We expect Apple to announce the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro this week. The rumour mill has given us a fair read on the iPhone 14, but Apple can yet surprise us. Nothing is guaranteed until Apple shows it off live.
Everything is possible. I don’t believe Apple will unveil its foldable iPhone anytime soon, but I do hope for some practical changes in the iPhone 14 series.
1. A USB-C Port
The Lightning connector works fine, but almost every other device on the planet uses USB-C, and Apple should have switched to that standard a long time ago. In fact, the MacBook Air, iPad Pro, and iPad mini already use USB-C. Also, in just a few years, all phones in Europe will have to use the same type of connector because of new laws. A USB-C connector also makes it possible to transfer data more quickly.
Will it work out this time? We’re not sure. But we’re sure Apple will switch to USB-C in the long run (either as a result of a legal obligation or just to standardize its product lineup). You can get ready in the meantime by getting a fast USB-C charger.
2. Wireless charging that is faster
MagSafe works well. It makes wireless charging a little bit easier by magnetically locking the wireless charging pad to the back of the phone, so you always know you’re in the right spot. MagSafe, on the other hand, could be a bit faster. At the moment, it can be charged wirelessly at speeds of up to 15W. That’s fine, but it would be nice if you could charge faster. There is already the technology to make wireless charging faster. OnePlus phones come with 50W wireless chargers.
3. A screen that is always on
It’s about time the iPhone 14 Pro versions receive an always-on display.
Always-on displays have been around for almost a decade, but Android phones popularized them five years ago. Apple is late to the game. It added an always-on screen to the Apple Watch Series 5 in 2019.
Apple makes fewer Apple Watches than iPhones, thus this capability may be more valuable on a smartwatch. This was likely Apple’s way of testing the waters, and there’s evidence it hoped to incorporate this display technology to the iPhone 12 Pro in 2020.
Apple originally planned for high-end iPhones to use 120Hz ProMotion displays. It was reportedly forced to give up on these plans because of problems in the supply chain caused by the pandemic. Insufficient controller chips couldn’t power the displays.
Without COVID-19, it’s hard to determine if the iPhone 12 Pro will have an always-on screen. Still, it looks like Apple was setting the stage for it. Without an always-on display, Apple’s Leather Sleeve with MagSafe window was useless.
This year, iOS 16 betas may reveal more. New lock screen design simplifies widgets. This shows it was designed for always-on display.
Still, if the rumours we’ve heard are true, the always-on display may finally be added to the iPhone this year. It will probably only be available on the more expensive iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, which is a shame. Standard iPhone 14 units could feature last year’s quicker 120Hz ProMotion display.
4. Better optical zoom
2016’s iPhone 7 Plus was Apple’s first dual-camera phone. Wide-angle and 2X telephoto lenses were included. Despite Apple’s better picture sensors and bigger apertures, this telephoto lens’ optical zoom remained at 2x until the iPhone 12 Pro Max two years ago.
First, the 6.7-inch iPhone was priced more. Apple didn’t give both models a 3x telephoto lens until the iPhone 13 Pro came out last year. Apple still lags behind its competitors in this area. Google’s Pixel 6 Pro has a 4x optical zoom, while Samsung’s Galaxy S22 Ultra boasts a 10x periscope lens.
Apple may incorporate a periscope lens in the iPhone 15 next year, according to rumours. Apple could tweak its optical zoom this year as we wait for 10x periscope cameras.
The iPhone 14 Pro may get a 48-megapixel sensor. This will likely power higher-quality digital zoom. With computational photography, higher megapixel counts don’t make photos with better resolution. They give algorithms more data to improve images.
5. A Foldable Design
We enjoyed using the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 recently. We want more people to discover how exciting it is to switch between small and large screens. Lets hope Apple unveils a foldable iPhone at Far Out. Apple normally has a mic-drop moment at its events. A foldable iPhone would be shocking.
If you’ve ever found yourself in an emergency with no cellular coverage, you’ll be thrilled to know that Apple is reportedly working on leveraging satellite communications to ensure you can reach out for help from just about anywhere on the planet.
Rumors of this first appeared about a year ago, just before Apple’s iPhone 13 launch, although reliable sources suggested that it wouldn’t be ready until this year’s iPhone release.
Recent iOS 16 betas display a “SOS” sign where 5G or LTE would normally appear in the status bar, suggesting Apple is preparing for this. This means you have cellular coverage but not on your regular carrier’s network. Only one carrier has underground coverage in Toronto (and it’s not mine).
Making emergency calls without a SIM card isn’t new. Many countries demand this for safety. The “SOS” sign is new in iOS 16, thus it might possibly represent satellite SOS calls and texts in places without cellular coverage.
This requires new communications technology, so don’t expect it on earlier iPhones just because iOS 16 has a new indication. Some reports last year stated the iPhone 13 included the hardware, but they misread a 5G frequency spectrum operated by a satellite business for terrestrial usage exclusively.