Categories
Uncategorized

iPhone 13, 14, 15, SE3, Fold — Reacting to MASSIVE Leak Bombs!

Massive, sizzling hot new rumor report on iPhone 13, iPhone 14, iPhone 15, iPhone SE3, and iPhone Fold from Financial analyst and supply chain exfilitrator extraordinaire, Kuo Ming-Chi.

Categories
Uncategorized

iPhone 13 clickbait is THE WORST

Swear to jobs, if I see one more piece of iPhone 13 clickbait that’s not actually about the iPhone 13…

And I'll tell you why in my weekly iMore column!

https://www.imore.com/iphone-13-clickbait-so-bad-year

Categories
Uncategorized

Apple’s Worst-Kept Product Secret — Explained!

I’m going to tell you the exception to Tim Cook’s rule, to the Apple Secrecy Law, the one where the only acceptable answer to any question about the next iPhone or Mac — or whatever — is “We don’t discuss future products or plans”. The aluminum curtain dropped on every investor call, TV interview, event, briefing — everything. Every single time…. Except one…

And I'll tell you all about it in my weekly iMore column!

https://www.imore.com/apples-worst-kept-secret-virtual-and-augmented-reality

Categories
Uncategorized

M1X iMac — Reacting to All Rumors

In this video, I’m reacting to all the recent reports on the next-generation iMacs, including M1X Apple silicon with x-as-in-extra cores, all-new, all-Pro Display XDR design, and, most recently, the return of color. Yeah, talk about your tangerine dreams!

But, not really… let me explain…

Color

I’ll get to the M1X and what it really means to the iMac in a sec, but Jon Prosser of Front Page Tech just dropped a fresh report this morning saying colors are coming back to the iMac.

Not the original Bondee Blue from 1998, not the fruit-themed blueberry, strawberry, lime, tangerine and grape from 1999, and certainly not the flower power and blue dalmatian from 2001. Though you’ love to see it. And yeah, those really happened. And on Steve Jobs and Jony Ive’s watch.

But also more than the glossy iPod white and, most recently, bead blasted aluminum with its single space grey variant, you know, for the Pros.

Something that seems to match the current iPad Air colors — and AirPods Max cups colors — pretty much exactly.

Silver and space gray, rose gold, green, and sky blue.

And… it would be the ultimate expression of Apple’s recent retro future chic design vibe. Even though they haven’t gone anywhere nearly as colorful with anything in the Mac lineup for a long, long time. Not even with last year’s M1 MacBook Air, which feels like it would have been primed for it, just the perfect place to start.

Now it’s possible… it’s possible Apple’s waiting on the redesigns to start blowing minds, and we’ll see that in the M2 update, but demand forecasting and managing channel inventory on multiple color SKUs on ultra-lights is one thing. On products as pricy as the iMac, even if it’s just the lower-end, smaller-sized iMac?

But… let me know which if any of those colors you’d want in the comments.

Design

Prosser also echoed other recent reports from Kuo Ming-Chi and Mark Gurman saying the new iMac design… would echo the Pro Display XDR design. Now, multiple rumors do not a confirmation make. Never a confirmation make. If you ever see someone claiming a rumor confirms anything, close the tab and go watch a Pitch Meeting video instead.

But multiple reports are worth considering, as is past as prologue. And Apple has, typically, kept their iMac designs pretty close to their stand-alone display designs. Which is particularly great for anyone who wants to pair them together. And just like everything in the last generation seemed to follow the original iPad mini or iPod touch design language, everything in this generation seems to be following the iPad Pro.

Now, the Pro Display XDR is all cheese-gratored on the back because of the active cooling system needed for the extreme dynamic range technology that makes it… 6K for 6K. But, if Apple sticks with LCD or manages to go mini LED, even if just on the higher end, then they can probably stick with a flat back. Even if that grater look is all shades of hella cool.

Prosser says he doesn’t know about the ports yet, but given what we’ve seen from the M1 Mac mini, it’s not hard to imagine we’ll be getting similar from the iMac, though hopefully with a couple more USB3 slash Thunderbolt 3 ports, courtesy of a couple more thunderbolt controllers on the M1X chipset.

