The iPhone 5 should be here tomorrow, and with Apple's press event now less than a day away, I'm caught once again pondering my love/hate relationship with Android.
The relative openness of Ice Cream Sandwich and Jelly Bean just feel right, but would Apple treat me better? It's hard being a self-proclaimed early adopter when I always seem to have to wait for all the newest and coolest apps to hit iOS first, and finally filter through to Android months later. And when I get stuck with an app that loves to force close, I pine for the tighter ships that seem to sail the iOS waters.
The iPhone 4S came very close to luring me away from Google's mobile ecosystem, and the iPhone 5 could be an even bigger evolution that will be hard to resist, but it's going to have to include a few things to get me to ditch Android. Here's my list of demands.
4G LTE is non-negotiable
This was the deal breaker on the iPhone 4S that eventually led me back into the arms of Android and the Moto Droid Razr for my most recent phone purchase. It's crazy not to be able to take advantage of the blazing-fast networks that have been rolling out over the past year. Much like the iPhone itself, or 3G before it, once you've gone long-term evolution (LTE), it's hard to imagine life before it. A new iPhone without it just seems just silly, but not to worry — the odds of an announcement tomorrow that doesn't involve 4G are almost nil — but will it be compatible with Australian networks? That is the question.
A universal charging port or removable storage
This is where Apple and I already start to butt heads. I'm happy it appears that the company will finally be ditching that 30-pin connector that looks like it should be attached to a dot matrix printer, but swapping it out for another proprietary plug is about as useful to me as swapping an 8-track copy of Led Zeppelin's debut album for the Minidisc version. If Apple won't allow me to connect and charge my device via one of the most universal ports around, at least a microSD card slot would be nice for some extra storage and ease of data transfer. But I won't be holding my breath for this announcement tomorrow.
A bigger screen and resolution bump
While some may disagree, I've found that bigger is better when it comes to mobile device screens. So long as I can fit a phone into a pocket, I say super-size it. The rumours of a 4-inch iPhone 5 screen are a great start, but I'd love something approaching 5 inches, similar to the size of the Galaxy triplets — the Note, Nexus and S III. A bump in the iPhone screen resolution would sure be nice to keep pace with the pack as well, and it's something that I think we're likely to see tomorrow.
An Android on-ramp that includes Siri
Call me old-fashioned, but I don't mind being wooed a bit. It would be nice to be given a convenient avenue for merging my life's data, which currently resides pretty exclusively in the Googleverse of services like Gmail, Gcal and so on, into Apple's ecosystem. Working out Siri integration with these apps and Chrome would be a great place to start. Alas, I won't be holding my breath for this one, either.
Another input option, please?
OK, so Apple worries that giving me access to a galaxy of replacement keyboards like Swype (not to mention all the launchers and other custom tweaks available for Android) might make things a bit unstable. But certainly a little innovation in the input area can't be a bad thing. The notion of having to jailbreak an iPhone or being stuck with the stock touchscreen keyboard seems untenable to me.
There's more that I'd like to see in a new iPhone — wireless charging, NFC, an incredible rubber-band electronics option — but I won't push it. These five demands seem pretty reasonable to me for the most valuable publicly traded company in American history to get its head around, but I think the best-case scenario is that the iPhone 5 will deliver on no more than three of them.
Perhaps some new and unanticipated feature unveiled tomorrow will push me to overlook the wonky new connector and seemingly insurmountable walls around Apple's garden, and I'll simply knock on the kingdom gates, cash in hand, for the first time. Until then, I'll likely continue to live life on the Razr's edge, perhaps just one more sketchy app away from making the leap to iOS.
What about you? What do you need to make the switch to an iPhone or upgrade from the one you already have?