Friday, February 25, 2011

10 Must Have iPhone Apps for 2011


10 Must Have iPhone Apps for 2011Every year brings new Apps breakthroughs for our trusty iPhones, and 2011 is looking set to be no exception. In this list of promising Apps for 2011, I’ve gone for a variety of games, utilities and just outright brilliant Apps that will enhance your relationship with your phone in various ways.


1. Instagram – By Burbn Inc, Updated 27th January 2011, FREE Instagram - Burbn, Inc.

10 Must Have iPhone Apps for 2011

Photo-altering app that has effectively become an image-based social network

Spearheading the recent social networking trend of sharing images rather than words is Instagram. This app allows you to take photos, enhance them with a series of effects, and seamlessly share them on social networking sites.

What makes Instagram stand out from other photo-sharing apps is that it has effectively become a social network unto itself. You can build up a network of friends and contacts whose photos you appreciate within the app itself, making it a pure image-based social network.

Instagram is great for those wanting to (literally) share their visions with the world and track down people with similar outlooks. Instagram is certain to continue growing throughout 2011 as the relative anonymity of photo-sharing is proving to be a popular digital pastime.

2. Star Walk – By Vito Technology, Updated 4th January 2011, £1.79 Star Walk - 5 Stars Astronomy Guide - Vito Technology Inc.

10 Must Have iPhone Apps for 2011

A deep but accessible astronomy iphone app

Ok, so not everyone is interested in astronomy, but for those who are then this is a beautiful app to get lost in. Whether you just want to do some star-gazing, travel through time, or look at Meteor showers in deep space, Star Walk has it all.

The great thing about this app is that it is accessible to astronomy beginners while also being useful for those specialised in the field. The Telrad feature allows you to measure angular distances between stars (not that I understand astronomy enough to know the purpose of this), and there is a considerable catalogue detailing objects in both deep and shallow space. All of this presented through an intuitive and sleek interface that never distances you too much from the wonders of space.

Star Walk received design awards in both 2009 and 2010. Its regular updates should ensure that it remains the most comprehensive, visually pleasing and enjoyable astronomy app to indulge in throughout 2011.

3. Schedulicity – By Schedulicity Inc

10 Must Have iPhone Apps for 2011

For the uninitiated, Schedulicity is a web-based service that allows individuals and small businesses to manage their appointments and schedules online.

Now, the popular service has found its way to smartphones and tablet devices, allowing appointments to be managed from the palm of your hand. Edit client accounts, receive appointment reminders and organise you calendar whenever you like! Of course, this could spawn a generation of workaholics who, having their business in the palms of their hands, obsess over their schedules every waking moment of the day, but it certainly makes businesses more manageable. Everything you do in the mobile version will, of course, be streamlined with your web-based account.

Already recognised as an important trend in streamlining business operations and customer services, Schedulicity looks likely to catch on as an integral aspect of managing small businesses.

4. Blackstar – By Spacetime Studios,Release Date: Q2 2011, Price TBC

10 Must Have iPhone Apps for 2011

From the makers of Pocket Legends, Blackstar is likely to be the next big thing for iPhone MMOs

While a Massively Multiplayer Online game a.k.a. MMO is certainly not a must-have App for everyone, there certainly is a niche crowd of geeks who’ll be drooling over this one.

Blackstar is the successor to the popular iPhone MMO Pocket Legends. However, while that was based on a world of elves and pixies, Blackstar takes place in a conflict-filled 41st Century.

Few details have been disclosed so far, except that the developers are promising that it will not be ‘content-light’ and that it will support just about every relevant technology out there (EDGE, 3G, Wi-Fi, 4G). It’s safe to assume that this will address the various issues raised with its fantasy predecessor, and reel in the sci-fi-geek masses.

5. Kindle – By Amazon, Updated 14th February 2011, FREE Kindle -

10 Must Have iPhone Apps for 2011

Will Kindle succeed on the iPhone?

