Three things we need on the next iPad

Summary:The iPad Air is a nice tablet and, truth be told, it meets all my needs. That doesn’t stop me from wanting these three things on the next iPad.

iPad Bezel Swiping

I use the iPad Air a lot. I do all the typical tablet tasks, e.g., reading ebooks, surfing the web, and listening to music, to name a few. I strap a keyboard on it when I need to do a lot of writing. It does all of this well, while maintaining its thin, light form.

It does everything I need, but there are several things I want my iPad to do that it currently doesn't. I’m hoping Apple will include them in the next iPad Air, or whatever it might be called.

Type Cover

The Type Cover 2 from Microsoft for the Surface Pro 3 is pretty sweet. It has real keys that are good for typists yet is thin enough to assume the role of cover for the tablet.

I want something similar for the next iPad. Think of it as a smart cover with keyboard benefits. It must be extremely light, incredibly thin, and attach magnetically to the iPad.

Of course, given the lack of a kickstand on the iPad, and I don’t want one on the next one, Apple will have to come up with a way for the cover to prop up the tablet. I'm thinking some sort of hinge would do the trick. That may be the hardest part.

Surface tablet enthusiasts will claim copycat if Apple made one of these keyboard covers. I say that copying is the sincerest form of flattery, so go for it. Whenever a company comes up with a great idea I like to see it on lots of gadgets as long as it doesn't violate patents. Doing something first doesn't grant exclusivity without some protection in place.

Touch bezel

I’d like to see the iPad bezel do something other than just sit there when I use the tablet. Maybe support swiping in and out to/from the bezel to perform gestures not currently supported.

Maybe this bezel could rotate among recently used apps, or get me into apps I use regularly. I’m sure Apple software engineers could come up with innovative uses for bezel swiping.

I’d be happy if Apple borrowed a bezel swipe from the HP TouchPad I found useful. Swipe from either the left or right bezel across the screen and to the opposite bezel to wake the iPad up. That one would be really useful.

Use the accelerometer

Most gadgets have sensors that detect movement. These are often used as game controllers, but they can do more useful things. I'd like for the next iPad to sense when it's picked up and automatically turn on. Talk about a useful function.

It should also go to sleep when the iPad is set down on a flat surface. It's often the simplest features that end up being the most used.

Surely there's more

While these three features would make my iPad even more useful, surely there are others that would be just as nice. If you have a killer feature, either hardware or software, share it in the comments below. Let's kick Apple into high gear with the next iPad.

See also:

Topics: Mobility, Apple, iPad

About

James Kendrick has been using mobile devices since they weighed 30 pounds, and has been sharing his insights on mobile technology for almost that long. Prior to joining ZDNet, James was the Founding Editor of jkOnTheRun, a CNET Top 100 Tech Blog that was acquired by GigaOM in 2008 and is now part of that prestigious tech network. James' w... Full Bio

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