- Apple added some key features to its iPhone 11 lineup, including an ultra-wide camera, Night Mode, and a fast-charger that comes included with the iPhone 11 Pro.
- At the same time, the iPhone 11 is missing some modern features that you can find on other smartphones.
- Apple can be slow to adopt certain features for iPhone, but the company is usually intentional when it does finally add certain things. Historically, the company has waited until the technology is fully developed and reliable before adding it.
- That’s why the iPhone 11 can be considered a placeholder until Apple adopts some more-or-less common features from other smartphones.
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Much of the anticipation I typically feel leading up to a new iPhone announcement revolves around one question: “Did Apple finally add ‘this’ feature?”
For the iPhone 11, Apple delivered on some features I expected, like an ultra-wide camera, and a new Night Mode for better photos in low-light situations. And finally, finally, a fast-charger included in the box, at least for the iPhone 11 Pro.
As for other features I was hoping for, like a universal USB-C port and a super-fast and smooth display, the iPhone 11 didn’t quite deliver.
I can fully understand why Apple didn’t include most of the features below. Many of them might not be ready for Apple’s adoption yet. When Apple feels comfortable enough to add these features, the iPhone will be totally different than it is today. That’s why the iPhone 11 feels a bit more like a placeholder while the company works on adding some key, modern smartphone features to its iPhone.
Check out the features that some may have expected on Apple’s iPhone 11, but ultimately didn’t make an appearance:
Hollis Johnson/Business Insider
USB-C is the undisputed modern standard when it comes to connecting and charging devices. Almost every Android device has a USB-C port now, and even Apple’s iPad Pros and MacBook Pro laptops have USB-C ports.
But Apple’s iPhone 11 series all come with Lightning ports, and you could say it’s getting a little old. It would be nice for USB-C iPad and MacBook Pro owners to use the same charger and cables to charge their iPhones, too. Alas, iPhone owners still need a separate Lightning cable to charge the iPhone.
There have been some improvement to the USB-C situation with the iPhone 11 Pros, however. The “Pro” iPhone 11 models come with Apple’s 18W fast-charger and a USB-C-to-Lightning cable. That means you can finally plug an iPhone directly into a USB-C MacBook Pro without using an adapter.
Including a USB-C-to-Lightning cable with iPhones is something Apple should have done since 2016, when the company introduced its USB-C-only MacBook Pros. Better late than never, I guess.
A faster, smoother screen
Business Insider/Lisa Eadicicco
If there’s one thing that would make the iPhone 11 phones “feel” unstoppable, it would be a 90Hz screen.
The iPhone 11 has a 60Hz screen, which is fine. But 90Hz screens are faster and smoother, and they make a big impact on how premium the phone feels. It’s not a necessity, but since phones from OnePlus, Razer, and Asus are coming out with 90-plus Hz screens, Apple’s iPhones (and other phones from big names like Samsung) are starting to look outdated, despite all the fancy designs and tech they have.
But I can see why Apple hasn’t adopted the 90Hz screen. Screens with higher refresh rates can use up more battery. Apple boasts better battery lives on the new iPhone 11 phones, which more people may value over a 90Hz screen, especially when the current 60Hz screen is good enough.
For reference, “Hz” refers to “refresh rate.” The higher the Hz number, the higher the refresh rate, which means the more frames per second a screen can display. With a higher refresh rate and more frames per second, animations like opening and closing apps, as well as swiping around an operating system and apps, look smoother. It makes a surprisingly big impact to how premium a device feels.
A no-notch design
Depending on who you talk to, the divisive notch is either a feature or a placeholder until Apple can figure out how to hide the iPhone’s selfie camera and various Face ID sensors behind the screen.
It’s not clear whether Apple embraces the notch, or if the company eventually plans to ditch it in favor of a notch-less design without compromising the selfie camera quality and the Face ID sensor.
Notch-less designs are currently possible, like the OnePlus 7 Pro’s no-notch screen that looks stunning. OnePlus was able to hide the selfie camera by making it pop out of the top of the phone when you needed it.
With that said, Apple’s Face ID facial recognition uses more sensors and is more advanced than a simple selfie camera, and the Face ID sensors occupy quite a lot of space. It’s surely a difficult task to hide so many sensors. It’s apparently so difficult that Google has simply decided to return to the old-fashioned wide top bezel for the Pixel 4, just so that it can include its “Soli” radar technology for the Pixel 4’s upcoming advanced facial recognition.