Dear Tim Cook,
As the CEO of Apple, over the past few years I’ve written you a wishlist of new features that I wanted to see on the next iPhones as you prepare to launch the new editions.
Sometimes you would agree with me, like in 2016 when I asked for water resistant iPhones, and other times you were successful, like in 2018 when I begged for a Wide Selfie mode to attract more people in the photo – like Samsung offered on some phones.
But as you prepare on Tuesday to show the world what you’ve got in store with four new models – beyond the extra power, faster processing, 5G connectivity, and the beautiful displays you’ll surely brag about – can i go over a few things i would like to see too?
I have a list, but one feature dominates it so overwhelmingly that it overshadows just about everything else.
Face ID must disappear
Face ID should go away. It never worked out well at first, but in the COVID era, even with your attempts at software patching, the iPhone just can’t recognize me and so many other readers if I’m wearing a mask.
I’m excited to see that Touch ID, which has always worked better for my money anyway, is returning to a new iPad set for release later this month. The iPad will have Touch ID built into the power button, which is great. I also like how the new Samsung Galaxy S models and the new OnePlus phones have fingerprint sensors right on the screen itself.
I would be happy with either. As long as I can start to drastically reduce the number of times per day, I have to type the password into the phone.
You will probably be highly touting 5G and the fact that new iPhones will connect to newer, supposedly faster wireless networks. That’s all well and good, but it’s not a feature that will change my life tomorrow. 5G networks, as we know them now, are either very spotty (in Verizon terms) or barely faster than 4G (via AT&T and T-Mobile). That will change, I’m sure. But for now, removing Face ID would be a much bigger deal than 5G.
âº Withdrawal of 64 GB. Come on, when you sell a device that takes amazing, higher-resolution photos and videos, access to a world of data-hogging apps and an ever-changing operating system, you can fill 64GB. (the entry point for most of the iPhone’s storage capacity) in a matter of weeks. On my phone, I have 293 GB full of photos, videos and apps. But take away the visuals, and the apps alone are 89GB – far more than any entry-level iPhone could handle. Listen, you don’t offer expandable storage like the competition, so why not share some of Apple’s wealth and match the competition this year with a minimum of 128GB storage, or better yet, show off some of Apple’s wealth this year. ‘a little cuteness in the COVID era and give everyone 256GB.
Apple has apparently decided not to ship charging bricks with the new phones, in the name of the environment. So please transfer the savings with additional storage.
âº Always displayed. The new Apple Watch Series 6 has finally fixed what I’ve always thought was a fatal flaw. Every time you looked at it, the screen was dark, until you shook it to bring it to life. Now you can read the face of the watch at any time, and that makes a huge difference. Why not apply the same technology to an iPhone that’s always dark when you grab it to check the time, weather, and appointments?
âº Battery and screen. For years, I’ve craved a battery that lasts all day and a screen that won’t crack. I’m not alone. As David Grenewetzki, who writes apps for Apple Watch on Facebook, said, “No one is arguing for thinner phones.” They just want a phone that doesn’t need to be constantly charged.
âº Really improved optics. I’m with photographer and educator Scott Kelby, who puts an improved camera at the top of his list. âA real telephoto zoom lens,â he says. “Not a 4x. Like a 10x or 20x.” The latest Galaxy S20 Ultra has a 10x zoom which produces great photos. If Samsung can do it, so can Apple?
âº Cables: Kelby has another one on her wishlist that I can only agree with. It’s time to say goodbye to the Lightning charging connector and switch to the industry standard of Usb-c. âWe all know it happens – can we just end it and transition now? Says Kelby.
Since more and more gadget makers started working with USB-C, it has made my life so much easier. Just one cable can charge my GoPro, drone, Android phones, and even an iPad. Remember when you struggled with USB, Micro-USB, and Mini-USB cables to charge various products? Mr. Cook, it’s about time.
Even if you can’t manage any of these, I can’t wait to watch you across my computer on Apple.com or Apple’s YouTube channel Tuesday at 1 p.m. ET. And I keep my fingers crossed for some nice surprises.
In other new techniques this week
The House Judiciary Committee says big tech should be dismantled. Naturally, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google’s parent Alphabet disagree. For example, Apple told USA TODAY, âWe have always said that scrutiny is reasonable and appropriate, but we vehemently disagree with the conclusions drawn in this staff report regarding Apple. Our company does not have a dominant market share in any category in which we do business. âApple is correct in saying that Samsung is the number 1 manufacturer of Windows PC phones and PCs for laptops, but Apple likes to brag about it. makes its Apple Watch outperform all Swiss watchmakers combined and analysts say more people buy iPads than other tablets.
Facebook has announced that it will ban the QAnon conspiratorial group on the social network. The company will remove all Facebook pages, groups and Instagram accounts aligned with the conspiracy group. So far, Facebook has only said it will take action against QAnon’s activities containing discussions of potential violence. Also this week, Facebook announced that it will ban political ads after polling stations close on election day.
Hey Google, can you open and use my app now? Yes indeed. Google has introduced new features for the Google Assistant, but only on Android phones, to log calories on MyFitnessPal or have you read Twitter news by voice. This week, Google also introduced the significantly improved successor to the Google Home speaker, called Nest Audio.
How do you react to a message in all caps? Our president does it all the time. Is it screams or enthusiasm?
This week’s Talking Tech podcasts
Hey Google, Alexa can read my Gmail, why can’t Google too?
Hospitals have been hit hard by ransomware
Should we dismantle big tech?
Vote by smartphone in 2020
What we really watch in streaming
Follow USA TODAY’s Jefferson Graham (@jeffersongraham) on Twitter