M1X

Which, if the iMac ships in the first half of the year, should be identical to the M1 chip in the current Apple Silicon Macs, but with far, far more performance and graphics cores. According to Mark Gurman, up to 16 pCores on the low end, maybe even 32 on the high end. Same with the graphics cores. 16-32. Which… certainly is something.

And if they ship in the second half… who knows, maybe they’ll be based on the M2, with even better cores, just as massively multiples. Which would just be something else.

Because, Apple’s been using what are basically laptop parts in iMacs for as long as they’ve had to cram those hot, power-hungry Intel, AMD, and Nvidia parts into that thing aluminum shell.

But the M-series is basically desktop power with better than laptop efficiency. Like… the TARDUS, they’re… bigger on the inside. Which means the iMac shell won’t be a constraint any more. With active cooling, Apple can power it up as much as they want. For a price.

Categories
Uncategorized

M1 Mac Malware — The Truth!

First malware running on M1. First Malware design for M1. First M1 Malware has arrived. First M1 malware discovered. M1 faces first malware. First. First. First in YouTube comments First!

But other than being first to scream first onto the internet, what does this really mean for M1, the Mac, and most importantly — us?

Only a small percentage of you watching are actually subscribed, so do me a solid and hit that button and bell, so we can build the biggest and best community in tech, together.

The internet has exploded with M1 Mac malware headlines this week, from the genuinely informative to the pathetically sensational. Like, from in depth-technical explainers to O.M.G I’m throwing my M1 in the trash fire now. D.E.D. DED.

And I’ll explain what it all actually means in a hot minute, but I get it, I totally get it, the first time anything new happens it’s… news by definition, and if it involves Apple, it’s big news. I mean, never mind if it bleeds-it-leads, if it’s Apple it’s clickable. And that’s actually really good for Apple customers — the more and higher the scrutiny Apple’s under, the better for us. I high key wish every company got the same amount of security so every customer would get the same benefits from that scrutiny. Currently, it’s just another advantage of buying from Apple.

At the same time, I also firmly believe that with great audience comes great responsibility. That if you have a platform you shouldn’t use it to scare or stress people but to educate and empower them. In other words, the headline will get you the click, it’s what you do after that that defines you.

So, let’s dig into exactly what’s happening here …

First, Malware means malicious software, in other words, any code designed to damage or compromise your computer. There are viruses and Trojan horses that want to get in and take over various levels of control, spyware that wants to steal your data, ransomware that wants to hold your data hostage, and adware that wants to jack money from your clicks.

Originally, malware was far more common on Windows than Mac because Windows was far more common than the Mac. And the people making the malware wanted to spend their time on the biggest, most valuable, then-most vulerable market possible. But, with the increasing power and importance of web browsers, the explosion of iOS, and the high value of mass-market Apple customers, it became more and more economical to target the Mac as well, even specifically.

Hence, the Mac malware we’ve seen creeping, coming up over the last few years. And with it, Apple’s escalating efforts to keep Mac users safe.

Because, where the iPhone and iOS were designed to be little crypto bricks from the start, the Mac originated as a relatively open computing system, and that required Apple’s security teams to think.. different.

Over the years, that’s included sandboxing, to prevent code from spreading from one app to another. Gatekeeper, to prevent unauthorized apps from running without our express permission, system integrity protection and read-only system volumes to prevent code from modifying the operating system, system extensions and DriverKit to keep modifications out of kernel space and move them into user land, a permission system so apps have to ask before they can access files. And XProtect, Notarization, an MRT, the malware removal tool, which try to prevent malware from getting onto the Mac to begin with, allow Apple to scan apps before they’re distributed and revoke certificates to stop them running if they later turn bad, and even remove or remediate known infections if they somehow still land.

While some of this… defense in depth… like Gatekeeper and permissions are wicked obvious because they popup and pop off so damn always, other things like XProtect and MRT work quietly in the background so you may not even know they’re there.

And, ultimately, malware is just code. If it runs on Intel, chances are it can run through Rosetta2 on the M1, or the developer can use the same tools any developer uses to port that code to Apple silicon. From x86 to ARM64.

A tool is… just a tool. Apple makes excellent, excellent tools. That why we have so many apps ported over to M1 already. Even big, sophisticated apps. But even the best tools can and will be used for bad things.

So, just like any other code, any other apps, someone used those excellent tools to port not a utility or game from Intel to M1, but malware.