So the Amazon’s digital-book-reading App has been around for a while, but 2011 will be a crucial year in finding out whether it will catch on on Apple’s devices. Its case will not be helped by the recent revelation that Apple have forbidden Amazon from providing web links for purchasing their books.

Politics aside, the Kindle App is probably the best book-reader App out there. It allows you to synchronise all your e-books between devices, meaning that as long as you have a device, you always have access to your books; stick in the mud that I am, I don’t see how carrying an actual book around is such a burden, but then this whole e-book craze seems to be catching on quite nicely so I’m obviously just wrong in my cynicism.

Among the neat features on the Kindle App is the option to look up words on Google and Wikipedia and also tap words into an in-built dictionary. While 2011 seems destined to be a good year for the Kindle device, whether it will catch on with Apple’s devices is not so certain due to the recent changes to Apple’s terms of use. Either way, it will be an interesting year for the Kindle App!

6. Dead Space – By EA Mobile, Released 25th January 2011, £3.99 Dead Space™ - Electronic Arts Nederland B.V.

10 Must Have iPhone Apps for 2011

One of the most intense horror games has arrived on the iPhone

Most gaming enthusiasts will know that Dead Space is probably the most terrifying game to play on the big consoles. Naturally, this fear is hard to translate to the small iPhone screen, but that doesn’t stop it from being EA’s best mobile offering to date.

Dead Space looks and plays brilliantly, utilising the minimal interface of its big console counterparts. There is a plethora of brutal weapons, varied scenery, and the gameplay utilises the touch-screen very smoothly.

At £3.99, Dead Space can be considered one of the more pricey iPhone games, but with a 5-hour storyline and some intense action sequences its price tag (which, let’s be honest, isn’t that high anyway) is perfectly justified.

7. CoPilot Live 9 Release date: Q2 2011, Price TBC

10 Must Have iPhone Apps for 2011

The social-network-friendly GPS App

A relatively unexpensive Sat Nav App for the Facebook generation. The latest version of CoPilot is set to feature an overhauled interface and provides multiple routes to your selected destinations.

Aside from these functional upgrades, CoPilot 9 will also feature an integrated Bing search engine made for tracking local businesses and services. And for those hopelessly addicted to the trivial activity of letting the whole world know where you are through Facebook Places, this App will feed your habit by letting you post updates to Places in real-time; after all, everyone wants to know when you’re stuck in rush-hour traffic in London, don’t they?

Other unique features include the option to save the exact location of your car, driving directions to ‘geotagged’ pictures taken by your smartphone, and a walking mode which helps you navigate cities on foot. Yes, CoPilot is making our dependency on our own sense of navigation a thing of the past.

8. Bear Grylls – Bear Essentials – By Chillingo, Updated 6th January 2011, £3.99 Bear Grylls - Bear Essentials - Chillingo Ltd

10 Must Have iPhone Apps for 2011

Bear Essentials is a functional and substantial app for those interested in their own survival

People often say that their iPhone is a ‘lifesaving’ device, helping you find your way from A to B, work out train times and general assistance with other such urban activities. But with Bear Grylls’ heavily branded ‘Bear Essentials’, your iPhone can save your life more literally.

In the admittedly unlikely case that you find yourself in a Bear Grylls-like scenario of being stranded up a mountain or in a jungle, or shipwrecked on a desert island, this App gives essential advice in surviving these situations.

As well as offering videos and interactive diagrams, there is a whole wealth of extremely useful survival information for you to refer to. At the end of each section you look through, there is also a quiz to test your survival knowledge; granted, you won’t be quizzing yourself while hunting for snakes and making camp-fires using flints and sticks, but it’s good to be prepared. Essential for the more adventurous iPhone owner.

9. Hipstamatic – By Synthetic Corp Updated 10th February 2011, £1.19 Hipstamatic - Synthetic Corp

10 Must Have iPhone Apps for 2011

Hipstamatic allows you to choose from plenty of vintage looks for your photos

Retro is always ‘in’, so it seems natural that an App would come along that lets you take photos with a distinctly retro make-over. Hipstamatic is an extremely fun App that allows you to take photos using various lens, flash and film types to give your photos that Analog feel.

