[ABOVE: As the iPad 2 spawned GarageBand, the iPad 3 will generate new achievements in graphics- and processor-rich app design.]
All about the display
As previously reported, the new iPad will offer a much improved 2,048-x-1,536 Retina Display and a significantly faster graphics processor to support that screen. A faster A6 processor and better battery life may also feature in this release, which should sport a better HD-quality camera.
Apple is rapidly checking through apps in order to identify those most likely to show off the device's new capabilities. As part of the push it's sending the very best ones to TBWA/Chiat/Day for possible inclusion within a planned TV ads campaign.
The iPad 2 launch saw Apple demo new apps including GarageBand, iMovie and Photo Booth. Once unfettered from secrecy and restraint, the next iteration will likely see a focus on games, augmented reality and creative apps.
For the arts
All the smart money now sees the device set for launch in the first week of March during one of the company's special events, most likely to be hosted at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, (according to All Things D). A check on the venue website reveals that it will be operating no exhibition programs on March 7 -- could Apple Tuesday become Apple Wednesday on Tim Cook's watch?
The imminent introduction of the iPad 3 has also seen the resurrection of some claims the new device may also be made available in a 7-inch model. Ezra Gottheil, an analyst with Technology Business Research told Computerworld that he still expects a smaller iPad is set for introduction later this year.
"I believe that's always been in the plan," Gottheil said in the report. "Actually, that's a good form factor for some users, and although they will also charge a premium above other similar-sized tablets, they want to protect that price flank."
[ABOVE: Final Cut on iPad competitor, Avid Studio isn't so likely to be a graphics intensive app on demo, or is it?]
What's in a name?
As previously reported, there's a chance the new iPad will look pretty similar to the iPad 2, with the New York Times speculating the new model may be introduced as the iPad 2S (or iPad 2 HD). The focus for this release will be on the "truly amazing" screen.
That's the situation now. For developers, the introduction of a faster, higher-res iPad equipped with new levels of graphics power should help generate a new flood of high-quality apps on Apple's platform.
iPad users can therefore look forward to higher-quality apps with more professional-like features as developers push the envelope of the device's capabilities in the months ahead.
[ABOVE: Inspire Pro is a popular creative app for iPad.]
Will Siri come out to play?
One thing that's not been mentioned within the most recent reports has been the inclusion of Siri within the device. This does appear ever more likely.
Nuance recently introduced its Dragon TV software solution which allow TV and set-top box manufacturers to support spoken word controls. Curiously, the first Dragon TV TV to come to market isn't from Apple, but LG. That Apple is expected to deploy Siri in its rumored Apple TV release makes it all the more likely we'll also see the assistant help you dance with your iPad 3.
Introduction of Siri for the iPad 3 would also require a new version iOS to accompany the release. Given the existing iPad 2 features an iPhone 4S processor, there's a slight chance for backward-compatible Siri support. Meanwhile YourDailyMac has identified what it claims is an imminent iOS 5.1 software update that it says is scheduled to ship in March.
The software is expected to introduce Siri support for some devices. What else do you expect? It's open season now, speculation is rife -- why not jot your thoughts into comments below?
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