Apple’s September 10th hardware event is just a few days away, and there’s lots of news and hardware to look forward to. Reports indicate that you should expect three new iPhones with the same screen sizes and resolutions as the iPhone XR, XS, and XS Max. The 2019 lineup will also likely have a different naming scheme: if one popular rumor is true, your next phone might be called the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
What else is new? There might be a lot, actually. We spent some time in the Apple rumor mill and ranked every major rumor based on how excited (or disappointed) we’ll be if they are (or aren’t) revealed.
1 ) BEHOLD, THE CAMERA SQUARE!
The new iPhone’s most distinctive feature may be impossible to miss: a giant square on the back of the phone with three cameras inside, including an ultra-wide-angle lens. But according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, that new camera won’t just let you capture more of the world around you. It sounds like Apple has some new software tricks ready for the camera as well.
The three lenses apparently take three images simultaneously and can use that extra wide angle real estate to pull off some snazzy AI feats, like automatically reframing an image to include someone who got their head chopped off by the edge of your camera’s frame. That’s a feature called Smart Frame, says 9to5Mac’s Guilherme Rambo.
The cameras will also take better low-light photos by combining the three cameras’ images, says Bloomberg. Hopefully, it’s as good as what Google’s Pixels can do with Night Sight.
2) MULTIANGLE FACE ID
With this year’s iPhones, Face ID may be getting a big upgrade. You should finally be able to reliably unlock your iPhone without tilting it to the right angle or maybe even while it’s sitting flat on your desk. That’s because the face unlock technology will now be able to scan a wider field of view for your face, says Bloomberg.
3) SLOW-MOTION SELFIES
There’s nothing quite like watching people eating or breaking things in slow motion, and now, you may be able to capture yourself doing those things, too. This year’s iPhones may be able to record slow-motion selfie videos. The front-facing camera will apparently be able to record at 120 fps, per reporting from Guilherme Rambo, and I eagerly await what TikTok users will do with it.
There aren’t a lot of features that might have the power to launch an army of memes, so we’re tentatively slotting this one in at number 3.
4) FACETIME ATTENTION CORRECTION
Check out this photo of a guy looking at his iPhone’s screen. Can you tell the difference?
In the photo on the right, the iPhone is editing this man’s eyes to make it seem like he’s looking at you.
That’s thanks to a new feature in iOS 13 that uses AR to “correct” your gaze. It’s meant to “fix” the long-standing problem regarding how to make eye contact during video calls since you can’t usually look at your front-facing camera if you’re already looking at the screen. This one’s likely to blow some minds if or when Apple shows it off onstage.
5) REAL-TIME VIDEO EDITING
Say you’re recording a video at a concert on your phone, but the lighting or framing sucks. You don’t have time to stop recording and adjust the settings. You tell yourself you’ll fix it when you get home. Three months later, you still haven’t posted it, and you’ll never get that clout. Apple’s new high-end iPhones may let you edit videos in real time, adding effects, changing colors, and cropping videos while you’re still recording them, according to Bloomberg.
6) YOU CAN MAYBE BUY A “PRO” IPHONE NOW
iPhone 11 Pro? Perhaps. Apple will apparently differentiate the successors of the higher-end iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max by adding “Pro” to their names, like it does for its iPads and MacBooks. That’s according to a Twitter user who accurately leaked the names of last year’s iPhone lineup.
That may be a reflection of how you no longer need to buy the biggest iPhone to get the best and most features. But it also suggests that you’re still going to have to pay a premium for that “Pro” status, regardless of which screen size you pick. It could signal a shift in Apple’s strategy if higher-end iPhones are going to be marketed as professional tools now. It also suggests that the successor to Apple’s cheaper iPhone XR will likely become the “non-Pro” device.
7) REVERSE WIRELESS CHARGING THAT CAN CHARGE YOUR AIRPODS
Imagine charging your AirPods just by plopping the wireless charging case on the back of your phone. Soon, you might be able to because Apple is reportedly adding reverse wireless charging to the upcoming iPhones, according to Bloomberg. Reverse wireless charging is something Samsung introduced with the Galaxy S10 earlier this year, and it can also wirelessly charge other phones. Hopefully, the next iPhones will also have phone-to-phone or even phone-to-Watch charging as well.
8) NO 5G THIS YEAR
If you were expecting Apple’s newest iPhones to have 5G this year, don’t count on it.
Honestly, that’s probably a good thing. 5G still has spotty coverage in the few cities across the US where you can use it. Hopefully, by next year, when it’s expected that iPhones will get 5G, it will be in more places and have better coverage.
9) IMPROVED WATER RESISTANCE
The new iPhones should be able to survive for a long time underwater, as they will have “dramatically enhanced” water resistance, Bloomberg reports. The iPhone XS and XS Max already have an IP68 water resistance rating, which lets you submerge your phone in up to seven feet of water for 30 minutes, so dropping the new phone in the sink or bathtub will probably be even less of an issue.
10) BETTER TAPTIC ENGINE AND THE REMOVAL OF 3D TOUCH
The new iPhones might just feel better to use due to a new haptics motor, or Taptic Engine, according to Guilherme Rambo. However, it seems that 3D Touch will be removed entirely and replaced by Haptic Touch, a long-press functionality that was introduced with the iPhone XR last year, according to Bloomberg. RIP 3D Touch.
