Web developer Chris Galzerano was curious to learn of Apple’s upcoming plans with the iPad, so he used his skills to decrypt the company’s latest iOS 4.3 beta release.
Once inside the iOS 4.3 Beta 3 IPSW file, he reportedly started looking around for new hardware references and, not surprisingly, he found some.
For example, “In the sounds folder, there are multiple camera related caf files for recording video and taking pictures,” Chris notes
This is only one of many findings that support the idea of iPad 2 packing at least one camera.
“Also, in USBDeviceConfiguration.plist, there are entries for all of the regular devices like the iPad (iPad1,1) and the iPhone 4 (iPhone4,1), but there are 3 more entries for the iPad starting with 2: iPad2,1, iPad2,2, iPad2,3,” Chris observes.
As many have speculated in the past, the web developer believes these are three different versions of the iPad 2: a Wifi model, a GSM model, and a CDMA model.
“Strangely, there’s an iFPGA string in the plist file,” he adds. “Could Apple Possibly be working on a Field-Programmable Gate Array chip to put in their iDevices?” Chris speculates.
As he continued to examine various .plst files, Chris allegedly found that the iPad may play or record 720p video.
Further digging around the files comprising Apple’s iOS 4.3 revealed that the iPad could capture video in as many as three presets: VGA, iFrame, and 720p.
“There is a camera.framework in the private frameworks folder,” Galzerano further observes.
He also found references to a magnetometer, “meaning that the ipad 2 would have a compass like the iPhone 3GS,” and a reference to “displayport.”
Based on accessory manufacturer’s claims, recent rumors indicate that Apple’s iPad 2 will boast a Mini DisplayPort, just like the company’s Macintosh computers.
“There were some smaller software features like ‘gas-gauge battery and multitasking-gestures’. There’s also a plugin for a gas-gaugeHID,” the developer adds.
Perhaps most importantly, though, Chris strongly believes that iPad 2 will boast a 3 mega-pixel camera, not a 1MP sensor, as many reports have speculated.
His conviction comes from the same IPSW teardown which later revealed something interesting in the framework “AVFoundation.framework.”
Galzerano explains that “a file called ‘DefaultModel.plist’ would show which of the 4 strangely named folders with camera-related plist files would go with the iPad 2’s firmware.”
Here, the string value was “N88,” known as the code name for Apple’s next-generation iPad.
“I went into the ‘N88’ folder and opened the ‘AVCaptureSession.plist’. It described a 3MP camera unlike the other news sources which described a 1MP camera,” Galzerano reveals.
Finally, Chris offers a breakdown of the features the iPad 2 will have according to his firmware digging:
- Mini DisplayPort
- 3MP Camera
- 720p video
- something relating to a 'gas gauge' (believed to be a reference to the battery indicator).