Which is absolutely super frustrating, really an inconvenience, but not surprising or even unexpected. Not in the least. Not if you understand even the basics of how any of this works. Which everyone covering it really, really should.

Same goes for Silver Sparrow, the second bit of malware to get attention this week, discovered on both Intel and the M1 Macs. Because, again, code can be ported. That’s how code works.

And Apple can pull the certificate to stop it. That’s how the system works… how it’s working as intended.

But the other part of the story here, the part that isn’t getting as much attention, is that while the code may be ported, the environment it’s being ported to is very different.

M1 is the same silicon generation as A14 Bionic, the chipset in the iPhone 12. And that doesn’t just translate to very high levels of performance efficiency, it also translates into very high levels of hardened security.

Instead of Apple having to do a lot of more complex mitigations in software, the way they’ve had too with Intel chips in the past, now they can do them from the silicon-on-up as well. Just like they’ve been doing it on the iPhone and iPad for years.

That means, instead of flinging malware at a semi-detached wood cabin, they’re now flinging it at a not-so-little crypto brick. There will still be issues, there will still be holes, the will still be bugs and exploits, and Apple will still be judged on how fast their red teams respond to all of them every time. But the Mac in standard mode, the way the vast majority of mainstream customers will be using it, starts off on a much, much better security foundation. And that’s a huge benefit to everyone using M1.

Plus, Apple works continuously on new and improved systems as well, like what’s coming in iOS 14.5. Namely, Blastdoor, which will protect against things like unicode rendering bugs and malicious payloads in iMessage, and also new protections again zero-click attacks.

And on M1, all that gets the advantages of the silicon-based security engines as well.

Now, I’m trying to keep this relatively high-level, because my goal here is to make sure everyone is informed about the existence of malware targeted at all Macs, including M1, but not made to feel afraid simply, unremarkably, just because it exists, because attention jacking is really just another form of malware.

Categories
Uncategorized

iPhone 11 vs iPhone 12 in 2021 — Don’t Choose Wrong!

I’m going to tell you if the, iPhone 12, with a lighter, squared off retro future chic design, OLED display, MagSafe charging, and 5G is worth its starting price of $829. Or… if the year-older iPhone 11, all rounded and curved, classic LCD, and… that’s pretty much it, is a better value at $599.

Design

The iPhone 11 has the curved edges and sides of the previous many generations of iPhones, going all the way back to the iPhone 6. It looks almost generic at this point but wow does it still feel great. It also comes in the most colors. 6 of them. Purple, yellow, green, black, white, and red.

The iPhone 12 goes back to the future with squared off edges and sides, like the iPhone 4 and 5 of eld, but makes them look new again in a package that’s 15% smaller by volume and 16% lighter. It looks, to my eye, way cooler, though it can bite into your hand just a little bit more. Some find it annoying, others even better for grip. Only 5 colors though. Blue, green, red, white, and black.

So if you prefer the curves, don’t mind if it’s heavier, or want purple or yellow, go for the iPhone 11.

But, if you love the new look, see lighter as better, or want that new blue, go for the iPhone 12.

Display

The iPhone 11 has a 6.1-inch LCD display, what Apple calls Liquid Retina. And it’s honestly about the best LCD can be. It goes corner to curved corner, and while it’s not HDR, not high dynamic range, it’s still high density and wide color gamut, and it doesn’t do pulse-width modulation, which bothers some people about OLED.

The iPhone 12 has a 6.1-inch OLED display, what Apple calls Super Retina XDR for extreme dynamic range. Deep shadows and blacks, bright highlights and whites, high contrast and even higher density. It’s what you want to watch movies on, including the Dolby Vision movies you can shoot on the iPhone 12.

So, if you hate OLED and prefer LCD, or you just don’t care about display technology either way, you can save some cash and go iPhone 11.

If you want the best display you can get, especially if you watch a lot of streaming video or take a lot of HDR video, you’re going to want the iPhone 12.

Durability

The iPhone 11 has strong ion-exchange glass, which helps prevent shattering if you drop it, and water resistance up to 2 meters and 30 minutes.

The iPhone 12 has ceramic impregnated glass on front, what Apple calls Ceramic Shield, which amps up the shatter-protection even more, and water resistance up to 6 meters for 30 minutes.

So, if maximum durability is high on your list, you’re going to want the iPhone 12.

