iPhone XI: How can Apple improve on the iPhone X?

It's the ultimate in iPhone-ness to celebrate the device's 10th anniversary, but we've got some ideas of how to make it better

No one has properly got their hands on an iPhone X yet, but it's already attracting a lot of attention from the Apple faithful (and maybe a few potential Android converts as well). It's certainly an impressive-looking phone, so what does Apple do for a follow up in 2018?

Well, we've got a few ideas about that, should Apple CEO Tim Cook or Chief Design Officer Jony Ive happen to be reading: these are some of the ways Apple can improve on the iPhone X and make its flagship phone even better in time for next year's upgrade cycle.

Bring back Touch ID

Okay, we get it Apple - Face ID is the future of phone unlocking. It's more secure, it's incredibly accurate, it's fast, and so on and so on... but does it work at any angle? While your phone is flat on a desk? Or in your pocket? Will it hold up the queue at the checkout?

There's absolutely nothing wrong with Touch ID, as far as we can see, and we'd love to see the old faithful fingerprint sensing feature make a return by the time the iPhone XI rolls around. Why not have Touch ID and Face ID on the same phone, to give us all the choice?

Remove the notch

Already a divisive design decision from Apple, the notch at the top of the screen is kind of necessary to support all that Face ID magic, but if Apple can find a way to make it vanish behind the screen then it should absolutely take it and give us our clean display lines back.

Not only is the notch an extra headache that app developers don't need, it makes watching videos or browsing websites in landscape mode look just a bit weird - the likes of Samsung and LG manage to do without it, so we're hoping it disappears completely in time for 2018.

Support the Apple Pencil

Look, we all know Steve Jobs' feelings about styluses, but times change and so does technology - in the age of the Apple Pencil there's no reason why it shouldn't be supported on the iPhone 11, especially with all of that gorgeous OLED screen space to work with.

Samsung can point to stylus support for its successful Galaxy Note series, so we reckon Apple might soon see the light and make the Apple Pencil work with the iPhone too. Maybe a lot of users won't have a need for it, but it'd be nice to have the option there.

Give us VR and AR

The ARKit-enabled augmented reality tricks in iOS 11 are certainly impressive, even if no one's brought out a killer app to make use of them yet, so how about upping the ante with support for fully fledged virtual reality with the 2018 iPhones and the launch of iOS 12?

While the Google Daydream View hasn't really set the world on fire yet, and VR is sort of possible on the iPhone already, we'd love to see an inexpensive virtual reality headset for the next iPhone. It might just be the bump in profile that mobile VR tech really needs.

Fast charging, plus cables

Did you notice the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and iPhone X plus support fast charging? You just need to buy a bulkier charging adapter and a different cable and you can get up to 50 percent juice in as little as 30 minutes... but we reckon Apple can go further next time.

Fast charging is one area where Android phones are still way ahead of Apple, so we're hoping the iPhone XI comes with improved fast charging and all the cables and adapters you need in the box. A boost to wireless charging speeds would of course be welcome too.

Make it cheaper

We suspect this is wishful thinking, but shelling out £999/$999 or more on a smartphone is a big ask - any chance Apple could use its huge financial muscle and supply chain reach and make next year's top-end edition of the iPhone just that little bit cheaper please?

Apple likes its big margins but we reckon it could sell the iPhone X for less if it really wanted (and probably will discount the phone when the new one comes out). Again, it's not a move Apple is likely to make, but it could tempt many more people to upgrade.

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