Despite some of its drawbacks, the iPhone 4 is still a good device and obviously, the iPhone 5 would be even better. Here are some features that Apple should include in the iPhone 5 to make it an ultimate smartphone.
- 4G (LTE)
Apple can’t afford to ignore the 4G technology any longer. Many Android phones are already offering 4G technology for consumers. However unlike Sprint and Verizon, Apple’s preferred carrier, the AT&T, hasn’t set up a reliable 4G network in place (in fact, someone can joke whether AT&T already has a 3G network in place). Considering that the iPhone 5 can be set as a Wi-Fi host and AT&T’s 3G network quality is rather disappointing, the inclusion of 4G technology on the iPhone 5 would make many people happier.
- Unlimited data plan
4GB of data per month (which is offered by AT&T) is no longer sufficient for many smartphone users. Now that, the latest iOS version (4.3) allows you to set up a personal hot spot, the 4GB data plan is likely to be insufficient, as the hotspot can support up to five users.
- Reliable antenna
The “Antennagate” was something that shouldn’t happen. People don’t want to buy a phone that fails to work each time they hold it. Apple should use a more reliable antenna and powerful signal booster to avoid letting down their loyal consumers once more.
- A5 dual-core CPU
It’s a no brainer, if high-end Android phones can use Nvidia Tegra2, the iPhone 5 should use the A5 processor that will also power the iPad 2.
- Ability to customize folders appearance
Apple introduced the concept of folders back in 1980’s, which has helped us to organize related files into separate container. The idea was copied by many operating systems, but there is one thing that should be improved in the iPhone 5. Users and developers should be able to customize the appearance of folders. Since the beginning, the iPhone was adorned with elegant icons, which are marred by the presence of bland user-created folders.
- Alternative carriers
Apple is currently locked with AT&T, despite its dismal network performance. US-based iPhone users should be envious to other iPhone users from the rest of the world, who can use full-speed 3G connection with their local carriers.
- Wireless iTunes sync
Today, you need to find the right cable, connect your iPhone to a desktop or laptop and then perform the sync. A wireless sync process should make the whole experience much smoother. A device as wonderful as the iPhone doesn’t deserve to be restricted with and entangled in cables.
- Better battery life
Many iPhone 3G users desperately need daily overnight recharge even with moderate usages. Although, the iPhone 4 has 25% larger battery capacity, it is often inadequate for more intensive use.
- Removable, replaceable battery
It is one of the biggest pet peeves for many iPhone and iPad owners. Apple doesn’t allow you to replace the battery. In other words, Apple puts a limit in our daily iPhone usage, when our devices are out of juice, it’s time for us to take a nap.
Many hardcore iPhone users are desperate for replaceable batteries. The ability to replace a depleted battery will provide flexibility and better productivity during a busy day or long travel. Offering a high-end smartphone without replaceable batteries is essentially a dirty marketing trick. This way, Apple can force us to buy a new device, when the battery capacity has declined significantly.
- More usable screen area
Much of the front side of the iPhone is taken up by speaker and physical button. It would be nice if more area can be used for usable screen area. It means, to retain the Retina Display resolution, the overall size of the phone could be smaller.
- AM/FM radio
It is a useful, low-tech feature that is available on many cheap $50 “dumb-phones”. If you’re tired of listening to your music collection, tuning to a local FM radio would be a nice change of pace.
- Biometric security
This feature could make security management easier and better for users. And when integrated to a Mac or PC, the iPhone can turn to a biometric scanner device. Although the technology may seem a little exotic, Apple has the reputation to drive wider adoption of previously obscure technologies, such as Wi-Fi and FireWire.
- Hot-swap removable memory card
This is one thing that may not happen, as Apple reaps plenty of profit by imposing different price tags on its devices based on the internal storage amount. Although the iOS 4.3 allows you to set-up a local cloud at home using a host computer, the avoidance of removable memory card is a big annoyance. Apple offers us multimedia gadgets, yet it puts a constraint on our ability to carry as many files as we like on our iPhone. During a travel, it would be nice to bring more than one memory card, for example separate cards for work, movies, music and games.
- Integrated, flip-out stand
Watching movies and clips on an iPhone can be annoying sometimes, since we may end up trying to use stuffs near us to prop up the phone. Of course, you can buy a third-party stand, but when you’re traveling light, an integrated flip-out stand would come in handy.
Furthermore, the hole on the stand can be used for a tripod, as the iPhone is too thin for a dedicated tripod screw-hole.
- Built-in IR transmitter
The iPhone series is coming closer to ultimate smartphones, but currently there are a few things they can’t do, for example, you can’t control external devices with IR transmitter. Although the iPhone can work as a remote control for AppleTV, in a well-equipped home theatre, you can’t only use an AppleTV. An IR transmitter will open many promising possibilities for the iPhone .
- Full, 1080p HD video
In the smartphone industry, the iPhone 4 offers a decent camera. Unfortunately, it can only produce 720p videos, while some new Android phones soon-to-be-released in 2011 will offer 1080p recording capability.
- More colors
Apple offers many color selection on the iPod family, however the iPhone has always been strictly monochromatic. Surely, there would be many younger people interested with iPhone 5 in dark blue, bright red or pink case. It is increasingly tiring to see black or white iPhone everywhere.