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The iPhone 5: Five features we want to see

The top five features we expect, and hope, to see when the iPhone 5 is announced by Apple on Wednesday

As we all know, the iPhone 5 will finally be announced in two days by Apple at the Yerba Buena Center in San Fransisco, but while there have been a lot of rumours and ‘leaks’ of new features, design and hardware, nothing is known for sure. Still, with just a few hours until the event kicks off, we’ve put together a list of our most-wanted features, some of which are already expected to be announced on Wednesday. We’ll be live-tweeting the event, as well as blogging it right here on iCreateMagazine.com, so tune in again on Wednesday at 10am PST/1pm EST/6pm GMT for all the details on the latest Apple iPhone.

1. Better Camera

We want to see real improvements in the iPhone 5 camera

While the main selling point of the iPhone 4S came in the form of Siri’s voice recognition capabilities, it also featured a rather excellent 8MP camera. Still, a year has passed and technology has advanced once again; while the 4S’s camera is still excellent compared to most smartphones, the latest models from Samsung and Nokia have not only equaled it, in many situations it’s actually beaten the iPhone for quality shots in a range of lighting conditions.

We want to see a brand new camera system in the iPhone 5, with serious quality improvements from both the front and rear-facing cameras. While the camera on the back of the 4S is great, the front-facing camera is still incredibly limited by what it can do. If Apple can manage 5 MP in the latest iPad, they should be able to add at least 3 to the front-facing FaceTime camera. Plus, with more and more people using their iPhones as their primary camera, improving the quality of shots could be a big selling point for Apple.

2. NFC Payments

It’s been rumoured for some time that Apple would include NFC (near-field communication) technology in the latest iPhone to enable fast payments in shops. Currently only a very small number of handsets include the technology, which allows you to literally swipe your handset over a machine to pay for what you’re buying, and with ever with a new iPhone, the technology was expected to push the iPhone to the front of the game.

Of course, Apple have already announced Passbook, an app that allows you to add store cards, vouchers and more to your phone so you can access them with a tap. Some of these cards, such as that from Starbucks, includes a barcode that you will be able to swipe to pay for your coffee quickly. This isn’t technically NFC, but it’s one step closer to simpler payments.

Sadly, it doesn’t look like we should expect NFC in the iPhone 5 – leaked circuitry suggests that the required chip isn’t included on the motherboard – but whether this is a cunning ploy from Apple we will have to wait and see. We would love to see NFC on the iPhone, not only because it would be another technology that Apple could bring into the limelight, but because it seems so incredibly useful when it comes to shopping.

3. Taller, thinner, lighter

This is the standard desire for any new launch of an Apple device. We want it to be bigger and better, while remaining small and light enough to carry around easily. Thankfully, it seems like Apple are doing exactly that with the iPhone 5; a huge number of leaked parts have allowed some bloggers to put together almost an entire iPhone. As far as we know, the iPhone 5 is going to have a 4-inch screen, but while most expected this to be a simple increase in both width and height, Apple have maintained the width of the iPhone 4S’s screen and simply pushed up the height of the display. The result is a taller iPhone that you will still be able to reach across with one thumb, but which offers extra viewing space.

It’s going to be thinner, too; the case designs look to shave a millimeter or two off the already-tiny iPhone 4S’s design. While that might not sound like a lot, the difference will feel huge when you hold the iPhone in your hand. The rear of the iPhone is expected to see a redesign, too, with a two-tone design that promises to look extremely slick. While many said it would be difficult for Apple to improve on the iPhone 4S’s design, they may have done just that with the iPhone 5

4. Speed boost

We all know that the iPhone 4S is pretty fast when it comes to loading up content and running apps, but with Android devices getting faster processors and graphics chips all the time, the iPhone 5 has to do something to keep up. If we don’t see the launch of an A6 chip tomorrow, we’re going to be disappointed. The 4S currently uses an A5 chip, while the new iPad sports the slightly faster A5X chip, so we can expect at least a small speed boost for the iPhone 5, but the iPhone needs to push beyond the iPad if it wants to seriously beat hard-hitters like the Samsung Galaxy S III.

5. 4G LTE worldwide

With Everything Everywhere launching a 4G network in the UK within a few weeks, and most of the US already having access to 4G speeds, we expect the iPhone 5 to offer the high-speed network worldwide when it is announced tomorrow. Some are suggesting that while the iPhone 5 will feature 4G, it might not be accessible in the UK and some other countries, which would be a huge kick in the teeth for smartphone users based in Britain.

Of course, 4G is a huge part of the advertising campaigns for a lot of smartphones today, and you can be sure that with 4G networks hitting the UK, new models released in the next few months will be clamouring to show they include the technology. Apple have the chance to beat a lot of players to the punch, and so we’ll be keeping our fingers crossed over the next few months.

 

If you want to stay up to date with what Apple announces tomorrow, check back here for our liveblog of the event, or keep your eyes glued to our Twitter feed, where will be reporting the goings-on at the Yerba Buena center in San Fransisco. The Keynote kicks off at 10am PST/1pm EST/6pm GMT, so make sure you’re ready to go.

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