Such is the popularity of this App that it even has its own ‘Hipstamart’, where you can purchase further flashes, films and lenses for your omnipotent analog camera. There is even a monthly competition where the community votes on the best ‘HipstaPrints’, giving you the chance to win ‘fabulous’ prizes.

The fact that Hipstamatic has managed to create a community around itself and even have its own store for additional content suggests that the ball has only just got rolling on this one, and it will be interesting to see how it develops throughout 2011.

10. The Shadow Sun – By Ossian, Release Date: Q2 2011

10 Must Have iPhone Apps for 2011

The Shadow Sun looks tear-jerkingly beautiful

While the iPhone has slowly established itself as a worthy gaming platform, it still lacks an immersive, epic RPG experience. Initially, it was thought that this was due to the technical limitations of the iphone, but The Shadow Sun looks should put that theory to bed.

The Shadow Sun promises in-depth character development, a varied game world and, as you can see, beautiful graphics of the sort rarely seen on the iPhone. Your choices affect the story, the gameplay is fast-paced, and you can even take on party members. In other words, this isn’t the ‘Lite’ RPG experience iPhone users have come to accept, but the full-on thing.

Ossian have delayed The Shadow Sun until Spring 2011, suggesting that they are striving for perfection with this ambitious project. Could this be the RPG that iPhone gamers have long been waiting for?

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Best Ways to Planning your E-Commerce Website


Top Best E-Commerce Planning QuotesGo Professional means more planning and research. If yo plan yor web e commerce then this is the best ways do planning ecommerce website. Whether theming an e-commerce website or doing a full-scale build, one of the most important parts in the whole process is the planning. Planning a build before you start can sometimes seem like a bit of a tedious and time-consuming task, but not only will it make everything run a lot smoother, it will also save a lot of time. website altogether called online shop, e shop, online store etc. It does require technic and practice.

Best Ways to Planning your E-Commerce Website

You may be wondering where you even begin, and that’s what this article will help you answer.  Try out to have an eCommerce website for your shop before it is too late. Ecommerce website or electronic commerce website is a kind of website where every aspect or service can be sold or bought. Now a day's almost community is addicted to internet and sometimes it is really easy to shop online rather than shopping from a physical business outlet. Outgrowth of ecommerce

What Do You Want Your Site To Do?

Let’s start at the beginning. Since we are talking about an e-commerce site, I’m guessing that the aim is to sell something. We need to figure out ways to make it more compelling to buy that something.

Try to make it as easy as possible for the customer to buy your products. The well-known three-click rule applies here: You want your customer to get to what they are looking for in three or less clicks. Any more, and they may just give up. The user interface should be a primary subject to plan for.

Who’s Going to Buy From You?

Another important factor to take into account is your audience. This is something that you should consider researching properly; knowing who will want to buy your products is something that influences your design.

Do You Require Special Site Features?

Depending on what you are selling, you may need features that other e-commerce sites do not. For example, a clothing e-store may need a refined search so that the customer can filter a search by colour or brand. Alternatively, you may want to allow the customer to use coupon codes. You should plan what features and functions you think you need or want to add.

Best Ways to Planning your E-Commerce Website

What Are Your Limitations?

Everyone has limitations — work out what yours are when you are building your site. Do you have a budget for the build, and if so, how will this limit what you can do? What technical limitations do you have? Is there any part of the build that you won’t be able to do by yourself? How does the technology limit your build?

You can do nearly anything with enough hard work, but remember that not everything will be possible.

Do You Have All the Tools You Need?

It depends on how much of the build you are doing, but you will probably need graphic editing software (i.e. Photoshop, Fireworks), a web development application (i.e. Dreamweaver), e-commerce and online store management software (i.e. Magento, OSCommerce, etc.) and the obvious things like a domain name and web hosting.

What E-Commerce Platform Are You Going to Use?

Since we are talking about e-commerce, we should take into consideration what’s going to power our website. There are countless of e-commerce platforms out there, and one of your tasks is to find one that fits your needs.

