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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  • Just as we saw with the iPad 3, it's highly likely if not inevitable that the iPhone 5 will come with next-generation 4G LTE mobile broadband, which puts 3G and HSPA+ speeds to shame. With tethering, it means mobile data users can hook up their iPhone 5 to their laptops and browse the web at blisteringly fast speeds.

    But due to the incompatibilities between the 4G providers, it will mean Apple will have to provide two different iterations of the iPhone 5, just as it did with the iPad 3. Another problem for international customers is that Apple is suiting 4G for its mass U.S. audience rather than other countries around the world. In the UK, for example, the equivalent 4G band is reserved for free-to-air digital television, meaning UK and Europe will not have 4G working on their iPhone 5. Bad luck, as always.

    Probability: 8/10.

    Image source: Apple.

  • Apple has prided itself on bringing touch technology to the wider market. Ever since the original iPhone, it has put other touch-based smartphones to shame, and while others have caught up, rivals have yet to match the essence Apple captured with its unique technology.

    But the BlackBerry, despite the company coming close to collapse, still engages the enterprise market with its range of physical keyboard enabled devices. It's one of the many reasons why I personally switched back to the BlackBerry. But the day that Apple takes a leaf out of BlackBerry maker Research in Motion's book is the day it dips from $600 a share down to $15 a share.

    Keyboard lovers, we can live and hope. With Apple's increased iOS-ification of its OS X platform, it's highly unlikely we'll see an iPhone with a physical keyboard. Shame.

    Probability: 1/10.

    Image source: YouTube.

  • Apple and Google's rivalry has increased over the years, particularly in the smartphone patent wars arena. Google has its wireless payments system in place, and Apple will likely want to offer its own solution. Plus, with an 'iWallet' patent submitted earlier this year, it is increasingly likely that an NFC-enabled mobile payments system will be worked into the next-generation smartphone.

    Apple rarely jumps on the developing technology bandwagon. It tends to wait until a new technology has evolved to the point it can justify implementing it into one of its devices. 4G LTE is a prime example of Apple holding its ground until the market matures. Eventually it hit the tipping point to which it couldn't ignore.

    Probability: 7/10.

    Image source: CNET/CBS Interactive.

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