Cellphones have come a long way in the 2000s. Going into the new millenium, just having a cellphone made you feel like royalty. Now-a-days, it’s almost a necessity. Some people can’t live without their phone. Others will treat it as if it were a child. If it were to break its screen or even die, a person might be left crying. We live in a technology-first way of life. We rely on cellphones, computers, robots, and vending machines to feed our daily lives. Without them, we’d be lost.
In June 2007, the smartphone era took off when Apple released its iPhone. It changed how we used cellphones.
The next generation iPhone is no doubtingly hitting sometime this year, likely around the Fall-Winter time period (best guess is October). Apple’s worst kept secret should be revealed soon, whether it be at their WWDC conference between June 11-15 or sometime later this year. The question is, what will be different about it?
The iPhone 4S may be the best selling iPhone to date (since it was the first iPhone to launch simultaneously on multiple carriers in the United States), but to me it wasn’t that much of an improvement over the iPhone 4. The biggest addition to the phone was the Siri application, which (admittedly) is one of the key selling points for the device. Other additions include a higher megapixel camera (8MP vs. 5MP), international capabilities (Verizon & Sprint specific) and… well that’s really about it. The screen was the same size, the interface was no different – just an iPhone 4 enhanced.
There’s been talks of a bigger screen iPhone since the 3GS. It looks like the next gen iPhone (which I’ll refer to as iPhone 5) will indeed feature a bigger screen. One of my most wanted features is just that. I carry around two devices, my iPhone 4 and a Samsung Galaxy Nexus. I truly do prefer the larger screen on the Nexus, not just for videos, but simply because I prefer the larger interface. The current iPhone measures 3.5″ as compared to the Nexus which measures 4.65″. Quite a difference.
Rumors are pointing towards a 4.0″ screen for the new iPhone – still smaller compared to the most popular Android devices, but still an improvement. I’ll be satisfied with a four inch screen, though would welcome a little bigger if Apple were to be so generous.
One benefit that I feel is a great selling point to Androids is the full blown integration of Google Maps and Navigation. I have since stopped using my Garmin GPS and have used my Nexus for all my navigation needs. The current iPhone Maps software is just text directions. One app that is recommended for voice navigation (and is free) is MapQuest, but it simply does not compare to Google.
Rumors have been swirling lately that Apple is planning to drop Google Maps and unveil their own map software next week. No confirmed details if it will include full navigation with voice, but I imagine it would.
For those who prefer some added customization to their phones, Widgets seem to be one of the more demanded additions. Personally, I can go either way on this. I do use widgets on my Nexus but it wouldn’t be a necessity for me to have.
Consider also the battery consumption of widgets. One of the strongest selling points to an iPhone is the battery life. Moving to 4G, which it will for this new iPhone, will certainly take a dent in the marvelous battery life I get now on my iPhone 4. My Nexus is charged at least once a day; my iPhone about once every two. For those with 4G iPads notice the battery has taken a hit, as well as make the device hotter than normal. Hopefully the iPhone doesn’t have the same heat annoyance when it comes to 4G.
Going into the conference or whenever Apple does announce their new iPhone, keep your expectations low. There’s only so much that can be added at a time. Besides, the more that’s added, the bigger the price point. Do you want to spend $400+ for a new cellphone that will be outdone a year later?
Here’s what we know for sure. The iPhone 5 will be 4G and will sell like hot cakes.
A run down of some enhancements/features that are possible:
- 4G LTE connectivity = 100%
- Bigger screen = 95%
- Higher MP camera = 30%
- Apple Maps = 95%
- Built-in voice GPS = 70%
- Widgets = 40%
- Swype-like keyboard = 25%
- 128GB model = 10%
You may have noticed most of the features discussed are primary Android ones, well, that’s because we want the best of both worlds. Each operating system (Android vs. iOS) copies each other. It’s just how any competitive business works. It’s not about who does what first, it’s about who does what better.
We’ll just have to wait and see what comes out of it. iOS 6 has been confirmed. Word is Siri is coming to the iPad.