15 things we want in the iPhone 5

15 things we want in the iPhone 5

Summary: With less than six months before Apple is expected to unveil the next-generation iPhone, what do we want -- and need -- in a new smartphone?

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  • iPhones do not currently support push email, except through iCloud or Microsoft Exchange. iCloud email is not designed for business, and while Exchange email is, many are using alternatives to Microsoft's email system. This poses businesses a problem, as IMAP email is 'fetched' from the server at scheduled times rather than pushed directly to the device, meaning critical emails could be downloaded five or ten minutes after it was sent.

    But the reason why BlackBerry devices offer push-email is because Research in Motion offers an email service that fetches your email from the server, like Google or Yahoo, and 'pushes' the email to your smartphone. Apple would have to invest millions of dollars in providing such a service for IMAP users, and frankly, the incentive just isn't there.

    Probability: 3/10.

    Image source: Apple.

  • This one is a tricky one, and involves a trip to Brussels. The EU-wide micro-USB port was agreed to be the sole data and charging point for all mobile devices. Apple agreed, along with BlackBerry maker Research in Motion, Samsung, Nokia and others.

    Apple would lose millions, if not more, if it changed the iPhone and iPad 30-pin dock connector. To comply with EU rules, it created a micro-USB to 30-pin dock accessory, charged at a meager £8.00 ($12.70) in the UK, as a way of 'circumventing' the agreement.

    Having a micro-USB dock on the iPhone 5 will be unlikely, but it would pave the way for an industry-wide specification. It would also means Apple would lose hundreds of millions in revenue through proprietary iPhone and iPad docks, accessories, and the entire third-party sector would have to rejig its entire stock. A nice idea, but still unlikely. We can cross our fingers and hope though.

    Probability: 3/10.

    Image source: CNET/CBS Interactive.

  • What is more likely, however, is a smaller, more condensed 30-pin port for the iPhone, as Apple continues its quest to squeeze even more out of the device size specifications. Apple could replace the standard and existing 30-pin connector with one that allows data and charging at current data transfer rates but smaller in width, making way for more hardware goodness.

    This would of course mean that Apple would have to ditch its current lineup for new customers and build a whole range of new accessories, docks and connectors, and it would leave third-party accessory makers out in the lurch for a while. But it would give Apple more space to wedge in a slightly larger battery -- say to provide an equal and matching battery life of the iPhone 4S but while enabling power-hungry 4G LTE networking to run?

    Probability: 7/10.

    Image source: Telegraph.

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Topics: Apple, Hardware, iPhone, iPad, Mobile OS, Mobility, Networking, Operating Systems, Smartphones

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28 comments
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  • 6. Expandable mini-SD card support

    3/10? no..

    0/10.. geez..
    Papapau
    • 6. Expandable mini-SD card support

      What? MiniSD? Are you serious? Perhaps you mean microSD when you stated: "An expandable mini-SD card slot is featured in nearly every other smartphone on the market, with the exception of the iPhone." I know of no phones today with a miniSD slot... you may want to correct that.
      freakqnc
  • Easy one...

    ... Qualcomm Mirasol display, which will extend the battery life and make the screen visible outside in the sun.
    Tony Burzio
  • Larger Screen

    Switched from EVO 3D.....Love my Iphone4 but everyone needs a larger screen.
    csnowbarger
    • I agree

      If Apple comes out with an iPhone with the same size screen as the others, they'll seriously take a beating for it. I just can't see Apple being happy that their phone is second-class in any way.
      justthisguyyouknow
      • no thanks to a larger screen

        They might 'take a beating' for it, but it is what most of us want. Leave the ridiculous screen sizes to Android crazies to brag about- I want a cellphone that fits in my pocket please. The iPhone's screen is just fine the way it is- plenty of space to do what you need to do on a phone with a SINGLE hand. It's easy to see a giant screen Android phone in the store and be mesmerized.. but I use my phone to be productive with, not to show off with. A larger screen only hurts productivity.
        Uninterested_Viewer
  • Lame attempt for page hit counts...

    Honestly, this article could easily exist on one page. It's clear that the author is trying to find a way to bump the page hit counts. Very sad. As for the article itself, I stopped reading after the request for physical keyboard. It's clear that Zack either doesn't understand the market or he's simply trying to stretch the page counts by being ridiculous. Nothing to see here. Move along.
    techconc
    • yep.

      Agreed, slideshows are an unnecessary layer of complexity to boost views.. atleast give the option to view it on one page..
      Uninterested_Viewer
  • Bigger Screen

    Nt
    txscott
  • More room for improvement in the software than the hardware

    I think that, other from the screen size and in-the-sun visibility (both of which are debatable and very open to personal preference), I think Apple should improve the software.

