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The iPad 3 – Thinner, Longer, Faster, Stronger?

With the iPad 3 due to be launched tomorrow, I thought I’d share my hopes on what the new device will include…

The Power: Quad-core processor

The iPad 3 will have to blow competitors out of the water on processing power, especially as they would be unlikely to launch another iPad for at least another year.  This will be a sure thing and something that will get App developers excited.

The Name: iPad HD

Everyone knows the third sequel is usually the worst – so hopefully Apple will move away from the clichés and give this iPad a new name.  Based on the current rumours it’s looking like iPad HD is the current favourite.

The Display: Retina quality

Who wouldn’t want a retina display for the iPad – the idea of watching films at that level of quality will be amazing for commuters and home users alike.  Imagine the quality improvements for video conferencing too – especially with the likely improved camera facilities too.

The iOS: Evolving the Apple Ecosystem

Apple are regularly tweaking their iOS – so there would be no surprises if iOS 5.1 is announced. Along with even greater social media integration, I’d like to see the iOS further tie Apple devices together.  iPad 2 and iPhone 4S both work well with the AppleTV but what if this was extended further – creating an active ecosystem between all Apple devices. For example, allowing the iPad to control gaming through the Apple TV with a controller screen on the iPad and the game on the big screen – making it a true player in the console market.  Throw the potential for Near Field Technologies (NFC) to be included and the Apple Ecosystem could become even more powerful and useful – from simple extensions like seamlessly setting up your iPad as a second screen to your MacBook Air by placing it next to it – to playing more complex Wii-like games using your iPhone (gyroscope) as the controller.

The Size: iPad weight-loss programme

To be fair – there isn’t really much to gripe about with the current iPad 2’s size in terms of thickness or screen size, and the battery life isn’t exactly bad.  Even so, I would hope the new version balances an increased battery life with a thinner (or at least lighter) version.  I’m expecting the (famous) single home button to be missing on the new iPad along with a hope that the screen will come close to filling the entire width of the device.  Better speakers would be a bonus too – but I’m not holding my breath for those…

And finally…

If I had a blue-sky wish list – I’d also like to see touch controls that work on the back of the iPad 3 too.  So I could hold and control the device to create a really unique user experience that doesn’t rely only on point and touch on the front screen alone.  Allowing for a different approach to pinch controls which add a new dimension to interacting with a whole range of Apps from gaming to productivity.  Just a thought…

Whatever does happen tomorrow, the stakes are high.  Whilst it shouldn’t matter, this is the first big announcement sans-Steve Jobs, and so they will be expected to pull more than a few bunnies out of the hat.  I for one, will be watching with excitement and hope to get a few surprises along the way…

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  • Jeremiah Abraham

    Do you think technology platforms like the iPad enable digital marketing opportunities as much as it’s operating system? I know everyone’s speculating so much on what new features the new iPad will have, but what do you think the next iOS update should include to maximize new potential marketing approaches?

    • http://www.therussellreview.co.uk Dean Russell

      Jeremiah – thanks for your comment. I agree – the power of the iPad is in it’s iOS and the Apps it holds. I guess I was disappointed not to see NFC built-in as I felt this could have created huge opportunities for App developers to create some of the innovations I outlined above. From a marketing point of view, I would argue that location-based marketing is an important advancement for engaging consumers, even though this has mainly been focussed on for mobile devices (i.e. smartphones). Interestingly, the recent AMEX deals with Twitter, Foursquare and Facebook are cutting out the mobile device altogether allowing benefits to be drawn directly from the use of the credit card.

      As I hoped for in my post, I would like to see more interoperability between devices. For Apps to encourage greater user experiences and open the scope of how brands can ‘play’ in this area. For example, simply being able to swipe documents from my iPhone to iPad or Mac. Of course, some would argue having everything stored in the cloud allows for this – but if I am in a meeting I would prefer to slide my presentation across to the client’s iPad from mine instead of messing about with USB memory sticks (and without both iPad’s requiring the same App). For consumer experiences, imagine if you could simply pass an e-voucher to a customers iPhone or iPad at the counter by sliding it across to them from screen to screen.

      To do this well would have relied on NFC, and in my mind, would have created the step for the iOS in making transferring digital assets as easy on tablets/smartphones as it is currently to hand a person a leaflet or voucher. Simplicity is key and not always as easy to achieve as it is to conceive, or as Peter Lewis from the NYTimes, once said – “Easy is Hard”.