Time is dwindling down to the launch of the iPad on April 3rd.  Preorders start this Friday but if you were thinking Apple might pop in a few unseen surprises like a camera, iPhone OS 4.0, or even several apps that come standard on the iPhone, I wouldn’t recommend getting your hopes up.  If you’re considering a preorder, it’s probably best to bet on what we’ve seen up to this point.

Days after the iPad announcement, speculation kicked back into high gear when it was noted that several applications which had been touted as core functionality of the iPhone were seemingly absent from Jobs’ presentation.   ipadwidgetsSome, like Kevin Fox, expected the iPad to ship with hidden dashboard-like widgets that could run on the home screen or in a similar fashion to Snow Leopard.   After all, would anyone expect the iPad to lack any feature we’ve already seen in the iPhone? Another round of theories behind the blank key found on the iPad’s keyboard dock added fuel to the fire, suggesting the key would later be used to launch a dashboard full of widgets that had gone missing from the iPad’s home screen.

John Gruber of Daring Fireball has heard whispers from his sources that Apple had planned on including the weather, stocks, clock, calculator, and voice memos apps on the iPad but later scrapped the idea after the apps’ user interfaces remained largely the same when they were blown up to a massive 9.7 inches.  In the end, the apps didn’t quite make the cut thanks to Mr. Jobs.  If you’re wondering if Gruber’s got any street cred, his sources were correct in the past, most notably on the exclusion of the iPad’s camera.  For shame!

What do you think about Apple’s decision to nix the five apps from the iPad?  Will they be downloadable in the App Store or will Apple leave us to rely on third parties to fill the gap?  All the cool kids speculate in the comments.

[Via 9to5Mac]