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By Rich Woods
Apple announces the iPhone 12 Pro series with new design and more
by Rich Woods
Today, Apple held its annual iPhone launch event, where it not only announced the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini, but it announced the new iPhone 12 Pro series. Being that the company showed off the regular iPhone 12 first, we already learned about the new A14 Bonic processor, although that's unlocking some new features, such as Deep Fusion on all four cameras. There's also support for 5G, of course.
The iPhone 12 Pro series has an all new design, with a flat, stainless steel frame and a glass back. It comes in colors like Graphite, Pacific Blue, Silver, and Gold. That's not all, because the screens are bigger.
Yes, Apple slimmed down the bezels, so now the 5.8-inch screen on the smaller one is now 6.1 inches. For the Max, it's now 6.7 inches instead of 6.5 inches. Apple says that this is done in almost the same size chassis.
Apple is calling it Super Retina XDR. It's brighter, higher resolution, and it's just better.
There are some big camera improvements too, particularly on the Max. Indeed, while the only difference between the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 mini is the size, there is most definitely a difference in camera quality between the iPhone 12 Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro Max.
While all of the sensors have been improved, the telephoto lens on the iPhone 12 Pro Max gets 2.5x optical zoom, for a total of 5x zoom. The regular Pro is only offering 4x zoom.
That's not all though. Coming to both models of the iPhone 12 Pro is a feature called ProRAW, which finally lets you take RAW photos from the Camera app. It also promises to do more than that though, combining things like Deep Fusion with the power of editing RAW images.
Video recording is improved as well. For the first time, you can record video in HDR, and not only that, but you can record in Dolby Vision HDR. Apple is also unlocking the ability to edit Dolby Vision videos in the Photos app, so it reencodes the video in the HDR format.
The pricing isn't changing. The iPhone 12 Pro starts at $999 and the Pro Max starts at $1,099. Apple has doubled the base model storage at 128GB. You can pre-order the iPhone 12 Pro on Friday, and the Pro Max on November 6.
By Rich Woods
Verizon is launching its sub-6GHz nationwide 5G network
by Rich Woods
Verizon was one of the first in the U.S. to have 5G, but this whole time, the carrier has been exclusive to millimeter wave technology. Millimeter waves, or mmWaves, are super-fast, offering gigabit speeds, but they're limited. They can be blocked by something as thin as a piece of paper. That means that they don't work indoors, or when a device is in your pocket.
The carrier has been clear that there was a sub-6GHz network coming later this year, and at Apple's iPhone 12 event today, it confirmed that it's ready to light up its nationwide 5G network. That means that you'll finaly get 5G service indoors.
Another limitation if millimeter wave is that it's expensive to roll out, while sub6 is much more inexpensive. Verizon's mmWave coverage is only in select cities, and as mentioned, you actually have to be in line of sight of a cellular antenna. With sub6, that won't be an issue. It will be available in more rural areas, and it will work everywhere that 4G worked.
Verizon didn't provide many details on if this is getting lit up today or if it's soon, or even what frequency it's using, but it will likely share more soon.
Apple introduces the iPhone 12 and 12 mini, with an OLED display, 5G, and smaller design
by João Carrasqueira
Apple has officially unveiled the iPhone 12 family during the Apple event today. The new iteration of the iPhone brings a new design with flatter edges all around, in addition to being thinner and lighter than the previous model. It also features Apple's Super Retina XDR display technology, which means it's now OLED instead of LCD, and it also has an increased 2532x1170 resolution.
Apple got help from Corning, the makers of Gorilla Glass, to design a new protective glass for the iPhone 12, which Apple calls Ceramic Shield. Apple says this new display protection offers up to four times the drop protection of the previous generation. This is done by using high-temperature crystalization to grow "nano-ceramic crystals" in the glass.
The iPhone 12 is also Apple's first phone to support 5G, and Apple says it supports more 5G bands than any other smartphone. It's also smart, and Apple says it will turn off 5G when the increased speeds aren't necessary to save battery. Apple promises speeds up to 3.5Gbps on 5G.
At the core of the iPhone 12 is the new Apple A14 chipset, which is based on a 5nm process. That makes the iPhone 12 the first phone in the world to sport a 5nm chipset. It has a six-core CPU and a quad-core GPU, both promising to be 50% faster than competing smartphones. Additionally, the Neural Engine now has 16 cores, making it 80% faster than before, and the machine learning accelerators are also 70% faster.
