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?