Nary a day goes by in cyberspace without a new iPhone rumor.
When you get a tech giant as hot as Apple — and a company that keeps its cards close to its chest — it's no wonder the web is rampant with speculation, rumor and leaked information and photos from so-called "credible sources."
How the 6th generation iPhone looks and operates is still anyone's guess -- even with new details unveiled this week at Apple's WWDC about the iOS 6 platform. But when the new device makes its debut this October (in all likelihood), the following are a few features many are hoping for (including yours truly).
Bigger screen: Though not everyone will agree, the iPhone's screen is simply too small. Having played around with a number of larger devices over the past while — the Samsung Galaxy S III (4.8 inches), Nokia Lumia 900 (4.3 inches) and HTC One (4.3 inches) — I find going back to the iPhone's 3.5-inch a bit of a letdown. After all, we're using smartphones more for web browsing, games, videos, e-books, photos and GPS navigation, so why not better enjoy it all with additional real estate. Even the mammoth Samsung Galaxy Note, at 5.3 inches, can still be slipped into a pocket or purse. Expect the iPhone 5 to boast a 4.0-inch Retina display, if not larger. Apple might also swap an LCD screen to a superior OLED screen, and add haptic touch technology, as found in many other smartphones.
Better Siri: One of the most exciting features built into the iPhone 4S is Siri, the voice-activated personal assistant that can dictate your emails to, ask to recommend restaurants and book calendar appointments by speaking a few words. Heck, she'll even tell you a story if you ask her nicely. But there's still a lot of room to grow as Siri is still in beta at the time of writing this. Along with better voice recognition, Siri could require less data; read your emails to you (not just texts); open apps and videos on your command; and become fully supported in other markets (Canadians, for example, are still waiting for navigation and business search).
Bigger Battery: What's the trade off with a smartphone that can do so much? Battery life, of course. And while many love their iPhone, it's not quite an "all day" smartphone — especially with the iPhone 4S. Instead of battery being the Achilles' heel, Apple could spring for a better battery under the hood so users don't have to turn off push notifications, use a protective case with built-in battery extender or carry an AC plug around just in case the phone needs a top-up. If anyone could deliver the goods, it's Apple, so here's to hoping the iPhone 5 licks this all-too familiar problem — and that the bigger and better battery doesn't make the phone too hot and heavy.
LTE: Consider this one a given. Just as the new iPad has 4G/LTE data speeds, the iPhone 5 will also take advantage of the faster wireless networks available in select markets. For the uninitiated, "Long Term Evolution" cellular speeds rival if not exceed your home's broadband Internet connection. LTE download speeds top 72 Megabits per second, though this number is "theoretical" opposed to slower "real world" performance. In areas without LTE support, the iPhone 5 would revert to HSPA+ (up to 21 Megabits per second downloads) or depending on the carrier, dual-carrier HSDPA for download speeds of up to 42 Megabits per second.
NFC: Expect near-field communication to be included in the iPhone 5, which essentially turns the smartphone into a digital wallet. Similar to Google Wallet, this small wireless radio means iPhone users could tap-and-pay at retailers and vending machines to purchase products, as the iWallet app (or whatever it'll be called) will be linked to your credit card or bank account. There are other applications for NFC-based smartphones, too, such as easily exchanging information with another smartphone, swiping to access information or media (such as poster of a movie to download a trailer) and to get on a bus or in your condo.
Readers, what are you hoping for in the next iPhone?
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- Handheld & Connected Devices