What I want in iPhone 14: new design tweaks, USB-C and MorI

The iPhone 13 and 13 Pro sit between the best phones you can buy in 2022, thanks to the line-up’s outstanding all-round performance and camera skills. But Apple could increase the specs and maybe change the look of the iPhone later this year. Rumor has it that Apple’s iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro are on their way with a few possible design and camera updates (maybe even an improved selfie camera

While Apple’s next iPhone will almost certainly debut this fall (here’s everything you need to know about the rumours Publication dateprice and new design), I thought it was worth writing my wish list early to give Apple the time it needs to put all my ideas into action. Because that’s how it works, right?

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

No notch on iPhone 14

the notch. It has to go. Yes, it served its purpose, housing like the front camera and the various scanners that let you unlock your phone just by looking at it. And while the notch is slightly smaller on the iPhone 13, it’s still a big chunk of screen that’s been cropped out. So it’s time for a better solution that really makes that screen shine.

Perhaps Apple could perfect under-screen cameras out there, but are essentially invisible. We already saw that on ZTE and Vivo phones, but the technology is far from perfect. Then there’s the weird pop-up selfie cameras on some Oppo phones that pop out from the top edge, leaving the screen unbroken.

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

The notch has stayed longer than welcome.

Sarah Tew/CNET

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

Read more: iPhone 14 could kill the notch, but only for the Pro

In-screen fingerprint scanner and Face ID

Speaking of things hidden in the screen, let’s also put a fingerprint scanner under it. Apple’s Face ID works well for the most part, or at least it did before the pandemic hit. Wearing masks in public is much more common than before the pandemic and before the release of iOS 15.4 in March, face unlock just wouldn’t work without pairing with an Apple Watch as well. Though 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 Scanner

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

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

On-screen scanning technology is common these days, with affordable phones from OnePlus hiding scanners invisibly in their phones display and I find they work almost as well as physical scanners that once sat on the back or side of the phone. It’s not a step backwards to adopt this technology — it would just recognize that the world might need a different solution than we had before — which can be said of so many things.

A larger zoom and larger sensor for the iPhone 14 . camera

The iPhone 13 Pro camera is fantastic, taking beautiful photos in daylight and taking clear, sharp 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 of course 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 Ultraa whopping 10x zoom. Zoom lenses are excellent tools for finding interesting compositions in your environment, getting a closer look at those details that would be lost if you shot with a wide-angle lens. Even the 4x zoom on Google’s new Pixel 6 Pro was enough of a jump to allow for more telephoto-like images.

Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra test image

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

Patrick Holland/CNET

But while we’re in front of the camera, I’m always curious about overall quality improvements. So let’s put in an even bigger image sensor too – maybe a 1-inch size like we’ve seen on Sony’s recent Xperia Pro I, or darn it, let’s go APS-C or full-frame, if we’re dreaming. The bigger the sensor, the better the overall image quality, and with each generation of camera upgrades we’ve had, I don’t have to carry my camera with me as much.

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

iPhone 13 and two Google Pixel phones

The iPhone is the only one of these three that doesn’t use USB-C.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

Charging via USB-C to replace Lightning

Apple has used USB-C for almost all of its products, from the iPads to the MacBooks to the AirPods. The iPhone still uses Apple’s old Lightning port, making it the only device on my desk that requires a different cable to charge it. All my Android review phones, my tablets, and even my mouse and keyboard plug into my USB-C power cables, and the iPhone feels a bit outdated as a result.

But Apple has always had its own ways of charging. When everyone was using Micro-USB, Apple had solid 32 pin connector first seen on ipod and that was annoying too. So expecting Apple to get in line with the rest of the industry feels about as likely as asking giraffes to maybe have a shorter neck like the rest of us, okay? You too, swans. Donkeys, you’re all right, you’ve got enough going on.

But what I don’t want is for Apple to completely remove the port, which was rumored when it launched MagSafe charging. Because then I need a special charging cable. Plus 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. Thank you. In the meantime, at least I can use it USB-C to Lightning Cable to get at least half the convenience I’m looking for.

huawei-mate-x-galaxy-fold-comparison-8

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

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

A foldable iPhone 14

Foldable phones are the biggest physical design revolution we’ve seen in phones since 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 really offer a compelling reason to take advantage of that fold.

But Apple has quite the track record of taking an existing innovation and actually finding a way to make it work well enough to have 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 foldable phones. They’re fun and allow a big screen that’s great for videos and photo editing to fold in half and be much more pocket-friendly.

So I’d love to see how Apple tackles these kinds of devices and what the team would do with a product that’s halfway between an iPhone and an iPad. Maybe not like the nothing but phone it launches, but perhaps as an extra, called the iPhone 14 Fold which sits above the iPhone 14 Pro. And although there are only a few foldable iPhone rumors to suggest this will ever be real, I’d put good money into a working Apple foldable phone concept that’s now sitting somewhere deep in the 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 these are my top five things I’d like to see from the iPhone 14. Some are more believable than others, but who knows where the rumors will point in the coming months.

For more, view all iPhone 14 rumors we’ve heard so far, be inclusive Publication date and price† You can also check out the best features in iOS 15.5† In addition, we break the best iPhones you can buy right now