Depending on your knowledge and what your needs are, there are a various number of options that you would be able to use. If you think that you have quite a comprehensive knowledge on the subject, then maybe you should consider going for an open source cart or even building a platform yourself. If not, then there are also hosted carts to take into account.

Let’s have a look at a few platform options from different categories.


Best Ways to Planning your E-Commerce Website

Magento is probably one of the most popular open source carts in the e-commerce platform market and, in my opinion, is probably the best free cart out there (there are also enterprise and professional versions with a yearly cost that will provide additional support).

Magento has some awesome features including analytics integration, capability of wish lists, multiple images for products, advanced product filter search, advanced customer service, tonnes of payment methods, marketing/promotional tools and so much more.

Recently, Magento has also released the world’s first mobile commerce platform. This could be very interesting, even more so now that smartphones with huge screens (such as the iPhone) are all the rage.


Best Ways to Planning your E-Commerce Website

Shopify is a very interesting hosted platform. Compared to something open source and self-hosted like Magento, it is extremely simple to set up, manage and update. You could have a site running within minutes if you wanted to.

But Shopify does have a slight lack of features (by intent — to keep things simple), its price is a monthly fee plus, on top of that, a commission for every sale, and a hosted platform means you have less control of your platform (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing for people who just want things to work).

Content Management Systems With E-Commerce Addons

Another alternative that has recently arisen is that of WordPress, Drupal, and Joomla! shopping cart plugins, giving these content management systems e-store capabilities. There are a few, including eShop, Shopp, and WordPress MiniCart. This is great if you want a quick add-on for you existing site, but not perfect if you want a fully manageable e-commerce site.

Custom E-Commerce Site

An alternative to all this would be to go the DIY route and build your own platform. Of course, this will need a fair bit of web development knowledge and also a lot of time. But putting in all that work could be worthwhile if you have highly customized needs. Plus, if you build it yourself, you’ll be guaranteed full ownership of everything, including your code base.

Case Examples of E-Commerce Sites

Do a little bit of research into what other e-commerce sites are doing right and wrong. Try to learn and consider all your findings when you’re building your e-store.

Let’s have a look at some of e-commerce sites.


Best Ways to Planning your E-Commerce Website

Amazon is the world’s largest online reseller, but what makes the site so brilliant? One of the main factors is the simplicity of the site: Even though it looks cluttered, it’s still easy to navigate and find what you are looking for. For example, think of any product you want to buy right now: You’ll probably find it or learn that it isn’t available on within three clicks.

Amazon also boasts about its customer service and if your customers are happy, then you’re doing a good job.

Other huge e-commerce sites you should look at are Zappos, Threadless, andThinkGeek.

Google Product Search

Best Ways to Planning your E-Commerce Website

Google Product Search is not really an e-commerce site, but it’s worth looking at to illustrate an important concept about planning and building e-commerce websites:simplicity is important. And if we can think of one company that excels in this concept that best, it’s Google. Google has been known for its simplicity since the beginning and this remains the case when using its product search.

Google Product Search is also great for when you have your e-commerce site up and running as well: By uploading a list of your products to Google Product Search, you open a whole new portal to your online shop.

Another remarkably simple but successful e-commerce site to look at is Woot.

Shoe Guru

Best Ways to Planning your E-Commerce Website

Now that we’ve had a look at the largest, let’s have a look at some smaller e-commerce sites. ShoeGuru is an amazingly simplistic site, and its design is perfect for displaying their clothing products. The design comprises of a nice graphical site that gets the message across.

Doorstep Dairy

Best Ways to Planning your E-Commerce Website

Doorstep Dairy is a great example of a great-looking site that is both fun to use, yet still easy to purchase from.

Nation Toys

Best Ways to Planning your E-Commerce Website

Nation Toys is an excellent and colourful site that compliments the vibrant products they sell.

Crocs Store Romania

Best Ways to Planning your E-Commerce Website

Crocs Store Romania is probably the best version of the Crocs site (for some reason they have designed the sites differently for each region).

