What Would Make You Return to the iPhone?

Discussion in 'Alternatives to iOS and iOS Devices' started by onthecouchagain, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. onthecouchagain, Dec 4, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012

    onthecouchagain macrumors 604


    Mar 29, 2011
    Despite having converted and now throwing my support behind Android, I am willing to return to the iPhone if the hardware and software was right. Anyone else? And if so, what would that entail?

    This isn't a wishlist, so try not to post unrealistic desires. Or to phrase my question another way: what's the most minimal changes you would require to return to the iPhone?

    Here's mine...


    -I don't think I can accept anything smaller than a 4.3" screen. I think anywhere between 4.3-4.6 is the sweet spot, for me. Needless to say, it needs to get wider too.

    -I think I would need Apple to finally go with a capacitive or an on-screen home button. I've been spoiled by the Nexus experience, and to some degree it's laboring to have to depress the home button now. Plus, it just feels antiquated. Something about the digital button versus the analog button is more futuristic. I'd feel like I'd be taking a step back. I don't want to have to deal with convincing Apple Geniuses that my home button is acting up (I've been turned away before because I couldn't replicate the issue at the time of my meeting). It'd be nice to move past these little frustrations.

    -Depending on how they manage the 4.3" screen, whether they actually enlarge the device to some degree or use up less bezel, I may or may not require the sleep/wake button to be on the side. As devices get larger, putting it on the top is becoming a no-no. The HTC One X, for example, is horridly cumbersome to wake and put to sleep. For those worried about accidentally hitting the volume buttons, I really think people can learn to adjust. Also, you can offset the positions by putting the sleep button higher (like it is on the Nexus 4; it's a little too high, actually) on the right side. Again, this isn't necessarily a deal breaker if they don't, but it'll depend on how they manage that 4.3" screen.

    -Notification light. The benefits of this puppy is enormous. They could design it so that it's part of the aesthetics of the iPhone. Make the home button (or at least the square app shape on the home button) be the light. Imagine the home button (or again, the square shape) glowing! That would be beautiful.

    That's really all hardware-wise. I don't think these are extreme requirements, especially the ~4.3" screen.


    -First and foremost, for the love of god, update the iOS keyboard. It's in desperate need of upgrading. It's been years. It's time. Give us upper and lower case signifiers, give us control over our own dictionary (please!), give us some sort of suggestion bar (Blackberry came up with their own way, why can't Apple?), give us long-presses for secondary symbols, improve the autocorrection, let us change the size of the keyboard (again, this doesn't have to be complicated. You can model it after Swiftkey, which simply offers: "Small, Medium, Large." Not difficult!). The keyboard experience was one of the main reasons I was driven away from the iPhone. It would do wonders in bringing me back if they make the right and necessary improvements.

    -I want to see easier access to settings. Do we need widgets? Not necessarily. I've always said, most widgets are overrated, but the little more simpler widgets... they go a long way! Things like toggles, or quick access to settings. Apple could so easily implement this, that it's baffling they haven't yet. I'm talking about easy access to switching sound profiles, switching the lock screen on/off (I shouldn't need to input my lock screen code every single time I need to use my phone at home), switching WiFi/GPS/Bluetooth, etc. Again, these aren't insane requests. Just make things a bit more accessible. I'm sure Apple can find a way with or without widgets.

    -Dynamic icons. Similar vein, these don't have to become full blown widgets. It'd be nice to see an accurate weather reading on the weather icon (this is the example used the most). At this point and time, I don't see why I'd trade the dynamics of home screens for an app drawer.

    -Improved notification center and status bar. I still dislike the banner drop down. Why can't Apple utilize the space in the status bar? I don't mean copy Android with a little icon, I mean, why can't the banner simply roll onto the status bar area? Yes, it'll be smaller, but the point is to just alert the user. Why not remove the carrier sign (or in the case of the iPad Wifi, the "iPad" sign -- why do I need this there?) on the upper left? That space could be put to better use for notifications, etc. Also, please allow us to swipe away single notifications, which is a very simple request.

    -Going to add upgrades to Mail and Safari. Would need to see full threaded messages in Mail. Would love to see my entire mailbox, too, ready at my finger tips (every time I load up my "Sent" mailbox, it has to actually load it. With Gmail, it's already preloaded). Give me more than 3 weeks worth of old mail, too. Safari could use more tabs. OR allow us to set default Mail/Browser apps.

