10 iPad 3 Features We Can't Live Without
Which features should accompany the launch of the iPad 3?
While the big rumor is that Apple will give into the seven-inch nonsense and release two iPads this year (one big, one small), that isn't likely to happen. And that's not really what consumers want or need. Instead of a smaller tablet, consumers are waiting for an iPad that will bring about the next revolution in portable computing. Will the iPad 3 lead that revolution? Time will tell. But if nothing else, there are 10 features that the next iPad should not be without.
10. Major Apps at Launch
As a hardware company, Apple isn't in the best position to ensure that its devices are released with triple-A software. But while most consumers buy Apple products for the overall package, wouldn't it be nice if there was at least one breathtaking new (exclusive) app that took full advantage of iPad 3?
Perhaps we should be saying this to the game and utility developers. Electronic Arts (NASDAQ: EA), are you listening?
But it doesn't have to be a game or a utility. It could be anything. Isn't that the point of the iPad 3? So come on developers – get to work already!
9. New Gestures
I'm not going to pretend that I know anything about the development of touch screen gestures. But Apple seems to be a master at turning silly motions into natural techniques that anyone can master. iOS 6 may be a year or two away, but there's no reason why the iPad 3 can't ship with a few additional gestures to hold us over until then.
8. A Hint of Touch-Free Interactivity
Sooner or later, Apple is likely to enter the realm of touch-free (motion-based) control. The Mac maker isn't likely to go all-in just yet; Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has already done that, and Apple won't copy Microsoft unless it is sure it can develop something that is several times better. (Perhaps that is why Apple has not released its own game console. Hmmm…)
But as we've seen with the arcade versions of Ninja Fruit and Infinity Blade, it is possible to perform simple actions without physically touching the screen. Granted, those arcade games are awful. But if anyone can make this technology work, it's Apple. By doing so, it could open a whole new world of app possibilities for the iPad 3 – and give us a taste of what we might be able to expect from Apple's first television.
7. Better (Dedicated) Graphics Processing
Apple has yet to decide which iDevice will take the lead as its primary gaming platform. But thus far, the iPad 2 has been awarded with better-looking games. Apple needs to take this one step further and add an uber-powerful graphics processor to the iPad 3, one that will allow developers to create games (and interactive books) that are unlike anything we've ever seen on a tablet.
6. Smart TV Support
When will Apple's first TV be released? That is anybody's guess. But one thing we do know for sure is that competing “smart televisions” are already here – including an upcoming set that could threaten Apple's future in the market.
Apple could retaliate – and give consumers an awesome new feature – by adding smart TV compatibility to the iPad 3. By “compatibility,” I mean that users should be able to control smart televisions with an iPad. Surely Apple will save the best integration for its own television set. But by the time that item is released, the iPad 4 could be here! Why wait until then for true TV integration?
5. App Overhaul
For marketing purposes, everything is an app. The most trivial thing in the world can be downloaded from the App Store simply because consumers have been trained to believe that apps are cool. But not every app is great. Some are completely useless. Others shouldn't even be considered apps anymore.
Just as Apple loves to kill off features we don't need (read: scroll bars!), it's time for the iPhone maker to clean up the app-cluttered iOS interface. Why, for example, do we need separate video player apps for Hulu, Netflix (NASDAQ: NFLX), and other content providers? Sites like myUbi.tv are attempting to eliminate the need for separate video players. There is no reason why Apple (or some clever developer – Ubi, perhaps?) can't do the same for the iPad 3.
4. A Better Web Browser
Why is it that Apple makes the best smartphone, but Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) makes the best Web browser? The iPhone may provide a better surfing experience than any Android device, but that's due to the hardware, the touch screen and the mobile OS. But compared to Chrome, Safari sucks. Compared to anything except Internet Explorer, Safari sucks.
It's time for Apple to change that. Apple needs to bring a revolutionary new browser to the iPad that takes full advantage of the iPad 3's capabilities. Apple could use this browser – hopefully NOT called Safari – to slowly reshape the way we surf the Web.
Better still, it could open the door for a new source of revenue. Mozilla is making $300 million a year from Google, which is paying the company to maintain its status as the default search engine in Firefox. Wouldn't it be ironic (and kind of awesome) if the day came when Apple made a browser that was strong enough to do the same?
3. Retina Display
Does the iPad 3 need a Retina Display? If it does, will it cause a drop in battery life as some predict?
These are just two of the question marks surrounding the new screen technology that may or may not come to the third iPad. But Apple wouldn't ever do something that would bring the tablet's battery life below its current benchmark.
However, the company might do something to increase the tablet's battery life. Keep reading.
2. 50% More Power
The “Tim the ‘Toolman' Taylor” in all of us wants more power. Knowing Apple, the iPad 3 will be tweaked with a superior processor. But will Apple go the distance and give us a more impressive upgrade, one that dwarfs the previous iPads and allows app developers to produce a fresh collection of mind-blowing software? Only time will tell. But this is definitely an upgrade the iPad 3 shouldn't be without.
1. Double the Battery Life
In addition to being the most likely new feature within the iPad 3, a new battery could prove to be the tablet's most significant upgrade. While a brighter screen or a new processor is limited in its appeal, a double-capacity battery would make a large number of iPad 1 and iPad 2 users sell their tablets to buy the latest and greatest iDevice.
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