Mock-up and Design

Once you’ve done your planning, what do you do next? Well, everyone works a different way, but you may want to make a mock-up or wireframe of what your site will look like. Some people like to go straight into Photoshop or other design software at this stage, but personally I like starting out with pencil and paper (very old fashioned, I know) because  it’s easier for me, but it may be different for you.

If you do decide to start out the old-fashioned way, try Paper Browser: You just print out the templates and draw on them, giving you a true perspective on paper.

Best Ways to Planning your E-Commerce Website

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Top Best Excellent E-Commerce Plugins for WordPress


Top Best E-Commerce Wordpress PluginsLooking for Professional themes for ecommerce or business website? Or gonna build web business for shopping cart online? This is the best wordpress pluigns to create ecommerce websites. With the internet being used more and more by your average consumer, you may be wanting to start your own online shop so you can unleash your products to all those potential customers. I’m sure you know that there are countless ways to do just this, but here I’m going to talk specifically about e-commerce plugins for WordPress. Here are essential ecommerce wp plugins :

Top Best Excellent E-Commerce Plugins for WordPress

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Maybe you’ve heard about the odd plugin that allows you to sell products from your WordPress blog, but you might not know exactly what they are. To help you on your way to selling your products, I’m going to tell you about the five best e-commerce plugins for WordPress.

1. Ecwid

Top Best Excellent E-Commerce Plugins for WordPress

Ecwid is a free plugin for WordPress. It is a full shopping cart/e-commerce system that is extremely easy to install and even easier to maintain. It’s also customizable so you can have it looking however you like. See their showcase gallery that features live sites that use this WordPress plugin.

But as with most things in life, there is a downside. Ecwid uses Ajax for nearly everything, so SEO could be affected and users who don’t have JavaScript enabled can find it impossible to use your site. But don’t let that stop you because this is being worked on and there are already three solutions that you can utilize.

2. eShop

Top Best Excellent E-Commerce Plugins for WordPress

eShop is another full e-commerce system for WordPress. Again, it is free and it is an all-around good e-cart. The admin area of the plugin is extremely simple to use and adding products, reviewing products and checking stats couldn’t be any easier.

Top Best Excellent E-Commerce Plugins for WordPress

The whole system is customizable so you can have it looking awesome. Worm Sign T-Shirts and A La Modern are two e-stores to check out to see how the plugin works in the wild and how it can end up looking with customizations.

Top Best Excellent E-Commerce Plugins for WordPress

Top Best Excellent E-Commerce Plugins for WordPress

The downside to eShop is the payment options. You can only accept either PayPal, Payson or use eShop to take in payments for you. When using eShop as a payment method, you will not be able to print an invoice for the customer as you would be able to with PayPal. I hope that this will be upgraded eventually, and apart from the limited payment options, eShop is a very good cart.

3. WP e-commerce

Top Best Excellent E-Commerce Plugins for WordPress

This is another free e-commerce solution for WordPress. WP e-commerce is one of the most used out there in this space, and it has a lot more features than eShop. To say that this is merely a "plugin" in the conventional usage of the term is a disservice to this amazing WordPress-based e-commerce solution. Some very complex and robust sites out there use this plugin. For example, both IconDock and City Surf use this plugin to run their business. IconDock in particular has a very unique drop-and-drag interface for buying products.

Top Best Excellent E-Commerce Plugins for WordPress

Top Best Excellent E-Commerce Plugins for WordPress

With WP e-commerce, you can accept manual payment (checks/money orders), PayPal Payments Standard, PayPal Payments Pro, PayPal Express Checkout, Google Checkout and Chronopay.

There is also a Gold version of the cart that has many more features and accepts more payment types. And on the site, they have a number of add-ons for the cart such as product sliders and shipping modules.

The only shortcoming with this one is printing invoices. There is no option to customize an invoice, but you can still view the invoice and print it via the web browser.