Performance

The iPhone 11 has an Apple A13 Bionic chipset, built on a 7 nanometer process with better performance efficiency than pretty much anything else on the market…

Except for the iPhone 12 and its Apple A14 Bionic chipset, built on a 5 nanometer process, which is basically the best silicon in the world right now.

So, if you’re not all about the speeds and feeds, you’ll be totally fine with the iPhone 11.

But if you want the latest and the greatest, and the ability to get iOS updates for as long as currently possible, you’ll want the iPhone 12.

Cameras

The iPhone 11 has a really good camera system with wide angle and ultra wide angle, with Smart HDR2, deep fusion, and Night Mode on that main wide angle sensor, and the ability to capture up to 4K60 video with enhanced dynamic range.

The iPhone 12 has an amazing camera system, with better wide angle and ultra wide angle, Smart HDR3, deep fusion, and Night Mode on all the sensors, and the ability to capture up to 4K60 EDR and 4K30 HDR in full-on Dolby Vision.

So, if good enough is good enough when it comes to the camera for you, then the iPhone 11 is probably more than enough.

But if your iPhone is your primary camera and you always want to take the absolute best photos and videos you can, you’ll want the iPhone 12.

Cellular

The iPhone 11 has an Intel 4G LTE radio that can get pretty good speeds in most places, most of the time. But some people complain about it not working as well in areas with poor signal and reception.

The iPhone 12 has a Qualcomm 5G NR radio that also does 4G LTE. 5G speeds and reliability vary incredibly by region, from slower low band to double speed mid band to unbelievably fast but fragile mmWave. But it can also give you better LTE.

So, if all you have is 4G and it’s always worked fine for you on previous iPhones, and you’re not expecting 5G any time soon, you’ll be just as fine on an iPhone 11.

If you’ve always had problems with 4G, or you have or expect to get 5G soon, and you want to take advantage of it, you’ll want to grab the iPhone 12.

Charging

The iPhone 11 has a Lightning port, which works with both older Lightning-to-USB-A cables and charges, and newer, faster Lightning-to-USB-C cables. It can also charge inductively up to 7.5w with a Qi-compatible inductive pad.

The iPhone 12 has a Lightning port, which functions in the exact same way, but also MagSafe charging, which next-levels the induction to 15 watts, provided you use a magnetic MagSafe compatible accessory.

Since batter life is pretty much the same on both… 5G permitting… the only major difference here is if you want MagSafe, you’ll want the iPhone 12.

Categories
Uncategorized

M1X & M2 Macs — WTF Leak Bombs?!

Special gross-out, shout-out to Intel for sending out the worst… the worst… M1 clickbait in the form of completely dishonest talking points where they literally bait and switch comparisons over and over again, up to and including putting the ultra-low-power M1 up against a white box Intel configuration that I’m pretty sure isn’t even available to the public. Not only is that the baddest of the bad looks, but in light of the performance differences per watt, it’s just an utter credibility destroyer. And for someone like me, who still uses an Intel Mac, and who wants to see Intel not only survive but thrive again, because that’s what’s best and most competitive for the market, please very kindly stop. It’s embarrassing. Like mom or dad on the lawn in their underwear screaming at clouds embarrassing. Just fix your drama, fix your process, and ship better chips already. Signed, a grateful industry.

Now, look, we’ve gotten used to all the phone leaks. Ever since an iPhone walked into a bar back in 2010, our internet feeds have runneth over with with every stock market manipulation, industry insider report, biz pub spoiler alert, and Twitter thirst trap imaginable.

But, with Apple shipping their own custom silicon for the Mac, we’re now being inundated with all kinds of cheap… chip leaks as well.

Because, back with Intel, there weren’t any real surprises. Not positive ones at least. Intel would announce their roadmap well in advance, like three or four lakes ahead, just all the lakes, we’d find out the process shrink and performance weren’t anywhere nearly what any of us hoped — including Intel — and then we’d judge-Judy-tapping-our-watch-dot-gif wait impatiently for the Mac-specific versions of those chips to ship, the ones with the right embedded graphics options or whatever. Usually months and months later, usually the same day the Mac shipped. Rinse and repeat for years.

In a very real way, Apple’s Mac roadmap was bound to Intel’s chip roadmap. Or rather dragged by it. And now, in the age of M1, it isn’t. Not any more. Not at all.

