Could these innovations be the next big advancements for iOS devices?
Now that we’ve crossed off a couple dozen items on our iOS punch list thanks to Jony Ive’s stellar work, we can fully turn our attention to his other job: making insanely great iPhones and iPads. It’s been about a year since there’s been any new iOS hardware to speak of, and quite frankly, we’re chomping at the bit to get our hands on all the new things he’s been cooking up. While we will probably only get an incremental «5S» upgrade to the iPhone this year, we still think Jony’s got a few surprises up his sleeve.
Slimmer Shell (iPad)
A lot has changed since we were first introduced to the iPad in 2010, but for the most part, it looks pretty much the same as it did all those years ago. Sure, it’s more tapered and a little thinner, but we’re still waiting for a major upgrade to its form factor. We’re thinking this is the year—we hear the iPad 5 will sport a smaller, more mini-like bezel, which will go a long way toward eliminating some of its awkwardness. But after two generations of weight gains, we really hope it’s been slimming down in the off-season, too.
Retina Display (iPad mini)
It didn’t take long for the iPad mini to overtake its big brother in sales, and frankly, we’re not really sure how Jony could do much more to make the enclosure any better. We’re quite sure there’ll be the requisite processor and camera upgrades in the second generation, but what we’re really looking for is a retina screen. The iPad mini would be absolutely perfect if not for all those visible pixels—and iOS 7’s thin fonts and semi-translucent keyboards will only makes things worse.
Fingerprint Sensor (iPhone)
When the iPhone 3GS was released, the «S» stood for speed. With the iPhone 4S, it clearly meant Siri. And we’re thinking the iPhone 5S will focus on another «S» word: security. iOS 7 already has some goodies baked in to keep our phones locked away from prying eyes and fingers, but we’re thinking the killer feature on the new iPhone (and maybe the iPads, too) will be a fingerprint sensor to make our phones uniquely ours. We’d love to see it somehow integrated into the home button, but if it’s just a lock screen deal, we’re cool with that.
Wireless Charging (all iOS devices)
The reversible Lightning port has certainly made it faster to plug in our iPhones when they need a little juice, but when we’re charging them three or four times a day, it can get a little tedious. Wireless charging is something of a white buffalo, we know, but if anyone’s going to do it and do it right, it’s Apple. We’d love to be able to toss our phones on a stand and have them start charging instantly—and imagine how much thinner future models would be if there were no connector at all.
Value (all iOS devices)
Apple has stuck to its 16-32-64GB pricing tier since the iPad launched in 2010, but we’re hoping the addition of a 128GB iPad earlier this year is a sign of things to come. Of course, Apple charges a $100 premium for it now, but we’d really like to see the storage behemoth to slide into the current top spot, giving us a whole lot more bang for our buck across the board.