Word on the streets is that iPhone 7 is coming soon, along with iOS 10 and OS X 10.12 Bakersfield, which I suspect may get renamed to a simple and descriptive macOS. What will iPhone 7 bring?
Here’s the problem.
The original iPhone ushered in a new era of smartphone. A modern, complicated device that was actually smart enough to be used by nearly anyone. What does every smartphone today look like? An iPhone. Today’s devices are modern phones which work much like a Mac in your pocket. The most used camera in the world? An iPhone. What’s new?
Not much. And that’s a problem.
For the first time in years I wonder whether or not I should upgrade to a new model, in this case iPhone 7. Why should I?
Here’s what I want to see in iPhone 7 because these particular features are more important than faster CPU, faster graphics, or better screen resolution.
Waterproof – I don’t intend to go scuba diving with my iPhone, but getting it wet or dropping it into the tub or toilet shouldn’t be a heart attack inducing time. The problem is all those buttons and holes. Home button, microphones, speaker, power, mute, volume. Water seems to go where we don’t want it to, so as much as a waterproof phone would be a reason to upgrade, I’m sure Apple worries about product returns and customer support issues.
Case & Screen – Aluminum is nice but it dents easily and it’s slippery to hold, which might explain why most iPhone users also spend money on a case. Apple gets $40 for a piece of injection molded silicone that probably costs 25-cents to make. For all the hype about Gorilla Glass I still see plenty of iPhones with shattered screens. You’d think anything named Gorilla would survive a fall from four feet.
Camera – Why are photos from Samsung’s Galaxy S7 better than photos from iPhone 6s Plus? Apple and Samsung play leapfrog every year on camera and photo quality which now comes close to low-end or mid-range DSLRs. Good, but not great. Make the photos great, Apple. 4k video shows off the CPU/GPU combo in the iPhone, but it doesn’t matter much if there’s no device to play the 4k video.
Fewer Bugs – Supposedly Apple counts bugs, tracks bugs, fixes bugs, but each new version of iPhone and new iOS seem to have one thing in common. iOS makes older phones run slower. And the new iOS version comes with enough bugs to make me– Mac user since 1984– want to wait awhile before the upgrade process.
A Real Backup – And automatically. How about a simple package that allows everything on the iPhone to be backed up to iCloud or Mac (or PC) absolutely positively automatically? No, that doesn’t work now. I backup to my Mac and iCloud but sometimes the iPhone forgets to backup to iCloud and sometimes the iPhone will not backup to my Mac (read the Apple support pages; I’m not alone in that complaint). Here’s what I want. Get a new iPhone, enter my iCloud account information and press a Restore button. Eat lunch. Begin using fully restored iPhone.
Was that so hard?