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iPad 3 rumors: A guide to what's likely, unlikely, and totally bonkers

Apple will unveil its latest tablet on Wednesday, so the iPad 3 rumor mill is churning at full speed. Here's a quick list of iPad 3 rumors with a guide for why you should (or shouldn't) believe them.

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Quad core processor

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If nothing else, the third iPad is expected to be, well, more capable than its predecessor. The iPad 2 has two cores, splitting up all of the tablet’s work, while the up-and-coming version is expected to have a quad-core processor (i.e., four cores). Ideally, this would mean the third iPad would perform smoothly and without delay. Of course, a machine that powerful would probably drain its battery very quickly. One of the iPad 2 selling points was its extended battery life over Apple’s first tablet, so if an updated processor is one of the third iPad’s features, the designers have taken a risk.

Probability: Maybe


If Siri doesn’t make it to the big screen, she will remain a lowly smart-phone assistant forever. But in truth, Siri should easily be able to transition from the iPhone 4S to the new iPad. Supply chain sources have validated rumors that Apple’s foremost personal assistant will be featured on the new tablet, but no word yet on what she’ll be able to do for the iPad that she can’t for the iPhone.

Probability: Likely

No home button

This is one of the less likely features, one that would be a revolutionary move for Apple. Since the first generation iPhone, every Apple phone and tablet has had a home button. The iPad won’t be without it, reports say, but it’s possible that we could see a button-less tablet in the next few years as companies try pushing out entirely hands-on tablets. As for now, though, Apple will likely go with what’s tried and true.

Probability: Unlikely

Better camera

Considering the fairly crummy cameras on the iPad 2, there’s a lot to be desired from the third iPad’s cameras. Photos of the tablet’s glass panels suggest that the new tablet’s main camera will be located at the top of the tablet, just like the iPad 2. But both of the iPad 2’s cameras are a far cry from the iPhone 4S, which shoots at 8 megapixels. It’s only fair that the third iPad should keep up with photo capabilities as its little sibling. (The downside? iPad users continue to look awkward taking photos with tablets. But to each his own.)

Probability: Likely

Microsoft Office

Apple and Microsoft might seem like sworn enemies, but they’ve had a number of good collaborations in the past. Rumors abound regarding a Microsoft Office that’s iPad compatible, despite the fact that Apple has word processing and spreadsheet software in the form of iWork. Reporters at The Daily say they got ahold of a prototype in late February, so it’s entirely likely that the new iPad will have touchscreen Office just like Windows 8 tablets.


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