So in case you haven’t read about it here, here, here and here…the new iPhone 7 “might” do away with the protruding camera that many disliked about the previous 2 generations. But that’s not all, those ugly antenna bands around back, which most of you don’t see anyway due to the case you have on your iPhone, “might” be changing as well. The newest iPhone 7 rumors and posts are rolling in and while these two possible changes to the phone are notable, they’re hardly anything to get so giddy about. Not when there are many other things Apple should be doing to change the user experience on the iPhone.
With slumping iPhone sales that even Tim Cook admits will probably continue, Apple’s focus should be on improving the UX and UI of the iPhone. Yes, the camera hump going away would be nice and hiding the antenna bands around back better will also be welcome. But let’s not stop there. Apple’s 5.5″ screen is in a bigger chassis than some larger screen Android phones sometimes making the 6s Plus unmanageable. Shaving some real estate off the top and bottom would be a huge improvement to hardware usability. Perhaps integrating the fingerprint scanner/home button into the software for onscreen control is an option? Or maybe making that finerprint scanner/home button smaller? Either way, there is some play at the top and bottom of the current design to tighten up the iPhone’s large chassis.
But even beyond the exterior design of the iPhone, Apple’s main focus should be on iOS itself. There’s a lot to love about iOS, it works smoothly, it gets updates consistently and apps are amazing. The one thing it lacks and has been my complaint for the longest is even the most basics of customability. I don’t expect Apple to jump on board the Android deep customization bandwagon but even the smallest thing like an open homescreen grid with onscreen widgets would be a huge first step. Allowing the user to place icons on the grid where they choose to and bringing widgets from their current hidden (pull down) space would be two features I think would help reinvigorate iOS. Basically please give the user a little more control over what they see on their homescreens Apple. It could even be an option in settings if that’s what it takes, an on/off switch of sorts. Just allowing the option of a more customized experience, I think, would be a huge leap.
So while a flush camera and moving antenna bands is great, maybe we should wait to get excited when we see real significant UI changes to the iPhone 7. Because taking a turd out of a box and putting it in a nicer box, doesn’t change the fact that it’s still a turd.