Apple will announce the iPad 3 (or iPad HD) at a press conference later today. The rumor mill is running at full speed regarding the new device's specs. So what can we photo-minded technology enthusiast glean from all of it? We've boiled down a few of the rumored updates that photographers will care most about.
- A higher resolution display is all but confirmed. The iPad 2's 1024 x 768 display is easy on the eyes with great color reproduction, but it's being quickly outpaced in terms of ppi by other manufacturers. Given the high-quality display available on the iPhone 4S, it's a gimme that the next iPad will have an equally impressive screen.
This could be especially helpful to the working photographer who uses an iPad to display work to potential clients. No doubt, the iPhone 4S's excellent display is part of the secret to that device's success as an image-maker. Photos just plain look better on a higher resolution, higher contrast display. Your Angry Birds game might not see any improvement, but when your images need to look their best, it could be worth the investment.
- A better camera. Most rumors are pointing at the 8 megapixel camera first offered in the iPhone 4S. A tablet may not be the most ergonomically-friendly picture making option, but it at least makes sense to keep the device competitive in that realm. After all, if the camera you've got with you is attached to your tablet, it might as well be a good one.
- More processing power. Rumor sites have all but confirmed this tidbit, and many are expecting an A5X dual-core chip with improved graphics processing power. That would fall in line with an improved, higher-resolution display. Could that mean more juice for advanced photo and video editing software?
Since the first generation, the iPad has been a device best suited for the consumption of media, rather than the creation of it. But the iPhone is, at best, equipped with mediocre editing software. Editing photos on the small display is frustrating. If the latest iPad were equipped with the right software and a capable 8 megapixel camera, then maybe it's time to rethink it as a tool for processing video and photos.
Of course, in matters of tablets, we like to defer to our friends at Tablet PC Review. Read their predictions and check in around press conference time (2PM ET) for all of the details as they emerge.