Tuesday is gonna be a fun day. Not only will it mean Monday is behind us (I actually like Mondays – why doesn’t everybody else?), but it’ll also mean that new iPhones will be introduced before the end of the day.
Toward the end of last month, Apple sent out invitations to an event it’s hosting this Tuesday with the tagline “By innovation only.” That’s a pretty vague tagline that does nothing but hint at Apple’s self-proclaimed innovation efforts. Nonetheless, it’s an event being held in early September, and that could only mean one thing: new iPhones are on their way.
The past few years have proven, however, that new iPhones are typically accompanied by a few other announcements like a new Apple Watch and Apple TV. This year, we’re expecting a similar story, but no doubt will the limelight be on the latest smartphones from the Cupertino-based company.
Here are the features I’m expecting to see in the new phones come Tuesday afternoon/morning (depending on where you live).
iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max
First things first, Apple’s doing three new iPhones this year. They’re all gonna succeed last year’s iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR. And as we saw last year, Apple is doing another funky naming scheme, but this one seems to be a bit cleaner.
Design & Display
This year, we’re expecting an iPhone 11 (updated XR), an iPhone 11 Pro (updated XS), and an iPhone 11 Pro Max (updated XS Max). All three will look extremely similar to last year’s iPhones with glass bodies, virtually identical screens, and identical notches.
The biggest visual difference on the new iPhones will be a triple camera system that will live in a square bump at the top left. The setup will consist of a standard lens, a telephoto lens, and a new ultra-wide shooter. We’ve been seeing this type of layout for phone cameras since last year, and now, Apple will finally jump on board.
Of course, as you’re probably expecting, Apple is shaking things up a bit with its camera system. It’s almost like Apple can never sit still with features it brings to its phones, because even the most basic of features serve some “magical” purpose.
That “magical” purpose will be the responsibility of the ultra-wide lens Apple is introducing. Most manufacturers usually just implement the camera and hope it performs well, but Apple will be taking things a step further on both the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max in hopes that it can be genuinely useful when taking normal photos.
According to multiple reports, Apple will use the ultra-wide lens to collect additional information. That way, if a subject gets cut out of a normal photo taken with either Pro iPhone, the ultra-wide lens can capture the subject and blend them back into the main photograph. The company will also utilize new AI-powered correction tools that should help to make your pictures better without your own intervention.
This is an interesting approach for Apple. It sounds like they’re trying to do “magical” things with its cameras this year, and I can’t help but feel like it’s all in response to the raving reviews the Google Pixel’s camera has gotten over its lifespan. Even Bloomberg says to expect Apple to talk about its improved dark environment photography, something the Pixel has been known to do extremely well for a number of years.
Most interestingly of them all, the camera will be the iPhone 11’s principal focus. There’s no new flashy design or complete rethinking of what the iPhone can be to distract you from what the company does with its shooters. Because of this, Apple better be ready to step up its game, because it’s all anyone’s gonna be talking about.
In addition, Apple will be giving the standard iPhone 11 a second telephoto lens with the same capabilities as the existing iPhone XS.
Despite the new iPhones looking largely similar to last year’s models, reports indicate the new iPhone 11 lineup will have better water resistance. They’ll also be better prone to shattering thanks to stronger glass. Most notable, however, is the added shock resistance that Apple will include. That should help the overall lifespan of your iPhone exceed a typical two- or three-year ownership stint.
New Wireless Charging Tricks
Apple finally made wireless charging available on the iPhone in 2017 with the iPhone 8 and X. Last year, nothing new was added in terms of charging capabilities, but this year, things should take a pretty dramatic shift.
Reports suggest Apple will include reverse wireless charging on the iPhone 11 lineup for the first time, specifically marketed to those who want to charge their Apple Watch or AirPods on the go. The Apple logo on the back of the phones will be shifted down to the middle so people know where to place their devices in order to begin transferring power.
To accommodate the feature, Apple will include larger batteries on the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max. However, it’s unclear how big the new batteries will be.
Just like every year, Apple will be improving the performance of the iPhone 11 over the XS. This year, there’s a good chance Apple will include an A13 processor with potentially an extra gigabyte of RAM. This should make for a smoother experience while using the phones, and it could also translate to more headroom for the future and new AR experiences.
Improved Face ID
One of the biggest gripes many people have with recent iPhones is the fact that Face ID doesn’t always reliably perform well. This year, Apple will be improving things with a wider-angle camera on the front of the iPhone 11 that will allow you to unlock your phone even if it’s sitting flat on a desk. Obviously, you can’t trust these claims until they’re tested in the real world, but any improvements in this department will likely be appreciated by those who have issues with Apple’s Touch ID alternative.
No 3D Touch
Finally, here’s what you can’t expect in the new iPhones: 3D Touch. With iOS 13, it’s pretty evident Apple wants to get rid of the pressure-sensitive display layer it’s been including in almost every flagship iPhone since 2015. With the iPhone 11, Apple is widely expected to finally ditch the component in favor of Haptic Touch.
If you’re unfamiliar, Haptic Touch is literally 3D Touch minus the pressure sensitivity. You can long-press on any iOS element that’s usually 3D Touch compatible and it’ll do the thing you expect it to: peek or pop. It even gives you haptic feedback, hence the name.
Because this feature exists, it’s likely Apple doesn’t find much use for 3D Touch anymore, so it makes sense for them to phase it out.
Apple Week is here, so stay tuned
Apple Week is upon us, folks, and I’m gonna be writing a ton of takes on the new iPhones and whatever else Apple announces at its event. Stay tuned for all of that and more.