As 2013 draws to a close, it's time for Macworld to make its predictions for Apple's new product releases in 2014. This year Apple released the iPad Air and the Retina iPad Mini. Will 2014 bring the iPad Pro, the iPad 5, or something completely new?
With the release of the iPad Air and Mini retina, Apple has made significant upgrades to its tablet lineup. Switching the larger iPad to an Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide (IGZO) display technology has resulted in a far more energy efficient unit, allowing Apple to reduce the battery size and lower the overall weight by over twenty five percent. The upgrades to the Mini are of course mainly the Retina screen that it so badly needed, but internally it now features the 64-bit A7 chip and M7 coprocessor, bringing it up to an equivalent spec as its bigger brother and the iPhone 5s.
As the dust has barely settled on the new releases it's still a little early for any solid leads on what's next for the iPad line, but a few obvious things present themselves. The one glaring omission from the new models is TouchID. Apple's new fingerprint sensor was the main addition to the iPhone 5S and could prove to be a game-changer in regards to security and ease of usability going forward. Why the technology didn't appear, at least on the larger iPad, is a matter of much conjecture.
The most likely reason is simply a lack of available parts. The iPhone 5S was seen to be in short supply on its release, as opposed to the iPhone 5c, which appeared to be plentiful, and many put this down to the fingerprint sensor. Holding off for a year will allow Apple to build up supply stock and also test the technology on a global scale before implementing it on a wider range of products.
Industry analyst Mich-Chi Kuo has recently stated that Apple will release a full size iPad with 30-40% higher pixel density in 2014. We're not entirely sure what the advantage would be with this, as the Retina name is meant to signify the highest resolution difference that a human eye can discern. Kuo has a good track record with Apple products, though, so it should certainly be taken seriously.
New iPad in 2014: Camera
We're not exactly fans of people taking photographs with their iPads, especially at concerts - just stop it! There is definitely a large group of users though who love this feature. It's curious then that Apple continues to let the devices lag behind in this area. While even the iPhone 4s has an 8-megapixel camera, the iPads are fitted with a 5-megapixel alternative. They also lose out on one of the coolest features on the iPhone 5s, slow-motion video. With the Mini now being widely adopted as the iPad of choice thanks to its easy portability, we think Apple may finally bring the camera up to spec in the next iteration.
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