Now it’s obviously a little too early to speculate over what delights the iPhone 5 may bring us, but as a Brisbane iPhone app developer, I was prompted to investigate what possible fruits we may be receiving from Apple in 2011.
Hopefully the iPhone 5 launch will go a little smoother than the iPhone 4 did. The antenna problems that plagued the apple brand for such a long time put not only a lot of embarrassment on Apple as a company, but also onto it’s consumers loyalty (and we all know at least one Apple fan and how serious they are if the topic is brought up). I have to come clean… I love all things Android (I own a HTC Desire) and Google, and I currently using a Windows 7 computer (but I’m not much of a Microsoft fan). I’ve played with many iPhone’s before, but the customizability hurdles and walls that Apple set in place are somewhat upsetting to me.
I guess the main thing to expect from Apple, is to expect the unexpected. The iPhone 4 brought us the Retina display which was at the time the highest resolution phone screen ever, multitasking which was already common in Android phones but brought a whole new realm of phone browsing the the iPhone, HD video recording and editing and a 5 mega pixel camera with an LED flash (which takes quite beautiful pictures).
Below I’ve listed an ample list of possible features that I’ve sourced from various locations on the internet, a lot of them are certainly dreams that will never be answered, but there’s no harm in wishing!
A message indicator light. Current there is nothing which indicates you have received a message except for a preset buzz or message received sound. Some smart phones, even older phones, have a ‘message indicator light that lights up and stays on when a message is received. I am skeptical that this will be on the final iPhone design as Apples moto with their software is clearly ‘less is more’.
Wireless syncing with itunes. Funnily enough a great Android app was just released which does exactly this. It lets you wirelessly sync your music from your computer, so when you enter the room and any new music as finished, you can be sure it is added to your phone.
Customizable email alerts. This one is certainly possible, but am sceptical as to whether it will end up on the stock iPhone 5. Might be a nice add on from the app store though.
Built in IR. Currently to use your iPhone as a universal remove you require an IR dongle. Adding this feature to the iPhone 5 would certainly be quite a step forward.
Finger swipe to enter password. It would be very cool to unlock your phone with a specific finger swipe, rather than keying in the password manually. Allegedly Apple have put through a couple patents which could point to this type of functionality to be added.
1080p, 720p or 1080i output. Currently you cannot output any HD recording with any Iphone, whereas the android-powered Evo has full HD output via HDMI which is very impressive.
RFID. I read on cnet that it’s rumorer apple could be integrating radio frequency identification. Basically, this would allow your iPhone work as sort of a barcode, and among other things it would let you use your phone as a payment device. Funnily enough using you phone to pay for items has been around in Japan for years.
64GB version. Currently the biggest iPhone 4 you can get is a 16GB and 32GB. A 64GB iPhone would be a massive leap forward, and would be an incredible selling point for many users.
Additional voice recognition support. The ability to search Google with voice recognition has proven to be an invaluable resource, image the ability to compose email address’s or text messages with a similar functionally baked right out of the box?
Facetime through 3G. Currently iPhone Facetime only works through WiFi connections, and only with other iPhone 4 owners. Various people have shown 3G is capable of doing FaceTime using a 3G to WiFi hostpot. Additionally, theres no reason why we shouldnt see Skype, iChat and MSN support for the FaceTime protocol so people can get on with video calls ala every Sci-Fi for the last 20 years.
More customizable dashboard. As I’ve said above this was a major selling point for me buying an Android, the widgets that android allow you to so easily download and organise on the home screens make for a great personalised phone. I think it’s defiantly probably that Apple will have some soft or functionality for this in the future.
A removable battery. Apple are always very deliberate about the hardware access they give their users. A removable batter would mean great things for users, but it’s pretty unlikely this would be implemented.
FLASH! Haha, Flash and the iPhone. Adobe vs Apple. It’s a long shot, but you never know, the iPhone 5 could come with flash compatibility.
A micro SD slot. The chances of this being rolled out are around 0%, but being able to have removable (and additional) hard drive storage using these bad boys would be great, particularly as they get bigger and bigger. Still it couldnt be any worse than Microsofts Windows Phone 7 which eats your memory SD cards for breakfast leaving them unusable without special formatting tools.
Cloud capabilities. With Facebook set to launch their own email service, I think it would be very important for Apple to either hurry up and buy Facebook out, or release their own software to try and keep the market using the rest of their software. MobileMe could likely see some deeper integration with peoples online profiles.
Scratch and shatter proof screen. The implications of this are obvious, and I wouldn’t be suprised if they claim it is at least something proof (hopefully not ‘receving singal proof’ cough *antenna problems*again!.. sorry I it’s late and I couldn’t resist)
Finally, I think some things we can agree upon that WILL be baked into the iPhone 5 will be better battery life, better graphics, a faster a4 chip, a better screen to overtake the retina (maybe a new fan-dangled OLED?), a new sleek design and a better camera (9 mega pixel rumored to be in development by Sony for the iPhone).
Well what ever happens, we’re poised and ready to rush down to our nearest phone dealer in Brisbane and try out the iPhone 5 when it’s released!