    I've had, and still have, an Android phone (SGS) as my personal phone for well over 18-months, and now I've been given an iPhone 4s at work. Putting aside the fact that I've installed custom ROMs, there are certain things that are basic to Android that I sorely miss when I have to use the iPhone for work:

    1. A better (truly) useful notification bar. The one in iOS currently is horrible, lame, cluttered, still gets in the way, and its usefulness is very limited.
    2. Better integration or interaction between apps. Example: On my android phone I can take a note, photo, recording or whatever, click share and I get a full range of options for anything I have installed on my phone (or tablet). I can send it off to Dropbox or Skydrive for sharing, or to Evernote or OneNote for syncing with my desktop's notes, or via email, etc.
    3. Open the app store to allow alternatives to bundled iOS apps. A better email. A separate mail client for my gmail (or whatever personal mail I use). Personally I hate the "unified inbox" which, IMO, is just another word for "you only get ONE mail app. Deal with it". A better calendar app. The ones in iOS are good, but what if I want a better, more feature-rich one? I'm out of luck.
    4. Faster way of turning stuff on or off. Bluetooth, wifi, 2G/3G, screen orientation, brightness, etc. I just can't see why Apple thinks that 5+ taps is the only way to turn BT or WiFi on or off.
    5. For God's sake, figure out a better way of organizing apps. Folders are good, but they're static and the mechanism for organizing them is absolutely horrible and cumbersome. For someone who's never used an app organizer app on Android, you'll probably think "what better way could there be to do this?" but, believe me, there ARE better ways. (e.g. what if you want your app to appear in TWO folders: One named "Tools" and one named "Favorites").

    These are just a few. I doubt Apple will grant me any of these, but one can wish.
    fer.paredesb@...
    • Getting there

      Interesting thoughts. #3 is already possible with 3rd party apps- just as it is on Android. Of course, Apple limits those apps pretty badly, unfortunately.
      #5 won't happen- that's completely against the entire concept of how iOS handles apps. They "live" on your screen- there will never be 'shortcuts' or several copies of a single app. I'm not saying it's an awful idea- just against the simplicity Apple has always gone for.
      Uninterested_Viewer
      • On the dot

        #3: Yes, I do have the iPhone and I've looked for alternatives..there just isn't many. I did find Dolphin Browser. But there's no "better" email app. Not a big deal, iOS's email app is pretty good, and I only handle one account on it.
        Regarding #5: I agree, it's unlikely to happen. And to be honest, it's the least of my "wishes" since it's really not such a big deal. Don't know if I'll feel the same way if and when I have as many apps on the iPhone as I do on my other phone (~200). The others, IMHO, directly impact productivity.
        fer.paredesb@...
    • Great criticism

      Especially 1,2 and extra especially #4.
      seriously3456
      • Great?

        Especially 4?!? 4 is not even true!
        .DeusExMachina.
    • NONE of those things takes 5+ screen taps

      Not one.
      Bluetooth? 2 or 4. WiFi? 2-3 depending on which route. Brightness? 2. Orientation? 2-3. About the only thing you get close on is 3G which takes 4. You really turn that on and off so often that you need to shove it higher in the interface?!?
      .DeusExMachina.
  • A physical keyboard??? Are you f-ing crazy???

    A physical keyboard on a iPhone??? This is the most unintelligent comment I could imagine. I would have thought that the author of this article had some intellect on the real world of Apple and iPhones.
    Roscoe Nichols
  • push IMAP

    I would love this feature and in fact, it is trivial to implement it, as the IMAP protocol has provisions for such things.

    As for wireless charging.. there is lots of RF power all around us and the phones could capture it and re-charge the battery. However, this is unlikely to fit in the small case, as of yet.
    danbi
    • Inductive power is stupid

      It is a monumental waste of power. Transformers not only waste significant amounts of electricity when charging a device, being INCREDIBLY inefficient, they waste HUGE amounts of power even when they are NOT charging a device. Dumbest idea of the lot.
      .DeusExMachina.
  • Grammar and spelling, PLEASE

    GAH!!!
    The word is precedent (whose plural is precedents) NOT precedence (whose plural would be precedences).

    This is just one of the myriad spelling and grammar errors in this information-light post.
    .DeusExMachina.
  • I used to advocate for physical keyboards

    Then I got an Android Phone with Swype. Seriously, it beats out even a physical keyboard by miles (I'm talking cellphone sized. Obviously a full-sized computer QWERTY is better). Honestly, it's the main thing keeping me on the Android side of things, even though I wouldn't mind trying out an iPhone or WP7.
    Aerowind