iPad 3: Hardware Features I’m Hoping For

When the first iPad was announced in 2010, the reaction was a mix of excitement and criticism. The major complaints were the lack of any USB ports, a camera, the ability to multi-task, and the absence of support for Adobe Flash content.

In 2011, the iPad 2 added some of those features and an estimated 29 million iPads have been sold in the two years since the release of the original iPad – as Apple silenced the critics.

I decided it’s never too early to begin speculating about the future. Now that Apple has once again revolutionized a product line and put themselves firmly in first place, what can they do to improve with the iPad 3 and leave competitors struggling to keep up?

Retina Display

This is the obvious one. Ever since the release of the iPhone 4 with its beautiful retina display, people have been clamoring for Apple to release an iPad with a similar display. Some have already claimed that the next version of the iPad will have a display with a resolution size that is at least double the current display of 1024×768.

After using the iPhone 4, the thought of a retina display on an iPad is enticing and would make watching videos or editing pictures a truly joyful experience.

It's quite likely that the iPad 3 will follow in the footsteps of the iPhone 4 and include a retina display.

Anti-Glare Screen

I don’t know about you, but I’d rather not have to try and apply an anti-glare protector to my iPad. So, an anti-glare screen to go along with the retina display would be an awesome upgrade. Too often I find myself trying to angle my iPad just right in order to avoid sunlight or even just the reflection from the table lamp in my living room.

Thunderbolt

Thunderbolt Technology

Thunderbolt Technology

Is it possible that Apple has skipped the USB port in the first two versions of the iPad because they knew that the introduction of Thunderbolt technology was right around the corner?

The addition of a Thunderbolt port would make the process of connecting the iPad as a second display simpler and smoother (as opposed to some options that are currently available) as well as adding the ability to “chain” several devices together to create a great setup for your computing needs. This would also help with any file transfers that are not supported by the new iCloud service.

3D

3D Capability

3D Capability

You can file this one under “it would be cool, but is it worth it?” 3D is really big right now and I have to admit that while I don’t go crazy over seeing it at the movies, I think the idea of integrating it into the iPad would be pretty cool.

From Apple’s track record I think it’s safe to say that they will only add this feature if they see a big enough demand for it and if they can make it work without those silly looking glasses. It’s interesting that some television makers have already begun producing 3D televisions that don’t require glasses. While I think that 3D integrated into the iPad 3 would be pretty awesome, I’m certainly not holding my breath.

What About You?

Those are just a few ideas for some new hardware features I’d like to see in the next version of the iPad. Apple has certainly set the pace in the tablet market and competitors are trying desperately to catch up. The iPad is dominating among tablets in driving digital traffic, with comScore reporting that in August 2011, iPads delivered 97.2 percent of all tablet traffic in the U.S. Even though the release of the iPad 3 is most likely more than a few months away, speculating is always fun.

So, what about you? What improvements would you like to see Apple include in the next iPad?


  • http://rikdevos.com/ Rik

    A much better camera of course! The camera on my iPad 2 is just unusable when taking pictures indoors. It would be awesome if they put the iPhone 4S’s camera on the new iPad :D

    • Joel Bankhead

      That’s a great shout!

  • david

    Not any of those things seem to be necessary, for me.

  • Nathan

    1. Retina Display
    2. More RAM (so Safari doesn’t refresh pages constantly)
    3. Siri

    Oh, and a GPS in the wi-fi only model.

  • Robert

    Two things:
    1. Retina Display
    2. more storage – 128GB

  • http://www.themacuniverse.com Horsefire

    I have to agree with some of the posters here…

    1: More ram would be nice, safari constantly refreshing is a pain in the rear sometimes. I haven’t really had any issues with running out of ram on the iPad 2, but it would be nice if certain apps didn’t refresh as much.

    2: I would definitely like GPS in the wifi model but I think it’s unlikely to happen since you would have to be near a data connection to download the map data, it’d take up too much space to have all of that map data offline 24/7. I think just merging the 3g and wifi model into one would be best. Just sell 1 iPad with the 3g in it but sell it at the price the wifi models are going for… I would like to see some kind of a free data service of some kind but I don’t think that’d ever happen etither..

    3: Better camera would be nice, I could then actually take pictures of stuff.

    A retina display would certainly be nice, but I’m not sure if it’s actually needed. I don’t have much issue with the iPad 2 screen, the only time I really notice a big difference is when I go to my iPhone 4 and then back to the iPad and really study the screen.

    4: I would like to see a more directional speaker layout. The current iPad 2 speaker can get pretty darn loud but I often find my self having to cup the edge of the iPad so that I can direct the audio waves toward me.

    Thunderbolt would be interesting if it let you connect various media readers and also give you the ability to hook the iPad up to a large display. But I would also kind of like the support of using a mouse or something if I planned on hooking it up to a large display, but then we’d be getting away from where apple was going in the first place. But if thunderbolt means I can use the iPad as an external display for FCP or photoshop or something like that, then that would be pretty slick.

    I would like to also see a stronger smart cover clasp. I’ve actually dropped my iPad a couple times due to the edges of the smart cover coming loose and flinging off of the device. The magnets aren’t strong at all on mine. so something stronger would be nice.

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