The Apple rumors are beginning to swirl thick and fast, which usually prefaces a launch--even if the rumors aren't always an accurate predictor of the actual event.
iPad 2 screen
Earlier this week the guys at 9to5Mac.com  scored a scoop  when they landed access to what may be the iPad 2's LCD screen, via a device repair service that acquires parts from China. It reveals that the iPad 2's screen is exactly the same size--9.7 inches of viewable area--but that the bezel of the unit has been shrunk slightly, probably thanks to technological advances. It's also lighter and thinner (by around a millimeter) than the current iPad screen, all of which would allow the iPad to to be thinner, with a smaller bezel and a less deeply curved back, exactly as the many rumors about iPad 2's shape have suggested.
No word yet on whether the screen is exactly the same resolution as the current iPad's, or whether it's had a boost to match the iPhone 4's retina-busting powers--but the rumors have backed away from this suggestion a bit anyway.
iPad 2 "leak"
Reuters  caused a news fuss this morning, at least in the tech press, with a story saying one of their reporters spotted an iPad 2 at yesterday's launch of The Daily newspaper app  in New York. It was being sported by one of the official participants, who went as far as confirming it was real and that it would have both front- and rear-facing cameras.
The story's been met with skepticism online, but thanks to the Gizmodo iPhone 4 affair, we know that Apple does test its devices in the wild. We also suspect that Apple's clamped down on such "leaks" in the wake of Gizmodo's leak of the iPhone 4.
Apple to upgrade mobile OS, with subscriptions, in two weeks?
Daring Fireball's John Gruber , commenting on the News Corp. Daily  iPad newspaper app notes  that the Daily's long-anticipated subscription model requires API code hooks that "aren't in iOS 4.2," which is the current release version. Gruber notes that the Daily is free for two weeks, courtesy of Verizon's generosity...but this time frame could also match up with the arrival of a fresh version of Apple's mobile operating system.
In other words, iOS 4.3 may arrive in two weeks' time, bringing all the right code to support in-app periodical subscriptions.
Could this also indicate Apple will reveal the new iPad in just two weeks time? That would make for a nicely rounded-out event, and it would leave Apple free to do an independent news release at the end of February to trumpet its stellar Verizon iPhone sales.
Personal Wi-Fi hotspots for everyone
New York Times tech reporter David Pogue just published  a review of the Verizon version of the iPhone 4--along with a number of other reviewers. But after mentioning the Verizon version's neat "personal hotspot" powers, which distinguish it from the iPhone's powers on every other network, Pogue says "Many other app phones have it-- AT&T’s iPhone gets it on Feb. 13--but Apple’s execution is especially nice."
Is Pogue letting slip some inside info he's heard?
New iPad features: HD video, 3-megapixel camera, monitor connection
Fresh trawling through the most recent developer release of iOS has turned up a few nuggets  of information on what specs the next iPad may have.
According to this thinking, the next iPad will include an approximately 3-megapixel camera (the iPhone 3GS uses a 3.2-megapixel unit), which is capable of recording video in 720p format. There're also hooks for a digital compass and the DisplayPort protocol--the current connector technology Apple employs on its MacBook lineup to connect to high-resolution displays like monitors.
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