iPhone 6s: The Only Thing That’s Changed Is Everything I Don't Really Care About

I will probably upgrade to the iPhone 6s, but not for the reasons you might think. Yes, Apple claims "The only thing that’s changed is everything" and that's true. Almost every element of the iPhone 6 has been enhanced. The metal is stronger. The screen has 3D Touch. The camera is a big improvement. The processor is faster, as are the graphics and networking. If your job was to repair iPhones, there are almost no components from the older iPhone 6 that could be reused in the iPhone 6s. It is entirely new. Everything has indeed changed. Apple has a valid point and it is also trying to head off the inevitable "nothing's changed" criticism that comes with any "s" model.

But very few of those new features matter to me. The camera was already pretty darn good. Heck, "Shot on iPhone" was a major Apple ad campaign and that was with the old camera! Adding 50 percent more megapixels also adds more storage requirements, so I'm not looking forward to that. At least Apple dropped the price of iCloud storage, but they're still offering a 16 GB iPhone which was already impractical. With photos consuming more space, not to mention 4K videos, 64 GB is the smallest configuration I'd consider.

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Camera app

So what would make me line up for the next iPhone? I would like to see one or more of the following:

  1. Wireless charging. Apple already does this with the Apple Watch. I don't need a thinner iPhone. Use the extra space for a wireless adapter, Apple.
  2. Bettery battery life. I often have my iPhone 6 in a battery case, especially on trips or during trade shows when I won't be near an outlet. The iPhone is thin enough.
  3. Less bezel. The size and placement of the Touch ID fingerprint sensor and home button are kind of limiting. Unfortunately Apple is somewhat stuck with that design. I'd like to see Apple keep the screen size but shrink the space used above and below the touchscreen, as many Android phones have done. The same screen size, but a more pocketable form factor would be ideal.
  4. Waterproofing. Apple has done a good job making the Apple Watch water resistant, and there are several Android phones that are truly waterproof. There are technologies to make this happen. If Apple could eliminate the headphone and Lightning ports, and do everything wirelessly, including charging, then this could be achieved.
  5. USB-C port. I've invested a lot in Lightning cables and docks, but now that Android devices are moving to USB Type C and Apple has embraced it with their new MacBook, this reversible, multipurpose, high-speed standard is the port of the future. It's just a matter of time before all Apple products switch over.
  6. As long as I'm making a wish list, removable storage and batteries would be great, but Apple will never do this. It can charge a $100 premium when you move to the next memory size, which is a lot higher than the real cost of memory. Even its MacBooks have moved to non-removable memory and batteries.
  7. More durable screen: I see so many iPhones (and to be fair, Androids) with cracked screens. A broken screen reflects poorly (literally) on the device and on Apple. That's another reason my iPhone is always in a case, sometimes with a screen protector. Maybe it's part of an effort to sell more iPhones or AppleCare+ subscriptions, but this is the next innovation that Apple needs to address, more than anything else.

iPhone 6s

So why will I upgrade? Because I'm eligible for a subsidized upgrade, and AT&T and other carriers are doing their best to eliminate subsidies for two-year contracts. I would not be surprised if, next year at this time, the subsidized pricing is simply not available. Since an iPhone is a lot less useful without service, I don't mind signing a contract. Given that, it would be foolish to not take advantage of the subsidized upgrade. I could always sell my current 64 GB iPhone 6 for the subsidized price or more of a new iPhone 6s, or more likely hand it down to a family member. Plus, as an app developer (and writer for iPhone Life magazine) it's wise to have the latest and greatest to be able to test apps and accessories. But, please, Apple. Next time, don't just change everything. Change the important things.

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Author Details

Todd Bernhard's picture

Author Details

Todd Bernhard

Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.