Is the iPad in need of a major overhaul?

Is Apple planning to make some changes or additions to the fledgling iPad sooner than you might think? I know that sounds crazy, but hey, the new iPod Touch and the iPhone 4 are ironically helping to speed up the iPad’s aging process. Add to this the Android tablets that are slowly—but surely—coming out to challenge the iPad’s supremacy in the tablet category.

I’m talking about a product that’s been shipping for only a few months now since it’s debut. But considering the insanely rapid rate of change in mobile devices, the iPad as you know it is quickly becoming a fossil artifact right before our very eyes.

One of the major drawbacks of the iPad—and this is the most glaring of all mobile device omissions—is the camera-free design. I’m speaking about competition here guys. Even the iPod Touch which is dubbed elsewhere as the iPad Nano was given the camera—and two cameras at that! FaceTime is really getting traction among users now, and the HDR photos are also gaining some popularity now; sadly these are not offered by the iPad.

Another thing that iPad should work on is it’s size. Okay, personally, I love the large screen of the iPad, but competition is getting fierce. With the large display and the build comes the weight concern of the iPad. I’m a bit on the fence on this one, but I guess they should also consider this factor. Certainly, the next-gen iPad must showcase more memory. It currently has 256MB; the Galaxy Tab has 512MB. Who wants to use something that limits us because of the small memory?

Your thoughts

What other things do you think should the iPad improve on? What are the other benefits that I’ve overlooked? How about disadvantages?

Let us all know in the comments!

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About the Author

Stephen NellasStephen is part of the Software Jewel team, the company behind Clutterpad and BiP. He's also a regular author for BiP.View all posts by Stephen Nellas →

  1. Steve PyeSteve Pye09-13-2010

    I don’t personally see the lack of camera as a downside, given that there’s an option to tether to an iPhone camera via an app. On top of that, holding a device like the iPad while using a camera is almost useless without a dock, and that somewhat defeats the usefulness of the device.

    I think the most lacking two features are the obvious: iOS 4 (the iPad really needs multitasking, unified inbox, printing, and folders), and universal file synchronization (both of which are actually a software upgrade. Ideally, every app should have its documents available via some shared service (e.g., automatic sync with MobileMe, Google Docs, Dropbox, etc), so that documents can be accessed outside of the device without resorting to email.

    But if you’re talking strictly hardware, then it may as well go all the way and implement a retina display, which would effectively allow it to have a whopping 2520×1890 resolution in the same size. And you’re right about the memory, but for now, it’s forcing developers to be a little more thrifty in memory use, and that’s not actually a bad approach.

  2. MeMe09-14-2010

    I think they definitely need a camera. And I agree with you too Steve – the iPad definitely needs an update. Waiting till November is just ridiculous

  3. Stephen NellasStephen Nellas09-14-2010

    @Steve Pye: I know what you mean about the camera, but hey I think it’s supposed to be a normal feature for mobile devices to have especially those that cater to multimedia. I can just imagine holding up the large iPad in front of a group of people waiting for their pictures to be taken. Oversized camera. :)

    But still, people won’t mind that as long as they can have their pictures taken by THE iPad. :)

  4. Steve PyeSteve Pye09-14-2010

    Perhaps then, the better design approach would be to have the camera jammed into a tiny bluetooth device that can be used anywhere, and wirelessly transmits to the iPad, and can be clipped on the top (even when it’s in a case). Or a dock connector based camera. I just can’t fathom trying to Skype on the iPad, when it’s too heavy to hold in a perfect position for a long call, and when mounted on a dock, would probably point at the wrong spot since everyone sits at a different height, and you can’t adjust the tilt like you can on a webcam. Just imagine trying to take a picture (which you have to do by tapping a touch-screen button, incidentally, not with a hardware button, as the iPhone has proven), by using one hand to press the button without jiggling the iPad, and the other hand trying to hold a 1.5-pound device.