What I’d like to see from the iPhone 5

This evening, UK time, Apple is expected to unveil its latest addition to the iPhone family, the iPhone 5. I’ve been an Apple iPhone user since 2008, when they released the iPhone 3G. I’ve owned the 3GS too and am currently using the iPhone 4. Whilst I’m not planning to purchase an iPhone 5, there are a few things that Apple could add that might make me change my mind.

More storage

Like most people, I probably have an average collection of digital music, made up of iTunes downloads, CD rips and “other” sources. It’s currently just over twenty gigabytes. I’m not sure that’s average. On my 32GB iPhone I have about 29GB of actual space, so my music accounts for about 70% of that space.  Combine that with my Audible audio books, photos, videos and the various apps I use and I’m in trouble. In fact, I recently found myself at a wedding having to delete photos and videos from my phone just so I could take pictures of the bride and groom. 64 GB of storage would alleviate that problem.

Better battery life

Almost everyone that owns an iPhone will complain of poor battery life. I’m no exception. I use my phone as an iPod and listen to it for several hours a day, be it music whilst programming or my audio books whilst walking. I am in the habit of charging at least once a day, sometimes twice a day. This isn’t the end of the world I suppose, but there are times where I’ve been caught short by a failing battery. If it could just go for two days without charging, it would be more than capable of handing *very* heavy usage over one day whilst still leaving 25% or 30% of the battery.

NFC (Near Field Communication)

I would very much like to see Apple adding NFC support to their devices. This would help spur on the adoption of NFC for payments and help power other stuff like London’s Oyster network. Apple would provide a top-notch UI for it and developers could do some very interesting things with it, offering alternatives to Bump for data transfer etc..

Changes to Personal Hotspot

When you turn on the Personal Hotspot feature of iOS, it turns on both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, even if you want to only connect via Wi-Fi. When you subsequently turn off Personal Hotspot, it leaves both the Bluetooth and Wi-Fi enabled. This is just stupid. It should just return the settings to their original states i.e. if they were off, turn them back off. The extra five or six clicks required to disable Bluetooth and Wi-Fi aren’t too difficult, but goodness, they are annoying!

Location aware Wi-Fi

This is just a pipe-dream I know, but something that bugs me about Wi-Fi is that I’m in a horrible habit of leaving it turned on all the time. This isn’t good for the battery. A nice solution to this would be a feature that deactivated Wi-Fi once you left a set area. When you get home, the phone would reactivate Wi-Fi and connect to the home network, syncing to iTunes etc. Once you leave a pre-set area (like iOS 5 Reminders) it could automatically power off the Wi-Fi. There are obviously issues if you want to turn it back on, but perhaps it could turn-off after losing connection with a network, thus conserving battery life?

What’s actually expected?

There are a few things expected from the iPhone 5, the biggest being the addition of the full voice control, which would allow the dictation of emails, texts etc. I’m not too bothered by such a feature. Might be useful for those who drive a lot, but not something I see as appealing to me.

App rentals are something else I’d be pleased to see. This would allow you to rent an app from the App Store, rather than buying it. Useful if you needed the TomTom app over a weekend, but didn’t want to spend £60.

A new body shape is also expected. I’m a bit “meh“ about that. I find the iPhone 4 to be very pretty. An upgraded camera is also a given, which is nice, but not that impressive really.

So what would you like to see from the iPhone 5?