What I want in iPhone 14: New design tweaks, USB-C and more

The iPhone 13 and 13 Pro sit among the best phones you can buy in 2022, thanks to the range’s superb overall performance and camera skills. But, Apple could increase the specs and possibly change the look of the iPhone later this year. Rumor has it that Apple iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro are on the way with some possibilities camera design and updates (perhaps even an improved selfie camera).

Although Apple’s next iPhone certainly won’t debut until this fall (here’s everything you need to know about its rumored release date, the price and new design), I thought it was worth having my wishlist early to give Apple the time it needed to put all my ideas into action. Because that’s how it works, right?

In no particular order, here are my top hopes for the iPhone 14.

No notch on the iPhone 14

The notch. It has to go. Yes, it served its purpose, housing as it does the front camera and various scanners to let you unlock your phone just by looking at it. And while the the notch has become slightly smaller on the iPhone 13, it’s always a large piece of the screen that is cut off. So it’s time for a better solution that lets this screen really shine.

Maybe Apple could perfect the under-display cameras that are there but essentially invisible. We’ve seen this before on phones from ZTE and Vivo, but the technology is far from perfect. Then there are the weird pop-up selfie cameras seen on some Oppo phones that pop out from the top edge, keeping the display uninterrupted.

Close up of iPhone 13 Pro Max screen

The notch overstayed its welcome.

Sarah Tew/CNET

I’d even compromise with a simple punch-hole solution, filling the front with the screen but just making a few less obtrusive little holes for the cameras to peek through.

Read more: iPhone 14 might kill the notch, but only for pros

In-screen fingerprint scanner plus Face ID

Speaking of things hidden in the screen, let’s also place a fingerprint scanner underneath. Apple’s Face ID works fine for the most part, or at least before the pandemic hit. Wearing masks in public is a much more common phenomenon than it was before the pandemic and before the publication of iOS 15.4 back in March, face unlock just didn’t work without also pairing with an Apple Watch. Although you can now unlock your iPhone while wearing a mask Thanks to the iOS update, I think Apple should still bring back fingerprint scanning.

OnePlus Nord CE fingerprint reader

Even on the affordable OnePlus Nord CE, you’ll find a fingerprint scanner hidden under the display.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

In-screen scanning technology is now commonplace with OnePlus’ affordable phones invisibly hiding scanners within the screen of their phones and I find they work about as well as the physical scanners that once were on the back or side of the phone. It’s not a step backward to install this technology — it would just be an acknowledgment that perhaps the world needs a different solution than what we had before — which can be said of so many things .

Bigger zoom and bigger sensor for the iPhone 14 camera

The iPhone 13 Pro’s camera is superb, taking great pictures in daylight and capturing bright, crisp photos in the middle of the night. It’s one of the best cameras you can find on a phone, but I am a photographerso naturally I will demand more.

The main thing I want here is a bigger zoom. Yes, Apple has increased the zoom level to 3x with the iPhone 13 Probut that still pales in comparison to the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultrais a whopping 10x zoom. Zoom lenses are great tools for finding interesting compositions in your surroundings, for getting closer to those details that would simply be lost if you were shooting with a wide-angle lens. Even the 4x zoom on the new Google Pixel 6 Pro was enough of a jump to allow for more telephoto style images.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra test image

Captured with the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra, which also has 10x zoom, it’s clear to see how beneficial it can be to have a longer zoom option.

Patrick Holland/CNET

But while we’re on camera, I’m still keen to see overall quality improvements. So let’s also apply an even larger image sensor – perhaps a 1-inch size as we saw on Sony’s recent Xperia Pro I, or heck, let’s go APS-C or full-frame, if we let’s dream. The larger the sensor, the better the overall image quality, and with each generation of camera upgrades, the less I need to take my camera with me.

Maybe with the iPhone 14 I can just sell my DSLR and just shoot on my phone.

iPhone 13 and two Google Pixel phones

The iPhone is the only one of these three that does not use USB-C.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

USB-C charging to replace Lightning

Apple has embraced USB-C for nearly all of its products, from iPads to MacBooks to AirPods. The iPhone still uses Apple’s old Lightning port, making it the only device on my desk that I need to find a different cable when I want to charge it. All of my Android review phones, tablets, and even my mouse and keyboard plug into my USB-C power cables and so the iPhone feels somewhat outdated.

But Apple has always had its own charging methods. When Everyone Was Using Micro-USB, Apple Had This solid 32-pin connector seen for the first time on the iPod and it was painful too. So expecting Apple to line up with the rest of the industry seems about as likely as asking the giraffes to maybe try to have shorter necks like the rest of us, d ‘OK ? You too, swans. Donkeys, you’re fine, you’ve had enough.

But what I don’t want is for Apple to remove the port entirely, which was said when launching MagSafe charging. Because then I still need a dedicated charging cable. Additionally, MagSafe charges slower than the Lightning cable and does not currently support data transfer. See, that wouldn’t work. So it’s USB-C. Thanks. In the meantime, I can at least use any USB-C to Lightning cable to get at least half the convenience I’m looking for.


Foldable phones are great for fitting a large screen into a smaller body.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

A foldable iPhone 14

Foldable phones have been the biggest physical design revolution we’ve seen in phones since the advent of the smartphone. But they haven’t really caught on – maybe because of their high prices, but also maybe because they just don’t offer a compelling reason to use this trick.

But Apple has proven itself by taking an existing innovation and finding a way to make it work well enough to impact our lives. Apple didn’t invent tablets, but the iPad was the first to show how useful they can be, and now it’s the only tablet that matters. And I love foldable phones. They’re fun and allow a large screen that’s great for videos and photo editing to fold in half and be much more user-friendly.

So I would like to see Apple’s vision on this kind of device and see what its team would do with a product halfway between an iPhone and an iPad. Maybe not like only phone it’s launching, but possibly as an additional phone, called the iPhone 14 Fold which sits on top of the iPhone 14 Pro. And although there are only a few foldable iPhone rumors to suggest that this will never be a real thing, I’d put a lot of money on an Apple foldable concept phone that’s working somewhere right now deep in its research labs on this spaceship campus.

iPhone 13 Pro

The iPhone 13 Pro is one of the best phones you can buy right now.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

But those are my top five things I’d like to see from the iPhone 14. Some of them are more believable than others, but who knows what the rumors will indicate over the next few months.

For more information, see all iPhone 14 rumors we’ve heard so far, including his release date and the price. You can also check out the best features of iOS 15.5. Additionally, we decompose the best iPhones you can buy right now.

About Roberto Frank

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