Three things we need on the next iPad

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.

TOPICS: Mobility, Apple, 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

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  • 3 things

    microUSB, microHDMI, microSD.
    • No thank you please! on the Micro USB

      My PlayBook has Micro USB and its terribly flimsy compared to the iTouch's, which is a rigid solid connection.

      I had to buy an $80 rapid charger for the Playbook because the Micro USB is so flimsy it won't even change anymore. Lightning is much better, and the camera connector kit for Lightning lets you do the wired device connection thing.
      • Agree.

        I agree. The playbook is a good statistical representation of the 10 billion micro USB devices out there. Also, I am sure that Apple would pick hardware as cheap as the Playbook if it ever switched to USB. I am actually hoping for a brand new lightning 2. I would like to buy completely new peripherals again for my iPad.
        • Micro usb is more prone to damage.

          It has corners and uses thinner metal parts.

          Just saying.

          Anyhoo, how about a calculator? It's always missed out of apples ipad ios - why?!
  • Not sure about

    the type cover. There are literally hundreds of keyboards/covers for the ipad some are excellent. Apple doesn't need to bother making their own, they need to focus on the device itself. I want to see a higher resolution screen and a split screen feature like samsung offers. If apple feels the need to make a new accessory they should focus on a pen.
    • IMO

      It seems the feature you want is describing Surface 2. Surface Mini will most likely have pen. Split screen is best implemented by Windows 8.1
    • iPad Split Screen Multitasking

      According to all the rumors that have been circulating lately, iOS 8 will have a new split screen mode for iPads.

      I agree with you - Apple doesn't need to make another iPad keyboard cover. There are already many third-party keyboard covers available for the iPad. Most of them sell on Amazon for less than $60 and many are rated above 4 stars by customers. So it doesn't seem like there is a need for Apple to get involved. iPad keyboard covers existed before the first MS Surface was released. Maybe Microsoft got the idea for the Surface Touch Covers by looking at some of the after-market iPad accessories.
      • agree

        While I agree Apple does not need to make one. I am surprised there are no completely flat Surface-like covers available for the ipad. If there were demand, someone would have made one.
    • True. The real "hitch" in all this is that Apple does wants ...

      ... tight control over who their peripheral makers are. If Apple suddenly offers any standard connectors, they suddenly lose control.
      M Wagner
      • You mean like, oh, Bluetooth?

        roll eyes at all the conspiracy theory stuff.
        • Ah yes, universal bluetooth

          I don't care if you believe me or not but conversation earlier with the container unloading team about photos of damaged stock:

          "Why such small photos"
          "Can't get 3g here, have to use edge so it sends them small"
          "Just drop in the office and Bluetooth them to my laptop next time"
          "You can't Bluetooth photos on an iphone"

          I honestly don't know if that is the case, I don't care enough to check tbh.
          Little Old Man
    • He picked the three things I want least.

      There are better type covers already in existence. Why waste a "wish" on that? It sounds to me like he has MacBook Air envy.

      Swiping in from the bezel is already happening. You get notifications by swiping in from the top bezel. You get utilities by swiping in from the bottom. I have enough problems with inadvertently touching the edge of the screen already. We need the dead space of the bezel to hold the device. He is obviously thinking like a person who uses the iPad almost exclusively on a desktop with a keyboard. Again, MacBook Air envy?

      Using the accelerometer to sense when you pick the device up will kill the battery when your device is in a briefcase, backpack, or messenger bag. The near constant movement will be turning it on randomly. Tons of apps other than games already use the accelerometer. Several apps I use will delete the last thing you entered if you give the device a hard shake. I also have an app that uses the accelerometer to create a level. Besides, that's software, not a device upgrade.

