Back in 2007 when Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) announced the iPhone, it was a state-of-the-art, one of a kind, technology masterpiece. Come 2015 the industry has completely changed, it has evolved to a whole new level. Most players today have adopted the latest of technologies and fueled the competition. The game is tougher and many entrants are offering cutting edge specifications and features in their smartphones at very low prices. In this wild race, just when people have started believing that iPhone might be left behind, Tim Cook introduced the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 with bigger screens to match the demands of the world, in the last quarter of 2014. Both the iPhones were very well appreciated by the consumers which resulted in record sales of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
After nearly 8 months of the launch of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, Apple is reportedly gearing up to launch their successor, the iPhone 6S, by October this year. Rumors have started making rounds on the internet about the specifications of the upcoming iPhone 6S. If we had to trust the rumors, a few claim that Apple has decided to drop the physical Home Button from iPhone 6S, while few other sources are reporting that iPhone 6S would have a larger battery and a long-lasting backup along with an upgraded 13-megapixel camera.
We don’t know what is cooking at Foxconn’s factory yet, however, here is a list of features most smartphone users would love to have in the next $700+ iPhone.
Wireless Charging over Long Distance
Wireless charging has been around for a few years but it hasn’t really been successful because it still requires that the device be placed on top of a charging pad attached to a wire plugged into a power outlet. In essence, it’s not really wireless. But a lot of technological advancements have been seen in the field of wireless charging in the past year and a half, by various companies. For example, Energous claims its Wattup Transmitters can charge devices intelligently over a distance of 15ft. If we could just walk into a room and continue doing whatever we do and even keep our phones handy, the phone will automatically be charged by itself without any required intervention; that would truly be revolutionary.
Faster Charging and Bigger Battery
Similarly, a lot of companies have been working on various solutions to the ‘battery problem’. Many breakthroughs have been made to decrease the present size of batteries to be smaller than little buttons. A couple of companies have had success decreasing charging time to within a couple of minutes. And some scientists think they can cram a week worth of battery charge within a graphene battery of the same size as the batteries today. A week long battery with almost instantaneous charging, wouldn’t that be a dream come true!
Waterproof with IP67 rating
So many phones today come with the IP67 rating and others with water resistance. Even the AppleWatch launched this year is waterproof with an IP rating of X7. Would it be too much to ask to give us an iPhone with an IP67 rating as well? Finally one might be able to go about life without fear of rain, receive that most important call in the shower, or even take underwater videos and of their babies splashing in the pool to preserve all those beautiful fun memories!
OIS in Camera with more settings and picture size toggles
The iPhone camera has always been excellent but today almost every Android phone has Optical Stabilization built into it, the LG G4, of course, beats the pack with it’s wonderful OIS+ camera making shake-free videos and sharper pictures a default expectation. The next iPhone must have this feature without fail. While on the topic of the camera, Apple did introduce the time-lapse and 240 fps slow motion features in iOS 8 this year, however, did not provide any tools to control their playback speed. It would be nice to have a full featured editing media app, through which we could control playback speeds and even change the resolution and size of the pictures to preserve precious memory.
Micro SD for expandable storage and file transfer
Since the launch of the iPhone in 2007, the size of the Operating System and the memory consumption of the apps in the ecosystem have dramatically increased. 16GB is no longer sufficiently large and a software update with a few apps updated can quickly reduce your storage space to a negligible size. Add to that the 8MP camera which is locked to that resolution (average picture size > 2MB) and you know you are in serious trouble. Not everybody can afford the more expensive 64GB and 128GB iPhones, it would be really nice to have a hot-swappable expandable microSD card slot, to swap out cheap memory whenever needed.
Transfer files without iTunes, File Explorer
All the awards and accolades aside, iTunes is possibly the single most horrible piece of software in existence. It should have been WAY easier to access the data on your iPhone and transfer files from your computer to other portable devices. Android adopts a very basic drag and drop capability, which the iOS lacks. The Mac has it’s Finder, Windows has Windows Explorer and Android has about a zillion third-party file navigators, yet as of now iOS does not supply any tool or means of organising/navigating the files on your device. It would be lovely to have a simple drag and drop file system on the next iPhone.
Front Facing Speakers
Front facing speakers on phones were first popularised by HTC. While the ‘boomspeakers’ received wide acclaim, a lot of reviewers pointed out that HTC phones with ‘boomspeakers’ were a lot bigger in size than other phones with similar screen sizes. This, of course, has been a long-standing criticism with the iPhone because of its home button, the presence of which does not allow Apple to shrink the face of its device bezels too much. But then Motorola started implementing front facing speakers everywhere and many others followed the example. All of a sudden we realised that front facing speakers did not have to be huge and one could accommodate great sound along with small form factor in one device.
It would be really great to have a speakerphone conversation or watch a video with friends and not strain to hear the sound caused by the audio from the speakers being directed either behind or below the phone.
Voice Wake, Gesture Wake, Tap Wake the Phone
People don’t like buttons, almost everybody has figured this out by now. It’s important to have them there for hard resets and all but it would be preferable to not use them as far as possible. Android took the lead here by promoting on screen navigation controls standardising the move away from the home button popularised by the iPhone. Soon after Motorola took it to the next level with Voice Wake and Active Display. you simply speak to the phone or pick it up and the phone wakes up without you having to press anything. LG introduced double tap to wake the device and a wholly unique double tap to sleep as well ensuring one would almost never need to reach back for the power button. OnePlus One popularised screen gesture wake and once again Motorola took it to another level with a software update.
Could the Apple please introduce a more comfortable and intuitively way of waking up in the next iPhone faster?
Customisable tap functions (not press) for Home Button
ALL of the features mentioned above use low power cores which the iPhone already has. Also ‘reachability’ in the iPhone is evidence that the home button is capable of detecting taps and not just presses. So why didn’t Apple do more with that? Most of us would really love to double tap (like on the Apple trackpad) for the multitasker instead of double press and long tap for reachability. Further, why do users have to press the home button to start the phone, shouldn’t the fingerprint reader using the low power cores simply be able to detect their finger and unlock the phone? Please Apple, stop playing the class teacher and let us use the hardware we’re already paying a hefty sum for.
Infra Red Blaster
Once again, almost every Android has this and has had it for eons. These days, most of the people have a remote for their Television, another for their digital cable box, one for a sound system and one for AC. If you have a smart home you’ll need one for you lights, switches, dimmers and maybe even one for the Apple TV/Android TV. Aside from the fact that you need to carry all these remotes everywhere to toggle whatever the heck you want, you also need to keep these remotes charged with all their tons of AA batteries. Your phone already has a battery that you keep charged and keeps it next to you all the time. it has smart software that can be adapted to emit signals to control whatever device you want. Shouldn’t it make sense that for all phones to come with Universal Remote facilities? I think so. One Remote to rule them all, One Remote to control them, One Remote to bring them all and in one device integrate them!
Probably, the expectations are a bit high for the next iPhone, purported as iPhone 6S. But, I am sure, for a company like Apple, known for innovative products and future thought-process, which also has an army of world’s best human resources, it is not too difficult to have thought of this and implement these as well. Even if 5 – 6 of these features could be seen in the next iPhone, considering the price tag of every iPhone, most Apple fan-boys would be thrilled to boast of their latest and greatest device.