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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...
There are two variations to this rumor as well. The first is that the big files required to take full advantage of the retina display could overwhelm 3G application download limits. Oops. And we all know carriers are always <I>so</I> helpful when it comes to being accomodating to app needs (he says ironically).
The second rumor is that scaling current iPad app graphics up to display on the new, much higher resolution retina display could make current apps seem blurry and, well fugly. That depends on the image scaling technology used in the device, but scaling graphics is a pretty old technology and probably won't be too problematic.
The Magic 8 Ball: The Magic 8 Ball reads, "My sources say no." In other words, don't worry about it. Most apps will work, some will break. So it has been with new hardware introductions, so it will always be.