iPhone 6s: 5 Features Apple Left Out - InformationWeek

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IoT
IoT
Mobile // Mobile Devices
Commentary
9/12/2015
12:05 PM
Eric Zeman
Eric Zeman
Commentary
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iPhone 6s: 5 Features Apple Left Out

The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus may be the most compelling "S" upgrades Apple has ever created, but they still lack common smartphone features.

iPhone 6S, iPad Pro, TV, Watch: Apple's Fall Lineup
iPhone 6S, iPad Pro, TV, Watch: Apple's Fall Lineup
(Click image for larger view and slideshow.)

Apple did a bang-up job with the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. The new smartphones represent a significant step forward from the previous generation, which is not something you can say about every S-branded iPhone.

For example, the big upgrade from the iPhone 5 to the iPhone 5s was a fingerprint sensor and some internal spec bumps. Not all that exciting. Apple moved the needle much further forward with the 6s and 6s Plus.

(Image: Apple)

(Image: Apple)

The 3D Touch display alone, which calls up secondary menus and actions based on how firmly the user presses the screen, increases the appeal of Apple's latest handsets by leaps and bounds. The 12-megapixel camera with 4K video capture boosts the drool factor, too, as does the user-facing flash. Toss in the A9 processor and CAT 6 LTE and you have a much more powerful smartphone in the 6s and 6s Plus.

[Read all the coverage from Apple's Sept. 9 event.]

As always, however, Apple left a few items in the kitchen sink for future devices. Here are things that Apple could have added to its new iPhones, but didn't.

  1. Quick Charge: Nearly every flagship handset in the market supports rapid charging. Qualcomm's 800-class Snapdragon processors have included QuickCharge for years, and the current QuickCharge 2.0 spec lets many devices reach a full charge in 90 minutes or less. Apple's devices don't support rapid charging, which means users have to wait longer to recharge their phones.
  2. Wireless Charge: The iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus don't support wireless charging, either. Wireless charging is another technology that's been around for years. Samsung's new Galaxy Note 5 and S6 Edge+ phones support rapid wireless charging and can go from 0% to 100% in less than two hours when placed on a Samsung charging pad. Wireless charging is merely a convenience, but it's one Apple might consider adopting eventually.
  3. NFC: The iPhone 6 and 6 Plus added an NFC radio to support Apple Pay. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus also include NFC, but it is still limited to use only with Apple Pay. Most high-end Android handsets include NFC and support a range of profiles and uses for the short-range radio technology. For example, it's quite easy to pair the new Moto X with Bluetooth accessories by tapping the phone to the wireless speakers or headsets. Many were hoping Apple would expand the usefulness of the iPhone's NFC radio. Alas, it has not.
  4. 2K or 4K Display: Apple's 2015 iPhones carry over the size and resolution from the 2014 iPhones. That means the iPhone 6s has a 4.7-inch screen with 1,334 by 750 pixels, and the 6s Plus has a 5.5-inch screen with 1,920 by 1,080 pixels. Samsung's Galaxy S6, S6 Edge, Note 5, and S6 Edge+ all have quad HD screens, which push the resolution to 2,560 by 1,440 pixels. LG, Motorola, and Sony all have flagship devices with 2K screens. Sony recently announced a smartphone with a 4K screen, or 3,840 by 2,160 pixels. Pixels aren't everything, but the iPhones could use some more.
  5. Enough Storage: Like the iPhones 5, 5s, and 6 before it, the entry-level iPhone 6s has just 16GB of storage on board, of which only 12GB or so is available to users. That's pathetic and downright hostile toward customers. Most competing flagship handsets offer at least 32GB of storage, and many also support removable memory cards. Think about the camera for a moment. The 12-megapixel camera on the iPhone 6s will shoot larger files than the iPhone 6 could. Moreover, people who shoot 4K video will see their precious storage disappear swiftly. By offering only 16 GB at the low end, many iPhone buyers will upgrade to the 64GB model -- therein giving Apple $100 more and helping further pad the coffers of the world's richest company.

Eric is a freelance writer for InformationWeek specializing in mobile technologies. View Full Bio
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nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Ninja
9/30/2015 | 8:56:48 AM
Re: So much iphone can do
@ PEdro:

> Give users features that would really excite them and produce a wow factor.  You have pointed
> out a huge list of things.

