The Above image is not an iPad 2, just a third-party mock-up that was spotted at CES
The iPad 2 may be much closer than we think. We’ve all been expecting the product line to refresh around April, which would make it one year after the release of the original iPad (Time flies, doesn’t it?). Apple is known for releasing updates to their various products at least once a year. Typically, they hold a special event for each of those updates.
Over the past several months, there has been plenty of speculation and reporting on what the next iteration of Apple’s popular tablet computer may include. We’ve looked into it a bit in the past (iPad 2: 5 Rumored Specs).
Recently, we were all given a bit more information, thanks things buried within the iOS 4.3 Beta, which just became available about two days ago. This is probably about as close to confirmation of any of these specs we’re going to get until Steve Jobs stands up on stage and presents us with the iPad 2.
Let’s take a look at what has emerged over the last few days.
1) The iPad 2 Will Have a Camera
If the iPad 2 has one new feature when it’s unveiled, it’s going to be FaceTime cameras. We didn’t need the filed pulled form iOS 4.3 to be pretty sure of that, but now it’s just that much more real. As you can see in the images above, there is definitely some kind of camera and a FaceTime application coming.
2) Conflicting Reports on Screen Resolution
There are some reports that show that the images, such as the shutter above are in 1024 x 768. That’s the same as the original iPad. Though these could change as iOS 4.3 is still in its very early stages.
On the other hand, there are also reports that the new iPad will use a higher-resolution display, “super high resolution” technology, which will be similar to the iPhone 4’s Retina display, but not exactly the same thing.
3) iPad 2 Will Get Photo Booth
There’s not much info on it other than what’s above. Still, Photo Booth looks likely to be making its way to iOS devices. It will probably similar to Photo Booth for Mac, which is little more than a camera with simple picture effects like Black and White, Sepia and a few other filters. Because Apple typically releases builds of iOS made to suit individual devices, it’s only makes sense that the devices with built-in cameras will include this App.
4) iPad 2 Has No Home Button?
This one seems a little less likely than the others, but Apple is no stranger to completely changing up designs, no matter how popular a product is. If they don’t think it’s hot, they go back to the old look (The iPod Shuffle and the iPod Nano have both seen drastic design changes, and in the case of the Shuffle has gone back to an older generation-inspired design. Many think this may be the case as Apple is introducing multitouch functions to the iPad with iOS 4.3. The features we’ve heard of so far do everything from taking you to the homescreen, to App switching to bringing up the multitask dock. Notice something? Those are all functions of the Home Button.
5) SD slot
The image above is said to be a corner of the iPad 2. It’s said to have an SD slot. This report doesn’t come from the images we’ve seen of iOS 4.3, it’s rumors that tech blog Engadget says come from “reliable sources.”
6) Qualcomm Chipset
Image from Engadget
Remember that report we heard a while back about several versions of the iPad being built (wifi only, wifi + 3G CDMA and wifi + 3G GSM)? Well that may not be entirely accurate. It seems that the iPad 2 will be making use of Qualcomms dual-mode chipset that will allow it to run on both AT&T and Verizon. That’s probably more in line with Apple’s way of doing things anyway, with the exception being the current iPhone models. That would just be more SKUs/shipments/demands for Apple keep track of.
More Leaks to Come?
As the product announcement draws nearer, we will hear more about the iPad 2 and the iPhone 5. Most of what’s above is happening for sure based on the iOS 4.3 build and the SDK. The Home Button thing sounds a little less likely, but is not impossible. We may just have to wait until Apple holds their conference and announces the iPad 2 release date to know more for sure.
All Images (except for Home Button and header) from 9to5Mac