Some Possible iPad 2 News

by Liz Colville

It’s easy to believe what the Christian Science Monitor says about most things: they’re both Christian and sciencey! Yesterday evening they ran a story about a report in a Taiwanese newspaper, Economic News Daily, on the second version of Apple’s iPad, which we shall call the iPad 2 because it seems only right. The timing of this is strange, i.e. early, because the rumors are too late for holiday iPad fun, and far too early for the usual June Apple bonanza. The News Daily predicts that the new device might come out as early as the first quarter of 2011, which is essentially what an analyst at the firm Gleacher and Company recently predicted — Spring 2011. Holy crap!

But what’s wrong with the current version? So many things. Here are some of the improvements the Taiwanese newspaper cites:

-FaceTime functionality

-”fresh display tech” (probably the iPhone/iPod Touch’s retina display, aka the sharpest screen you’ve ever seen in your life thus far)

-two cameras, just like on the iPhone 4

– a USB port

Boring! But you know with Apple there will be significantly more improvements than just those four. I wish for these:

1. Slightly smaller — to compete with the ever-shrinking Kindles, Nooks and Kobos of the world, but not so small that you need that Book Owl magnifier thing to see things (then again, look at the latest Nanos: stupidly tiny screens that blind our youth). There have been rumors for a few months that there’s a separate 7″ version of the iPad that will go along with the current version, but as Gizmodo’s Jesus Diaz quipped, “Would you like an iPad that is not large enough to be actually useful yet too large to fit in your pocket?”

2. Partly because of the above, also lighter and thinner. The thing is incredibly heavy. I’m someone who seems to celebrate Apple with a purchase every year (hmm, I had a dream last night about a 17″ MacBook Pro), but I shockingly have not purchased the first version of the iPad. My one hesitation was the weight. Make that two: weight and price. Would I ever read e-books on the thing? If not, there was no point getting it.

3. Bigger storage. It would probably make me nervous carrying around a vast portion of my music collection on a rectangular frisbee, but yes, more storage please.

4. A full keyboard. The current one doesn’t even have all the keys the iPhone has, which is CRAZY. Steve Jobs is never going to cave on the chiclet keyboard (or will he?!?) but the least he can do is just make this keyboard somehow smarter and easier to use. It’s infuriating. After nearly three years, I still can’t master the iPhone keyboard.

5. A better browsing experience. Basically, this gadget needs to step up and stop acting like a giant iPhone. It’s already lagging behind netbooks by having a shitty keyboard — oh, you love the keyboard? Tell me why! — so Apple needs to up the ante before it gets clobbered by the competition — the decent netbook market already in existence, and the Google one that looms over us all, a big old raincloud with a rainbow possibly inside it.