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The next iPad: What would it have?

With the new iPad, Apple has taken what was already the best tablet on the market to a whole new level. But of course, as with everything else out there, it's still not perfect. Here are some things we wish were there in this year's model or something that Apple can add next year.

gadgets Updated: Mar 19, 2012 17:52 IST

It's been almost two weeks since Apple announced the new iPad but the chatter is yet to die. In fact, with the device now shipping to all the major markets around the world, people are even more excited about it. And they have every right to. Apple has taken what was already the best tablet on the market to a whole new level with the launch of the third generation model. With the fantastic new high resolution Retina display, quad-core graphics, better camera, LTE support and same price and battery life as last year's mode (which, by the way is now selling for even less), Apple has made it even harder for its competitors to keep up with it.

But of course, as with everything else out there, it's still not perfect. As usual, Apple has left some room for improvement, either to be addressed with next year's model or simply because it does not care enough about those things. Here are some things we wish were there in this year's model or something that Apple can consider adding next year.

Lighter design

One of the problems people face with the iPad is that even though it feels fairly light when you hold it in both hands, that's not necessarily the case when you use it single handed. Thanks to its bulk and the width of the device, single handed usage can literally be a pain after a few minutes. We've had this problem with both the first and second generation iPad and the new iPad is actually thicker and heavier than the second one.

Of course, we know why that is; because of the higher resolution display, powerful hardware and LTE, Apple had to shoehorn a laptop-size battery inside the new iPad that is almost twice the size of the one in the iPad, which resulted it in being thicker and heavier. But we wish next year they find a way to have all these features and yet make it light enough to hold comfortably in one hand.

Stereo speakers

The iPad is an excellent device for media consumption. Whether it is music, movies or games, it does them all very well. But if there's one thing that mars the experience it is the weedy single loudspeaker placed in the corner. Not only is the speaker not loud enough, the particular location means you hear the sound awkwardly coming from just one side. This would be fine for something as small as an iPhone but it just sounds weird on the much larger iPad. Hopefully, Apple will add properly placed stereo speakers in future.

HD FaceTime

The current iPad can only do standard definition FaceTime calls. Considering its vast processing power, Apple should look into high definition FaceTime calls for the next version. And while they are at it, they should add the ability to make calls over 3G as well.

Flash for the camera

This one is so basic it makes one wonder why Apple would have skipped it. We know the idea of taking pictures on a tablet is ridiculous, but Apple obviously spent a lot of time on the new iPad's iSight camera. You don't add backside illuminated sensor and five element lens system if you don't mean business. Then why exclude something as basic as a flash? Come on, Apple! Don't be so stingy.

Bluetooth controller support

The iPad has tons of great games available for it, but they all require you to use the touchscreen, which is not always convenient. It would be terrific if Apple allowed you to pair the existing wireless controllers available in the market with the iPad so you can play a game without obstructing the display with your thumbs, with proper buttons instead of just hitting on the glass.

Improve iOS

iOS has been steadily improved over the years but there is still a lot to be done. When it comes to performance and user friendliness, few others can match the iOS but where it really lacks is in features. From basic things like being able to send photos and contacts over Bluetooth to widgets. What's especially annoying is that Apple insists on not having their calculator, weather and stocks app on the iPad, something that you find on the iPhone and the iPod touch.

Smaller, 7-inch form factor

Now we know, this isn't strictly an improvement to the current iPad but more of an addition. I also know that a lot has already been written about it by now and how Apple won't go down this road. The fact is that there are some legitimate reasons why Apple would not want to make a 7-inch iPad. iOS for iPad has been designed with the 9.7-inch display size in mind. Simply shrinking it down will make all the UI elements tiny and not very easy to operate. Secondly, if Apple were to simply adopt a new resolution for the iPad, it would mean none of the current apps would work without considerable work being spent on redesigning them.

But despite all that, one cannot ignore the fact that a lot of people simply aren't comfortable with a 10-inch tablet. 7-inch is undeniably a lot easier to carry and use and for a lot of people it is good enough. What Apple is doing is the equivalent of a TV manufacturer making only 52-inch TVs. A lot of people would like a smaller Apple and it would be lovely if Apple can find a way to make it work somehow.

These are some of the things we wish the future iPad will have. The latest iPad seems like an amazing device but if Apple were to add these little things it could take it that much closer to perfection.

First Published: Mar 19, 2012 17:28 IST