Developers are expecting an announcement around April for the next major revision of iOS.  About that time a year ago, Apple did the same for iOS 4, as well as releasing the developer previews with ample time for the WWDC in June.

For this post, I wanted to touch on the not very much talked about or media-hyped topics.  Or my own greedy wish-list, if you want to look at it that way.  As with any unofficial Apple speculation, take these words with a grain of salt:

OpenCL support for A5 devices (iPad 2, and the 5th gen iPhone)

The A5 contains a PowerVR SGX543 GPU which apparently supports OpenCL.  Given that Apple have added support for this in Mac OS 10.6 Snow Leopard, this might be a next logical step to enable better access to GPGPU solutions.

More focus on rich text editing and text input

This one falls well under my hopes, that is to bring new rich text editing components, bringing more of Core Text over from Mac OS X and better developer support for creating custom text input views.  You’ll be hard pressed to find a close-to-perfect (flawless bubble and cursor, selection markers, keyboard navigation, etc.) implementation of a custom text input view from scratch, yet Apple teases the possibilities with apps like those of the iWork suite for iPad.

Objective-C 2.0 Garbage Collection

Less important to me (I am quite comfortable with managing memory manually, but maybe I’m just nuts), I have a feeling this might appear in iOS 5. It has been on Mac OS X since 10.5 Leopard and people have largely speculated its exclusion from iOS being the device’s limited processing power and memory capacity. With the advent of A5′s dual core and faster processor, and the assumption that iOS device memory keeps doubling, this seems more and more feasible to achieve.

New Core Audio/MIDI features

With the explosion of audio and music creation/manipulation apps on the iOS market, recently joined by Apple’s latest contribution, Garageband for iPad, we might be seeing some more focus on high powered/low level multimedia APIs. I would love to see things like support for custom Audio Units making it into iOS. This could bring the concept of the “Touch DAW” to a whole new level. To date, this is one area that Apple is clearly already ahead of the game.


Then there are the few other ones I won’t dwell too much on, because they’ve been covered pretty extensively everywhere else.

Hopefully whatever wonderful piece of work Apple throw us their way will make its way onto the iPad line more smoothly than iOS 4. With the release of the iPad 2, there is much power in the hardware to be explored.