But, we’re only at the very early stages for the Mac. We’re at the ultra low power tip of the proverbial silicon ice berg. The M1 is the first in a series that’ll include more massively multicore versions of the current 11th generation architecture and even more impressive versions with next generation, 12th generation and beyond architecture. Chips like M1X and M2, or whatever Apple ends up calling them.

And unlike Intel, Apple doesn’t provide roadmaps well in advance. They don’t provide them at all. Not beyond extrapolating the power draw on what’s effectively a Bezos graph.

And that leads to a ton of thirst… and a ton of thirst traps. To… trap it. To take advantage of it. To pull those views, subs, and follows. To literally steal attention and reward it… with bullshit.

That includes anonymous twitter accounts that never provide any accurate, original reporting. Like at all. And the various blogs and videos that repeat their fanfic because it not only gives them an excuse to thirst-jack the trap in the first place, but to post a follow-up correcting it whenever anyone with an ounce of sense or integrity points out just how wrong it is and how wrong it was from the start. AKA, the double thirst trap take back combo attack.

And right now, that includes a bevy of fake benchmarks around the M1X, which is expected to be in the new 14-inch and updated 16-inch MacBook Pro, and maybe a higher-end space grey Mac mini and entry-level iMac as well.

Also, straight up clout chasing link-bait on the potential performance of M2, which is expected to be in the next generation MacBook Air and other ultra-low power follow-ups to the debut models.

Now, benchmark leaks aren’t exactly a new or novel thing. Some popular benchmarks apps obliviously or intentionally fail to disclose that, every time you use them, they upload all the results to their own servers and post them all over their public websites. A practice that’s burned many a reviewer ahead of many an embargo. And one that lets people distribute fake benchmarks as real… basically for the lulz.

But, with M1X, there’s really not much in the way of mystery anyway. Apple has been doing X-as-in-Extra versions of their chipsets for almost a decade now, first for the iPad, most recently for the iPad Pro. Basically taken the chip that debuts in the iPhone, adding more performance cores, graphics cores, maybe memory, slapping an X at the end, and calling it a day.

So, it’s not hard to imagine an M1X will be an M1 with extra pCores, gCores, RAM, and Thunderbolt controllers. Maybe Apple will fiddle with the base frequency to goose single core performance, but maybe not even.

Because Apple has said that they’d happily exchange a little frequency, even industry leading performance, for better efficiency as in battery life every day and twice on keynote days. So it’s also likely as not to be the exact same M1 cores, just many, many more of them, for much more massively multicore performance. There could very well be some surprises, but they’ll be in the fine details, not the broad strokes.

Likewise, Apple has been updating their silicon architecture and IP every year, on the year, for more than a decade now. So, just like M1 in the MacBook Air and entry-level MacBook Pro and Mac mini — is based on the same 11th generation technology as the A14 in the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPad Air 4, the M2 in the next generation of Macs will almost certainly be based on the next, 12th generation technology that’s also coming in the A15 for the iPhone 13, or iPhone 12s, or whatever Apple ends up calling it. And it’ll have the same kinds of performance, efficiency, and beyond compute unit improvements that we’ve seen over the last few years as well — give or take the occasional leap.

Sure, that’s not as sexy as saying M1X benchmarks leaked or worse, calling it confirmed based on two fake leaks — or two re-blogs of the same leak. But here’s the thing — it’s true.

And even though we live in the decade of super high affinity and zero accountability, trust is still a commodity that’s incredibly hard to earn and just as incredibly easy to spend, and when people are burned by a click, they’re inevitable less likely to click again. So, spend your credibility — and your attention — wisely.

Categories
Uncategorized

Apple wants to protect privacy — Facebook wants to ‘inflict pain’

Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, literally wants to inflict pain on Apple, on Tim Cook. To make them hurt. To lobby the government against them, to claim anti-trust, to do everything they can to paint Apple dirty. Why? Because Apple wants to give us, the customers, the users, the ability to choose whether or not Facebook gets to track us outside their own apps, across other apps, even across the web. Apple considers this simple level of privacy and dignity a fundamental human right. And… Facebook… well, Facebook seems intent on seeing it as an existential threat.

