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Apple's official unveiling of the iPad 2 is just hours away. At this point, it's no secret that the announcement is in fact related to the iPad line, thanks to the invite that was sent out last week. Of course, Apple is pretty good at keeping secrets. They have a few, and despite the many leaks, rumors and reports we've heard, we are sure that Apple will have at least a small portion of the announcement that surprises us.
That said, there is plenty that we have heard time and time again, and can count on seeing at the event. Again, this is all still speculation, but it's safe to say that we will probably be seeing much of this stuff very soon.
Let's take a look:
1) The iPad 2 Will Be Lighter and Slimmer
The iPad 2 will no doubt be thinner and lighter. Based on some of the iPad cases we've seen in videos, it will have a slightly smaller frame. The screen, however, will stay at 9.7-inches, and the resolution is likely to remain the same at 1024×768.
Being lighter will be much nicer, because the iPad can be easier to use as a reader. Those who have used an iPad 2 while reading in bed will know that holding it with one hand for extended periods of time can be tiresome.
Yeah, just pretend it's an iPad
2) FaceTime on iPad
As we've all heard, the iPad 2 will be probably be equipped with both front- and rear-facing cameras. This is very likely to be true, but we have also seen iOS 4.3 developer builds with FaceTime and Photo Booth applications included.
We think it would be interesting to see a short demonstration of FaceTime on the iPad, and we think the real kicker would be for Steve Jobs, who is currently on medical leave, to be at the other end of the conversation. The crowd would probably cheer, and it would make headlines.
3) Meet iOS 4.3
FaceTime and Photo Booth on the iPad will no doubt be part of the next iOS update. It's probably going to be iOS 4.3. Other than the FaceTime and Photo Booth applications, we will see some of the minor updates that come with a new version of Apple's mobile operating system. We will probably get a release date for this across all platforms as well.
4) MobileMe Expanded and Offered for Free
The MobileMe rumors are getting too loud to ignore. We can probably count on seeing details of the updated version of MobileMe, which will include enhanced features such as storing your iTunes and library. We don't know how much space users will be given to work with, but it's likely to be free. It will be interesting to see if they introduce some sort of tiered system for users who want more storage, after all, those iTunes libraries can get pretty big.
We don't know it this will be ready to roll out immediately, but a sneak peak would be nice.
Ready to go? Maybe
5) Apple Will Surprise Us With a Release Earlier Than Expected
This rumor came in late last week. It's entirely possible that Apple has shipments of the iPad 2 ready to go. If the iPad 2 isn't a huge overhaul, why not ship it out immediately? As we know, Apple can't surprise us with the announcement of an iPad 2, everybody is already expecting it. Now, if they suddenly said, "You can pick up the iPad 2 this week," people would be surprised. Perhaps the iPad 2 launch date will be within the next few days?
Wait, wait…an iPad 3 is Already Hitting the Rumor Mill?
That seems to be the case. We've already heard that we probably shouldn't expect a major update from the iPad 2 aside from a performance boost and the long-rumored FaceTime camera. What's interesting is that rumors have already surfaced about the iPad 3. Yeah, laugh it up, you probably aren't the only one who thinks it's ridiculous. Oh well, while we're at it, we will start our own rumor: The iPad 4 will be faster than the iPad 3 and we can probably expect the iPhone 6 next year.