Here's What We Want For The iPad 3

sj ip3

Photo: Jalopnik photo illustration

Apple’s iPad 2 just came out, and it’s in such short supply that most people still can’t even buy one.But it’s not too early to start thinking about the iPad 3!

Many are still waiting for a more substantial update to upgrade from their first-generation iPads.

So, what’s the iPad 3 going to look like? When can we expect one?

The 'retina' display on the iPhone 4 is amazing, and it will be just as amazing on the iPad someday.

This will make text crisper, games more life-like, and the whole system will look better.

Because it will mean the display has four times as many pixels, it will require some significant under-the-hood improvements. And the display itself could be a costly component, so it might only be available on some sort of high-end, more expensive iPad Pro, or something.

But we'd definitely spring for an iPad with a 'retina' display.

Apple needs to work on freeing the iPad from iTunes and your PC

The iPad is quickly becoming the personal computer of the future. So why does it still insist on syncing to a Mac or PC?

We hope that as Apple evolves iOS, the iPad can become more independent from the computer. It would, of course, be nice to sync some things with the computer, either via USB or wifi. But while Apple keeps talking about the iPad as a 'post PC' device, it's a little ironic how much the iPad still depends on a connection to a PC.

This isn't as important for us, personally, because we are computer nerds. But for many people, the iPad will be their first and only computer. Those people shouldn't have to worry about iTunes or a PC.

The iPad could still afford to be lighter

The iPad 2 feels significantly lighter than the original iPad. But Apple's competitors are making tablets that are even lighter. This is one area where we think Apple will continue to make improvements.

The iPad 2 weighs 1.33 lbs. Samsung's forthcoming Galaxy Tab 10.1 will weigh 1.3 lbs, and the Galaxy Tab 8.9 will weigh 1.04 lbs.

It would be awesome to see Apple announce an iPad 3 that weights 1 lb. or less, if they can do it in a way that doesn't sacrifice battery life.

It's time for a 4G iPad

It's nice having 3G access on the iPad, but video doesn't really work all the time, and the connection is still too pokey sometimes. It could be awesome to have 4G LTE service, so video streams smoothly.

Bonus: An iPad with Verizon and AT&T 4G LTE service, but also a SIM card slot for overseas roaming, if possible.

We expect Apple to continue to make the iPad thinner, but that's not really a big priority

Samsung just leapfrogged Apple, saying its forthcoming Galaxy Tabs would be a whole 0.2 mm. thinner than the iPad 2. Time to freak out!

Not really. While we expect Apple to continue to make the iPad thinner over time, that's not really much of an issue for the iPad 3. (Especially so that Apple can keep the iPad's battery life around 10 hours.)

The iPad 3 could use a completely redesigned speaker system

We spend a lot of time watching video on our iPad in bed, without headphones. The sound coming out of the iPad's speaker is OK, but nothing special. It doesn't sound symmetrical because there's just one speaker, either on the right or left side of the screen.

This is tricky -- Apple would need three or four speakers to have stereo for every screen orientation. But we trust this is somewhere they could innovate if they really wanted to.

Not a crucial feature, but would be nice.

Apple might be able to leave the pricing alone for another year, depending on whether competing Android tablets have gotten much cheaper or not by then. It's possible Apple will have to reduce the entry-level price if cheap tablets from rivals start catching on, though.

What about a bigger or smaller iPad?

Apple has publicly trashed the 7-inch tablets, so we wouldn't hold our breath. But what happens if the 7-inch tablets actually start selling?

We'd actually be less surprised to see a bigger iPad than a smaller one. But anything's possible. No one was expecting the 11-inch MacBook Air.

If the iPhone is going to get NFC capabilities for mobile payments, the iPad should too

Why? Not because you're going to tap your iPad on something to pay someone for a cup of coffee.

Because the iPad could be a great point of sale system for RECEIVING payments from people's iPhones.

Of course, a new iPad will include some new software, too

By then, Apple could be well on its way through iOS 5, on its way to iOS 6.

We've laid out some new features that developers and consumers should be hoping gets added to iOS 5, including more 'cloud' services, better alerts and notifications, a better camera app, and more.

Click here to read more: 15 features Apple must build into iOS 5 →

So, when is this iPad 3 coming out, anyway?

There are many good reasons to think that Apple won't update the iPad in any significant way for another year. So, maybe sometime in early 2012 -- March or April, perhaps.

But there will be Android tablets coming out every few weeks this year. Some of them might actually be OK.

If Apple is still on top of the market by late summer, it can coast with the iPad 2 through the holidays. But if Android or RIM or HP or any other tablet starts getting some traction, Apple may have to react with something -- some sort of update for the holidays.

That could be an 'iPad 2.5' of sorts -- either a cheaper iPad 2, or one with more storage, or some other minor updates that could help Apple out for the holidays. Or, heck, it may even be a full-fledged update to the iPad 3.

(Eventually, it will make sense to move the iPad to a later-in-the-year cycle, anyway. Why should it keep selling an 8-month old product at Christmas?)

But right now, it looks like it'll be another year before the iPad 3 comes out. Apple is still totally in command of the market, so it's in no hurry.

What are we missing?

Let us know in the comments what new features you would like on the iPad 3.

NOW WATCH: Tech Insider videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.