What Apple Needs for the Next iPad

With iOS 4.2, the iPad is finally catching up with the iPhone. Multitasking, printing, AirPlay and more are coming in just a few short weeks, but with it, there’s still the feeling that the iPad could do so much more. We all know that the iPad is going to get a version 2.0 in the next few months, but what does it need to really take it to the next level? Here are a few thoughts.

  1. FaceTime. This is a no brainer, and pretty much a given that it’s going to happen with the iPad 2. But this could bring the iPad into the workplace and cement it as a firm fixture in the corporate world. Imagine a company with multiple branches who want to do videoconferencing. They could buy a service, but for $499 X the number of branches they have, they’ve got it covered. Besides that, it brings FaceTime to even more people. It’s a given.
  2. The Cloud. The iPad is great, but its document management system sucks. Tonight, for example, I wanted to work on a document that’s stored on my Dropbox account. Yes, I could open it up just fine on the iPad as it sits now, but there’s no way to export right back. And it makes sense for Apple to make this move because it sells MobileMe subscriptions and with it, iDisk. Once the iPad gets a decent document management system, people will start using it more as a desktop replacement, particularly with short trips.
  3. The Screen. The iPad screen fits Apple’s definition of hi-def, but not many others. With the Retina Display technology out there, it makes sense to upgrade. As long is it’s at least 1080, I think it’ll do well, and as an added bonus, FaceTime calls will look even better.

I don’t think any of this is ground breaking material or anything, but I do think it needs to be said. The iPad is so close to being a viable laptop alternative, particularly for travelers and people who just want to use it on the go. I’m that guy, and I know dozens of others who are as well. Now if we could just figure out a few issues here and there, I think we’ll be perfect.

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