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

the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro sit between The best phones you can buy in 2022, thanks to the excellent overall performance and camera skills of the lineup. But, Apple could bump up the specs and maybe change the look of the iPhone later this year. It is rumored that Apple iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro are on their way with some possible design and camera updates (maybe even an improved selfie camera).

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

So, in no particular order, these are my top hopes for the iPhone 14.

No notch on the iPhone 14

the notch has to go. Yes, it served its purpose, housing the front camera and the various scanners to allow you to unlock your phone just by looking at it. And while the the notch got a bit smaller on the iPhone 13, a large portion of the screen is still cut off. So it’s time to find a better solution that allows the screen to really shine.

Perhaps Apple could refine the under-display cameras that are there but essentially invisible. We’ve already seen it 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 up from the top edge, keeping the screen untouched.

Close-up of iPhone 13 Pro Max at the top of the screen

The notch has outgrown its welcome.

Sarah Tew/CNET

I’d even commit to a simple punch-hole solution, filling the front with the screen but just opening a couple of small, less obtrusive holes for the cameras to peek through.

Read more: The iPhone 14 could do away with the notch, but only for the pros

In-display fingerprint scanner and Face ID

Speaking of hidden stuff on the screen, let’s put a fingerprint scanner underneath it too. Apple’s Face ID works fine for the most part, or at least it did before the pandemic hit. The use of masks in public is much more common than before the pandemic and before the launch of iOS 15.4 back in March, face unlock just didn’t work without also pairing it with an Apple Watch. although now you can unlock your iPhone while wearing a skin thanks to the iOS update, I think Apple should still get fingerprint scanning back.

OnePlus Nord CE Fingerprint Scanner

Even in the affordable OnePlus Nord CE you’ll find a fingerprint scanner hidden under the screen.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

In-display scanning technology is common now, with affordable OnePlus phones invisibly hiding scanners on their phones’ screens, and I find they work almost as well as the physical scanners that were once on the back or side of the phone. It is not a step backwards to put this technology, it would simply be to recognize that perhaps the world needs a different solution than the one we had before, which can be said of many things.

A bigger zoom and a bigger sensor for the iPhone 14 camera

The iPhone 13 Pro camera is excellent, taking beautiful pictures in daylight and capturing bright, crisp shots 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’m going to demand more.

The main thing I want here is a bigger zoom. Yes, Apple increased the zoom level to 3x with the iPhone 13 Probut that still pales against the Samsung Galaxy S22 UltraThe huge 10x zoom. Zoom lenses are great tools for finding interesting compositions in your surroundings, to get closer to those details that would simply be lost if you took the photo with a wide angle lens. Even 4x zoom in the new Google Pixel 6 Pro it 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 much benefit there can be to having a longer zoom option.

Patrick Holland/CNET

But while we’re on camera, I’m always interested to see overall improvements in quality. So let’s also put an even bigger image sensor in there, maybe a 1in size as we’ve seen in Sony’s recent Xperia Pro I, or heck, go APS-C or full frame, if we’re dreaming. The larger the sensor, the better the overall image quality, and with each generation of camera upgrades we’ve had, the less I need to carry my camera with me.

Maybe with the iPhone 14 I can sell my DSLR and shoot solely with 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 adopted USB-C for almost all of its products now, from iPads to MacBooks to AirPods. The iPhone still uses Apple’s legacy Lightning port, making it the only device on my desk that I need to find a different cable for when I want to charge it. All of my review Android phones, tablets, and even my mouse and keyboard connect to my USB-C power cables, and the iPhone feels somewhat outdated as a result.

But Apple has always had its own ways of charging. When everyone else used Micro-USB, Apple had that massive 32-pin connector first seen on the ipod and that was a pain too. So waiting for Apple to catch up with the rest of the industry feels about as likely as asking giraffes to maybe try to have shorter necks like the rest of us, okay? You too, swans. Donkeys, you’re fine, you’ve had enough.

But what I don’t want is for Apple to do away with the port altogether, as was rumored when it launched MagSafe charging. Because then, I still need a dedicated charging cable. Also, MagSafe charges slower than the Lightning cable and does not currently support data transfer. You see, it wouldn’t work. So USB-C it is. Thanks. In the meantime, I can at least make use of any USB-C to Lightning cable to get at least half the comfort I seek.


Flip phones are great at making a big screen fit into a smaller body.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

A folding iPhone 14

Flip phones have been the biggest physical design revolution we’ve seen in phones since basically the advent of the smartphone. But they haven’t really caught on, possibly because of their high prices, but also possibly because they just don’t offer a compelling reason to make use of that fold.

But Apple has a decent track record of taking an existing innovation and finding a way to make it work well enough to make an impact on our lives. Apple didn’t invent tablets, but the iPad was the first to really show how useful they can be, and now it’s basically the only tablet that matters. And I like flip phones. They’re fun and allow a large screen, great for video and photo editing, to fold in half and be much easier to carry in your pocket.

So I’d love to see Apple’s version of this type of device and see what their team would do with a product that’s halfway between an iPhone and an iPad. maybe not like him only phone launching, but perhaps as an additional one, called the iPhone 14 Fold that sits on top of the iPhone 14 Pro. And while there are only a few foldable iPhone rumors To suggest this will ever be a real thing, I’d bet good money on a working flip phone concept from Apple sitting somewhere right now in their research labs on that 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 point to in the coming months.

For more information, check out all the iPhone 14 rumors we have heard so far including your release date Y price. You can also take a look at the best features at iOS 15.5. Additionally, we break down the The best iPhones you can buy right now.

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