Late last week, I tweeted out a question; or rather I tweeted out a suggestion that you ask me questions or ask PhoneDog questions so that I can answer them in a video. So here’s me answering your questions: Virtually, all of these come from our Facebook page.
“Will iPhone’s physical home button be removed?”
I think this is in reference to the recent rumors that the next iPhone isn’t going to have a home button rather a glass screen covering almost the entire front of the phone with a Touch ID sort of built into the touch screen. Now it’s important to note that we’ve had these rumors about the home button being removed for years. Back when I was just writing about iPhones 3-4 years ago, we had rumors about the second generation iPad having its home button removed or the iPhone 6 not having a home button. I think once Apple put the touch sensor inside it for Touch ID kind of cemented the fact that this home button is probably going to be there for some time.
I won’t ever say that Apple’s never going to get rid of the home button because that would be foolish. They might do, specifically talking about this year with what’s presumably going to be the iPhone 6S and 6S Plus. Are they going to make a massive change to the outward appearance of the phone? Probably not but they might do it in two years’ time when the iPhone 7 or whatever else it’s going to be called comes out. But I’ve been saying that for years and eventually, one year I’m going to be wrong I think. Or maybe not. Maybe it’s here to stay forever but that would be surprising given the rise of Force Touch.
With Apple’s Force Touch technology, you can easily see Force Touch becoming the new home button or going back to your home screen. So, who knows?
“What will Android do when they run out of letters?”
Who knows? Maybe Android 27 will be the first Emoji Android, so the Android 27.0 Smiley Face and then Android 28.0 will be Shrug or Wink Face or Crying with Laughter Face. But in all seriousness, if I was to predict anything, I think they’d just start the alphabet all over again and just choose a different name so Android A would be Asparagus or something.
“What is the worst smartphone you’ve ever used and why?”
The worst smartphones (if I can pluralize it) that I’ve ever used were the Nokia Symbian devices. Nokia made some fantastic hardware. But with the early smartphones like the Nokia N70, Nokia N95 for instance; it was great hardware but then the software and performance really wasn’t up to scratch. This was back in the day before we even had powerful single-core chips. So once you’ve used it for a week or two, it just would get really slow. And then the battery life compared to everything else that was on the market at that time seemed ridiculous. Why should I have to charge my phone every single day? It seems strange at that time. But those phones were horrible to use in my opinion. And also some of the early Windows Phone. In fact, some of the late Windows Phone devices, especially the ones from HTC, weren’t very good.
So essentially, anything before the iPhone because after that there’s been a lot of really great stuff on the market. And it just keeps getting better. There’s nothing I’ve really used in the last year that I would say was horrible to use except some really budget, cheap stuff. But then, that’s to be expected.
“With all these phablets, notes and plus-sized phones, what’s available for those with small hands and are not outdated?” I held on to my iPhone 5 for iOS and the Galaxy S4 is the largest Android I can barely manage with one hand.
This is actually quite a good question because what we’ve seen in the market recently is that phones just keep getting bigger. Even smaller versions of phones are big now. In the Android market, it’s quite complicated because the best phones are the big phones and most companies will make smaller phones but they’re really low end phones so you won’t get a great performance or great experience from using them.
So what I would suggest if you’re looking for something that fits comfortably in your hand is something that’s ergonomically designed if that’s important to you. So you might find a phone with a big screen but that you can use easily because of the way it’s been designed in terms of its shape and its thinness. So something like the most recent Moto X—that feels fantastic in hand and it has a 4.7-inch screen. also, really thin phones like the Alcatel OneTouch Idol 3, which doesn’t cost that much money and is thin; or even something like the LG G3 or LG G4 with a really nice curved back; something that’s going to fit in your hand easily that doesn’t mean you have to stretch around the screen all the time. Otherwise, you can go for something like the Sony Xperia Z3 Compact, which is essentially a small version of the Z3 which was launched last year. And of course, there’s the iPhone 6 which may be quite a little bigger than your iPhone 5 but it’s still very, very thin. And so it will feel nice in your hand and it shouldn’t be too difficult to use.