The buzz surrounding the iPad may not be quite as strong as in years past, but there are still plenty of rumors circulating around the next iPad. The release date is still expected to be in the September/October range, with some speculating Apple will move it up a month to give more room for holiday sales. An earlier launch might mean a combined iPhone 6 / iPad Air 2 announcement, which would make sense when you consider many features of the new iPad will be deduced by what is added to the iPhone 6.
Here are the latest iPad rumors:
- Laptop performance. This is more of a deduction than a rumor, but if Apple continues the trend of roughly doubling the performance of the iPad with the introduction of a new System-on-a-Chip, the iPad Air 2 will rival the MacBook line in terms of raw processing power. More on the A8 catching up with Intel's i5.
- The iPad Pro. There was a lot of buzz around a 12-inch iPad earlier in the year, and while the rumors have died down, many analysts are expecting a larger iPad to be released later this year or early 2015. Of course, the iPad Pro is more than just a display side. Analysts expect Apple to increase the amount of RAM available for apps, and when combined with a faster processor, the iPad Pro could easily be seen as a laptop replacement.
- Integrated Display. One of the more recent rumors is of an integrated display. The current iPad display contains two basic layers: the layer that delivers visuals, and the layer that senses touch. An integrated display combines these two layers, which makes for a thinner display. Yes. The next iPad could get even thinner. Maybe Apple will hide it behind a butter knife this time?
- Touch ID. This is an easy rumor. Expected to be released on the iPad Air, Touch ID should be a no-brainer for the iPad. One big advantage of Touch ID is how easy it makes adding a passcode to the device. Currently, having a passcode means you end up typing it in throughout the day whenever you want to use your iPad. But with Touch ID, you can hold your thumb on the sensor as you wake the iPad up and it will bypass the passcode, though you will still need to type it in after rebooting the device or installing iOS updates. The sensor itself isn't so expensive as to be cost prohibitive, and while it wouldn't be a mind-blowing new feature, it would still be nice.
That wraps up the major rumors on the iPad. One funny phrase I see tossed about is the idea of an "incremental update". This is a fancy way of saying no big new features being added to the iPad. It's also a term that seems to be mostly used in connection with the iPhone and iPad. Let's face it, I don't think Apple is going to add that toaster oven to their tablet. The analysts may want Apple to create some laptop-tablet hybrid that runs Mac OS, iOS and can cook spaghetti, but that's not how Apple operates.