I wonder how do they really priortize between so many features. Its once a year release. With dozens of competing features, it should really be a good internal competition with heated debates by many internal lobbyists.
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
9/19/2015 | 12:52:44 PM
Re: So much iphone can do
I think as Iphone sales continue to slow down, they have to expand to new features.  I do not bother to read that an Iphone camera number of pixel gets larger and larger.  Give users features that would really excite them and produce a wow factor.  You have pointed out a huge list of things. Otherwise, you will Xiomi or other smartphone manufactures adding such innovative features, while Apple continues to increase the number of pixels on their phones.     
moarsauce123
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moarsauce123,
User Rank: Ninja
9/15/2015 | 7:49:11 AM
Purely intentional
NFC would open the door for non-iPay services so Apple will not make any money that way. Wireless charging isn't really that big of a deal although these tiny plugs are incredibly difficult to plug in, but that can be fixed by a dock...which Apple should include. Small storage and no SD card support are purely intentional because Apple wants to charge extra for cloud services and push the data usage up to make the cell phone network partners happy who can then sell more expensive data plans.

A lot of what is listed as shortcomings is by design. Apple wants to make more money on top of the unethical high margins on their hardware. With 10 million in orders already placed I see no reason why anyone should complain. Apple's business practices ought to be well known by now and anyone who still overpays for a run of the mill smartphone of questionable quality (see the latest blurry-gate) and shipping delays of a month has no right to complain.

I am sure folks are camping out in front of Apple stores so that they can get the new, slightly improved iPhone just so that they can brag at work.
Firewalker96
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Firewalker96,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/14/2015 | 2:32:27 PM
iPhone 6s Features
Not sure if the 5 things you list are really features that would make or break someone buying the new iPhone 6s. Apple usually tries making the functionality they add seamless on the device instead of rushing to add functionality just because the "other guy" has it on their device.

1) The quick charge has never been an issue for me. My iPhone has always charged in about 90 minutes or less. So if that's the time it takes to quick charge a Samsung phone, then there's not much difference. Also, if you do a Google search for the Samsung quick charge on their phones, there are a lot of users complaining that the phones get really hot when doing the quick charge. And lots of peaple still remember the Dell quick charge on their laptops that caused them to catch fire spontaneously.

2) Wireless charging is interesting, but if it takes longer to charge a phone on a charging pad than plugging it into an outlet, not sure if I'd have much use for it.

3) With the NFC, it has been notably hacked if not implemented with security measures. And Android phones with NFC implemented have been hacked for years, with peoples personal information stolen just by someone walking by the phone with a NFC scanner. So the fact that Apple is taking their time in opening it up the NFC on their phones is safer, for the moment.

4) Not sure what the big interest on higher resolution on a small phone screen. After a point, your eye's don't see a difference in the pixels, even if your mind tells you there is a difference. The only way to tell the difference is to blow up the image or video to a larger screen. But then the image will just take up more space on the device.

5) For the storage, 16GB on any new phone is way to small. But iPhone isn't the only phone that starts at 16GB of storage on their phones. So that could apply to any phone, not just iPhone.

 
GregAlexander
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GregAlexander,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/13/2015 | 6:55:27 AM
Re: So much iphone can do
Would like to see NFC pairing.

4K display seems unnecessary. Such a small screen, the colour, contrast, responsiveness is far more important to the experience. I don't understand "Quick Charge" since my iPhone charges in less than 90 minutes anyway, which I always liked. Wireless would be nice.

You didn't list price as an issue... but I agree 16GB is too low, and you HAVE to buy the next size up. Just ignore the 16GB, forget it exists. So how does the 64GB iPhone 6s compare in value to a 64GB competitor? 

 
nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Ninja
9/13/2015 | 5:45:16 AM
Samsung has got better specs than iphone 6S
Apple beats Samsung in quality of appps and the user interface. 

Samsung however has got better specs than iphone 6S. Its EDGE display feature is truly awesome and is handy in lots of situatios.
nasimson
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nasimson,
User Rank: Ninja
9/13/2015 | 5:39:03 AM
So much iphone can do
> I think iphone products are running out of steam,

@Pedro:

There's so much they can do. Quick charging, wireless charging, projector display, 3D photo & video capturing, home hub for smart homes, built-in car management apps, swappable battery, lesser temperature sensitivity, gorilla glass, higher drop tolerance, built-in accidental insurance, edge display ..

The list is endless. Instead iphone continues to get faster, thinner and lighter. About which after a certain time users dont care!
PedroGonzales
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PedroGonzales,
User Rank: Ninja
9/12/2015 | 4:31:06 PM
Re: Pending Review
I would like to know who decides which features should be added to new devices.  If consumers want their iphone battery to last longer, I would assume this is a feature that they would include.  Although, impresive, the article really highlights that other provider offer much better capacity than the iphone in many factors. I think iphone products are running out of steam, can they really expect to compete in such competitive market which features that lags its closest competitors. 
kcjpq20
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kcjpq20,
User Rank: Apprentice
9/12/2015 | 1:36:28 PM
IPhone Notification
You left out the most basic, most needed feature on an iPhone. The notification light. Why don't they utilize this? If people don't want it, make it an option to disable. But should be a standard feature IMO.
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