4. Shopp ($55)

Top Best Excellent E-Commerce Plugins for WordPress

Shopp is an excellent cart plugin for WordPress, but excellence comes with a price. That price starts at $55. For that price, you’re getting a single license for the software, and then you can buy extra plugins such as payment gateways, shipping modules and priority for support. But for any business venture, $55 is a negligible business overhead, especially for something as critical as a system that handles your product purchases.

The plugin is extremely easy to install and use, and it seems a lot cleaner (interface-wise) than the free plugins. The customer support is good and there is quite a bit of documentation, as well as a user forum, on the official site.

The sites that they have featured in their showcase are nice sites (Soigneur and Gourmet Candle Co. are just two of them), and the look of the cart is easily customizable.

Top Best Excellent E-Commerce Plugins for WordPress

Top Best Excellent E-Commerce Plugins for WordPress

There is very little to fault with this one; I personally found nothing during my testing and the only problem I heard of was when another WordPress Plugins was conflicting with it.

5. PHPurchase ($49)

Top Best Excellent E-Commerce Plugins for WordPress

PHPurchase is another paid plugin costing $49 for the Standard edition and $99 for the Pro version. Similar to Shopp, it seems to be of better quality than the free versions as well as slightly easier to use.

It has the same features as the previously mentioned plugins, but accepts a few more payment gateways including PayPal Website Payments Standard, PayPal Website Payments Professional, PayPal Express Checkout, eProcessing Network, Chase Paymentech, Quantum Gateway and

The system is highly customizable. WeGraphics and Hydrapak are two examples of how you could get your site looking after customizing it all.

Overall, this is a very good e-commerce solution. As with all systems, you should expect to run into some bugs as you use it, but I personally didn’t find any during my testing.


Picking an e-commerce solution depends on how much money you are wanting to spend (if any), what you need your e-commerce solution to be doing and how much knowledge you have in relation to running, developing, and customizing e-stores.

All of the solutions I’ve mentioned are perfect for small- and medium-sized projects, but are probably not ideal for managing a full-scale, e-commerce website selling thousands of products. For that kind of size, you’re probably better off looking into a custom-built solution or a dedicated e-commerce publishing platform like Magneto, Zen Cart, or Shopify.

But if you already know how to use WordPress, your needs aren’t like, and you want an e-commerce solution that integrates well with your other content management needs — using an e-commerce WordPress Plugins is definitely something to strongly consider


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Demo iPhone passwords hack


Top Best Beautiful and Stylish Mobile PhonesiPhone passwords hack is real things. A German research firm has demonstrated how passwords stored on an iPhone can be retrieved in less than six minutes without needing to know the passcode. Researchers from German engineering and research firm Fraunhofer tested the hack on an iPhone 4 and iPad 3G running iOS 4.2.1 and found that it was possible to access a range of passwords stored on the device, including: MobileMe, Google Mail as a Microsoft Exchange account, Microsoft Exchange email accounts, VPN logins and Wi-Fi network credentials.

The researchers said that the hack was relatively easy to perform and used freely available tools. However, they did have to jailbreak the device and install an SSH server in order to access the phone and copy the keychain access script that allows access to the stored information.

"After using a jailbreaking tool, to get access to a command shell, we run a small script to access and decrypt the passwords found in the keychain. The decryption is done with help of functions provided by the operating system itself," the researchers wrote in the paper. "An attacker would not need to know the user's passcode nor does he need to exploit new vulnerabilities to reveal these secrets."

Other sensitive information such as credentials saved by the Safari web browser were not revealed in the tests.

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The iPad 2: How Will Apple Stay Ahead of the Pack?


iPad Now that we have a firm date for the announcement of the iPad 2, it’s hard not to set one’s mind to wondering what changes Apple will unveil to this new, massive pillar of their business. New Comers, The iPad 2: How Will Apple Stay Ahead of the Pack? While on some level, Apple could simply coast on this one: by simply throwing in a faster, dual-core chip and dusting off their hands, Apple will have likely learned their lesson from how quickly Google became a legitimate competitor in smartphones.

