After looking at the likely specs of the next iPhone and comparing them with the fabulous Android smartphones I have, or that have passed through my hands, I created a list of things I really enjoy on Android (and in some cases Windows Phone) that we are not likely to see come from Apple on the iPhone 6.
Apple tends to take what has been done previously on other platforms, even as far back as the first iPhone and Windows Mobile, and make the experience more refined and usable. There is nothing wrong with that and Apple has shown that model to be extremely successful. They may surprise me — I sure hope so — and include some of these features and functions in the next iPhone.
They will be coming out with a larger display iPhone, which is one reason I do not currently own an iPhone; that's one area Android has trumped the iPhone so far.
When it comes to phone functions, my list is important to me and many may not feel these are important at all. There is evidence — millions of iPhone sales during launch weekend — that consumers don't care about many of these features, but smartphone users like me who get to try all the latest and greatest devices would like to see Apple add some of these features.
Some of these functions are present on certain Android smartphones but are not across the entire platform. I am primarily using an HTC One (M8) and Samsung Galaxy S5 as the base devices for my list.
- VoLTE: T-Mobile is rapidly deploying Voice Over LTE (VoLTE) and HD voice sounds awesome on the Samsung Galaxy S5 and HTC One (M8). Apple tends to lag a generation behind in wireless technologies so if you want the latest and greatest that your carrier offers, then Android is probably the best platform for you.
- Infrared for remote control: As a regular traveler, having IR on my Android phones is both convenient and safer than using hotel remotes. I also love controlling my home TVs since my phone is always with me while remotes tend to get lost.
- MicroSD expansion card slot: Android and Windows Phone manufacturers now have microSD expansion card slots in many flagship devices and adding storage at very low prices is consumer-friendly and convenient. I don't expect Apple to add microSD, but it would at least be nice to see them reduce the high premium cost of additional storage and start all models at 32GB.
- Long-life battery: Android manufacturers have finally bumped up the capacities and improved the OS so that most flagships will last heavy users a full day. I have yet to be satisfied with an iPhone battery while Mophie and many other vendors probably hope for continued average battery life on the iPhone. Some rumors have the larger 5.5-inch iPhone with a massive battery so if that ends up being true then I may have to go with the larger iPhone.
- NFC: NFC is another great convenience I use for pairing gear, paying for items with Google Wallet, and tapping tags to quickly manage wireless radios and settings. I think Apple could bring about major improvements and awareness of NFC if they included it in the iPhone 6.
I am also a fan of Qi wireless charging, but most Android devices require a special back to get this functionality; it is integrated in many Nokia Lumia devices. Apple could really please me with Qi built into the iPhone 6.
ZDNet's Charlie Osborne pulled together all of the latest iPhone 6 rumors and as we look forward to seeing the launch in a couple of weeks I can't help but consider picking one up. Regular readers know I will probably buy one and then sell it or give it to a family member a couple months later like I always end up doing with iPhones.
If Apple was to match everything that Android or Windows Phone does for me with their high-quality hardware and always first-to-receive applications then there is no reason I would not choose an iPhone 6.
Are there any other features or functions you hope to see on the iPhone 6 that Apple doesn't currently have on the iPhone?
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