On Wednesday, March 7, Apple is highly likely to unveil the iPad 3. The rumored hardware looks to be breathtaking. A retina display, massive graphics and CPU processing power, and a camera that will rival that of the iPhone, all while sending this goodness up and down to clouds everywhere with 4G speeds. iPad 3 is going to be a major leap in iPad technology, so much so we'll wonder why the iPad 2 wasn't called iPad 1S.
But for all the hoopla and sex appeal iPad 3 hardware will contain, it's the core of the product, the software, that will send would-be rivals back to the drawing board all over again.
It's been widely rumored for years that Apple would deliver its own mapping software. The software doesn't look to simply take on Google maps, but blow it out of the water. Add in Apple's iAd solution for business placement, and Apple delivers a major blow to it's chief rival.
Mapping will be huge, but it is only the tip of the software iceberg, as iOS is likely to take mirroring to a whole new level with AirPlay. iMessages will replace FaceTime, delivering the same OS X Mountain Lion capabilities. Share Sheets, the newly announced Mountain Lion feature allowing the user to share just about anything via a large array of web sites and social services, is also rumored to be among the features coming to iOS.
But perhaps the most important software update to iOS for iPad 3 will be the arrival of a Finder, or CloudFinder, for storing and managing documents. Bringing this ability to iPad 3's iOS will blur the lines desktop and mobile device. The iPad 3 Finder feature is the final salvo to all-things-windows, and could very well result in a mass exodus of would-be Windows 8 buyers flocking to iPads, while leaving Android's fractured and insecure product lineup in a cold and isolated world.