Our 4th Gen iPhone Spec List
Posted: 8/01/09 - Updated: October 31, 2009 - 2nd Update: 11/06/09
This is what we want, might, could and need to see in next year's 4th Gen iPhone !
Case and Looks - Functions and Specifications. What does really count?
Apple has a difficult task to accomplish. It is difficult to make something that "good looking" even better. It starts with the simple shape, single button screen and the absence of the (all so important to carriers) brand markings, e.g. Motorola's Verizon branded Droid: both names in bold letter are on the front, a big Google logo on the back. Literally branded like cattle.
On the other side of the isle - nothing disturbs the looks of the iPhone. Everybody who is interested knows it's an iPhone. Ultimate branding.
Well - let's see what Jony Ive, Apple's VP of Design has to come up with to keep a gap between the iPhone and its contenders: mainly the Droid, Touch and the "Nexus" Google phone.
- Many (?) want to see a physical keyboard. We guess the majority of owners don't really miss it. So do we need a slide-out keyboard just to satisfy a functions checklist that the few [outspoken] techies and iPhone/Apple [haters] think they need to see?
The keyboard on the Droid doesn't fare well so far with the users but hey - it's a check in the spec list.
- Will the Droid in any way influence the next gen iPhone design? We believe it is already pretty much laid out. It's 3 years and any other product would be due for a re-design. We might just see a re-design from the inside out. Faster processor, bigger camera (a flash LED maybe), a higher resolution screen, an iChat camera. Sounds like playing catching up with the Google phone hardware.
Lets see what we have come up with.
- 5 Mega Pixel auto focus camera - possibly with a LED flashlight.
- 720p wide-screen video ( 24 frames/sec ) capturing WVGA 16:9 video in better than DVD resolution
- How about wide-screen still photos as well?
- Forward-facing Camera - that will be used:
- in iChat, and
- to recognize swipe and click gestures to control the device without touching the [touch]screen.
Added 8/15/09: That would be great for the iPad/iSlate as well. No "smudged up" screen anymore!
Remember, it's the same screen you are watching that video on... and the gestures would be similar to the ones used to control the AppleTV through the iPhone's Remote app.
See it in action at www.gesturetek.com.
Added 12/29/09: 5 MegaPixel Camera in supply chain as reported by AppleInsider.
- OLED Screen (only if it is actually better looking than LCD.)
- Resolution of 800 by 480 pixels is the new standard for 2010!
(Today's iPhone has a resolution of 320 by 480 - so 2008 since the Droid came out.)
- Nice feature to have: Let the dark screen show the time - optionally - We still miss that (only this) from an old E815 Moto phone. Would be nice just to glance over to the screen and see the time without the need to press a button.
What else could be there: Notifications - number of new emails, messages and alarms.)
Battery and Charger
- Higher battery capacity - whatever is possible.
- Optional wireless charging - similar to the Palm-Pre Touchstone charger (despite or in addition to the antiquated European requirement for all new phones having to have a micro-USB connector for charging.
- EU and UN (see sidebar) require it - they want their micro-USB connector for charging.
- Design a Charger that draws near zero current (> 3 mA) when the phone is not connected.
With the iPhone's physical charger size already at a minimum and that near-zero feature it could become the charger of choice in Europe.
H/W Add-Ons - well, kind of
- Bluetooth Keyboard Profile - would it really be that hard, [Apple] guys? And BTW, forget about a built-in, slider, mini button keyboard. Don't destroy the touch&feel design.
Here is a nice integration option we found posted on engadget.
- Bluetooth Stereo Headset profile.
- FM Radio as experienced in the latest iPod Nano - Stop and play is great - we'd like to see 20-sec rewind for a live broadcast so you can go back and catch a name or phone number the DJ had just mentioned. Even better - catch those 20-sec clips and copy them to iTunes during the next sync.
Features & Applications
- Multiple Apps running at the same time.
A little tip, even today, with a little UI programming they could make it look a lot more "flowing". Example: Opening a URL from email. Here is "new" way of doing it: don't collapse and fade to black the email screen. Slide-right to Safari, open the URL and have a Back to Email button.
- Add a "Bump"- like application as a native application - for sharing contacts, pictures...
- Tell me Who's calling - either read the number or the name to me.
- "Tell me Time" - as a Voice Recognition Command.
- Tell me "Where am I ?" would be nice too.
- While I'm on a call - display the Date next to the time. Let's have the date on all screens next to Time.
- Reading text - Make iPhone read selected text out loud.
- Calendar App - Never stand still ! Update the Calendar application. We want to add an event by touching the time slot in the day display. (Take a clue from the Android 2.0 calendar!)
And while you are at it - Update iCal as well. Editing the text of an event is a pain... or a joke!
- App Store - make it easier to find apps.
(Update: 9/9/9 - Let's see whether iTunes 9 helps.)
Update on 12/01/09: Nope !! Why isn't it possible to enter keywords fro a search of JUST the AppStore?
- A better way to organize Apps on the phone.
(Update: 9/9/9 - Great, mission accomplished with V3.1 - but keep thinking!)
- Have the Weather app know where I am.
- Make the Welcome Screen location-based.
- Location Profiles - Have the phone know where I am and change background and app screen accordingly. Example: when in the office show a project chart and show biz apps used there under an Office tab.
- User Interface and User Experience: come up with an update to the U/I or better have U/I option to select: Classic U/I and Advanced User.
- Add WiFi syncing - optimize it, have different options, such as "Contacts and Calendar only". Let it start automatically when logged on to the home base iTunes.
- Add a Near Field Communications (NFC) antenna that lets people pay in stores that have NFC readers installed for small-amounts payments.
- Add Verizon as a carrier - Only if they do not cripple the phone - like disabling WiFi!
They must realize by now that if they would have picked up the iPhone in 2007, they would have ATT by the ropes today.
Update 10/28/09: Looks like the Verizon deal is dead. They will have the Droid. And their ads lock hostile. They feel lucky that Motorola came up just in time (?! mmh). This way they won't lose their face.
One wonders how their Mr. Good-old-east-coast-boys-club-I-can't-give-away-control CEO feels right now. Having to negotiate with Apple 3 years later! Grow up and move away from selling dorky phones without WiFi. Hey Big V. Understand one thing: Don't give us what you want - give us what we, your customers, want!
- Make a World Phone - having GSM and CDMA - got to have that to allow point made above.
- Make it run on 4G Network speeds.
- AND / OR - Sell the phone in your stores unlocked so we can go to any carrier.
- Let me tether it - so I don't need to buy a "MyFi" from Sprint or Verizon!
- ATT - add the Google Voice Feature Set to your service (no patents to worry about - it's off-the-shelf software, readily available).
- Book: "The iPhone Story or How Apple Re-invented the Phone Industry".
I guess that's years out, right?
- Today's size and weight.
- ATT as a carrier - we need them for the good old network competition Since Verizon is out, how about T-Mobile!
- That charger! Can it get any smaller?
- The cables of the headset are too "sticky" - making them difficult to untangle!
- Laser Projector
- Use the laser for measuring distances
Want to share your ideas?
Send us an email and we add them to the list.
UN Body Approves Universal Cell Phone Charger
Motorola Droid - Verizon (11-06-09)
HTC Touch - T-Mobile