reading/annotating device so there is a market for better resolution.

        • blastdoor
        • 9 years ago

        I agree that higher resolution would be better for reading. The only problem is that then the GPU has to work a lot harder in games. Although I suppose games could still be made at the original resolution and just blown-up…

    • vince
    • 9 years ago

    How about making it’s back flat?

      • trackerben
      • 9 years ago

      There be a case for that

    • trackerben
    • 9 years ago

    Lighter weight, webcams – if true these additions answer the iPad’s most obvious issues. Eight months deep into the learning cycle, I can say these would be the most desirable general revisions. USB would be nice but more for powering external commo devices than for filesystem and device extensions, at least for me. There are workarounds and substitutes for the rest of the presumed feature gaps, but there are none for the mass penalty, lack of imaging hardware, and the inability to divert 5VDC from that huge battery.

    • Usacomp2k3
    • 9 years ago

    I don’t seem them changing the display due to the hardware requirements scaling with displays size. Unless they are getting a new/faster CPU/GPU in there.

    • tviceman
    • 9 years ago

    And Steve Jobs says you still cannot have a flash enabled mobile apple device.

    • glynor
    • 9 years ago

    There’s no way it is getting a standard USB port. I’ll eat my hat if so. They won’t abandon the dock connector, and Jobs won’t want there to be a separate port of any kind on the device.

    Thinking like Apple… Multiple ports are a /[

      • Hattig
      • 9 years ago

      It could be because of the recent EU ruling on having mini-USB ports as standard on all mobile phones (and possibly all mobile network connected devices) for charging. The dock connector will still be there, but there’ll be a mini-USB connector nearby as well.

        • glynor
        • 9 years ago

        Maybe… I think the iPad is different. It is not a phone, and those rules are unlikely to apply. Even if you think they might, Apple is unlikely to comply unless forced explicitly. And, even then, I really don’t think Apple will want to put a second port on the device itself. They might include a dock-connector to USB dongle in the box, but having a second port on their device would offend their design sensibilities.

        The dock connector is compelling in some ways (the “iPod dock connector ecosystem”). It already works with many of the same accessories designed for regular iPods. They aren’t going to get rid of the dock connector, and I don’t think Jobs will add a second port that does the same thing. If forced, or if they think it will give them a competitive advantage, they’ll include a dongle in the box.

          • jdaven
          • 9 years ago

          There is a possibility of an SD card slot if you want to call this a ‘port’. I can see an advantage here for dl’ing your digital photos on the road. iPhoto could then be used for file navigation. I don’t know if Apple would support using the SD card as a general storage device as there is no typical GUI for file browsing. This would look too much like a traditional OS on traditional hardware.

            • glynor
            • 9 years ago

            I agree. An integrated SD card reader is a possibility. I’m skeptical about that too, of course… But Apple including USB and HDMI (and similar other types of true “connection ports”) is extremely unlikely, at least in the next generation iPad.

            • trackerben
            • 9 years ago

            Media readers are most valuable when a common filesystem and browse UI is in place. App data stores, access, and manipulation operate mostly within structured silos. One must constantly be on the lookout for pre-approved methods of sharing between complementary apps.

        • MrDigi
        • 9 years ago

        I believe the EU chose the micro-USB, they couldn’t bare to use what was already getting established.

      • Corrado
      • 9 years ago

      It would get a USB-A slot, so you could plug in your camera or keyboard, not a USB-B slot so you could plug it into your PC.

        • glynor
        • 9 years ago

        I don’t think a USB port of ANY kind is very likely at all. We will see.

    • Hattig
    • 9 years ago

    Facetime camera is a given. Original iPad was designed for the gyroscope too, so that’s a given as well. If the iPad 2 has a faster CPU/GPU chip, then it could have a higher resolution display, although I find it unlikely that it will be “retina” quality (2048×1536 at least), but maybe 1280×960 or 1440×1080 (keeping the same aspect ratio).

    • ssidbroadcast
    • 9 years ago

    God, I really hope they don’t change the aspect ratio.

      • esterhasz
      • 9 years ago

      +1 here – 4:3 is just great for everything that is not movies and I have not watched a single movie (or any moving pictures that are not Web video for that matter) on the iPad since I got it right after launch.

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