Here comes the iPhone 14 series, about to steal the tech world’s attention away from subjectively more exciting things like the Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4. Say what you will about Apple, but the Cupertino company doesn’t just have passionate haters, but very loyal users and fans as well.
And even a seemingly minor change to the new, annual iPhone release, such as its potential notch removal, will gain it a lot of attention, new buyers, and old ones upgrading.
In fact, Apple is reportedly expecting a strong demand for the iPhone 14 Pro Max in particular. A phone that might start at the hefty price of $1,200, yet it’s still expected to sell like hotcakes. Impressive in this economy, if true!
In any case, what the iPhone 14 series is shaping up to offer over its predecessor, the iPhone 13, doesn’t seem like much…
An i-shaped hole punch for the selfie camera and Face ID sensors, as opposed to a notch. Cool, so it’s a holepunch camera – that’s some real 2018 Android phone tech! Of course, iPhone 14 will also bring the expected incremental camera and performance upgrades, but its predecessor is already a beast in that regard.
Is any of this really that important? Well, as an ex-iPhone user who recently switched back to Android, I’d say there are more important things Apple should give the iPhone 14 to truly get on par with some of the Android flagship competition. Features that I and many others expect to have, and take for granted nowadays, yet Apple stubbornly refuses to deliver on its flagships.
Split screen multitasking
Multitasking on the huge Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 is top tier, but normal-sized Android phones offer it too
This feature has been available on a huge number of Android phones for many, many years, yet no iPhone offers it. The iPad does, even the latest iPad mini models, yet the new, nearly 7-inch iPhone 14 Pro Max won’t.
I get it, Apple has always been about keeping things simple and easy-to-use, but if you’re paying attention, the trillion dollar company has also recently started betraying its stubborn “less is more” views.
The M1 iPads have inexplicably gotten Mac-like multitasking all of the sudden this year. Earlier, iPads were given mouse and trackpad support, something else Apple definitely seemed to be against. So things can change.
The iPhone could, and should get an optional split-screen multitasking feature for the power users. It has a huge screen, and it’s a powerful device, so why not?
I know there’s two camps to this argument. Camp one – people who never use split-screen and would argue that it’s pointless and unnecessary. Just switch between apps, right? Camp two – people who often find themselves using split-screen to do more than one thing at a time; perhaps people with a shorter attention span and less patience, like me, which are many, by the way.
Since Apple changed its tune about the iPad, I’d argue it’s possible that it will change it with the iPhone too, giving it split-screen someday in the future. The question is – when? Why be so late to the party?
As it stands, the iPhone doesn’t have split-screen, nor is it even rumored to be getting it, yet it’s among the biggest features I believe it lacks and needs. All this iPhone power, yet you can even utilize two apps at a time, and do things as efficiently as on even a cheap Android phone…
Always on display… is it coming?
Even the Apple Watch took five generations until it got an always-on display option, which we could argue is a key feature for a smartwatch. And these days – it’s quite valuable on a phone too, for many users.
Once again, it’s somewhat clear why Apple doesn’t do it – keeping a phone display’s pixels on all the time has an impact on battery life. However, I’m certain that many smartphone users, including me, are willing to make that trade.
On the average Android flagship phone, always-on display can be enabled to show any missed app notifications and messages for the user to see at a glance, at any time. No need to pick up your phone all the time like a spastic monkey; in fact, having always-on display may be helpful to those who do compulsively check their phone often throughout the day. It negates the need to do so.
Indeed, always-on display isn’t just a convenience, but may be helpful in that aspect. So why are we up to a 14th generation of iPhones, yet it’s still not an option?
Most iPhones do have solid battery life, and with that in mind, surely keeping a few pixels on, on an efficient AMOLED display no less, won’t tank the battery that hard?
other iOS 16 is bringing customizable lock screens with Apple Watch-like widgets, why not let users keep those visible? They’re so meant for always-on display! Check ’em out:
A USB Type-C slot… not Lightning again
To iPhone 13’s Lightning port
USB Type-C has become the universal standard for data transfers and charging. In fact, it’s been that way for some years now.
Every modern device uses it, and only it! In my personal life – from my MacBook and Surface Go 2, through my iPad Pro and Air, my Bluetooth speakers, Android phones and tablets, all the way to my wireless headphones, heck – even my wireless mouse too – I charge them all with the same USB Type-C charger. It’s super convenient! No mess of cables to search for, switch between, and find wall sockets to plug into.
Now as we all know, Android smartphones have completely moved on to USB Type-C. Not even the cheapest throwaway budget phone has anything else but USB Type-C in this day and age.
But Apple keeps being stubborn about it – its iPhones still use Apple’s proprietary Lightning connector. And although we’ve seen the European Union preparing to essentially force Apple to switch to USB Type-C, right now it would seem that the upcoming iPhone 14 series, which we expect as soon as two weeks from now, will still pack Lightning ports for charging.
Please get with the times, Apple. Sure, it made sense to use Lightning a few years back, when USB Type-C was still a fairly new thing that wasn’t so widely adopted. Apple made a lot of money from Lightning accessories, as that’s its own proprietary connector. It still makes a lot of money from it, in fact.
Money is important, but user convenience matters too. Unfortunately, it would seem that the legal way is the only way to get Apple to finally switch to USB Type-C. And the legal system just wasn’t quick enough to catch the iPhone 14 release. On the plus side, it’s reasonable to expect that next year’s iPhone 15 will finally switch to USB Type-C, at least in the EU. Not by Apple’s choice, though.
Still, lots of power coming your way, a nice design change too
All that aside, the iPhone 14 series is still shaping up as a notable upgrade over last year’s iPhone 13, which itself wasn’t that big of a jump from the 12.
As mentioned earlier, most notably we expect an i-shaped holepunch to replace the notch, at least on some of the models, which is about time – and more than welcome. I’ll be the first to say that I never got used to the notch, and sticking with an iPhone mini model for nearly a year, the notch did eat up a lot of the already-small screen for me.
Obviously, even though the iPhone is the most powerful smartphone of all (which kind of makes the lack of those features we talked about even more baffling), it will still be getting even more performance improvements.
The new Apple A16 Bionic chip has been rumored to bring up to a 15% performance gain to the iPhone 14 over its predecessor, yet consume up to 30% less power. That means faster phones, yet paradoxically, with better battery life! Pretty cool.
In any case, for me things are still a bit lacking on the software side, and that’s stopping me from sticking with an iPhone, and from considering switching to the iPhone 14.
But let us know what you think – what iPhone features are you missing? If you’re staying away from using an iPhone – why? Is it because it’s lacking features Android has had for many years now, or for some other reason that you’d like to share? Join the conversation in the comments section below!