I highly doubt any of these features will be offered in the iPhones that Apple announces tomorrow, but if I could build my perfect iPhone, this is what it would have:
- A home button. Maybe I’m clinging to the old ways and I just need to give it an honest try, but I’ve never had a home button let me down and am not convinced that the new interface is an actual improvement.
- Something roughly the same size as the iPhone 8, or smaller. I’ve been critical of the industry’s push toward larger and larger displays. I just want something that fits comfortably in my pocket. And any interest I might have had in a larger display is nearly eliminated now that I work from home. I spend a large portion of my life with my iPad, iPhone, and MacBook within arm’s reach. When I want to use an iOS device, I usually reach for my iPad.
- Color options for the rear casing, but retain the black glass on the front. Whenever there’s been color options, I’ve only ever chose the black or space gray model. Almost entirely because I prefer the black bezels on the front. When my display is off, I don’t want to see where the display ends and the bezels begin. Space gray is neat and all, but I’d really like to have the option to change it up this time around.
- A two or three lens rear camera system. We’re expecting our first child soon and will be taking a lot of photos when he arrives. I’d like the photos I take to be the highest quality possible.
- The ability to wirelessly charge other devices by placing them on the back of my iPhone. Although this seems like a ridiculous gimmick, the reality is that it would be super clutch for me when traveling. It would let me go on a trip with my Apple Watch without having to worry about actually bringing the charging cable for it. That’s one less cable in my bag and I could even charge both my iPhone and Apple Watch with only a single output on my power adapter.
- USB-C. I was a huge advocate of moving to all Lightning everything in my travel bag, but that was unfortunately a short-lived endeavor. Once I added my MacBook Air and Nintendo Switch into my regular packing list, the writing was on the wall — USB-C is the only way to go. I plan on purchasing a new iPad this Fall, which will presumably come with a USB-C port. If my new iPhone comes with USB-C as well, just about everything in my bag will charge with the same connector type.
- A less slippery shape. It’s less of an issue now that I’ve grown used to it, but its still impossible for me to rest my iPhone on our couch’s arm rest without it slipping off and ending up under the cushion. Having flatter edges like the iPhone SE would help and using something other than glass on the back would help too. I don’t exactly know what the perfect shape and material combination would be, but I can assure you that the iPhone 8 doesn’t have it.
Here’s the thing, I know very few, if any, of these hardware features will be included in the next iPhone. And I’m almost certainly going to end up with whatever iPhone XS replacement Apple ships — from a size and price perspective. That line offers the best combination of power, size, and camera capabilities. But I sure wish Apple would develop smaller iPhones again.
There’s a bit of hope that the iPhone 8 chassis will make a return next Spring with the spiritual successor to the iPhone SE. But I wish they’d announce something that shipped alongside the flagship models in the Fall. Because a new iPhone this Spring isn’t going to help me much when I’m preordering my next iPhone in a handful of days.