Though everyone is excited about the launch of the new iPhone, I wanted to take a practical look at what features are still missing from this device, compared to others on the market. If Apple really wants to knock the next iPhone out of the park, hopefully some of these ideas will show up next time.
HD Video Support
With more content on the iTunes Store available in HD, I would like the ability to store this HD content on my iPhone and play it when I plug my iPhone into my HDTV. As more consumer products are recording in HD, it would be nice if I could store one copy of my vacation videos, instead of one optimized for the iPhone and another optimized for the Apple TV. A simple software update could fix this (to allow larger content to sync to the device) and the signal could be output via the dock connector. The Zune HD will support HD video output when it launches later this year, so perhaps this feature will make it into an upcoming iPod touch refresh before the year is out.
MobileMe brought about push email, calendars, and contacts, allowing users to go more often without syncing their device. However, I would truly like to see complete wireless syncing either over Wi-Fi, or via Bluetooth 3.0, which should start to become more common in the wake of its release in April of this year. If the phones can tether a wireless connection over Bluetooth (unless you’re in the States, like me), then why can’t they sync via this method?
The crowd remains divided over whether having slower devices on your network brings down the general speed of the network, but I’d much prefer to have an iPhone that supported 802.11n so that I could maintain an n-only network. I’m really surprised we haven’t seen this yet, but I’m assuming it’s because of battery concerns.
When Flash is discussed in relation to the iPhone, it seems to be a mixed bag. Regular clunky Flash is too burdensome for the iPhone (though has anybody compared this to the new 3G S specs?) and the mobile version of Flash isn’t a good experience on the device. I’m not begging for Flash simply because I want more games on the phone, but primarily for many web sites that encode video content in Flash format (like Hulu) or with Silverlight (like Netflix’s Watch Instantly).
Of course, these feature requests are merely the tip of the iceberg compared to some of the features others would like to see. If you have any thoughts for specific features you’d love to see in the next iPhone, please leave a comment below and let me know!