The iPhone 15 Features I Really Hope Apple Delivers

The iPhone 15 Features I Really Hope Apple Delivers

With the iPhone 14Apple gave us many of the updates we’ve been waiting for, especially in the professional models. Such features include an always-on display to show the time at a glance and better multitasking through Dynamic Island.

But there are a few ways I expect Apple to take things further with the iPhone 15. For example, the company could do a better job of bringing certain Pro-exclusive features to its less expensive iPhone models. Samsung frequently does this with its cheaper phones, and I’d like to see Apple adopt this approach more fully as well. the dynamic island it also promises a lot, but Apple could make it an even more integral part of the iPhone experience.

Apple typically announces its new iPhones in September and launches them soon after. This is what I expect to see from the iPhone 15 next year.


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USB-C charging

The iPhone 13, looking at its Lightning charging port

The iPhone still needs a Lightning cable to charge, but that may not be the case for long.

Sarah Tew/CNET

The Lightning connector has been about 10 years, and it’s time for a change. With so many Apple products switching to USB-C, there’s never been a greater need for one charger to power all your devices. Apple currently has four different types of chargers on the market: Lightning (for iPhones, 2021 iPads, AirPods, and some other accessories), USB-C (for most new iPads and MacBooks), MagSafe (the wireless magnetic charger for iPhones ) and MagSafe 3 (the magnetic charger for the 2022 MacBook Air, 14-inch MacBook Pro, and 2021 16-inch MacBook Pro).

Make new iPhones compatible with USB-C instead of Lightning it means you could use the same cable to charge your new phone, the Mac, and the new iPads. It’s very likely that most of your other electronic devices use USB-C as well.

The good news is that a USB-C iPhone may not be too far off. Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing, confirmed that the company comply with the mandate of the European Union that all phones sold in the region would need to have a USB-C charging port. He made the comments during an interview on the Wall Street Journal Live Tech conference. Apple has also Tested USB-C iPhonesaccording to Bloomberg.

However, Apple has not revealed any details about its plans. We don’t know if Apple will start making the switch to USB-C with the iPhone 15 or if it will wait until next year, as the new rules require USB-C by the end of 2024. Apple also hasn’t said if USB-C will reach everyone. iPhones or just European models, though analysts expect Apple to to make a full switch to USB-C.

Higher refresh rates on the regular iPhone 15

An iPhone 14 with a rainbow background on the screen on a blue background

The iPhone 14 Pro (pictured) has ProMotion, but the regular iPhone 14 doesn’t.

James Martin/CNET

Starting with last year’s iPhone 13 Pro, Apple added higher refresh rates to the screens of their premium smartphones. The iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max have a feature Apple calls ProMotion, which can increase the screen’s refresh rate up to 120Hz, depending on what’s being displayed. This results in smoother scrolling and smoother animations.

It’s a small touch, but one that makes the experience feel more pleasant, as my colleague Patrick Holland wrote in his iPhone 13 Pro review. While having a high refresh rate is not a deal breaker, it has become standard on most smartphones. $599 from Google pixel 7 it has a 90Hz refresh rate and $800 from Samsung Galaxy S22 includes a 120Hz refresh rate, for example. Even the $450 Galaxy A53 5G it has a 120Hz screen, which makes its absence from the $799 iPhone 14 feel even more noticeable.

More features using the dynamic island

iPhone 14 Pro dynamic island

The dynamic island of the iPhone 14 Pro.

James Martin/CNET

Dynamic Island, which is available only on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max, is essentially a miniature second screen. Rather than ditch the notch, Apple gave that space a new purpose by using it to display information from other apps.

For example, you can see currently playing music, timers, and directions in Maps at the top of the screen, eliminating the need to switch between apps. Dynamic Island makes it easy to multitask on the iPhone 14 Pro, an area where Apple has traditionally lagged behind Samsung and other Android phones that support split-screen apps.

