5 Features the iPhone 5 Needs to Have
We’re likely still a long way out from the release of Apple’s next iPhone, presumably the iPhone 5, but it’s never too early to talk about what we’d like to see from the company’s next-generation iPhone.
As you may know, the last two iPhone models are fairly similar. The iPhone 4 launched in 2010 with a design that was vastly different from that of the previous iPhone model, the iPhone 3GS. And while many speculated that the device that would succeed the iPhone 4 would feature a re-design, Apple ended up releasing the iPhone 4S, a phone with a design similar to the iPhone 4.
It has the same size screen. It has the same flat design. It has the same glass.
(Read: Review of the iPhone 4S.)
However, Apple did make some changes in terms of the hardware. It added the A5 dual-core processor. It added an upgraded camera. And it added the personal assistant feature called Siri along with iOS 5.
The iPhone 4 doesn’t have Siri and will likely never see it.
So what can we pull from this?
Well, if Apple follows a similar release path, we might not only see upgraded hardware/software in the Apple iPhone 5 but we may also see a new iPhone design as well.
What would we like to see in regards to those?
Here’s our wish list.
One of the constants with the iPhone has been its screen-size which has sat at 3.5-inches from the original iPhone, released all the way back in 2007, all the way to the iPhone 4S which was announced and released in October of 2011.
And while some of you would probably like Apple to keep the same 3.5-inch display, we’d actually like to see a bit of increase.
If you’ve ever used an iPhone, you’d know that it’s not the best for things like Netflix or Hulu. Things on the screen are tiny.
What if Apple bumped up the screen-size to something 4-inches or bigger? We here at GBM had a lengthy debate about what screen size is best and the results were all over the board.
Personally, I’d love to see Apple bump the iPhone 5′s display to 4-inches. If you’ve ever used a Droid Incredible or Droid Incredible 2, you’ll have a good idea about the size I’m talking about.
One of the reasons that people love the 3.5-inch screen is because they are able to easily manipulate everything on the screen with one hand. You can do the same thing with a 4-inch screen and you also keep the pocketability while also adding some more size for things like watching movies or sports highlights.
There are probably those of you that would love to see an iPhone with a bigger screen, say 4.5-inches or 4.65 like the display on the Samsung Galaxy Nexus or even bigger, but I just don’t see Apple making that drastic of a change.
Near-Field Communication (NFC)
Near-field communication and platforms that Google Wallet that take advantage of it have yet to take off here in the U.S. Why? Many believe that it’s because the iPhone doesn’t employ an NFC chip and that once NFC comes to the iPhone, mobile payment services like Google’s will become more common place.
If you’re not familiar with Google Wallet or NFC, in a nutshell, it allow you to pay for items using an account tied to your smartphone. Wave your smartphone at another NFC equipped device at a retail store and boom, those new shoes are yours.
Who knows, it may end up replacing the wallet one day.
We’d love to see the next iPhone employ an NFC chip, one, because it’d be nice to be able to use it to easily pay for goods, but we too think that it would be a catalyst for NFC here in the United States.
With all of the Android and now Windows Phone devices that are arriving with 4G LTE connectivity, it’s only a matter of time before Apple joins the party. There has been a lot of talk about the iPad 3 employing LTE capabilities, which offers data speeds up to 10 times faster than normal 3G, and if that’s the case, expect the iPhone 5 to have LTE as well.
One of the reasons that Apple may have held out until now to release 4G LTE devices was because of the poor battery life that it bestows upon supported devices. The Galaxy Nexus is a great phone but its battery life is bad.
Apple’s iPhones have always had great battery life and Apple’s iPad 2 has the best battery life of any tablet in the business.
By the time Apple gets around to announcing the iPhone 5, 4G LTE should be available on all three carriers of the iPhone 4S – AT&T, Sprint and Verizon. Exciting stuff.
Exciting because 4G LTE is amazing for streaming content or browsing the web when on-the-go. Have a look at this video below:
As you can see, 4G LTE vs. 3G is no contest and we’d love to see those kinds of speeds on the next iPhone.
With the release of the iPhone 4S came the introduction of Siri, a personal assistant that is controlled by voice. It can schedule your meetings. You can use it to tweet on Twitter. You can ask it questions and get informative answers. In other words, it’s extremely useful and its integration is incredible.
Have a look at in action in the video below:
As good as it though, it could be better.
Here are a few things we’d love to see from the next Siri, if there is one:
- Deep integration with Facebook/Twitter/Pandora: Ask Siri to post something on your Wall and boom, the content is there. Or how about adding a way to send a tweet to Twitter directly? As for Pandora, how awesome would it be to ask it to change the station or create a new one?
- Turn Wi-FI or Bluetooth on or off: Exactly what it says. The ability to turn one or both of these off with a simple voice command.
- Start applications: I would love to be able to open up Netflix or Hulu Plus or Facebook using my voice. Wouldn’t you?
- Ability to Start/Send Emails: How about a way, at the very least, to have Siri fill in the recipient or subject line for an email? We’d also love to use it to fill out the body of the email but we’d also be alright with opening it up and completing it using the keyboard, or with dictation.
- Handle Accents: You’ve probably seen the videos on YouTube where Siri can’t understand a persons accent which leads to funny, jumbled responses. Fix that.
Clearly, these only scratch the surface of possibility.
When Apple releases a new iPhone, it generally does so with a brand new version of its iOS operating system. With the iPhone 4′s release we saw the release of iOS 4. And with the launch of the iPhone 4S, we saw Apple roll out iOS 5.
So, if Apple sticks to its guns, it will likely be rolling out iOS 6 with the iPhone 5 and as good as iOS 5 is, we’re hoping for more from Apple’s next software release.
While we could go on and on about what we’d like to see from the new software, here are three items that we’d love to see added with iOS 6.
- Navigation Overhaul: If you’ve ever used an Android device, you’d know that Google Maps absolutely crushes the stock navigation found on the iPhone. There have been rumors of an overhaul for quite awhile now and we’re hoping that Apple releases heavily featured navigation baked into iOS 6.
- Better Notification System: With iOS 5, we saw the introduction of Apple’s Notification Center. And while it’s certainly a nice hub to check the notifications for software, email and texts, there is still work to be done. Namely, we’d love Apple to include a way to easily shut them off. If you’ve read our guide on how to shut off notifications on the iPhone, you’d know how tedious of a process it is.
- Quick Way of Dismissing Wi-Fi/Bluetooth: Right now, I have to go through several screens to shut either of these off. How about an easier way of doing it? A widget perhaps?
What would you like to see with the release of iPhone 5 and iOS 6?