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5 areas smartphones must deliver better

Posted: 05 Jan 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:smartphone  battery life  iPhone  iOS  Android 

The year 2014 saw heaps of technological advances in smartphones, but there are plenty of aspects where this device can do more. Here are 5 areas where smartphones must do better this year.

1. Better battery life

Given how much we rely on smartphones to run our daily lives, every little bit of battery life helps. Unfortunately, improvements in battery life trail badly behind the overall technological leaps made by phone makers. While energy researchers toil away, it would behove chip and screen makers to push power efficiency in their products over raw performance. (By the way, tablet makers, why don't we raise the bar here, too? I say 10-inch tablets need to deliver 12—not 10—hours of battery life.)

2. Paying for stuff

Apple Pay appears to have invigorated mobile payments since its October debut. iPhone users have adopted the technology quickly and raised the visibility of mobile payments for other consumers. Competing products Google Wallet and Softcard both reported surges in use after Apple Pay's debut. This is great news, but the industry needs to do better.

All three mobile payment services need to expand far beyond their current reach. Apple Pay, for example, is available at just 220,000 U.S. retail locations, leaving millions unable to process mobile payments. Retailers and banks need to step up. It wouldn't hurt to make sure this feature is available to all (or at least most of) post-paid smartphone accounts.

3. More resilience

Most phones break when dropped. Typically, the screen shatters on impact, resulting in a costly repair or replacement. Companies such as Corning are working on this. In fact, Corning recently showed off a new version of its Gorilla Glass product that is much less prone to breakage when dropped on concrete from waist height. I can't wait to see this technology reach phones.

5 areas the smartphones must improve on

It would be nice if more phones were waterproof, too. Sony (Xperia Z3) and Samsung (Galaxy S5) figured out how to make their phones waterproof without adding bulk and without compromising the design.

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