iPad 2 -- what we didn't get!

Sure Apple showed off a lot during the iPad 2 event but they didn't give us everything we wanted, now did they? While I can't tell for sure yet if I got my smaller bezel (I'll be measuring down to the millimeter!) there are some hardware and software features that are obviously missing in action.

We're going to go over them after the break!


Steve Jobs said iPad 2 was incredibly thin but Apple didn't lose anything because of it. Maybe so but there are several things we didn't gain either.

Retina Display

iPad 2 is the same 1024x768 resolution as the original iPad. In other words we can still see the pixels. No doubt Apple is working on a sweet Retina Display for the iPad... we just didn't get it today. Maybe it was too expensive. Maybe they can't produce enough of them yet. Maybe they just need to hold something back so we upgrade to iPad 3 next time. What ever the reason we didn't get it.

Stereo Speakers

We got a new speaker design and maybe the bigger area will lead to better sound but we didn't get the Beats by Dr. Dre treatment the HP TouchPad is getting. It doesn't look like we even got real stereo speakers. For a company with its roots in iPod audio that's a strange thing to keep missing.

ThunderBolt/USB/SD ports

While MacBook Pro got the really fast new ThunderBolt I/O, iPad 2 didn't. It didn't get a built-in USB port or an SD card slot either. Once again the Dock remains the only data port on iPad. At least the Camera Kit will let you get a big dongle for USB and SD. Lack of PCI Express architecture probably keeps ThunderBolt off the roadmap for the foreseeable future though... (Hey, at least we finally got an HDMI adapter!)

High quality cameras

iPad 2 looks like it has the same video cameras as iPod touch 4, not the much higher quality still camera sensor of the iPhone 4. 720p is fine for HD video but 720 pixels high isn't great for a still image. Is this another case of Apple going for thin over function? iPad 2 might not be the every day shooter for every body but something comparable to the coming Android tablets would have been nice.

LTE/4G radio

Okay, LTE isn't going to be ubiquitous any time soon but even if you have it you won't be able to use it on iPad 2. We're not even sure how fast the HSPA radio is yet.

128 GB option

Double density NAND Flash has been available for a while now. Maybe 64GB is enough of an option for most users but for those who want a ton of video or high quality audio 128GB would be appreciated. At least iPod classic can breathe a sigh of relief until September...


No I don't want it but some people outside LG might and there's no 3D display and no 3D cameras. Again I don't care but someone might.

Bezel gestures

Thinner or not there's no gesture area on the iPad 2 bezel. Apple has patents on this (and on touch sensitive casings) but they're still not using them. In fairness even the HP TouchPad isn't using a gesture area and the BlackBerry PlayBook is faking it with a 1 pixel detection border but the Sony PSP2/NGP is using case gestures. Just saying...

Software features

Apple didn't match all the specs of competing tablets but their strength is software, right? Let's take a look.

iOS 5

We didn't get any hint of iOS 5 and that means a lot of software features we were expecting didn't show up either. Notifications, Theme Store, Apple ID activation, user accounts, voice commands, etc. are all still missing in action and waiting on an event later this month or next.

MobileMe and iTunes.com

Maybe MobileMe is waiting on iOS 5 but we didn't hear anything about improvements there either. Same goes for iTunes.com. We did get Home Sharing but the cloud was a no-show. No Find my Friends, no streaming media, no DropBox killer. Nothing.


iPad 2 is a good update. I'd say it's even better than the iPhone 3GS was to the iPhone 3G since the design improved as well as the internals. But it wasn't an iPhone 4 level update. It was more expected and less exceptional. The above is what I think was missed. Let us know what you think was missed in the comments below!