    -Allow for more sharing through other apps. Yes, people use things other than Facebook and Instagram and Twitter.

    I've run out of steam, but I think there are a few more things that I'd need Apple to change before I return. I'll edit as they come to me. Please add yours!

    I'm also going to throw a curveball. This is neither here nor there, but I'll mention it anyway...


    I'd like to see Apple adopt a more humbling approach to their keynotes and presentations. A lot of it is condescending or disingenuous. We live in a fact-checking world, and making claims that they offer the world's thinnest phone or trying to insinuate that one handed use is foolish beyond anything 4" just won't cut it anymore. Millions of S3 owners can attest to somehow surviving with a much larger phone, as can others.

    It'd be nice if they brought down their unlocked phone prices, too. Yes, yes, they need the profit for all that R&D, but don't forget they're also somehow sitting on a bank with reserves over $100 billion dollars...

    There are probably other little things too... like stop withholding main features in software updates (iPhone 4 and SIRI)... or touting Beta programs as the main features... or holding true to incremental upgrades. Why play the slow game? This ties into being overly concerned with profit margins. Give us the specs people want.

    I'd return in a heartbeat if Apple can hit these points.
  2. ChazUK macrumors 603


    Feb 3, 2008
    Essex (UK)
    Software and iOS:

    Third party application integration like Android would make me consider it as my primary platform.

    • I'm not a massive fan of the iOS keyboard but would use Swiftkey on the platform.
    • I'd love to be able to set Chrome/Firefox as my default browser (and to let it have the full Chrome/Firefox rendering engines e.t.c).
    • Being able to "share" from multiple sources to multiple applications (share from the Photos app direct to Instagram E.T.C) would be nice.

    Lastly, having settings for apps within apps would be a benefit for me. I'm not a fan of exiting an app to just to go to settings, then back to the app when I want to change things. Seems a bit unnatural to me.

    Deep down though, having the different experiences with the usage of both platforms does make it that bit more interesting. There's probably very little need for Android and iOS to behave the same today as they're both really strong platforms.

    I think Apple have perfected things here. There is not a thing I'd want changed on the latest iPhones (since the iPhone 3GS they've been extremely competitive IMO).

    When it comes to the Nexus devices which I'm using as a reference vs the iPhone, there has always been something more I'd like with the hardware (except the N4 which I haven't found lacking just yet).

    Nexus One: I wanted more system storage.
    Nexus S: I wanted a non-Pentile screen.
    Galaxy Nexus: I wanted a better camera, faster GPU.

    I doubt I'd even let the smaller screen bother me.
  3. daveathall macrumors 68000


    Aug 6, 2010
    North Yorkshire
    Larger screen.

    Swype or similar.

    Back button.

    Capacitive buttons.

    Notification lights.

    Ability to delete stock apps that are not wanted
  4. Jibbajabba macrumors 65816

    Aug 13, 2011
    Only one thing - being able to customize the OS like I can on Android ..
  5. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68030


    Jun 10, 2010
    Folks can argue the merits of phone size til they are blue in the face, but at the end of the day that is all about personal preference. While an X" screen may be good for you, a Y" screen may be preferred for me. Somewhat of a stretch for you to think that your opinion is the one that holds true across the board.

    As far as the one handed use goes. I'm a decent sized guy with decent sized hands. I love that I can whip out my iPhone and use it one handed on the go and not have to worry about an awkward reach. Similar tasks on a Galaxy S3 are not impossible, but not nearly as easy either. Tried this as well on the Galaxy Nexus and it was even worse (mostly due to the fact that it isn't as seamless to turn on the device with the power button on the side and then once it is on the phone itself is fairly slippery in your hand). The Note 2 is obviously dang near impossible one handed (it can be done, but not with a very secure grip). That said....one handed use is good for me. Obviously not as big a deal for you. But this just underscores my point even further on the fact that one size fits all is not the case in the world of smart phones.

    On phone prices.....those are what they are. Just because they have a stash of cash in the bank doesn't mean they can start giving away hardware like Google does. Hell....take Google out of the equation and Apple's unlocked prices are fairly competitive (an un-subsidized 16GB iPhone 5 is the same price as the un-subsidized 16GB Note 2).
  6. lordofthereef macrumors G5


    Nov 29, 2011
    Boston, MA
    Software is my thing. Nothing changed this go around. While the fanboi's will quote the "95 (or whatever number) new features", I am not talking miniscule changes like higher quality calls or what not. I am talking actual, tangible new features. Last year we got Siri. This year we got maps, which in my experience wasn't a step forward.