      My top feature request would be to have the exact same (drastically improved) cameras and lighting on iPads and iPhones alike. It makes no sense that the more expensive iPad uses a crappier camera than the already mediocre camera in the iPhone. Use the same camera on both. Improve it significantly. The improvements should include optical image stabilization, higher resolution, and even better low light performance. Also improve the camera app. Add time lapse. Add post shot focus adjustments. Add manual adjustments for creative effects.

      My second feature desire would be longer battery life. I don't need lighter weight, thinner, faster, or any other useless BS. Pack more battery capacity into it. Period.

      My third desire is more storage. I carry a lot of information, photos, music, videos, at other data. Give me more space to store it. No, I don't want to have to carry a bunch of SD cards around with me. My music collection alone wouldn't even fit on a single SD card. I want the storage built into the device. I'd like to see 256GB as an option.

      I guarantee more people would want those upgrades rather than a type cover. The majority of iPad owners never use a keyboard with their devices.
      • Good list

        I think everyone wants a better camera. Nokia was right to focus on that.
      • SD cards

        A 256gb SD card costs $120. Apple charges $200 to add 48GB to the base 16. 256Gb is going to cost you about $1000 extra in an ipad. Personally, i'd rather pay $120 for an SD card. I am sure that Apple's SD card slot would be magical and unprecedented so no need to worry it will be a crap android-like sd card slot.
      • Don't call it Air

        I agree with bigger battery since they have an ipad mini if people want light and thin.
        Don't call it Air, call it the ipad5 or 6....
        And pack at least 50% more battery in it.
        As for iOS, the first thing they need to fix is the pop up control panel.
        That should be in the pull down notifications so we don't accidently pull up the control panel 20 times a day trying to scroll. Yes, we can disable it, but then we lose control panel functionality. It needs a re-jig.
        Also I want long pressing on the wifi or bluetooth icon in control panel to bring up the settings page for those, like on Touchwiz Samsung.
        Most of the wishes won't happen with Apple but the other practical issue I have is Safari playing hide and seek with tabs. The tab I left on the left suddenly went into the drop-down list on the right..I mean stupifying. Just have a horizontal scrolling tab bar and get rid of the drop down. Remove the tab dragging, we don't need it since safari butchers the order you set them up anyway!
        As for the accelerometer wake up, hmm, that would be pointless unless you have NO lockscreen since you need to interact with it to unlock. It not like tapping the home button is so difficult.
        Would like to see a flash on the camera so it can be used to scan barcodes in the dark or just be a handy torchlight in the dark.
        Infrared blaster would be great. I am never paying more than $300 for another tablet that cannot show me TV guide and then with a simple tap, change the channel on my TV to that program or allow me to mute the TV from the notification panel widget.
        Fuggit, I'll ever need an ipad Air, I'll just keep the real Air, the ipad mini. it does everything the Air does anyway.
  • The new Samsung S tablet ...

    allows displaying the screen contents of a Samsung S5 phone on the screen of the Tablet. Handy way to keep track of a couple of device notifications as the same time. To me that is useful, AND it doesn't COST any extra (and as such, is probably not high on some manufacturers ToDo list).
    • sidesync

      Is a wonderful feafure and has been available on Note series tablets for a while.
      It's the only way I can use Whatsapp on my tablet.
  • More RAM, microSD, USB 3, WiDi, Miracast

    I don't even know how they will run iOS8 on an iPad2 (512MB) there is already a serious RAM shortage on it with iOS7. Frankly I think bumping the 2014 iPad up to 2 GB (from its current 1GB) would still be pretty stingy.

    Support WiDi and Miracast not just AirDisplay... I don't care about a wired HDMI connector.

    Support removable and external storage... microSD and USB 3.

    I'm sick and freaking tired of having to have different devices and connections just to have the same thing on an Apple product, stop being an iTroll.
    • They won't. They will abandon the iPad 2 just like they abandoned ...

      ... the first iPad. Without warning and at the drop of a hat. For some, Apple can do no wrong.
      M Wagner
      • how much backward compatibility do you want?

        this isn't windows xp.