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Five essential iPhone 5S upgrades that Apple should include

Apple's much-rumoured iPhone 5S might feature fingerprint scanning, a 128GB storage capacity and even a gold shell, but here's five far more essential upgrades…

iPhone 5 running iOS 7
It may look the same, but it’s what’s on the inside that counts

Apple’s iPhone 5S is reportedly just around the corner and plenty of details about Cupertino’s latest creation have already been leaked. Beyond all the big headlines, though, there’s a few things we feel are absolutely essential upgrades for the iPhone 5S. Ones that we’ve been pining for since the iPhone 5 first launched. So, without further adieu, here’s our top-five wishlist for what we’d like to see alongside that fingerprint scanner, 128GB storage option and the controversial champagne casing:

1. Better battery life

Although the iPhone 5’s battery isn’t bad, if you’re travelling around and jumping from Wi-Fi network to Wi-Fi network, it certainly takes a hit, especially if you happen to be running an app that’s using your location at the same time. Moderate to regular use means our favourite smartphone lasts us about a day and while that’s workable, it could be so much better. Could an even larger battery be dropped into the iPhone 5S, with its dimensions looking to be exactly the same as the iPhone 5? Probably not. But if the best minds at Cupertino turned their collective brainpower to shrinking down that logic board even further and being a little more inventive with the placement of the rest of the device’s core components, there’s no reason why they couldn’t squeeze a few more milliampere-hours in there. If the 5S could get even close to the Moto X’s much-touted 24-hour battery then we’d consider it a no-brainer of an upgrade.

2. Wireless charging

We can understand Apple’s reluctance to get involved with the world of wireless charging – it’s still a relatively young technology and it still doesn’t quite come close to the efficiency of wired charging, but even the any-which-way-you-like Lightning connector doesn’t take away from the fact that wired charging tethers your phone to a physical location and adds an extra second or two to the time it takes to pick up the phone, take it off charge and exit a room full of people when an all-important call comes in. We’d put Apple down as the kind of people who, if they did go down the wireless charging route, would adopt their own, proprietary  standard that improves the technology tenfold and we’d be okay with that. While you’re waiting though, Apple, how about you adopt the Qi standard and we could get going right now? No? Oh. Okay then.

3. NFC

Wait! Come back! We’re serious. Passbook isn’t so hot right now, but we could see where you were going with it, Apple. How about you give up the dream of tickets and loyalty cards on the iPhone and replace that whole system with NFC? What’s quicker than waiting for your iPhone to recognise you’ve entered Starbucks, juggling your keys and wallet while you bring up your loyalty card and reluctantly handing it over to a Barista with flat white all over their hands to scan in? Tapping your phone on the top of the counter. What’s easier than trying to show a cinema ticket in the dark and temporarily blinding them with your 100% screen brightness? Tapping your phone on a point near the door that confirms you bought a ticket.

4. AMOLED display

Again, here us out on this one. AMOLED displays might have some issues with over-saturation and Apple might still be right in pushing down the IPS route instead, but they do have one cool and useful advantage – the ability to light up individual pixels. It might sound a little counter-productive to only light up half or even a quarter of your iPhone’s display, but what if Apple used the technology in the same way that the Moto X has? To give you instant notifications without having to power the entire display or have you unlock your phone. For starters, this would probably go some way to aiding wish no.1 and conserving battery power for more important applications like Angry Birds Space, but it’d also be a vast improvement on the current system which displays a lot of information to consume in the space of a quick glance.

5. A smarter Siri

Siri is impressive, but put her alongside Google’s own voice search, and she suddenly becomes prehistoric in her comprehension. While natural language processing could be a little faster and more accurate, that’s not the biggest of Siri’s problems. What both voice-activated assistants fail to do is tap into the phone’s key features too well, nor interact with third-party apps. Third-party app interaction might take a little work, especially when it comes to integrating Siri APIs and routing requests through developer’s own servers, but there’s no denying that the end-user experience would be incredible. It’d bridge that huge gap of third-party app integration with native iOS nicely and who doesn’t want that?