iPad 2: Here's Everything We've Heard So Far

ipad anniversary

We just passed the one year anniversary of the iPad’s debut, which can only mean one thing — It’s already old news!

So, where’s the iPad 2? And what are the “insanely great” features Apple is packing into it?

We’ve been keeping our eyes open for all news and rumours that have popped up on the next iPad. We’ve put it all together in one package for you.

There will be no retina display

There has been a white hot debate over whether or not Apple will put its 'retina display' on the iPad. After reading John Gruber on the matter, we feel 88% confident saying it will not be on the iPad 2.

It's possible the display will be of a higher, better resolution. It's possible the screen is brighter. But, for now we don't think it happens. Our understanding is that it would be too much of a resource hog, and it could drive up the price of the iPad.

It will have front and rear facing cameras

This one is basically a foregone conclusion at this point. Apple will add a front facing camera for FaceTime, and a rear camera for snapping photos. Neither camera is expected to be great. They're most utilitarian. The iPad as a camera still strikes us as an odd idea, but it could be practical for some business users, and some people that want to get a quick snap of something if they're in a pinch.

The screen will be less reflective, so you can read it on the beach

We've heard about Apple working on a glare resistant screen twice now. Once at DigiTimes citing supply chain sources and once at 9 to 5 Mac, citing a securities analyst. Neither is exactly rock solid, so we're only 60% confident this happens.

But, we think it happens because one of Amazon's prime selling points for the Kindle is that you can use it pool side. We've taken our iPad out on the beach -- it stinks. It's hard to read, it overheats and shuts down. If Apple truly wants to make a great ereader, it needs to figure this out.

It will be thinner and lighter

The iPad is light, but it's not light. Maybe it's because the Kindle is so darn light, some people thought the iPad would weigh as much as a feather. It doesn't. But, it appears Apple is trying to change that. Multiple reports say the new iPad will be thinner, and a little bit lighter.

There's a chance that it gets some weird new grill in the back

We've heard a few unreliable rumours about a new grill being added to the back of the iPad 2. We're not sure what it's supposed to be. Some people think it could be a bigger, louder speaker. It would be out of character for Apple to plunk a huge ugly opening like this on the back the iPad, so we'll be surprised if it really happens.

There's a small chance it doesn't have a home button

We're dubious of this one ... but some people have suggested Apple will forgo the single button it has on the iPad to favour on screen gestures. Yes, Steve Jobs hates buttons, but as John Gruber notes, without that one simple button, the iPad is a little bit more complicated for people new to the iPad. Why alienate them?

It will get an SD slot

Engadget reports that the iPad 2 will get an SD slot, which means you can load an SD card into it. Why? Well, we're guessing it's a good way to load photos and other media onto the iPad quickly.

Last year Apple introduced the 'A4' chip with the iPad. This year, it's 'likely' it introduces the next version, which could be called the 'A5,' says Engadget. The A5 will be 'multi-core,' which means it will be quite fast.

Apple is reportedly adding NFC, so the iPad can be a digital wallet

Apple will reportedly add NFC chips to the iPad 2. With NFC chips you can wireless pay for items at stores that support the system. We don't really have that much trouble using credit cards, but this digital wallet idea has had people excited for years. If Apple does it, it could help usher in a new era.

It will be ready to rock on Verizon without a mifi

If you want to use an iPad through Verizon wireless today, you need to use a mifi hotspot. The next iPad should have a chip built into it that is compatible with Verizon's network. So, if you want to use Verizon for 3G, you can.

There's a very slim chance that Apple makes the iPad 2 even cheaper

We read a report that Apple plans on making 6 million iPads per month. That sounds really aggressive, since it just sold 7.3 million for the holiday quarter. If the report is true, then it would suggest Apple is going to make the iPad insanely cheap.

We have our doubts about the report though. So, we're not convinced the price will drop -- we're not even sure it could. But, maybe Apple lowers the price of the iPad 1, to clear inventory.

If we had to guess, we'd guess it's coming out in April

We're not sure when the iPad will be in stores, but if we were guessing, we'd go with April. In 2007, Apple unveiled the iPhone in January, but didn't start selling it until June. Since then, it has released a new iPhone every year around June. Last year Apple unveiled the iPad in January, but didn't sell it until April. It stands to reason, it might refresh the iPad each year around April. (Plus, Engadget pegged the release date as April)

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