What’s in Store for the iPad at Today’s WWDC Keynote Event?

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Apple’s keynote event for WWDC 2011 kicks off in just over two hours. Apple’s statements leading up to the event have made it clear that this year’s keynote is all about software, and that no new hardware announcements should be expected.

The three featured topics for the event are iOS 5, the new iCloud service, and Mac OSX Lion.

Of course there is all sorts of speculation about what exactly will be announced about each of these topics, and I’ve been thinking about how the first two in particular 9iOS 5 and iCloud) may impact the iPad. Here are some of the possibilities, and some of my hopes:

— The general consensus is that Notifications will finally be (much) improved in iOS 5 – and that we’ll see deep Twitter integration of some kind throughout the new version of iOS. These both sound very good to me.

— I really hope we’re going to see some level of refresh on the way we can organize our home screens and apps. Even with folders, which are a big plus, it’s still a huge pain in the arse to organize apps if you have a lot of them.

— App Switching needs a refresh too. The current system of double-tapping on the home button and scrolling through icons is OK, but something gesture-based and slicker, like some of the things we’ve seen in the jailbreak arena, would be even better.

— I would love to see some of the very cool multitasking gestures that are available in preview / testing mode right now be used in rapid app switching.

— The toggling on and off of key services like WiFi, 3G and others needs to be made much easier to do. It is just plain ridiculous how much harder this is to do via Settings than it is via SBSettings on a jailbroken device.

— Screen mirroring via AirPlay would be great to see in iOS 5.

— John Gruber has suggested, and many are agreeing, that iCloud will largely supercede iTunes, and that future iOS devices will not have to be connected to a computer to be activated, but instead will be activated via iCloud. That would be superb. Better still will be if activation, syncing, and updates can all be done wirelessly.

— If iCloud ends up offering massive amounts of storage space for our music, photos, and other data, and it’s priced reasonably and proves rock solid and reliable (a lot of IFs) then it will influence iPad model decisions quite a bit. More storage would likely become less of a priority and always-on connectivity to that iCloud will become more of a must-have feature.

One thing’s for sure, today should be another exciting Apple news day, and hopefully a day with some good news for iPad owners.

What are you hoping to hear at today’s keynote? What are some of your iPad-related wishes for iOS 5 and iCloud?

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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