As we get closer to the expected February announcement of the iPad's successor, more rumors are spilling out about new features. Here's the most reliable of them.
Camera: The most widely agreed upon new feature coming to the iPad 2 has to be cameras. There are cases everywhere with camera holes in them, but the most convincing evidence is the iOS 4.3 beta, which has iPad camera apps. In fact, the FaceTime app means that there will be front and rear cameras.
Larger Speaker: One of the most reliable and repeated rumors is also the least interesting. Multiple sources and cases have indicated that the iPad 2 will have a larger speaker grille. This may mean better speakers and more emphasis on quality audio, or it could just mean bigger speakers.
Retina Display: Several pieces of recent evidence have led most experts to agree the iPad 2 will have a higher resolution display. There's still some contention about just what that means. Some think it will have the same retina display resolution as the iPhone 4, others think it's double, and some just say it's a resolution bump of smaller magnitude. Whatever it is, the iPad 2 will most likely have more pixels.
New A5 Processor: There is strong evidence to indicate the iPad 2 will feature a new processor. The A5, successor to the A4 currently found in the iPad and the iPhone 4, would have significantly better graphic power, meaning the iPad could be an even more impressive media machine.
Bigger Storage: This is actually a bit of a no-brainer, but it's likely that the next iPad line will have larger storage capacity. Rumors of a 128GB option aren't very far-fetched.
SD Card Slot: Apple CEO Steve Jobs dismissed the need for SD card slots, USB ports and other external storage options for the original iPad, but some recent third-party cases have had cutouts that indicate the iPad 2 will have an SD card slot. Given Jobs' past diatribes on the topic, it still seems hard to believe, so remain skeptical about this one.
Proximity Sensor: Another rumor courtesy of the iOS 4.3 beta indicates the iPad 2 will have a proximity sensor. This would detect when the user closes the cover and automatically lock the device. It would auto-unlock when the cover was raised again.
New GSM/CDMA Chipset: The current iPad uses a GSM chipset to access AT&T's 3G network. Verizon requires a CDMA chipset to access its network, which is why only the Wi-Fi iPad is available through Verizon. Reports indicate Apple will put a new dual GSM/CDMA chipset in the iPad 2 that would make it capable of running on either. That would mean the iPad 2 (3G version) would likely be available on multiple networks at launch.