Rumour Mill – iPad 2 shapes up

After yesterday's iOS 4.3 tease, we thought we'd better let you in on the iPad 2's secrets, too

We could be only a couple of weeks away from Apple announcing its second-gen tablet, the iPad 2, and this time it needs to face up to some promising competition from the Android Honeycomb invasion. What can the initiator of the new tablet revolution bring to the table now the party’s in full flow? We’re hearing stories of a News International-partnered news service (don’t expect it to be free). And this lot…

Home button begone

With iOS bringing a five-finger pinch gesture to return to the home screen, who needs a home button? People with fewer than five fingers and the arthritic, at a guess. Plus, those of us who like to check the time, date, signal or battery life without peeling off our winter gloves. Would Apple do it anyway? Yup.

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Bigger speaker

According to casemakers, the aperture for the iPad 2’s speaker grille is a whopper. And that means a bigger, hopefully better, speaker. No word on stereo, which would be a nice addition, but we’re not expecting it.

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Hi-res screen

Here’s a rumour that’s been doing the rounds since the iPhone 4 got its Retina Display: the iPad 2 will have a hi-res screen. The smartest money at the moment says it won’t get the pixel density of its little brother, but it will get a quality hike. And we salute that. Obviously.

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It’ll be the same size

That is to say we won’t see a 10in iPad, or a 7in one. It’ll be good, old-fashioned 9.6in and be done with it. But it will be thinner, it may have a flat back and it may come in a range of fruity colours. Don’t quote us on that last one. We just made it up.

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Two cameras

Again, this rumour’s been around since Apple “invented” video calling with FaceTime. Even without any supporting evidence, this is basically a certainty. And there is supporting evidence. So, what’s it going to be? We’ll punt a conservative guess: 5MP on the back and VGA forward.

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