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What The iPhone 4 Tells Us About iPod Touch 4 & iPad 2

by Sean P. Aune | June 7, 2010June 7, 2010 8:48 pm PDT

The iPhone 4 is upon us, and while its so exciting to drool over all the new features, it makes you wonder what it means for all of the other iOS devices.

The iPod Touch launched the same year as the iPhone, and it has followed the same roadmap as its bigger brother for the most part.  There has been some divergence in their paths, but you have to figure some cues will be followed this year.

ipod touchThe most obvious concept is that we will see the iPod Touch change form factors this year to match the iPhone, but beyond that it is anyone’s guess what will happen.

While it would be nice to see FaceTime show up, there are a couple of hurdles it would have to overcome. The first would be that the iPod Touch lacks any camera thus far, and all though some prototypes of a third generation with a back camera have been photographed, this new feature would require two cameras. True, Apple could get away with just a back camera, but that would cripple some of the functionality, and that seems unlike them. There is also the question of the fact it is still technically a phone-based feature, and the iPod Touch is explicitly not a phone.  I do think we will see a back camera this year, but I wouldn’t hold your breath for the video chat feature.

Everything else to do with iOS 4 will show up, however.  We will see wallpapers, multitasking, app folders and so on.  We will probably also see the A4 chip, the longer battery and an improved Wi-Fi antenna due to the changed body.  We’ll also see the screen pumped up to the Retina Display.

The iPad is a bit of a more difficult prediction because it is still so early in its life-cycle.  We know that iOS 4 will hit the device in the fall, so multi-tasking and all the other bells & whistles are a given, but will we see the Retina Display?  The iPhone is now running 78 percent of the pixels of the iPad, so increasing its pixel count in the same manner would almost seem like overkill, but when has that ever stopped Mr. Jobs before?

Changes in the form factor is a big question.  If Apple wants a uniform look across its devices, the iPad will have to undergo a change in just its second year, but will that be too much?  If it allows for better Wi-Fi, which some iPads have suffered from, then it would be worth it, but boy does it feel too early for that large of a change.

A camera was one of the most wished for items on the iPad, and while its assumed by many we will see it on the second iteration of the device, does it mean FaceTime?  Doubtful.  It will suffer from the same issues as the iPod Touch getting the feature, and I’m thinking at least for now that we will see video chat saying in the realm of the iPhone only.

I think what we learned from the iPhone 4, and more specifically the change in the name of the operating system and the statistic of the 100 millionth “iDevice” preparing to sell, is that we will see a more unified product line.  Whether it be phone, music player or tablet, if it is running the iOS, it is all one big family.

What say you?  What do you expect from iPod Touch 4 and iPad 2?


Sean P. Aune

Sean P. Aune has been a professional technology blogger since July 2007, but his love of tech dates back to at least 1976 when his parents bought...

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