    I also felt like the larger screen was a band-aid for all of the people asking for a larger screen. The way it stands, it doesn't add much utility. I still have to pinch to zoom when reading most web pages. In the name of "one handed usability" they have sacrificed what is good about a properly increased screen size. I would have honestly been happier with them just leaving it at 3.5" and calling it perfect.

    I still use my 4S, and my wife upgraded to the 5 (from a 4), but I can literally do everything she can on her phone. As far as I am concerned there really was no advancement this year, or at least not enough to warrant me spending money on it. For those not using the 4S, it was a worthy upgrade.


    I think you missed the point here. He isn't saying his opinion is right. He is pointing out that Apple claims 4"+ is wrong. For everyone. In this way, Apple is doing exactly what you say shouldn't happen.
  7. onthecouchagain thread starter macrumors 604


    Mar 29, 2011
    Given this precise philosophy, shouldn't Apple offer more screen sizes as options?


  8. map1978 macrumors 68020


    Feb 9, 2006
    Jacksonville, FL
    I'd like to see a wider iPhone with a bigger screen (not a fan of just a taller iP5). I actually like the hardware currently just hate that its still narrow and just taller.

    Ok, you want a closed OS, fine I get that. But can I at least move my icons to wherever I like at least? Give me a little freedom.

    Software I'm thinking we are going to see a drastic change in iOS 7...well I'm hoping at least.

    Currently using the N4, but I do miss LTE speeds, better music player, and the WAY better camera on the iP5. Can't think of anything else I miss on the iPhone.

    So, if the next gen iPhone goes bigger with an updated iOS, I'll most likely move back to iOS.

    This N4 screen is just stunning and the screen size is just perfect...it will hold me over until the next software/hardware announcement from Apple.

    Great thread idea OP ;)
  9. ugahairydawgs macrumors 68030


    Jun 10, 2010

    They certainly could, but for some reason, be it app integrity or whatever, they haven't.

    But all manufacturers run up on this. Google only does one Nexus device per year with the single screen size....and that's with them outsourcing the hardware.
  10. onthecouchagain thread starter macrumors 604


    Mar 29, 2011

    They've figured out that certain sizes can allow them to scale apps properly, without needing the developers to update them. The specifically sought out the 7.9 inch spot for the iPad Mini to allow this to happen.

    What's the next natural size up? I remember reading something in the Verge forums that said the next size up for the iPhone that they could scale is roughyl 4.4", which, if true, would fall into my very happy spot of 4.3-4.6" (it would hopefully be wider too, though).

    Yes, but the Nexus isn't the only phone available for Android. That's also why not having LTE or removable battery, etc, isn't as big of a deal on the Nexus. Because if those things are important, people can go elsewhere. That's not the case with the iPhone. If you want removable battery, larger screens, or SD expansion (or back then, LTE with the 4S), you were straight out of luck.

    Google is a software company, but I would be interested in them making their own hardware, too. There are signs they might. Imagine if they full absorbed Motorola and re-purposed them to be their hardware branch? That'd be interesting.

    But back to Apple...

    So far, I'm not seeing a lot of ridiculous or impossible demands from people who would be willing to switch back to the iPhone. It honestly wouldn't take very much. Everything sounds reasonable...
  11. mikegasol macrumors member

    Nov 29, 2012
    I have an ipod touch and an ipad mini for all my iOS needs and they both do anything my iphone could. No reason to ever own an iphone again for me.
  12. cnguyen0320 macrumors regular

    Aug 14, 2012
    I like Apple's one screen size philosophy. It puts more of a face to the company and that's very important. For example, which is the Samsung phone? The S3, the Note? Well I don't know... What is the Apple phone? Well the iPhone of course. It's about company and product image. It is very important. I guess you could say "what about macbooks?" Well, I don't have an answer for you.