The camera setup has also been improved, though there are still only two cameras, and not the three you'd find on a Pro model. The new 12MP main camera has a seven-element lens for the first time in an iPhone, and it has optical image stabilization. Apple is promising better low-light performance for the camera, and the computational photography has also been improved, with Smart HDR 3 improving dynamic range.
For video, the camera on the iPhone 12 is also the first to be able to record HDR video with Dolby Vision, and it's the only device that can not only record but also edit and share Dolby Vision video.
For this year's iPhone, Apple is also introducing MagSafe for iPhone for the first time. This is meant to improve wireless charging for iPhone, and it makes it easier to find the right position for the charger thanks to new magnets in the phone. Additionally, Apple is working with partners to design accessories that support MagSafe so you can still charge the phone while it's in a case.
Apple is also committed to its sustainability goals, so 100% of the rare earth minerals used in the iPhone 12, including the magnets, are recycled.
Apple also unveiled the iPhone 12 mini, the first time it's using the "mini" name in an iPhone. It's all exactly the same as the regular iPhone 12, except the screen size is smaller. The iPhone 12 will have a 6.1-inch display, while the iPhone 12 mini has a smaller 5.4-inch display to make it easier to handle.
The iPhone 12 family will start at $699 for the iPhone 12 mini, and $799 for the iPhone 12, though there are some financing options as well. This does make the iPhone 12 $100 more expensive than the iPhone 11 was at launch, which had the same display size.
The iPhone 12 will be available for pre-order this Friday, and ship on October 23. The iPhone 12 mini will arrive a little later, with pre-orders opening on November 6, and shipping on November 13.
By Abhay V
Apple announces the $99 HomePod mini with Intercom and more
by Abhay Venkatesh
At today’s Apple event, the firm unveiled a smaller HomePod, called the HomePod mini. The device is a smaller version of the HomePod aimed at a larger audience. The company touts that the device sports premium audio and 360-degree surround sound experience, thanks to internals that are tweaked 180 times a second and powered by the S5 chip.
As expected, the speaker also can be used to create a stereo pair. However, one nifty new feature coming to the device later this year is a handoff capability that automatically transfers audio between multiple speakers and an iPhone that is closest to the device. This is enabled by the new U1 ultra-wideband chip in the speaker. The firm also announced support for third-party apps coming soon to the HomePod mini, including the like of Pandora and Amazon Music. Interestingly, there was no mention of Spotify.
Naturally, there are some new capabilities for the digital assistant, Siri, on the smart speaker. The HomePod mini is equipped with a three-microphone array that listens to the wake word. Thanks to better integration with other Apple devices, Siri can now access iPhone apps for making calls, sending messages, control Apple TV, and more. The speaker can also differentiate between voices, tailoring requests based on users, such as providing a personalized rundown of updates for individual users in the house.
Siri can also be used to control smart home devices, but one new ability is the new Intercom feature. Users can now broadcast messaged not just within the house to other connected HomePod devices, but also to the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, CarPlay, and even AirPods via the form of notifications. This enables users to broadcast messages not just across rooms, but even when they are outside the house.
The company is also boasting of the focus on privacy. It says that the voice requests are not tied to any Apple ID and that personalized information is not sent to any advertisers. The device also allows users to decide if audio recordings are stored.
The Apple HomePod mini is priced at $99 and can be pre-ordered starting November 6 in the U.S., with availability set for November 16. The available colors are white and space gray.
By Abhay V
Apple to announce the iPhone 12 series on October 13
by Abhay Venkatesh
Apple is sending out invites for the second fall event that is slated to be held on October 13. The company held its first event last month where it unveiled new iPad tablets, the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, and a few new services. The event on October 13 is where the company is expected to show off the iPhone 12 series phones.
The next-generation iPhones have been leaked heavily. A total of four iPhone 12 models are expected to be announced at the event, with the smallest of the lot – reportedly called the iPhone 12 mini – sporting a 5.4-inch display. Other models include two 6.1-inch models and a top-of-the-line iPhone 12 Pro Max variant that might come with a 6.7-inch display. The iPhone 12 line-up is also expected to be the Cupertino giant’s first phones to offer support for 5G, though it's been reported that only the highest tier model will bring support for the faster mmWave band. The phones are slated to sport a new design with flat edges akin to the iPhone 5 models.
In addition to the iPhone models, the company could also debut new premium headphones, the long-rumored AirTags accessory, and more. It will be interesting to see if the company has any surprises, like the rumored refresh for the iPad Pro with a mini-LED backlit display or an Apple Silicon powered MacBook model.
All will be revealed on October 13. The live stream for the event is scheduled to start at 10 AM PT.