11) NEW BACK FINISHES AND NEW COLORS
Your iPhone may be less slippery this year and perhaps sport a new sheen. “At least some” of the higher-end iPhones should also be getting a new matte finish on the back glass, according to Bloomberg. Perhaps it will look and feel something like the Google Pixel 3.
New colors are likely coming for the XR’s successor, too. Earlier this year, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman tweeted two new colors for the next XR: a green, which Bloomberg has reported, and a purple. Looking at the invite to Apple’s event, green and purple can be seen in addition to red, blue, and yellow, which are colors the XR already comes in. New colors seem likely.
12) THE XR’S SUCCESSOR WILL GET A SECOND CAMERA
You used to have to pay extra for a second camera on your iPhone. But starting this year, it sounds like the budget XR’s successor will join the iPhone XS and XS Max in getting a second rear camera. The second lens will enable optical zoom and an “enhanced” portrait mode, Bloomberg says.
13) RETURN OF THE RAINBOW APPLE LOGO?
If you’ve lamented the loss of the glowing Apple logo on the back of Macs, there might be a fun logo alternative to look forward to on Apple products this year. Apple’s classic rainbow logo may show up on Apple products as soon as this year, according to MacRumors.
The rainbow Apple graphic on the event invite could be another clue about seeing that logo show up on devices. But we’re not sure if that’s a clue worth investing a lot of hope in. There are notable differences in how the event invite orders the colors on the Apple and how Apple does it for the official Apple logo.
14) NO USB-C THIS YEAR
Sadly, it seems this won’t be the year when we can carry a single USB-C charger to charge our iPhones, iPads, and MacBooks. Apple is sticking with the Lightning port for the new iPhones, according to Guilherme Rambo. One thing we’re still crossing our fingers for? Maybe Apple will finally ditch the Lightning to USB-A cable and pack in a Lightning to USB-C cable.
15) NO TOUCH ID, BUT IT MAY COME BACK SOON
Even though many flagship Android phones have managed to hold on to their fingerprint reader by placing it under the screen, don’t expect Apple to do that this year. Touch ID might come back to iPhones soon in the form of an in-screen fingerprint reader as early as 2021, industry analyst Ming-Chi Kuo reports. Bloomberg reports that it may even come as soon as 2020. For now, it seems Apple will be sticking with Face ID.
16) A NEW MUTE SWITCH
There’s one thing on the iPhone that’s remained essentially the same since the first model, and this year, it may finally be getting an upgrade.
That’s right: the mute switch could change from a sideways-moving switch to one that moves up and down — or so OnLeaks and CashKaro report. At long last, the confusion of not knowing which way the mute switch is facing is over.
I know you’re still reeling about the mute switch, but what else can we expect from Apple’s other product lines next week?
New Apple Watch models
The ceramic Apple Watch might be making a comeback, and it may be joined by a titanium model. iHelp BR found that an August watchOS beta contained images referencing new 44mm titanium and ceramic Apple Watch cases. Unfortunately, it’s unclear if these will be for a Series 5 Apple Watch or just new cases for the Series 4.
Apple TV Plus and Apple Arcade pricing
At its March services event, Apple withheld key details about pricing and release information for Apple TV Plus and Apple Arcade. Now, nearly six months later, we might finally get them. We may already know the answers: Apple TV Plus, the company’s Netflix / Hulu / Amazon Prime Video / Disney+ competitor, is expected to launch in November for $9.99 a month, per Bloomberg. Apple Arcade, the company’s game subscription service, is expected to cost $4.99 a month, according to Guilherme Rambo.
New Apple TV with A12 processor
Apple may also launch a new Apple TV set-top box so you can better enjoy those fresh new Apple TV Plus and Apple Arcade subscriptions on your TV. MacRumors has found strings referencing an unreleased Apple TV in an internal build of iOS 13. The new Apple TV may have an A12 chip, according to a Twitter user who has correctly reported previous Apple hardware codenames.
Apple’s Tile competitor
Apple is apparently building a device similar to a Tile, a small Bluetooth-enabled tracking device that can be attached to things like your wallet or backpack and paired to an app. Apple’s version will work with iOS 13’s new Find My app, which combines Find My Friends and Find My iPhone into one app for finding, apparently, all of your things. MacRumors reports that the tags may look like this:
Apple launched the HomePod for $349 before dropping the price to $299 earlier this year. It’s working on making a new version that’s even cheaper, according to Bloomberg, but it seems like it won’t arrive until as early as next year.
New AirPods with water resistance and noise cancellation
Apple is working on more expensive AirPods with water resistance and noise cancellation that Apple plans to launch “by next year,” per Bloomberg.
An iPhone SE successor
Rumors have churned about a new iPhone SE for years, and it doesn’t seem like one will show up at next week’s event. However, we may see the next SE next year. Bloomberg reports that Apple might be making a new low-cost phone that could come out “as early as the first half of 2020.” Bloomberg says the new phone could look like an iPhone 8 with a 4.7-inch screen, so it seems like the SE’s beloved compact design with its smaller 4-inch screen may be gone for good.
Apple is working on new iPads, according to Bloomberg, including iPad Pros with upgraded cameras and processors and a low-end iPad with a screen size increase from 9.7 inches to 10.2 inches. Perhaps we will see these at an October event, like how Apple released new iPads and the MacBook Air last October.
16-inch MacBook Pro
Everyone is waiting with bated breath for the new 16-inch MacBook Pro with a not-butterfly keyboard. But we think this is more likely to appear at a potential, “computer”-focused October event alongside Apple’s other portable computers.