Now that Dynamic Island has proven its worth, I’d like to see Apple do even more with it next year. It would be interesting to see Apple use this space to make proactive suggestions, such as apps that might be useful based on your activity, time of day, or your schedule. Part of Dynamic Island’s usefulness also depends on what application developers choose to do with it. There are already a handful of applications that incorporate Dynamic Island, such as pixel friendswhich essentially looks like a tamagotchi for your iPhone. But I hope to see more practical use cases for Dynamic Island that make it feel like a more critical part of your phone, similar to the iPhone’s home screen widgets.

If Apple expands the functionality of Dynamic Island in the future, there’s a chance you won’t need the iPhone 15 to take advantage of it. Instead, Apple could incorporate new Dynamic Island features in its next major software update, which will likely be called iOS 17.

A smaller notch on the regular iPhone 15

iPhone 14 plus

The iPhone 14 and 14 Plus (pictured) still have a notch.

James Martin/CNET

If Apple isn’t going to bring Dynamic Island to the base iPhone 15, I hope it will at least make the notch less intrusive. The notch hasn’t changed much since it debuted on the iPhone X in 2017, aside from Dynamic Island on the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. Meanwhile, other smartphone makers like Samsung, Google, and OnePlus have found ways to provide edge-to-edge screens on their devices without creating a large notch for the front camera. Reducing the size of the notch would likely result in more screen real estate and a more modern look for the iPhone 15.

If Apple moves in this direction, we may have to wait until iPhone 16 to see it. Ming Chi Kuoa TF International Securities analyst known for his Apple predictions estimates that under-display Face ID and front-facing camera sensors will be available in 2024.

That said, there are good reasons why the iPhone still has a larger notch than many of its competitors. It’s mostly about Face ID, which is more sophisticated than facial recognition systems found on other phones like the Pixel 7, which Google warns shouldn’t be used to authenticate sensitive data like payment information.

Reverse wireless charging

A Samsung phone with a Samsung smartwatch on it

Certain Samsung devices have Wireless PowerShare to charge other devices.

Sarah Tew/CNET

Many Android phones have reverse wireless charging, which is exactly what it sounds like. You can use the back of phones like the Galaxy S22 and Pixel 7 to charge other devices, like a smartwatch or headphones. While it probably won’t be a must-have for most people, I can imagine it will come in handy for avid AirPods users

No one likes being stuck on their morning commute with a dead pair of AirPods. Having the option of getting enough juice to get me through my 30-minute train ride by putting my AirPods on the back of my phone for a few minutes could be a game changer. Yes, you will have to sacrifice some of your phone’s battery. But if you’re traveling to a destination where you’ll be able to easily charge your phone once you arrive, like the office, it might be worth that tradeoff.

The return of Touch ID

The Touch ID sensor on the 2020 iPad Air

iPad Air includes Touch ID on the power button.

Scott Stein/CNET

While Face ID is convenient in many situations, there are cases where using your finger to unlock your phone is more convenient. That’s why I hope Touch ID returns to the iPhone. Maybe you haven’t had time to configure Face ID to work with a mask yet, or maybe you’re just not holding your iPhone at the right angle for Face ID.

Apple clearly sees the value of fingerprint recognition, considering that the top button on the latest standard iPad and iPad Air have Touch ID. Doing the same with the iPhone 15 would add more convenience, giving users the option to use Face ID or Touch ID depending on the situation. Most Android phones have a fingerprint reader and some form of facial recognition, so it would be great to see iPhone users get the same options.

It’s unclear if Apple will bring Touch ID back to the iPhone. While analyst Kuo previously predicted that future iPhones would have an under-display fingerprint sensor, he changed his perspective in March 2022.

The iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max already address many of Apple’s previous smartphone shortcomings. The updates I’m hoping to see in the iPhone 15 may not sound revolutionary, but they’re sure to make everyday tasks like charging and unlocking your phone a little easier.

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