Sunday, 19 December 2010 18:44

iPad 2: we await you


Although the original iPad is still supposed to be the must-have Christmas present of 2010, those who took the iPad-plunge long ago in what now seems a galaxy far, far away await Apple's next iMasterpiece - an upgraded, revved-up, lighter, more capable and in all ways too-good-to-be true iPad 2.

As always in the weeks and months before Apple's is due to launch upgrades to its iProduct lines, rumours abound over what those successor products will contain, what features they'll flash and just how much they'll instantly make the previous generation seem old-hat compared with the new must-have version.

Although there's no guarantee Apple will call its new iPad the 'iPad 2', a name that evokes only succession, the second iPad has already been rumoured to have a range of desired features.

The usual laundry list of such iPad 2 features includes a front and rear facing camera, with LED-flash, as seen on Samsung's Galaxy Tab, a lighter weight which, if true, will be oh-so welcome, and a smoother, svelter more rounded design (or perhaps a boxier design as per the iPhone 4, although few iPhone 4 owners truly profess to love its angular boxiness).

Then there's talk of a higher-resolution screen that goes some way towards the Retina Display the iPhone 4 and the latest iPod Touch models both sport, double the storage capacity for the same money as today, potentially relegating the once massive 16GB capacity to historical obscurity and iOS 5.0, an operating system update that will see iOS break free from its 2007 shackles and emerge anew in stunning form.

Naturally, unless you are one of the lucky few within Steve Jobs' inner circle, none of this is confirmable and remains, as such, mere speculation.

But rumours are usually an indication of 'what the people want', even if Apple seems to have proven time and again that what it wants the people to have is what they really want instead.

After all, if no-one was interested in Apple's products because they didn't have what they wanted, no-one would have bought them, although some say Apple's still-restricted iDevice feature-sets were still more than good enough and people bought iApples despite not having what the competition offered.

More iPad 2.0 speculation continues on page two, please read on!

Indeed, Apple's sales tell the story, and if that still wasn't good enough for you, then hey, you're an Android OS owner, Symbian, Windows Phone 7 or something else. Not everyone is an Apple owner after all, but the millions of Apple owners out there are all certain that so many of them can't be wrong, even if Apple haters think they are.

So'¦ the iPad 2 is said to be due in April 2011, and unless Apple makes an unlikely misstep, the iCraziness of reality distortion will descend upon a frenzied iPublic, eager to queue up for days just to get their hands on the latest and greatest from the Wizard of Jobs, and eagerly hand over their hard earned cash to do so.

Baseball bats will again be used to smash at least one iPad 2, simply to become the latest stupid YouTube sensation, original iPads will find their way onto eBay to partially fund new iPad 2 purchases, and the world will wonder yet again how Steve Jobs has done it.

A plethora of tablets will also emerge, but sadly most of these will have been developed to compete with the original iPad and probably won't be able to match whatever 'killer feature(s)' Apple decides to adorn the iPad 2 with.

Apple's closest iPad competitor is the Samsung Galaxy Tab, but to make the browsing experience better, you can't really rely on the supplied Android webkit browser but instead need to download Dolphin HD, a vastly superior browser that simply does a much better job of things.

At least the iPad's Safari browser is smooth, but that hasn't stopped other browser makers from bringing their own improved browsers to the iOS platform. The Atomic Browser and the Perfect Browser are two excellent Safari alternatives, while SkyFire for iPad is about to launch, bringing with it its Flash conversion to HTML 5 skills to the table, and there's even iBitFire, another iPad and iPhone browser that plays the same flashy trick.

Perhaps there'll be news on the Adobe Flash front for iOS in 5.0, perhaps not. Crystal-ball gazing says it'll never happen, but SkyFire and iBitFire point to a future where that could happen, even if through the same Flash-to-HTML5 convertibility.

I guess we'll just have to wait and see on that front.

Until then, the original iPad remains a massive seller and still highly desired Christmas gift item, and lucky iRecipients will be overjoyed to find an iPad under the Christmas tree, even as they know that iPad 2.0 models might be under construction right now in Foxconn's factories.

Honestly, they won't care, or at least, not until the iPad 2 launches, whereupon the object of their desires will shift to the new, to the 2, to an iPad successor wrapped in red, white and blue, although if I were you, I'd keep my iPad away from the morning dew.

On that note, it's time to bid adieu. I'll see you again in the next episode of iRumour and iWonder, as the world turns ever closer to a new day of iPad availability, where the bold and the beautiful, the meek and the ugly all seek to get their hands on the iPad's successor, but until then, the days of our lives will be spent having fun with the iPad 1.


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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