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Apple has sent out an invitation to the press for an event on March 7 on top of a photo that could only be an iPad. From this photo some people don't believe there will be a home button in the new iPad.
This is one of the more prevalent rumors, and it takes two forms. The first is that the new iPads won't have any Home button at all, taking after the Kindle Fire. The second is that the iPads won't have a physical Home button, but there will still be a touch-sensitive "special place" on the bevel you touch to go home.
The Magic 8 Ball: The Magic 8 Ball reads, "Don't count on it". Actually, the Magic 8 Ball gets all tingly about the idea of a touch-sensitive "special place," but that's because it doesn't get out too often. As for the idea of no Home button at all, well, it's probably the most common ding against the Kindle Fire. Windows 8's lack of Start button is ticking off almost all reviewers. And, as we now know, a lack of Home button means all sorts of hacky UI mods, so, sure, there's a good design option. Not.
It'll be called the iPad HD
Now this is a fun rumor. Apple generally has some pretty consistent naming conventions, except once in a while they bust a move with something new and interesting, like the MacBook Air.
The Magic 8 Ball: The Magic 8 Ball reads, "Cannot predict now". Actually, unless Apple releases an iPad that's got a 16x9 screen, it's unlikely it'll be called the iPad HD. .
Although, if Apple follows its recent naming pattern (iPhone 3G followed by 3GS, iPhone 4 followed by iPhone 4S), the iPad 2 might well be followed by the iPad 2S. Granted the iPhone 4S was a nice bump from the iPhone 4, but it wasn't a 5, dang it!
We don't even know for sure if there will be a new iPad at all, but that certainly won't stop us. It could be an iPad 3, it could be an iPad 2S, who knows?
The Magic 8 Ball: The Magic 8 Ball reads, "Reply hazy, try again". This one's a bit hard to read, but if we were going to bet, we'd bet on iPad 3. Why? Because no one likes the "S" models.
The current generation of iPads and iPhones have 4x3 screens, which are, quite frankly, an anachronism. Monitors and TVs of old used to have 4x3 screens, but most current TVs and monitors are now 16x9 widescreen.
So, will the iPad 3 have a 16x9 screen to make letterboxing less prevalent when watching Netflix movies? Well, that depends on whether you watch Netflix movies. After all, with so many TNG and DS9 episodes out there, all in 4x3, who really needs 16x9 (or any other entertainment, for that matter)?
Seriously, there's no doubt Apple will have to transition to 16x9 at some point, but that will break many iPad and iPhone applications (or stretch them bizarrely).
The Magic 8 Ball: The Magic 8 Ball reads, "Reply hazy, try again".
Image: 4:3 ratio is the full screen while 16:9 is the gray section. Credit: Apple
That said, if Apple is willing to cause developers problems, and why not add one more. For example...