Not everybody has or wants an iPhone, and not every iPhone feature is the best example on the market, but seeing where Apple’s highly popular smart phone is going (and where people would like it to go) is a great way to get a picture of the near future of mobile technology.
With the iPhone 5 due this summer, rumors are flying thick and fast. Even the New York Times weighed in with an article that describes a cheaper, easier to use device. The article shoots down one rumor: a smaller “nano” iPhone model.
The Times article also cited improved (but unspecified) voice control. Individual apps can be controlled by speech today, but a lot of people are looking for system-wide speech control.
Another rumor is that the iPhone 5 will include near field communications (a.k.a. RFID), a capability recently added to Android phones. This lets the phones read electronic tags embedded in everyday objects like product packaging. According to an AppleInsider post, the iPhone 5 near field capability will have a unique (but unspecified) twist.
One of the more interesting rumors is of a greatly improved set of services for streaming content to and from the cloud. A Cult of Mac article describes tantalizing video-streaming, location-aware and geo-tagging capabilities.
Other rumored features include a 4-inch screen and a slide-out QWERTY keyboard.
If you’re the kind who likes to look further into the future, here are search results for “iPhone” on Patently Apple, a site that tracks the latest patents awarded to Apple.