The Apple iPhone 13 series was made official earlier this week and the new devices brought a number of improvements including the newer A15 Bionic chip, a smaller notch and many camera functions.
However, if you had been following iPhone 13 leaks and rumours, you know that Apple also failed to include a number of features on the iPhone 13 Series that frankly, should have been a part of the lineup by now. These aren’t necessarily comparisons drawn to an Android device by Samsung and OnePlus, but functionalities that would have further improved the usability of the new series even more.
The iPhone screens have had a notch since years, dating as far back as the iPhone X. However, unlike the Android side of the world, the design of the notch on the iPhone hasn’t really seen any major breakthroughs so far. The iPhone 13 was expected to be the first iPhone to drop the notch, something that has become extinct outside Apple’s iPhone series.
However, we got to see a smaller notch. It is horizontally smaller, but remains a centre-aligned intrusion along the top edge of the screen, interrupting what is otherwise a uniformly thin-bezel design across the phone. We understand that Apple needs to include its Face ID scanners but the design also needs to keep up with the times, doesn’t it?
Apple dropped the fingerprint scanner via Touch ID back with the iPhone 8 series and the tech is now only seen on the iPhone SE series and the brand’s tablets. However with the introduction of OLED panels on iPhones in recent years, Apple was expected to switch to in-display Touch ID, which would have also perhaps gotten rid of the notch on top.
The feature remains to be a contender for next year’s iPhone lineup, suggest rumours. However, that point in time is a year away and the change is still not a confirmed one.
With the introduction of OLED panels across the iPhones, Always-On-Display should have been a part of the iPhone 13 series. Sadly enough, it isn’t. While the feature, which by the way, is a part of the brand’s recent Apple Watch lineup, is a major battery killer, it is also handy to those who could use it, while those who don’t can simply turn it off.
Further, with the major bump in battery life that the iPhone 13 has over the iPhone 12 (over 2 hours, if we take Apple’s word for it), the addition of an Always-On-Display now would have made perfect sense.
Apple’s multi-device ecosystem is on point, making it one of the company’s biggest strengths. However, the brand falls short on this aspect in one key region which is cables. Apart from the fact that the iPhones do not ship with a charger anymore, the smartphones also still rely on the lightning connection, instead of the almost universal USB-C.
This is sad because USB-C is something that pretty much all phone brands and even Apple’s own iPad lineup has incorporated. Unfortunately for many, this still means that if you carry an iPhone along with say a tablet, a pair of earbuds and other accessories, you may still find yourself carrying multiple charging cables.
Apple’s Center Stage feature is nothing short of awesome. This is exactly why it is sad to not see it as a part of the iPhone 13 series. With the new A15 Bionic chip’s processing prowess, which is capable of feats like Apple’s Cinematic Mode video, an addition like Center Stage should be easy for the iPhone 13 series. We can only hope the feature comes along later as an update or at least is a part of the next iPhone.
Faster methods of wireless charging, which are almost or just as fast as wired charging are becoming a growing reality in flagship Android devices. However, the iPhone 13 series is stuck with 7.5W charging. If you have a MagSafe wireless charger, you can bump that number up to 15W, but that is still not a figure to be too proud of.
Speaking of wireless charging, reverse wireless charging should also have been a part of the new iPhone series, given that the brand’s accessories like the Apple Watch and the AirPods support wireless charging and could need an emergency top up once a while.Unfortunately, we don’t have that either.
There are a number of other smaller features that we could have expected in the iPhone 13 series. These include essentials like manual refresh rate control and ambitious expectations like support for the Apple Pencil, Wi-Fi 6e and the rumoured satellite connectivity for emergencies. It remains to be seen if some of these features make it to next year’s iteration of the iPhone.