The iPhone 11 doesn’t need a radical redesign to do well financially, critically or culturally, but it will take several significant improvements and upgrades for it to remain competitive in an increasingly crowded phone industry. Despite the fact that iPhone sales were down 12% in the last quarter, Apple still made $26 billion dollars. It’s as if Steph Curry didn’t make 300 three-pointers in a single season and somehow the Golden State Warriors still got to the playoffs.There will most likely be an Apple event in the second week of September and it doesn’t take a mind reader to know that it’s to launch the next iPhone. And as I sift through last-minute rumors and ponder the possibilities, I realize that there is a lot I want Apple to add to the iPhone 11 to make it more convenient and give it better value and utility.
Apple Pencil Mini for iPhone
On Aug. 7, Samsung launched the absolutely stunning Galaxy Note 10 and 10 Plus. A key feature of the Note is its S-Pen stylus. Over a decade ago, when companies first released capacitive touchscreen phones like the iPhone, a big selling point was that you didn’t need a stylus to navigate them. Though I have fond memories of using a stylus on the resistive touch display of my Palm Treo 680, as soon as I tried that screen on the original iPhone, I was immediately hooked on the fact that my finger became, to quote Steve Jobs, “the best pointing device in the world.But it’s no longer 2007 and despite Jobs’ stand against the stylus, there’s now the Apple Pencil, which provides a fantastic experience on the iPad. As the iPhone’s screen has grown over the years, I can’t help but imagine how wonderful an Apple Pencil Mini would be. Doubly wonderful would be if I could also use it on an iPad.
Symmetrical buttons have got to go
The button layout on the iPhone X, XS and XS Max is a one-handed obstacle course. Whenever you don’t have a solid hold on the phone or want to change the volume, you risk dropping the device. Recalling the iPhone 4 “antennagate” controversy, I wonder if I’m holding it wrong. But I’m not. The volume buttons don’t need to be directly across the screen from the power button. Seriously, I take so many accidental screenshots, my gallery is full of images of my lock screen. Stagger the buttons so there’s room to put a finger for the extra leverage I occasionally need to change the volume.Or place all of the buttons on one side. Google took a similar approach with the Pixel 3 and I’ve never had issues on it.