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Six ways Jony Ive can make iPhone 6 the ultimate phone

The Gadget Show  Wednesday 21 November 2012

Six ways Jony Ive can make iPhone 6 the ultimate phone Six ways Jony Ive can make iPhone 6 the ultimate phone

Make no mistake, the iPhone 5 is the best Apple handset yet. But it’s far from perfect.

The good news is that due to a shakeup over at Apple HQ, design supremo Jony Ive is now in charge of all of the company’s “human interface”, which means – yes – hardware and software. But how can Ive make sure the company’s next blower is king of the mobile jungle?

Here are six ways we think he could make it happen.

1 Icons that come alive

Apple’s interface still looks as good as ever in screenshots, but when you get the device in your hand, it seems a little dated. Especially after seeing Microsoft’s Windows Phone 8 or RIM’s BB10 in action. Both of these feature icons that update live right in front of you, bringing the home screen alive and giving you info without you having to open the app. Which is a great timesaver. Come on Apple, make it so.

2 More forward-looking design

When it comes to software, Apple’s design philosophy is known as ‘skeuomorphic’ – that means its programs take on an old-fashioned look, with retro-style dials and plenty of leather and brass. It’s meant to make technophobes more comfortable using the device, and not alienate them by looking too ‘techy’. Which is all well and good. But it’s getting a little long in the tooth nowadays and could do with a refresh. The iPhone was aimed at people who were turned off by how complicated other smartphones were, but now the smartie is no longer a niche product, it’s time Apple binned the look and chose a new direction.

3 Sort out the maps

Let’s be honest: Apple Maps was a disaster. Apple gave Google Maps the boot in favour of its own mapping app in iOS 6, and the reaction was so severe that CEO Tim Cook posted an apology to customers, suggesting alternatives. Many think this marked a turning point for Apple, that it was now so big it’d rather pursue its vendetta with Google even if customers suffered. Apple needs to sort out Apple Maps sharpish. There’s no shortage of competing mapping apps on iOS, after all.

Read our iPhone 5 review here

4 Wireless charging

Nokia is looking to the future with its Lumia 920, offering a wireless charger. All you have to do is plonk your handset on it, and it’ll juice it up; no fiddling with annoying connectors required. Apple, however, went the other route with the iPhone 5, introducing a new Lightning connection that renders old accessories and chargers redundant without an adapter. Apple, it’s these kinds of decisions that turn people off.


Apple has so far chosen not to add Near Field Communications (NFC) to the iPhone. NFC lets you pay for items using your handset, share files with other devices, and read tags set up on posters to unlock other related content. Instead, Apple has stuck with its own technology, using its Passbook app to let you call up a boarding pass, discount voucher, or loyalty card. But it’s a lot more limited than NFC, which everyone else has adopted.

6 Bigger screen

The iPhone 5’s 4-inch screen is a step-up from the 4S’s 3.5-incher, but it’s still tiny compared to the likes of the Samsung Galaxy S3, with its 4.8-inches. (Watch a YouTube video on both side-by-side in landscape mode to really see the difference.) The trend is for bigger blowers too, with the Galaxy Note 2 at a mammoth 5.5-inches, and the 5-inch HTC Deluxe rumoured to be hitting UK shores soon. If the iPhone 6 isn’t larger than 4-inches, it’s going to look pretty puny compared to the big boys.

Read our iOS 6 review here


Apple, iPhone 5, iOS 6

User comments (21)

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Completely disagree with the bigger screen. There is no need for a bigger screen than your hand can fit. The design of the phone is fine as it is. If Apple change it too much then it will scare away people who are familiar with the iPhone. Agree with the Wireless charging and NFC.

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just get a lumia 920 instead! It's already got all the features!

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Scott McM

Agree with all comments apart from larger screen. Galaxy S3 is just too big, what pocket exactly does it fit in.

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Currently have a 4S which replaced a 3G. I disagree with the larger screen, and I'm simply not interested in NFC, partly as I don't fancy flashing an expensive device around in the local convenience store when buying a loaf of bread or a pint of milk. Depends on where one lives of course!

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Chris Hannah

Icons I agree Icons should change, maybe Apple should give developers to update their icons like their current Calendar app. Forward-Looking Design I'm not sure what you mean by this, but if Jony is in charge of all design there is no need to worry about that. Maps I agree Apple Maps is far inferior to Google Maps, but I don't think Apples reason to introduce it was to get back at Google. Apple have wanted turn by turn navigation and Google wouldn't let them have it, Google only wanted Android to have that. So they chose to use their unfinished product which they would of probably waited until iOS 7. But I've used Maps and when I have it's worked very well. Wireless Charging Although this is a cool idea if your a techie, I don't think the added cost of R&D and how much it would actually cost to make would be worth it. It's not like you place your phone down and it charges, you have a mat which you plug in still and you place the phone on the mat. If I have to spend 1 second longer plugging my phone into a cable which will probably provide me with a better charge as its got a constant power supply, I will deal with the extra second. NFC Bluetooth and Passbook can pretty much do everything NFC can. Plus, which retailers offer NFC services? Size The iPhone has had its size changed once, never again. The phone size is perfect, I do not wish to to be changed. This may be different for Android users because their OS is so fragmented a few brick-sized phones won't make a difference as there is no standard for Android devices. Phones do not need to be big, that is what a tablet is for. Also, the Galaxy Note which is a "Tablet and a Phone" makes no sense, a tablet is basically a bigger handheld device with no phone capabilities while focussing on content like Movies and Apps. So if you want a bigger device, get an iPad. If you weighed out the differences between iPhone 5 and Samsung Galaxy S3, the hardware may not affect your decision as phones are so powerful you probably won't notice a difference. So it brings it to the software, would you want an OS which is highly fragmented, no real standards, the app store is cluttered. Or would you choose one with an OS that works seamlessly with other products (Mac, Pc, iPad, Apple TV, etc), has so many great apps on the App Store which have apps that developers have refined and polished for the actual device you use, making for a better experience, and also regular updates to your phone which are not limited by the hardware restrictions… You've guessed it, iPhone wins. PS. I am an Apple fan boy, I do love their products, but it's simply because they're great.