    I am still an iPhone/iPad user so I can't really come back... But here is my list:

    Make Siri better. I envy those with Google Now because of the great functionality. The thing I love about Google is that it'll say out the answers, while Siri goes "here is what I found". HATE that. And I want Siri to automatically search the web (but not have to open Safari) when it doesn't know an answer.
    Add function. Widgets are really nice but to an extent. I want toggles for settings. I want developers to be able to access the system more so they can make beautiful things like Apple's stock weather and stock widgets for Notification Center. I want those things in my Notifications.
    Better control of my apps. Let me make Chrome default.
    System Access- mainly because iTunes is such a pain. Maybe not system access but ease of use could get better. Drag and drop would be nice.
    Lastly, I like the idea of making the home button light up with notifications. It would work with the current design seamlessly (but perhaps not on the designer side... You know, wires and stuff). I would really like this so if I miss a text and comeback to my desk, the light is on so I'll know.
  13. onthecouchagain thread starter macrumors 604


    Mar 29, 2011

    You retorted your own point in your own post. :)

    Samsung is becoming a household name and a recognized brand in smartphone technology. They have numerous sized phones. It's not impossible to gain recognition and branding while offering choices. You described it yourself with Macs/Macbooks and Apple. Apple also offers two distinct sized iPads now with the Mini. They also offer different sized iPods (and within iPods, the nanos came in different shapes and sizes). No problems there in branding.


    Oh, yes. I forgot to add this to my OP. I really hate being tied to iTunes.
  14. cnguyen0320 macrumors regular

    Aug 14, 2012
    Yes i know because I knew someone would come and try to unravel my entire argument because of it. Anyway, I think it gets to a point where different sizes happens but not yet. As far as the different model goes for each line, it seems to have to do a lot with pricing. The macbook sizes differ in price. The iPod line goes from most affordable to most powerful (shuffle to touch). Same for iPad, mini to full. And that's something they praised in the keynote about the mini, it was affordable. So that's my theory about the different sizes. They aren't trying to push variety so much as they are trying to make things more affordable (while still raking in the big bucks). If you cannot afford it, get the smaller one, they say.

    I think the only way we will see different sizes for the iPhone is if Apple decides they want to make it more affordable. And honestly, with carriers subsidizing phones, that really won't ever be a concern for them, at least in the US.

    A little personal opinion here. I see the advantages of a bigger screen and yes the little stretch from iPhone 4 to iPhone 5 was beautiful. (I was contemplating a Nexus 4 instead of the iPhone 5 because of a bigger screen and its increase in usability.) But there is often beauty in smaller and slimmer items. For lack of a better example, a smartcar is cute, a monster truck is not. Apple is about elegance and beauty. A small thin phone shows that. A big phone, like the monster truck, screams muscle, power, and edge... quite the opposite of beauty and elegance. Anyway, you may disagree with my screen size analogy but a lot of people feel that way. Like I said, the big screen size is great for usability, but in my mind sacrifices some beauty.
  15. cnev3 macrumors 6502

    Sep 13, 2012
    I sold my iPhone and bought a Samsung Exhibit II 4G headset so I could score a sweet prepaid data plan.

    The phones hardware sucked. Android ice cream sandwich sucked. My cell service sucked. I had a handful of issues (too many to explain), and I missed a lot of the iOS only apps I could no longer use.

    Cant blame me for trying something new.

    Granted, my opinion would be better if I had a top rated phone like the S3, but I still would want to go back anyways for the apps.
  16. onthecouchagain thread starter macrumors 604


    Mar 29, 2011
    I hear you but again things just aren't flying in what you're saying. Macbook and iPads and imacs get very big yet can manage to be elegant. Have you seen the new 27" iMac?

    Also, they offer carrier subsidized price points for iPads and they come in sizes.
  17. cnguyen0320 macrumors regular

    Aug 14, 2012
    Yeah, like I said that is just my opinion. And it was an opinion on phones. Big things can be elegant, huge beautiful buildings (Eiffel Tower) and large works of art are of course elegant. The application of elegance depends on the object. Do you really think huge Trucks are elegant? Or are compact sports cars?... Is a 3 room house elegant? Or is a 50 room mansion? In that example, the mansion would be. Certain objects have elegance when they obtain certain characteristics (of course it must also be done right) and of course it depends on the object.

    Macs and iPads also have a different purpose. They are supposed to be bigger and therefore, those who buy them are asking for the size increase. The expected size increase changes the object and elegance is no longer determined by the small size.

