It’s almost September, so time for a new iPhone.
What’s coming this fall from the software side (iOS 6) is mostly public already.
Here, with no connection to reality, the above rumors, or any inside information, is what I wish Apple would add on the hardware side:
- Wireless charging (a la Palm Touchstone, or, like, every electric toothbrush ever). Since iOS 5 added over-the-air upgrades and wireless cloud backup and iTunes sync, pretty much the only reason I need to plug my iPhone into a cable is to charge it. Even better than a smaller “foolproof” dock connector is no connector.
- USB 3. Probably a no-brainer, but now that the iPhone shoots HD video, it accumulates some pretty darn big files. After charging, the only other reason I plug my phone into a cable is to transfer photos and videos; sure, this could be done over Wi-Fi, but for gigabyte video files, neither USB 2 nor Wi-Fi is satisfyingly fast. USB 3 should be.
- NFC. Google is turning Android phones into wallets; Apple is adding this new Passbook feature in iOS 6; it would work better with NFC. But even more than replacing my wallet, I’d like my phone to replace my keychain, and NFC would help with that too.
- Water resistance. How many iPhones (or other phones, music players, cameras, or other devices that could be replaced by iPhones) have you seen destroyed by water? Me, a lot. I’m not a hardware engineer, but there aren’t all that many openings on an iPhone (especially if they’re about to redesign the biggest one anyway); the battery is sealed inside; I wonder how hard it would be to make iPhones survive at least casual contact with water. (Apple’s gone to the trouble of adding a special moisture sensor to detect liquid damage and rule it out of warranty coverage; wouldn’t it be nice if neither they nor their customers had to worry about it?)