Rumors appeared in the news last week about the features of the upcoming iPhone 6, expected to be released September 2014, according to the typical Apple release schedule. Multiple, larger screen sizes, curved glass display, pressure sensors, and a bunch of other random stuff. It’s too early to tell what features are really in the works, but typically it ends up being half of what the rumors say, and a quarter of what the rumors never mentioned.
Apple and others alike, however are heading in the wrong direction altogether. The features that we’re seeing added to our phones today are features that create a lot of hype but don’t make a whole lot of sense.
While I do think that Apple makes the best phones on the market, it’s not a secret that most phones today are light, fast, and easy to use. Sure, some have cooler features than others, but we have passed the point where you had to be really careful with what you’re buying. The playing field has been leveled, every OS and every smartphone is OK now.
There are some features which are surprisingly not the features that anyone competes on, at least not yet. And I believe that they are the only features in today’s market that should matter.
People highly mobile lives and use their phones more and more for everything anyone can imagine. Sure, there are outlets everywhere, and there are even USB ports on a lot of planes and busses today. But there’s still no reason why I should have to charge my phone every day. What if I am in the countryside and don’t have access to an outlet or I forgot my charger? People shouldn’t have to think about ways to charge their devices – it’s time for new battery technologies. Most modern phones last about a day under normal use (a few calls, email, social media, some Pandora, messaging), and I think that’s really unacceptable. Also, most phones die within minutes of being in the frigid air. If you’re skiing in -20 degree weather, chances are it will not last very long or will keep shutting off just like my iPhone 4S. Instead of adding fingerprint sensors and 6 inch screens, I would much rather prefer someone to focus on battery life.
People like taking photos. While a couple years ago most people would carry a small camera with them while traveling, going to events, or simply working (real estate or insurance, for example), today most people just use their phones. Obviously, even the iPhone camera that produces some of the best mobile images, is still junk compared to even a decent point and shoot. Color is off, images look a little grainy, especially if you zoom in. Dark photos look abysmal. Cameras matter, and most people would really appreciate a phone with a good camera. Breaking the boundaries of physics isn’t easy, but it’s something to strive for.
This is such a no-brainer – why isn’t it catching on? Where’s my waterproof iPhone? People drop their phones in water, use them in the rain, and would love to use them while swimming or kayaking. Our phones go everywhere with us, except water. This isn’t a limitation that modern devices should have. People shouldn’t have to worry about their phone getting wet, they should be able to just use it under any conditions.
That’s really it. These are the only features that truly matter. I don’t want curved 6 inch displays, fingerprint sensors, pressure sensors, NFC, projection keyboards – all of that is useless junk unless I have a phone that I don’t have to charge for a few days, takes images just as well as a high-end point and shoot, and can be used in wet conditions.