5 features the iPhone 5 needs to compete with Android


Yesterday, we took a look at some of the things Android needs to improve to stay competitive. Now, it is time to turn the tables and take a look at some things the iPhone needs to have to put up a fight against Android. As I said last time, this is not a dig at Apple. Let's keep flaming to a minimum as we look at what I think the next iPhone needs for it to remain successful.

5. Customizable homescreens and widgets: The classic iPhone grid of icons is nice. It works, it's simple, and it looks good. However, beyond changing your wallpaper it offers practically no customization options at all. Even if it makes things a little more complex, I think having widgets or "live tiles" would be a big improvement over the static grid.

4. User replaceable battery: The iPhone has good battery life. In fact, it probably has the best battery life of any smartphone on the market now. Yet there is still a flaw with the iPhone's battery: it is not user replaceable. Although some people might think user replaceable batteries are only for Android users that have to swap batteries at lunchtime, there are many other uses for an easily accessible battery. For example, I was recently on a long flight in an airplane without charging ports. I used my Android phone constantly and simply swapped batteries when I started running out. If I had an iPhone, after my battery died I would have had what amounts to a pretty-looking brick. 

3. Near Field Communication technology: Google recently announced a service that allows an NFC-enabled smartphone be used as a virtual wallet. Even though the service will likely be buggy at first, I think that the trend of the "smartphone wallet" will continue to gain momentum. If NFC payment does take off, the iPhone will need to have an NFC chip to get in on the action. Even if it is not used for mobile payments right away, we can always let the developers find something to do with it in the meantime.

2. Better hardware specs: Obviously,the next generation of a product should have better specs than the last generation. Still, there are a few specific upgrades that I think the next iPhone should have in order to keep up with the crazy specs of some Android devices out there. Top on the list is a dual-core processor, more RAM, and a higher resolution camera. The 960 x 640 display already looks great, although it could stand to be a little bigger. 

1. 4G networking: Apple has always been slow to adopt new cellular technology with the iPhone. Even though 3G was out, they kept the original iPhone on EDGE because they knew it worked. They may be tempted to do the same with 4G technology, but now that they are not such a clear leader I don't think they can afford to wait. With the plethora of 4G Android devices on and about to be on the market, the next iPhone will probably look somewhat wimpy if it only has 3G speed.

Just like last time, this is only my personal wishlist for the new iPhone. There are many more things that could be on this list, and also things you may think should be left off. So, if you want to add a point or disagree with one of mine, go ahead and leave a comment. 

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Aaron Orquia

Aaron Orquia is an associate editor at Pocketables. He has been using Android and Linux since he bought his first computer years ago, and his interest in technology, software, and tweaking both to work just right has only grown stronger since then. His current gadgets include a OnePlus One, a Pebble smartwatch, and an Acer C720 Chromebook.

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3 thoughts on “5 features the iPhone 5 needs to compete with Android

  • I could add plenty more to the list, but the problem with this is: Apple doesn’t care. It is SOLELY because of their arrogance and stubbornness that Android is succeeding at all, and quickly gaining ground.

    All of these features and more, Apple could implement in their devices, and likely do a better job than the competition, but they won’t. Not even if it kills them.

  • First: did AT&T offer 3G when the original iPhone came out in 2007? And if so, were the speeds better than 384 Kbps? EDGE used to be 256 Kbps so the difference is not overwhelming…

    I am guessing that the reason why Apple is so slow in adopting new technology is that they introduce these at a slow steady pace once it has been tested properly and is working well (hint: your comment about the implementation of NFC on Android being buggy). Maybe my experience with the iPhone differs from others but for me the iPhone has been rock steady compared to UIQ3, WM and Symbian.

    My current hope as a replacement for the iPhone, Nokia’s N8, has so far been a HUGE dissapointment, both in hardware and software quality.

    I’ll be happy to pick up an Android phone once their bundled media player software includes the functionality I enjoy on the iPhone: gapless playback, resume support on large media files (podcasts, audiobooks and movies). (Does Android’s music player support scrubbing?) I look forward to the day an Android phone can be used as a top-quality personal media player.

  • Except of point 5) I don’t care about the rest. My points 1 – 4 are open standards, open standards, open standards and once more open standards.

    Until I’ll be able to use microSD cards, mass storage, standard connectors, install programs from any source (unofficial markets, internal storage) or play open audio/video formats, I don’t care about any iOS product.


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