My "perfect" iPhone (hardware suggestions)

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by HiRez, Aug 29, 2008.

  1. HiRez macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    -- Screen 15%-20% physically larger, some of which could come out of the current face plate, but making the device slightly larger would be fine with me.

    -- Higher resolution, something in the 720x480 range (same as current 1.5:1 aspect). This is available with current technology and would really help the readability of small type due to better antialiasing. This combined with the above suggestion, while not really a lot more than what's currently there, could make a big difference in the complexity of what's possible on the device. For one example, the old favorite game Starcraft wouldn't work on the current iPhone, but it would with a slightly larger, higher-resolution screen. And there are many others.

    -- CPU ~50% faster. While 3G and WiFi data transfer speeds can be acceptable, much time is still spent rendering web pages, and the interface frequently gets sluggish for me (switching apps or scrolling, for example).

    -- Camera: LED flash, 3 MP. Optical zoom would be nice but I don't think there's room for it.

    -- Camera flips a cover over the lens when not in use. Mine is getting pretty scratched up and it's affecting the photo quality.

    -- 50% longer battery life. Making the box slightly thicker to accomodate this would be acceptable to me. With everything the iPhone does, it's hard for me to get through a day without the battery dying on me, and that's not even with extreme use like watching a few movies on a plane.

    -- Removable battery.

    -- Micro SD slot (guess what Apple, you can also sell these in your store). They could sell a single iPhone model with perhaps 2-4 GB soldered in for the OS and minimal user data (fewer models helps control inventory), the rest would all go on external storage of whatever size the user chooses (or none, if they don't need it).

    -- Bluetooth accessory connectivity (like for fold-out keyboards).

    -- External LED light indicating email, voicemail, or other update received (different colors).

    -- Boot a Mac from the iPhone via Firewire, or use in target disk mode.
  2. t0mat0 macrumors 603


    Aug 29, 2006
    Sounds like you want a MID not a phone!
  3. nlivo macrumors 6502a

    Jun 18, 2007
    Ballarat, Australia
    All I want is OLED buttons above and below the iPhone. Two above the screen (one on each side) and two below (one on each side of the home button). You wouldn't be able to see them in regular use, but applications (including Apples) could take advantage of those buttons (especially for games) and so they could have the buttons display whatever symbol, and make them have any function.

    That, and have a better camera with a flash.
  4. Interstella5555 macrumors 603


    Jun 30, 2008
    Right? I was almost going with you on some of them, but a SD card reader? A lot of the beauty of the iPhone is in its form....don't mess with it.
  5. m477h3w macrumors 6502

    Nov 9, 2007
    Bristol, UK
    What a fantastic idea, wish you worked for Apple!!! This would open up far more possibilities for games on the iPhone, without changing its apperance :D
  6. Small White Car macrumors G4

    Small White Car

    Aug 29, 2006
    Washington DC
  7. dccorona macrumors 68020


    Jun 12, 2008
    actually i think a micro sd slot wouldnt change it that much
    theyre tiny

    but its still unnecessary. the iPhone has plenty of memory
    and anyone who says to transfer data, its all on your computer. and its much easier to transfer data on your computer than on your phone
  8. mcdj macrumors G3


    Jul 10, 2007
  9. Motley macrumors 6502

    Dec 11, 2005
    Snort! Now that was awesome:D
  10. slicecom macrumors 68020

    Aug 29, 2003
    Toronto, Canada


    The best idea in this thread is for invisible OLED buttons for games. I really like that one!
  11. HiRez thread starter macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Hah! Perfect! I can still fit that mother in my pocket!

    And yes, OLED buttons would be great but the tech still off the charts expensive...

    EDIT: Thinking more about the OLED, why not just make the screen bigger (like the whole faceplate area) and use the room for virtual button space. I don't know if it's possible to cut a hole (like for the earpiece) into a screen and still have it function.
  12. Phil A. Moderator

    Phil A.

