Like a carrot on a stick, Apple has trained us to eagerly await a brand-new iPhone every fall. For the better part of a decade, it's wrangled consumers into its product release cycle, enticing us to upgrade with industry-shaping cameras, impressively intuitive features, and shiny rose-colored designs. Thing is, the magic that once had us lining up starry-eyed outside the Apple Store has waned.
Bringing a new and markedly better phone to market every year just isn't sustainable, and it shows. The cost has gone up, but the wow-factor has flatlined. A quick cost-benefit analysis makes it pretty clear that a pricey upgrade isn't worth a few kind-of-cool features. We'd rather just hang on to our old phones, thanks.
So here we are, on the advent of yet another much-hyped release. Will the iPhone 7 have what it takes to finally quell our disillusionment? We've got quite a few grievances, and only Apple can solve them.
1. Do not ditch the iPhone headphone jack
We've all heard the increasingly legitimate rumors regarding Apple's plan to completely remove the 3.5mm headphone jack from the iPhone 7. We the people beg that it reconsiders. While we appreciate the nod to a forward-thinking, innovative design move -- Apple's first in a while, let's be honest -- is the switch to accommodate a bigger battery, or is it just to make our phones thinner? This sacrifice of utility in favor of aesthetics will inconvenience an enormous swatch of consumers who now must pay for a separate product -- expensive wireless headphones that have to be regularly charged -- or carry around a bulky adapter to make our wired headphones compatible. We really, really don't want this.
2. Give us better battery life
OK, here's something we do want. We get that those little lithium-ion power packs are a bit temperamental, but we should be able to get through one day of reasonable phone usage without needing to recharge. We understand that a bigger battery poses some design challenges, so if Apple can't pony up on the 7 -- just like it failed to do with the 6s -- it could at least consider making the battery pack detachable so we can keep a fully charged backup to swap in when needed.
3. Stop insulting us with comically limited storage options
If Apple plans to keep packing the iPhone with kick-ass 4K cameras (or better), it needs to make it humanly possible to store a reasonable number of photos and videos. We're tired of having to purge apps and other media just to update to the latest iOS. A 16GB iPhone? Are you joking? Rumor has it Apple will finally ditch the 16GB altogether and start the entry-level iPhone at 32GB (which isn't that much better). Added bonus if it can engineer a way for users to easily add more storage without getting a brand-new device, much like a modular phone.
4. Make it shatter- and waterproof
Listen, we're not looking for some military-grade tactical smartphone, but it'd be nice to have a screen that doesn't crack when it falls off the bed. Also, can Apple catch up with the times and make the iPhone waterproof so it doesn't turn into a brick after a quick trip in the toilet? C'mon, Samsung figured out how to do this a while ago.
5. Fix your fraying charging cables (or go wireless)
Apple has got to do something about the standard-issue iPhone chargers. The cords simply don't stand up to regular use, and fray like a mofo. Even better, insiders say Apple's working on catching up with the competition and introducing the ability to charge wirelessly. It's about time.
6. Make an even better camera
There was a time when the iPhone camera was the best in the biz, and by a long shot. Times have changed though, and Cupertino is behind the curve. It'd be nice to have some new options, which is why we're particularly pumped about the rumors of the forthcoming dual-lens set-up (which LG and Huawei phones already offer) that would allow us to shoot top-notch photos in a variety of trying conditions. We'd love to see a new phone with a powerhouse camera to rule them all.
7. Introduce a guest mode
We're tired of those pangs of anxiety that hit us every time we hand over our iPhone to a friend to check out some funny photo or text, wondering whether they'll nosily invade our privacy and discover something they shouldn't have. We've said it before and we'll say it again: there should be a guest mode that can be quickly and slyly enabled before you hand over your device. Seriously, this would be huge.
8. Stop sacrificing our user experience for your "design ethos"
You know why Apple won't fix those faulty charging cables or why it's doing away with the headphone jack for a slimmer profile? Apple's Jobsian "design-first" approach prioritizes the sleek and stylish above all else -- even our own experience with its products. Yes, it's true that the elegantly designed lineup is a big reason why we fell in love with Apple in the first place. But we insist that it find ways to execute new products that seamlessly merge Jony Ive's vision and Steve Jobs' legacy -- while still tackling difficult engineering demands to keep up with users' basic needs. Apple, please don't deny us a functional, quality phone that services our everyday lives in favor of your own design elitism.