Published 9: 01 AM EDT Aug 31, 2019
Apple said this week it will stage a media event on Sept.10th, which is when the company is expected to introduce three new editions of the iPhone.
As always, we have a wish list for features we’d like to see. Ready everyone? Let us count the ways.
—Battery. Of course, we start with the all-day battery. This is clearly something that could happen, if Apple wanted it. This will read like mumbo jumbo, but the Samsung Galaxy S10 Plus has a battery at 4,100- mAh vs. 3,179 for the iPhone XS Max. The bigger numbers mean a longer-lasting battery. If Samsung could do it, surely Apple could figure out a way to give consumers more time without having to (always) charge.
—Unbreakable glass.I know, this is a feature Apple doesn’t want us to have, or it would have done so by now. Break a screen, hear how much it costs to repair, and instead, many of us choose to go out and buy a new phone, keeping the iPhone sales machine humming along. But fixing this problem is just the right thing to do.
—Telephoto lens. I checked out the OnePlus 7 Pro this week and fell in love with its pop-up selfiecam, which is great for bringing more people into the picture in a higher quality camera. But selfies aren’t the missing issue. Getting closer to the action is. Current top of the line iPhones offer two lenses, a wide angle and medium portrait and the new iPhones are reported to be throwing in a third lens, super wide angle, similar to current Galaxy phones from Samsung. But we have a missing need in telephoto. What if Apple used the pop-up touch to throw in a telephoto lens? Those concert and sports shots would look a lot cooler this way.
—Night vision. The other bane of most iPhone photographer’s existence is the crappy images we produce at nighttime. Google solved it on current Pixel phones with software enhancements it calls “Night Sight,” and if Google could do it, well, it shouldn’t be that hard for Apple to dramatically improve its low light tools.
—Less awkward screenshots. When Apple changed the design of the iPhone, it made the practice of taking screenshots cumbersome. Click the right side and volume buttons at the same time. It doesn’t exactly work. “Every time I pick up my phone and hit the power button, it screen shots my screen saver,” notes Sharon Biddinger, a Newport, Oregon photographer, who uses an iPhone X. “I constantly have to delete them. It’s so annoying!”
—Return of headphone jack. Ask anyone and they’ll tell you, they miss the headphone jack. Me too.
—USB-C charging. This is probably an unpopular sentiment with many of you, but I have a MacBook Pro that charges with a USB-C cord. I should be able to charge my iPhone in my Mac. Besides, most new cameras and devices now come with USB-C, which means one cord to connect everything, and I like it. USB-C for the iPhone, just like on recent iPads. Goodbye, Lightning.
—More storage. I remember when Apple put only 16 gigabytes of storage in entry level phones, a shockingly small amount in an era of high-resolution photos, 4K video recording and data hungry apps that eat at our allotment. It’s since inched up to 32 GB and now 64 GB on the 2018 models. But that’s not enough, as anyone can tell by just visiting Settings and looking up Storage. I’m at 107 GBs currently, with 33 GB on the Photos app alone, Facebook is 1 GB, and other popular apps like Twitter, YouTube and my texts are at least half-a-gig as well. And while we’re at it, how about some simple tools for deleting data and making room. Ditching the 33 GB in the Photos app is obvious – get rid of all those videos. But how do I tame the 10 GB in Lightroom, 4 GBs in DJI Go, 1 GB in Google Play Music, 750 GB in Stitcher, and so on? Again, this isn’t in Apple’s interest to make it easier for us – it wants to sell more iCloud storage subscriptions, but maybe a fix would help goose declining iPhone sales?
—Robocalls. Nothing on our phones are more annoying than robocalls. Apple’s a smart company. Why can’t the engineers figure out a way to get rid of them, just like Google did in Gmail by separating the junk mail from our primary folder? Granted, Apple has a new tool in the iOS13 operating system upgrade that it says will block callers not in our address book. But that’s just a start. If hackers can figure out ways to spoof legitimate people to fool us into answering the phone, Apple engineers have got to come up with a way to outsmart them.
—Touch ID. Simply put, I hate Face ID. It doesn’t get my face, and I spend more time typing in a passcode than I would like. Which is why I use the iPhone 8 Plus because I prefer Touch ID with a fingerprint. Is it too late to go back? I sure hope not. Admit you made a mistake Apple!
Last, but not least, when I reached out to readers on Facebook and Twitter, Leslie Morgan Nakajima had a slew of suggestions, including smaller models to fit in her pocket, a more easily accessed privacy widget so you can switch off all microphone & camera access on apps when not in use “less ability for third-party apps to spy on you”, she notes, “notifications when third party apps are pinging your GPS coordinates and other data in the background to track you without your knowledge and/or ability to temporarily shut off GPS when you don’t actively need it.”
She adds: “I could go on all day….”
Readers, your thoughts? Let me hear from you on Twitter, where I’m @jeffersongraham.
In other tech news this week:
—Apple apologized for recording our Siri conversations. Once caught by the Guardian recently having contractors listen in, Apple paused the program. It now says it would resume in the fall, but as an opt-in offering, for consumers to help Siri get better, but added that it won’t store the recordings.
—YouTube said it would launch a separate kids website. The network has come under fire for how it handles kids content, and actually restricts people under the age of 13 from using the service, even though they do. The new YouTube Kids website will filter content into three age categories: Preschool, Younger (ages 5-7) and Older (ages 8-12).
—Sprint launched 5G wireless service in Los Angeles, New York, Washington, D.C., and Phoenix, saying it now offers wider coverage of the “blazing fast” offering. Except in our Los Angeles tests, it was faster but not that fast. Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile are beaming 5G on a higher frequency, which gets faster service but only if you’re near the cell tower. The companies realize interference from buildings, windows and the like. Sprint is beaming 5G on a lower frequency, meaning slower service, comparatively, but a more widespread and reliable signal.
For the holiday weekend, ever wonder where to go to get great shots of LAX? We’ve got a few ideas.
This week’s Talking Tech podcasts
—Travel photo tips with Scott Kelby. The photographer/instructor visits Talking Tech with a great tip on how to get a portrait of a random local while traveling.
—I tried out Sprint’s 5G service and gosh, it wasn’t that fast. Really.
—Wait until 2020 for 5G. At the minimum.
—Podcorn for podcasters. Agnes Kozera, the co-founder of Google owned FameBit, returns with a new service, to marry podcasters with marketers.
—Those new features we want on the next iPhone. Rich DeMuro (RichonTech) from KTLA joins me to weigh in.
—Follow me (@jeffersongraham) on Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.
—Sign up for the new free, daily Talking Tech text: http://www.projecttext.com/jeffersongraham
—Listen to the daily Talking Tech podcast wherever you listen to podcasts
—Subscribe to the Talking Tech newsletter, http://technewsletter.usatoday.com