    Staff Member

    Apr 2, 2006
    Shropshire, UK
    I think the iPhone can't go much bigger without becoming "too big", but I like a lot of the ideas you've put forward. In particular the better resolution screen, card slot and non-crippled bluetooth:
    The screen resolution is looking pretty poor compared to other phones coming out and I think affects the usability of the phone. On the subject of external expansion, if Apple are so concerned about protecting the lines of the phone, I'm sure their engineers could find some way of combining the SIM holder with a Micro-SD card holder. The bluetooth seems unnecessarily crippled and I really wish they'd sort it out...
  13. Dr. Cabrera macrumors 65816

    Aug 25, 2008
    Los Angeles
    Hardware wise there are only two flaws I can see

    a) The camera SUCKS, im ok with 2mp but we really need auto focus, macro focus and a xenon flash ( i miss my sony k810i)

    b) A real widescreen display ratio ( 16:9 576x 324 for example) I think this is achievable given the current hardware design, just move earphone higher up and the home button lower.

    an OLED screen would be awesome too but im being realistic here, those are the only changes I really would upgrade my current iPhone for

    lol at the photoshop
  14. daneoni macrumors G4


    Mar 24, 2006
    I can agree on some things on the lists but others are just 'pushing it'

    I agree with is the camera, it needs to be updated

    Micro SD slots will never happen. most SD card devices top out at 8GB readable. iPhone gives you 8/16GB and potential for 32GB in the future. It's safe to say they've answered storage questions well enough

    I personally think the screen resolution/screen size is fine. It is still the screen to beat. Making things more hi-res might affect and already excellent readability but the screen is likely to get bigger in future as Apple updates the phone and i'm curious to see how they implement it

    The processor is an ARM 620 MHz CPU and its not even being used to full potential. I think Apple capped it to 400 MHz and increased that to 412MHz in FW 1.1.2

    Battery life could be improved i hear the 3G model ships with a 1150mAh batter as opposed to the 1400mAh of the original phone. I guess apple could try to put a 1500mAh battery in like the E71 for extra juice

    I don't see camera lens cover happening either they might recess the lens a little so the ring can protect it like they did with 3G model but lens cover...not gonna fly in ive's book

    Removable battery is also not gonna happen. Just look at the iPod...nuff said

    I also agree with BT connectivity and i think this will ultimately be addressed in a Software update since the hardware is already there

    The OLED indicator light is also a good idea and is doable. Hopefully Apple considers it

    Boot a mac is not gonna happen either, again look at the iPod (that even has a Hard Drive and still no dice without hackery). Nuff said.

    Ultimately its a phone...marketed towards average consumers/basic business users but all the things you mentioned sounds like you want a complex N95/MID hybrid and that from a simplicity/practicality/design just highly unlikely to happen
  15. Dr. Cabrera macrumors 65816

    Aug 25, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I agree with you completely, I would just like a true 16:9 ratio :p
  16. viceversa macrumors newbie

    Sep 1, 2008
    I wish for a better camera for my iPhone too. Xenon flash would be fantastic! :cool:

    SD Card slot is not bad an idea since I like to have loads of songs with me all the time.
  17. HiRez thread starter macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    On the contrary, this is a scalable OS so increasing resolution should improve readability in all situations, but particularly for smaller text. More pixels means more accuracy in antialiasing text. Of course apps would have to be smart enough to adjust font size for the screen size, but if the developers are smart they should be doing that anyway, as the iPhone screen size was never guaranteed to remain constant, and it would be foolish for a developer to assume so.

    I don't see how that would ruin any aesthetics, in fact if anything it would help by making it sleeker. I'm not talking about some big plastic cap that sits on top or anything, but a tiny, very thin metal plate that electronically slides in front of the lens when the camera is off, below the case line. Many digital cameras have this feature and with the tiny size of the iPhone camera lens, it should be very easy. It makes little or no noise, uses almost no power, and is virtually instantaneous (not that it really matters because it takes ages for the iPhone's camera to get ready anyway).
  18. Excellerator macrumors 6502a

    Aug 3, 2008
    I wish they would also go with a higher resolution screen. Some of the newer digital cameras with only 3" screens have a higher resolution screen (640x480). A micro-SD would be great, even if it was just for storing third party app data!!!!
  19. PNutts macrumors 601


    Jul 24, 2008
    Pacific Northwest, US
    Nothing wrong with a wish list. Personally, I'm not on board with making desktops smaller and less powerful while making handhelds bigger and more powerful. At some point the streams will cross and we'll all be on the other side. :D
  20. lakaiordie macrumors 65816

    Jun 17, 2008
    i want an iphone that gives me free cash. and washes my car and cooks me food
  21. JML42691 macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2007
    I do not really see many of these features actually being implemented into the iPhone:

    --The screen size is fine as is, and I do not see them making the footprint of the phone any larger, and the screen takes up just about as much room as possible right now for the given footprint.