With Android having exploded, it’s unlikely that Apple will be willing to let all those upcoming Honeycomb Android tablets get close to the iPad. Once burned twice shy, as they say.

The iPad 2: How Will Apple Stay Ahead of the Pack?

So what  might we reasonably expect Apple to do to maintain their lead? And what do we want to see?

In Design, A Big iPod Touch

The iPad 2: How Will Apple Stay Ahead of the Pack?

We know Apple’s strength has always been design. But though the original iPad is a beautifully designed piece of hardware, it’s likely that in order to cement their design lead, Apple will move to an iPod Touch style design.

By that, I mean the back of the device will taper to the edge, and the back will be covered in something more ‘luxurious’ that the brushed aluminum look it has now.

More to the point, it will be the thinnest tablet out there – mainly so Tim Cook (who we assume will run the keynote) can say “this is the thinnest tablet out there”. And a glossy, silver back will starkly distinguish the iPad 2 from the Xoom, Playbook et al.

It’s a shame, as I quite like the slab design of the current iPad, but competition often means simply needing to differentiate a product.

Keeping Costs Down Means No Retina

The iPad 2: How Will Apple Stay Ahead of the Pack?

Those clamoring for a ‘retina display’ on the iPad – i.e. a doubled resolution of 2048 × 1536 – are, to put it nicely, a bit nuts.

Not only would it require an incredibly expensive screen, you would also need a very fast CPU-GPU combo (probably quad-core) to drive the 3D effects of iOS at that resolution, which would itself cause battery-life headaches.

On top of that, after asking app developers to adjust the resolution of their apps for the iPhone 4, Apple will now ask them to do it all over again for the iPad apps they just wrote? I don’t think so. If you’re dead set on a ~10″ retina display, wait for an iPad 3.

But in order to stay ahead, look for an improved display in terms of brightness and viewing angles.

Cameras, *yawn*, Facetime, Dual-Core, More RAM etc.

There is some stuff on the way that could only be surprising if it’s not included. Those things are cameras on the back and front and a dual-core A5 Apple ARM-based processor – probably running at 1.2GHz. Yawn.

Since the iPad only has 256MB of RAM, this will obviously get an upgrade too, though whether it’s to 512MB or 1GB is likely a matter of cost. I’d expect the latter, since iOS quite strict in how it handles multi-tasking. 1GB might be overkill.

The only surprise might be the lack of a rear camera. It’s unlikely, because we’ve seen cases with holes for a camera. But I’d like to think that Apple might be saner than some other tablet manufacturers: who wants to hold up a 10″ tablet to take pictures? No-one, that’s who.

All of this will be added simply to keep pace with upcoming Android tablets and the Playbook.

Possible Surprises? Price? No Home Button? Holographic Projection?

Holoographic projection? Yeah, I was just messin’. I don’t even know what that is.

But no home button? A possibility. After all, we’ve already seen gestures that make the home button somewhat obsolete. (Though that does limit multi-finger gestures to the OS rather than apps.) It would also line up with Steve Jobs notorious hatred for buttons, and would make a lot of sense given that the iPad is used as much in landscape mode as it is portrait.

What about the price? Well, it may be optimistic to think it will be cheaper, but look at Apple’s projected figures of 40 million units for 2011. In 2010, they sold 15 million units. Is it possible that, due to Apple’s control of the supply chain – in things like their huge $8 billion deal with Samsung – that they could drop the base unit down to $399? What else might account for more than doubling sales projections for a product with an average selling price of around $700? Yes, the product is insanely popular; but is it so popular that 40 million people around the world will drop the cost of a new laptop?

Let’s say there’s a 50/50 chance Apple will cut prices by a $100 across the line.

What Do You Want in an iPad 2?

Overall, the iPad’s market lead won’t be about hardware as much as it will be about iOS. It will be about how Apple’s ecosystem is positioned as the most appealing. So expect a modest, if overhyped upgrade to the original.

But what about you ahlidesain readers? 4G? A USB or Lightpeak port? NFC? SD expansion slot? What do you want to see in the next iPad? Hit the comments and let us know.

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