What I Want in iPhone 14: New Design Tweaks, USB-C, and MorI

O iPhone 13 and 13Pro sit between the best phones you can buy in 2022, thanks to the line’s excellent overall performance and camera skills. But, Apple could be upping the specs and maybe changing the look of the iPhone later this year. There are rumors that Apple iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro are on their way with some possible design and camera updates (maybe even an updated selfie camera).

While Apple’s next iPhone will almost certainly not be released until this fall (here’s everything you should know about its rumors release date of, price and New design), I thought it was worth anticipating my wish list to give Apple the time to put all my ideas into action. Because that’s how it works, right?

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

No notch on iPhone 14

The notch. Gotta go. Yes, it served its purpose, housing the front camera and the various scanners to let you unlock your phone just by looking at it. And while the the notch got a little smaller on the iPhone 13, there is still a large chunk of screen cut off. So it’s time for a better solution that lets the screen really shine.

Perhaps Apple could perfect the under-display cameras that are there but essentially invisible. We’ve already seen this on phones from ZTE and Vivo, but the technology is far from perfect. Then there’s the weird pop-up selfie cameras seen on some Oppo phones that pop up from the top edge, keeping the screen intact.

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

The notch surpassed its welcome.

Sarah Tew/CNET

I would even commit to a simple punch-hole solution, filling the front with the screen, but only opening a few small, less obtrusive holes for the cameras to peek through.

See More information: iPhone 14 might kill the notch, but only for the pro

On-screen fingerprint reader as well as Face ID

Speaking of hidden things on the screen, let’s put a fingerprint scanner down there too. Apple’s Face ID works fine for the most part, or at least it did before the pandemic. Wearing masks in public is a much more common occurrence than before the pandemic and before the release of iOS 15.4 back in March, face unlock simply didn’t work without also pairing with an Apple Watch. although now you can unlock your iPhone using a mask thanks to the iOS update, I think Apple has yet to bring back fingerprint scanning.

OnePlus Nord CE fingerprint reader

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

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

On-screen scanning technology is commonplace now, with affordable phones from OnePlus invisibly hiding the scanners on the screen of their phones and I think they work pretty much as well as the physical scanners that were already on the back or side of the phone. It’s not a step backwards to put this technology in – it would simply be recognizing that maybe the world needs a different solution than 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’s camera is excellent, taking beautiful images in daylight and capturing crisp, bright photos in the middle of the night. It’s one of the best cameras you can find on a phone, but I’m a photographerso naturally I will demand more.

The main thing I want here is a bigger zoom. Yes, Apple has increased the zoom level to 3x with the iPhone 13Probut that still pales against the Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra‘s huge 10x zoom. Zoom lenses are excellent tools for finding interesting compositions in your environment, for getting closer to details that would simply be lost if you took the picture with a wide-angle lens. Up to 4x zoom on the new Google Pixel 6 Pro it was a big enough jump to allow for more telephoto-style 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 there can be to having a longer zoom option.

Patrick Holland/CNET

But while we’re on camera, I’m always looking forward to seeing general improvements in quality. So let’s also put an even bigger image sensor in there – maybe a 1-inch size, as we saw in Sony’s recent Xperia Pro I, or hell, 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, the less I need to take my camera with me.

Maybe with the iPhone 14 I can sell my DSLR and just shoot 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

USB-C charging to replace Lightning

Apple has adopted USB-C for almost all of its products now, from iPads to MacBooks and AirPods. The iPhone still uses the legacy Apple Lightning port, which makes it the only device on my desk that I need to find a different cable for when I want 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 looks a little outdated as a result.

But Apple has always had its own ways of charging. When everyone was using Micro-USB, Apple had this massive 32 pin connector first seen on iPod and that was a pain too. So expecting Apple to align itself with the rest of the industry seems 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 completely remove the port, which was rumored when it launched MagSafe loading. Because then, I still need a dedicated charging cable. Also, MagSafe charges slower than Lightning cable and currently does not support data transfer. See, it wouldn’t work. So USB-C is. Thanks. In the meantime, at least I can make use of any USB-C to Lightning Cable to get at least half of the convenience I’m looking for.


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

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

A foldable iPhone 14

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

But Apple has a decent 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 that really showed how useful they can be, and now it’s basically the only tablet that matters. And I like folding phones. They’re fun and allow a big screen, great for video and photo editing, to fold in half and be much more pocket-friendly.

So I’d love to see Apple’s take on this genre of device and see what their team would do with a product that’s halfway between an iPhone and an iPad. maybe not like the only phone that it launches, but perhaps as an add-on, called the iPhone 14 Fold which sits above the iPhone 14 Pro. And while there are only a few foldable iPhone rumors to suggest that this is going to be a real thing, I would invest good money in a folding phone concept from Apple that is somewhere now in the back of its research labs on the spacecraft campus.

iPhone 13Pro

The iPhone 13 Pro is one of the top phones you can buy right now.

Andrew Lanxon/CNET

But those are my top five things I’d like to see in the iPhone 14. Some of them are more believable than others, but who knows what the rumors will point to in the coming months.

To learn more, check out all iPhone 14 rumors heard so far, including your release date of and price. You can also take a look at the best resources at iOS 15.5. In addition, we separate best iPhones you can buy right now.

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