Read the rest in my weekly column at iMore!

https://www.imore.com/apple-wants-protect-privacy-facebook-wants-inflict-pain

Categories
Uncategorized

Wrong About Killing All iPhone Apps!

I love people explaining why you should never, not ever kill all apps on your iPhone. Except, sometimes, that advice sucks, and you totally should. So let me explain and that way it might actually make the kind of sense that does.

Most of the time. Hell, almost all the time, iOS will do a way, way better job at managing apps and multitasking resources on your iPhone than… any puny human.. could ever even dream of doing. Even using on-device intelligence — Machine Learning, algorithms — to predict which apps you’ll most want to open and when. And pre-loading them to make sure they’re primed and ready based on that bet.

Here’s how it works. When you switch out of an app, it’s supposed to save its current state and go to sleep, to hibernate. Then, when you switch back, it’s supposed to wake up, to resume from that exact same state. Right where you left off.

If you don’t go back for a long time though, or if you load up the Camera app, because Apple always wants that to be instantly available with zero shutter lag, and especially if you start taking a ton of computationally intensive photos and videos, but also if you launch a big, cross-compiled game or bloated social media app, one that sucks all the RAM out of the system, iOS will start jetsam… to jettison… the last used, least used apps from memory to make room for those greedy new RAM sucking apps.

Then… then you will have to relaunch any apps that got the boot. Often just exactly those games and social media apps. And it’s annoying. Hella annoying. But it shouldn’t happen too often, especially on more recent iPhones with more RAM.

But, that’s why everyone from Apple Support to Apple’s head of software, engineering, Craig Federighi, will tell you to never, not ever force quit all apps. Any app… unless it’s just completely frozen and non-responsive… Basically non… usable.

Because letting apps sleep and wake is just way, way more power efficient than killing and resurrecting any of them, especially all of them. Both in terms of your time, because you don’t have to go spelunking through the system and the app just to get back to where you left off, and in terms of power, because… iOS doesn’t have deal with all the overhead of you relaunching and spelunking back to where you left off. It’s just better for everyone.

And doing that with all your apps, all the time. Every time. Making it rain apps. Well, that’s not better for anyone. And doing that actually contributes to your battery drain.

So, then, why will Apple Geniuses, on occasion, famously, infamously, sometimes… just sometimes kill all apps anyway? Even tell you to do it? Even though it’s hugely controversial?

Because sometimes an app goes bad, a process goes rogue, your iPhone gets hot, your battery drains before your eyes, and rather than taking the time and going through all the effort of tracking down exactly which app is causing the problem — installing diagnostics, running tests, monitoring for days or weeks — they’ll just… kill everything. And sometimes salt the ground with a hard reset right after.

Volume up. Volume down. Press and hold the side button until you get logo. The… Konami code of trouble shooting.

And yes, sure, sometimes there are known offenders. Over the years those have included Skype, Facebook, Snapchat, Pokemon Go, Instagram. Every beta, seriously Instagram?

The more bloated, the more cross-complied, the more poorly coded, the game or social app, the higher the odds of them behaving poorly. Who could possibly have guessed?

But you can also always start by checking your Settings > Battery > Background usage, look for apps with high background usage, low foreground usage. Force quit those first. Only those. And see if that works. Only when you’re really really desperate, when you really, really can’t figure it out but you need to stop the drain and immediately, that you should even consider scorching the earth with a kill-all.

That’s why the fast app switcher lets you kill apps to begin with. But also why it doesn’t make it easy for you to kill all apps, at least not without making it rain killed apps.

It’s there for when things go wrong, really wrong, so you can fix them with a good old fashioned restart. Not all the time, not with wanton abandon, but only when you really have to. Otherwise, if you just force quit apps all willy nilly like, when you’re looking for the cause of poor performance and excessive battery drain on your iPhone, well…. that cause would be you.

Categories
Uncategorized

iPhone 13 — Always-On Promotion, Portrait Video, More!

Better textured glass finish, ProMotion for both high-refresh rate and always on display, even mag-I-er… MagSafe, full-on Astrophotography, better ultra-wide camera, and, yes, oh yes, Portrait Mode Video with dynamic bokeh. That’s what the iPhone 13 Pro — or more likely iPhone 12s Pro — will be getting this fall, at least according to Max Weinbach and Everything Apple Pro, and if all that sounds too good to be true… well, it just might be.