    --Getting a better resolution in the current screen would definitely help, although I am not sure how likely it is with current technology, but for me, I can read just about everything perfectly fine, so this is no a priority on my list.

    --A faster CPU is definitely a big priority on my list, although I'll take anything faster, it doesn't have to be 50% faster, this is one of your points that I definitely agree with. But it can't take away from the battery life all that much, as the battery life is not all that great to begin with, and I do not think that Apple is going to be looking at batteries that are larger in size. So until newer technologies come out that allow for a faster mobile CPU with equal or better power consumption to the current one, I do not think that we will be seeing this.

    --A camera with a slightly higher MP would be great, but I am not sure how likely we will see a flash. Most cell camera flashes that I have seen suck at quality for the pictures and just look cheesy. And I do not see Apple having an optical zoom at all based on the size and the fact that it is a mobile camera.

    --Maybe a more recessed lens, but I do not see an automatic cover, just one more thing to break. But a recessed lens would definitely help the scratch issue.

    --I do not see Apple using a much larger battery size wise. I think that the battery will remain the same until newer technologies come out that will allow them a larger power capacity in an equal space. I do not see Apple making the device larger at all.

    --Although I do think that a removable battery would be nice, I just don't see it happening on the iPhone, for some reason it just seems like one more thing to get broken, and hinders at the simplicity of the device. I am not sure where to stand on this.

    --I do not see removable/expandable memory, as similar to the battery issue, it just takes from the simplicity of the device, and you are not going to be able to add all that much memory. I never see this happening at all.

    --I do hope that bluetooth capabilities are extended on the iPhone, there is no real reason to keep them restricted like they are now, bluetooth syncing would be a great addition to the iPhone. I do hope that this is something that is changed in the future.

    --Maybe one light to the side of the earpiece that would illuminate when a new notification of some sort has happened, but otherwise I don't see this happening, and plus, it is not all that hard to unlock the screen.

    --Unless if you mean being able to use the iPhone as a secondary disk, then I don't really see what you are talking about here. But I hope that you could eventually use it to store files and such on it like other iPods have been able to do.

    I just don't see Apple implementing most of these changes, but there are a few that I want.
  22. HiRez thread starter macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2004
    Western US
    Well, it may be fine for you as it is, and maybe for most people, but I do think there are a significant number of people out there who would like a slightly larger screen, and could accomodate a very slightly larger device while still having it be considered "pocket-sized". The iPhone fits into my pockets with still plenty of room to spare. Again, much of the increased screen space could come out of the currently empty areas of the current faceplate, thus not requiring the size of the device to be much, if any, larger.

    I should say though, that it would be nice to have a few variations of the iPhone. I can see one with actually a slightly smaller or same sized screen and one slightly larger, heavier, but more powerful model. You're probably right though, given what we know about Apple it doesn't seem likely at least in the near term. However, there is precedent for such a move, just look at the history of the iPod. They kept the single model for a few years, then branched out smaller to the nano and then the shuffle, and upwards to the iPod Photo and Touch. Different people have different needs. So in time I think it could happen. Likewise with the iMac and PowerBook/MBP/Air lines (I guess the Air has kinda sorta replaced the 2300c/Duo and 12"PowerBook).

    I agree, battery technology is the holy grail right now and a completely new tech is needed. When considering the tradeoffs, I think Apple weighs much more heavily on smaller than on more powerful at the moment. Sometimes I think their obsession with thinness goes a little too far though, such as with the MacBook Pro, particularly the "pizza box" 17" model.

    Well just like internal memory, Micro SD and other external cards are always increasing in size and lowering in cost, so you can always add more as the technology inevitably advances. I think Apple wants you to buy a whole new device instead of a new memory card though. Call me cynical.

    One light is all you'd need, as LED lights can now display multiple colors, and do it at near-zero power consumption. Plus you can recess them under the cover surface so they're not even visible when off.

    Unlocking the screen is not hard, however if you miss a call or an email alert now, you won't know about it until you turn on the phone. With a light there would be a visible indication of an event.

    Yeah, that's basically what I'm talking about. It would be nice to sit down at any Mac and have your home desktop preferences load up though. You can do that with Leopard and Mobile Me wirelessly, but you need your own (local computer) account to sync to. Just file storage would be nice though.

    One additional suggestion I have is to make the surface of the phone a little more grippy/tactile. If they did this, you might not even need a case, which increases the size.

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