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Templeton Green

So you are basically asking Ive to come up with a Lumia 920 but in an apple design. Why wait 2 yrs for what you can buy right now... Sorry Gadget show, you are not thinking far enough or is this just an admission that Apple have now fallen behing by 2 iterations of smartphones. BTW I had the 3GS.. Loved it, but the 4, 4S and 4SXL (5) are pedestrian sorry Apple. Best wishes TG

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michael haab

My galaxy S3 has all these. In fact Android has had them for ages people should stop spending hundreds of pounds on a phone just to be told what they can do with it. I'm loving my completely custom Galaxy S3 (for some reason this has never been on TGS big part of Android.

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@ Scott mcm the s3 fits in every pocket in my wardrobe ? And the screenis easily useable in one hand. IMHO apple missed a chance to give people the phone they wanted this time round. Agree with nfc and older looking OS.

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NFC - charge your phone while its resting on a pad, move it away to watch a movie and it stops charging. This technology is pointless until you have a charging 'room'. Pretty much disagree with the whole article, apart from the skeumorphic comment.

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Marawan Alwaraki

I agree with you in most of the points. However, wireless charging is slower than normal charging and the fact that you still have to place it on a pad to charge it doesn't really make it a good feature. It would be awesome if it will charge anywhere in your bedroom for example but since you have to put it on a pad and it charges slowly then it's something I wouldn't use. Also about a bigger screen. I really don't see why so many people just want screens to get bigger. A really big screen makes the phone less portable, not always fit in the pocket and hard to hold in the hand. It also makes it ugly IMO.

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i am an android user and i think that apples "old fashioned" look is very appealing unlike android where everything is plain. but i do agree that the os needs a redesign or at least options to customize it like in android. the screen is fine as it is as most phones are just getting too big and soon we will end up with tablets that we call from. (who an i to say that when i own a galaxy note....) i think some offline siri command would be useful e.g. setting reminders. true multitasking and not switching between recent apps would be good as well and wireless charging-not for me. I always pick my phone up when using it and with a wireless charger that would be a bit complicated. I really like the new apple lightning connector and how tiny it is.

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Andrew Schaff

I disagree with the bigger screen, because I like the iPhone as it is. Everything else makes perfect sense. I like the idea of animated icons and wireless charging, those sound awesome!

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Rory McEwan

Cheaper I hope!

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When Apple launched both the iPhone and iPad they were utter game changers in ways that no pundit foresaw. I don't want Apple to do a "catch up" job with iPhone 6, rather I am wishing that they will launch a blinder of a concept that none of use mere mortals will have thought of. I remember how many people slagged off the original iPhone because of all the "features" it didn't have (3G, a physical keypad, a descent camera). But, despite all that, as soon as you picked one up, you wanted it. That is the essence of Apple's genius and I pray that they haven't lost it.

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Before I start, I'm an ex android user. I had a Nexus S, the top of the line phone for android in its time, and it was sluggish as hell, ever since, I've hated android software. It's clunky, slow as soon as you install a few apps, has extremely inefficient multitasking and you can't even close the apps properly without a restart. But anyway, rant over. Icons that come alive could look nice, but it doesn't need an entire redesign - look at the new design for the music app and app store, they look beautiful and all that's changed really are some textures, all be it the messages app could do with a retexturing... The maps, okay they weren't great, even the icon shows directions to drive off an overpass but they're fixable, and of course they won't compete yet with Google Maps which is at least 10 years in the making. For how quickly it was developed, I'd say it's fantastic, and the vectors are much faster with a slow data signal. On every other point in that article, I'd say the author of this post only likes paper stats not the actual functionality. Where on earth has anyone ever used NFC on android? I don't care about the feature, why don't phones have the infra-red technology anymore, there's a spec on the datasheet they're all missing - because the technology is useless! It's the same with wireless charging, it's just a dock which takes ages to charge and has no other features, the only difference being you don't have to click it in? I wan't to roll over in my bed and still use the phone if it's charging, with wireless charging it's just not possible? And an even bigger screen? If I wanted that I'd buy a tablet, this is a mobile device - a big screen is unusable with one hand!?

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Battery...that's the seminal problem with smartphones. The iPhone is worse than most. Doubling the battery capacity would solve the one inherent problem with the iPhone.

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Ryan Freeman

Screen does NOT need to be bigger the 3.5-4.5" screen is tidy the width is fantastic if I wanted wider I would buy an iPad for that job. I want a phone as a phone for phones.

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We don't need a bigger screen, the Samsung is too big, and anyone who thinks the samsungs overall performance is better than an iPhone is bonkers. The Samsung is slow, glitchy, the iPhone is smooth.,I'd like a more curved phone like the old 3GS the new ones are not comfortable to hold. I'd like finger print entry or voice, passwords etc slow me down. I'd also like to have a paint system so I can draw or write on pictures etc.

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Leo Roberts

The "world beating" phone, be it Apple, BB, Windows or Android, will be the one that recognises users don't mind having a phone 2mm thicker than the opposition if the battery lasts all day!

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