It seems like everyone is expecting Apple to release a brand new iPhone – the iPhone 5 tomorrow. Alas all we know for certain is that a slightly upgraded version of the iPhone 4 – an iPhone 4S – is being shown off. Hopefully Apple has some other things hidden up their sleeves. Here are a few possibilities that could sweeten the bitterness of an MIA iPhone 5 tomorrow:
1. Surprise new features in iOS 5 (the next release of the iPhone software due this month):
a. Voice control and recognition system-wide. This would ape another Android feature but if the rumors are true, Nuance is involved. Nuance is best known for Dragon Dictation software but if they’re involved, it could be a game-changer.
b. Apple=branded maps and navigation. Aping yet another feature of Android, although given the typical Apple polish this could also surpass its predecessor.
2. NFC – Near Field Communication for purchases with just your cellphone. We know Apple’s been working on this (due to patent fliings) and Google has already begun their (very limited) test of NFC with Android.
3. iCloud music streaming. As announced (and as currently running in beta), Apple’s “iTunes-in-the-cloud” service only allows users to re-download previously purchased songs But if they allowed streaming, this would realize its full potential. Otherwise they’re not even competing with Google Music and Amazon’s music locker.
Unfortunately at this point it seems likely that only one new iPhone will be announced tomorrow. I hope I’m wrong. But if I’m not, there’s going to be quite a chorus on “mehs” afterwards.