Textured glass

Ok, so, first up, Max is saying the next Pro will have an improved matte glass finish, with Apple tweaking it towards a smoother, grippier, more Pixel-style texture.

And.. maybe, sure. I mean, Apple’s industrial design team is constantly working on new materials and new finishes, anything that’ll improve that premium look and feel. Durability too. The iPhone 12 only has Ceramic Shield on the front, but the ion-exchange glass on the back is still among the best in the industry. At least when it comes to shatter resistance.

I just really, really hope Apple gives that new texture some new friction, because since they went glass for inductive charging, the iPhone has basically been an air hockey puck — with time from even slightly angled surface to floor… measurable in minutes.

And, for me, the best kind of shatter resistance is avoiding impact to begin with. But let me know what you think. Also, after green and blue, what colors you want to see this year.

ProMotion

Next up, ProMotion. That’s Apple’s name for adaptive refresh. In other words, what the iPad Pro’s LCD display can do, idle around 60Hz, boost up to 120Hz for better than buttery smooth scrolling and high-refresh gaming, drop to 48Hz to show Hollywood movies at the proper 24 frames-per-second, and down to 24Hz to save power on more static interfaces and images. Only since iPhone displays are OLED, not LCD, they’ll also mimic what the Apple Watch can do, and that is bottom out even lower, maybe 10Hz, for positively power sipping always-on display.

And this has been rumored before by… pretty much everyone at this point.. because unlike last year when not even Samsung could produce enough LTPO OLED for an iPhone-sized order, especially not to Apple’s spec, which is basically the biggest and most unforgiving order in the business… this year… there should be more than enough supply for the Pro models.

Max also says that he’s hearing the always-on Lock Screen with feature time, battery, and an icon bar for apps that have notifications pending.

Personally, I’d love to see full-on Apple Watch style rich complications, but, yeah, baby-power-saving-steps, right?

MagSafe

Max says MagSafe will be getting stronger with the iPhone 13, which, ok, maybe that’ll help keep the wallet on better for some, but make taking the chargers off more annoying for others. I don’t know. It’d be great if this could be dynamic as well.

But what I really want to see is some — any! — evidence of MagSafe data transfer, either directly like the smart connector has been doing on the iPad Pro for years already, or wirelessly with the U1 ultra wide band and Bluetooth. Because, if previous reports are true, Apple’s working on an iPhone without a Lightning port — with not ports — maybe this year, maybe next, and this would be an important step towards that.

Astrophotography

Next up is astrophotography, which super interesting, given the iPhone 11 launched with a version of that feature over a year ago already. Were it could extend Night Mode to 30 seconds if you stabilized with something like a tripod.

So, this sounds like… just a lot more than that. Like the ability to hold the exposure even longer but also with machine learning specifically tuned to detect, capture, and highlight celestial features like the moon and stars.

My only question is this — will Apple provide better zoom capabilities on the camera system to really take advantage of it?

Unclear.

Better ultra-wide

Max does say there’ll be a better ultra-wide camera on the iPhone 13. Other reports say all the cameras will be better, including the bigger, internally stabilized wide angle that was previously exclusive to the Max model.

But, I mean, a better camera system on the iPhone, each year, every year, is pretty much the safest bet in tech. It’s one of the most important features and so one of the biggest sales and upgrade drivers. So, from telephoto in 2016 to wide angle in 2019 to LiDAR in 2020, Apple keeps skipping and jumping their way to more and more capable setups.

Including a host of computational photography features that extend those capabilities far, far beyond what the optics alone would allow.

Portrait Mode Video

And this year, Max says that’ll include Portrait Mode… for video. That means using the computational photography system, the simulated lens and depth-of-field, the one that does Portrait Mode stills on current iPhones, an applying it to video. With… with the ability to use depth effect adjustments, in other words, change the amount of bokeh any time after you’ve captured the video. From no blur to… blur intensifies.

And, according to Max, also with the dynamic depth effect system that will let us change and adjust the bokeh after the fact.

Which, if true — and it’s still a big, iPhone Pro Max sized if — and if done well — this’ll be my favorite new feature. But also an incredible amount of computational power, because it’s not just one shot, it’s 24 or 30… maybe even 60 shots per second.

So, yeah, bring on that A15 Bionic. Trionic. Whatever it takes.