Even though the iPad Mini is not yet released, rumors are already circulating about what is in store for everyone’s favorite tablet. What can past developments in iPad devices tell us about the future of the iPad?
The original iPad to the iPad 2
Going from the first iPad to the iPad 2, users saw processing power literally doubled. This made everything the iPad did perform better, from loading apps more quickly to reducing lag time. The second generation iPad also carried with it approximately 9 times the graphics power, which not only helped users play games smoother but also helped support to the front and back cameras the iPad 2 added. Better yet, despite all the power added the iPad 2 was actually both slimmer and lighter than the original.
iPad 2 to the iPad 3
We saw a similar jump in power from the iPad 2 to the iPad 3. The third generation tablet carried with it far more efficient power consumption and a more impressive battery. It’s support for Bluetooth Smart 4.0 meant that it had over 200 feet more Bluetooth connectivity than the prior generation. The third generation was slightly thicker and slightly heavier than its predecessor, but it also offered 4G connectivity, a dual core processor, and literally four times the screen resolution with a maximum resolution of 2048×1536. The improvements in screen resolution helped support the massive 1080p cameras, another improvement over the 720p cameras in the second generation device.
What about the iPad 4?
Not many details about the iPad 4 have been released, but rumors and speculation are plentiful. According to some sources, the iPad 4 is scheduled to be a fairly modest upgrade over its predecessor; the main features supposedly being a smaller chassis, improvements to the dock connections, and fixes to the great deal of heat generated by all the hardware improvements in the iPad 3.
Others have speculated that the next iPad will be the fabled iPad Mini, which would be catered to more frugal shoppers who are not in the market for a premium tablet device costing upwards of six hundred dollars. The Mini is expected to have an approximately 8 inch screen and a modest price of around $250. According to the Wall Street Journal, the iPad Mini can be anticipated before the end of 2012.
What do users want from their next generation iPad?
The most desired features from iPad lovers are well known. People want a smaller, faster, and lighter iPad. They want something that is as light as a kindle, but as powerful as a tablet computer. Naturally for a device with such a powerful camera, more storage space for pictures is one of the most popular demands, and battery life improvements that might give the iPad more than a mere ten hour lifespan. Based on past generations of the iPad, we can be certain that the iPad 4 will try and please as many users as possible, probably striving to achieve greater power efficiency and storage space, even at the cost of a slight size increase.
What about the future of iPad and the iPad 5?
Based on past iPad developments and trends in computing technology, it’s safe to say that the future of the iPad will probably be in cloud processing. As user demands call for the iPad to both lighter, retain the same large screen, and have more processing power, it’s clear that users want to have their cake and eat it too. Fortunately this may be possible with the cloud. If Apple designed their iPad 5 around cloud functionality, not only could they drastically extend the battery life of the fifth generation device, they could also increase its processing power without the device overheating or becoming exorbitantly expensive.