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The Apple iPad 3 Is Coming: Experts Predict the Features

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If the rumors are true, the third version of the Apple iPad is just a month away. Apple revolutionized the mobile market when it introduced the iPad, and gave video streamers an important new way to reach viewers.

In preparation for the announcement, we asked industry experts what they expected to see in the iPad 3 and for their wish list of features. Here's what they said:

Neal Blaak
Founder and CMO
ZappoTV

Prediction: Aside from the basic expectation of a sleeker design, better camera, increased battery life, performance, and iCloud service integration, I expect the iPad 3 to come with 4G/LTE and full multi-tasking. With true 4G/LTE, consumers will be able to enjoy any media content wherever they are whenever they want -- further diminishing the difference between mobile and TV.

Wish List: As an iPhone developer, I would benefit from better connectivity capabilities (4G/LTE), full multi-tasking capabilities, and media format/codec support. Our media applications would be able to function even more efficiently and effectively, providing access to an even wider variety of internet-based content. Also, although not really expected, I would love to see a built-in ATSC tuner.

Sam Blackman
CEO and co-founder
Elemental Technologies

Prediction: Now that there is a new CEO running the show, I fully expect to see a nice Flash Player implementation and a more voluptuous array of porn in the App Store. Seriously: I predict the key upgrades will be a higher resolution display for sure (the rumors I've heard all say 2048 x 1536), a faster processor, and 4G connectivity. The features I'd personally like to see added, of course, are a physical keyboard and floppy drive, but Apple never seems to engineer it's products for me -- that's why I'm writing this message on a ThinkPad!

Wish List: HLS (HTTP Live Streaming) is a great video delivery mechanism, and many non-iOS IP video devices are beginning to adopt it broadly (Android 3.0 and later devices, Roku boxes, Samsung Smart TVs, etc). One thing that the standard is lacking today is a robust DRM implementation, something flexible enough to provide rental windows and offline viewing of protected content. It would also be an improvement if the recommended segment length was reduced from 10s to speed initial playback and reduce the latency of live events.

Scott Brown
U.S. general manager
Octoshape

Prediction: I predict they will add Siri support, and possibly more sophisticated auto-lock features like pattern match or facial recognition instead of simply password.

Wish List: Regarding video support, I would like to see them support advanced protocols other than HLS for live and on-demand delivery. Examples would be for them to additionally support MPEG DASH, add native multicast support to the network stack, and most importantly to add native support for Octoshape!

Darren Feher
President and CEO
Conviva

Prediction: More efficient hardware acceleration for video playback, device-to-device streaming. More input ports.

Wish List: Better video format interoperability, more robust open development frameworks for interactive video apps, wireless HDMI for streaming to big screens.  

John Gilles
Senior vice president, sales and marketing
Coincident

Prediction: Since the killer use case for the iPad turns out to be a second screen for video in the home or as a companion device, the iPad 3 will likely contain features that serve that purpose, including a higher-resolution display and better integration with Apple services and other Apple devices, particularly the long-rumored Apple television as well as the Apple TV set-top box.

Wish List: Since most iPad owners will likely own non-Apple TV sets from other CE manufacturers and pay TV services from non-Apple MVPDs, it would be ideal if the new iPad 3 would offer better ability to integrate with third-party APIs so as to enable the iPad 3 to be a highly engaging companion device for TV viewing in the living room.

Jeff Malkin
President
Encoding.com

Prediction: Seems to me that two likely major improvements we'll see with the iPad 3 are with the display and processor. Specifically, when Apple introduced the Retina Display with the iPhone 4, that was such a major leap forward for crisp, HD viewing that I'm assuming they are working to bring the same experience to the iPad. And, to further support both the consuming and capturing of HD video content, my assumption is that Apple will deliver the iPad 3 armed with a new quad-core processor.

Wish List: In my own home, the iPad has already replaced our television for most of our non-sports viewing so continued improvement on video quality is high on my wish list.

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