    Cell phones were always meant to be portable, that is why people had them even back when they were bigger than their land-line phones. You could carry it around. Now, we want to be able to put them in our pockets and such. As a guy, I know I could easily fit a 4.5" phone in my pocket (5" may be a stretch because of other things in my pocket) but many females simply cannot. Style will rule until man is dead and their pants are often too tight to fit a phone like that. And walking around with your phone hanging out of your pocket looks very scruffy. (Not sure if it is just me but I also see more girls with iPhones and more guys with Android phones) That's why, for phones, I think smaller is more elegant.

    I just looked, the carriers do in fact subsidize iPads. But the discount is minimal compared to the iPhone. The iPhone drops $450 from retail to contract price while the iPad only drops $100 and that is still pricier than the WiFi only model so offering that iPad Mini at a lower price does still fit my affordability theory. I guess you could also say "well get an iPod touch if you want a cheaper iPhone." Well you lose cellular ability (voice call) so that doesn't actually replace the need for a phone.
  18. Vegastouch, Dec 4, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012

    Vegastouch macrumors 603


    Jul 12, 2008
    Las Vegas, NV
    Minimum of a 4.5" screen and make it wider for cris sakes.
    Choices! Freedom to choose is a good thing.

    I doubt Apple will do even a fraction of the things being mentioned in this thread. I will never say never to another iPhone but they really need to step it up for me to consider one and at this point, id get a Windows phone before id get an iPhone.
  19. onthecouchagain thread starter macrumors 604


    Mar 29, 2011
    I respect your opinion, but you're really pulling at straws to apologize for Apple's lack of iPhone size options, especially the remarks regarding portability.

    Millions (literally millions) of people are porting their S3s, Note II's, iPad Minis, Nexus 7's, even retina iPads just fine. People will find a way to manage the few centimeter differences. This is a snap shot of my Nexus 4 and a family member's iPhone 5:


    Really, I think people will find a way, tight pockets, big pockets, small pockets, or no pockets.
  20. sentinelsx macrumors 68010

    Feb 28, 2011
    Well to be honest even with android the "choices" are pre-cut options with compromises, i mean where is my nexus phone with a NOTE 2 or iPhone 5 like battery life, a great camera like L920 or IP5 or One X, 32 GB of storage, and the stock JB email client (not gmail, it doesn't allow non gmail accounts so far on my phone at least) allowing HTML emails to fit inside it?

    Until then every phone out there, whether an iPhone, android based, or any thing else is simply what fits me better than the others, and that is subjective.
    I don't get the misguided choice thing here. I don't get the choice like i get in the PC world, choose my hardware as i want and install my clean windows/linux. THAT is real choice.
  21. onthecouchagain thread starter macrumors 604


    Mar 29, 2011
    Apple offers sizes and freedom in their software with Macs and OSX. You can make any app on OSX your default app, you can use third party things (MS Word, Avid, Adobe, Chrome, etc.).

    Why can't they port this philosophy to iOS? Why!
  22. Vegastouch macrumors 603


    Jul 12, 2008
    Las Vegas, NV
    I see very few females carrying their phone in their back pocket, or any pocket. I see very few females without a purse of some sort.....for which they could fit a N7 or a iPM in it. Some purses i see females carrying are like a duffle bag they are so big...lol
  23. sentinelsx macrumors 68010

    Feb 28, 2011
    Thing is, you are pushing your desires onto others who do not want a wider phone. Since you are perfectly happy with your current device, i am not sure why is there a need to make others suffer with what choices they have made?


    That is pretty much on top of my list of iOS annoyances. It is not something impossible either. Perhaps the new guy will figure it out.
  24. onthecouchagain thread starter macrumors 604


    Mar 29, 2011

    Hard choices are still choices.

    Also, some things are more important to people. LTE, for example, seems very important to people than, say, immediate updates from Google. And so, the S3 makes a lot more sense. It'd actually be an easy choice. People have preference and they can choose accordingly.

    The problem with Apple is, you can't have preferences. You can't choose what's more important to you.

    Instead, you make the things that Apple chooses important to you.
  25. thejadedmonkey macrumors 604


    May 28, 2005
    I'd like a larger screen and a back button. Also the home screen needs some help.

    That's what I'd require to consider an iPhone. As it is, I own an iPod Touch that I hardly use, and I don't see a reason to upgrade.

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