Sept 17 (Reuters) – Apple Inc (AAPL.O) Chief Executive Tim Cook told an all-hands meeting of employees on Friday he planned to discuss U.S. immigration policy with U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas later in the day, according to a source familiar with the meeting.
During the meeting, Cook also told employees that a recent U.S. court decision in an antitrust case brought by “Fortnite” creator Epic Games hand resulted in a victory for Apple in nine out of 10 counts, the source said.
The ruling amounted to “one or two sentences scratched out of an agreement” between Apple and developers on the App Store, the source cited Cook as saying.
He also told employees that Apple plans to have a physical retail presence in India. The country has a massive smartphone market, but Apple’s iPhones have only a small market share there compared with Android devices, the source said.
Apple did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Reporting by Julia Love in San Francisco; Writing by Stephen Nellis in San Francisco; Editing by Richard Chang
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
It’s September, which can only mean one thing: Apple’s got some new products. This week, the company held a virtual event to detail its slate of upcoming iPhones, iPads, and smartwatches. Along with the new chips, Apple showed off some flashy photo and video features meant to appeal to pro users. But are those features all they’re cracked up to be? And do you really need to buy the new hardware in order to use them?
This week on Gadget Lab, WIRED reviews editor Julian Chokkattu joins us to talk about everything Apple announced this week and what you need to know before upgrading.
Read all about the new iPhone 13. Also check out the changes to the iPad Mini. Here’s everything Apple announced at its event this week. Here’s Lauren and Julian’s story about Google’s new tensor chip in its Pixel 6 phone. And you bet your ass we talked about cargo pants again.
Julian Chokkattu can be found on Twitter @JulianChokkattu. Lauren Goode is @LaurenGoode. Michael Calore is @snackfight. Bling the main hotline at @GadgetLab. The show is produced by Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth). Our theme music is by Solar Keys.
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How to Listen
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More Great WIRED Stories
MOSCOW, Sept 17 (Reuters) – Alphabet’s Google (GOOGL.O) and Apple (AAPL.O) have removed jailed Kremlin critic Alexei Navalny’s tactical voting app from their stores, his team said on Friday, after Russia accused the U.S. tech firms of meddling in its internal affairs.
Russia goes to the polls on Friday to elect a new parliament in a three-day vote that the ruling United Russia party is expected to win despite a ratings slump after the biggest crackdown on the Kremlin’s critics in years. read more
Allies of Navalny, President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest domestic opponent, planned to use the mobile app to organise a tactical voting campaign to deal a blow to United Russia.
Russia demanded this month that Apple and Google remove the app from their stores, saying a refusal to do so would be treated as meddling in its parliamentary election.
Apple and Google did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
On Thursday, Russia said official approaches had been made to the two companies’ chief executives. read more
Ivan Zhdanov, a Navalny ally based abroad, said on Friday the removal amounted to political censorship.
Reporting by Anton Zverev and Alexander Marrow; Writing by Maria Kiselyova; Editing by Robert Birsel
Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.
Everyone is listening. Cafe waiters are eavesdropping from behind their ordering pads; baristas over the hiss of the espresso machine. Cleaners are mopping up secrets in house after house. Uber drivers can’t help but overhear; pedicurists too. And loyal hairdressers have decades of stories to share – all that tactile intimacy.
In Liane Moriarty’s new novel, Apples Don’t Fall, a mystery unfolds in snippets and whispers – a suspected murder, a missing body – but every witness has their own story: exams to sit, bills to pay, Tinder dates to preen for, the loneliness of widowhood. They hear what they hear because, in service jobs, they’re treated as invisible – as inert and functional as furniture. Our loose-lipped cast might not notice them, but Moriarty sure does.
Moriarty has an eye for gentrified grotesqueries: retail hubs trussed up as Tuscan villages (“at least the fake cobblestones didn’t catch heels like real cobblestones”); memoir classes in which women in “tailored pants and pearl earrings” craft tales of woe on creamy new stationery; leafy streets patrolled by designer dogs, and double strollers as expensive as cars. There’s a reason she’s the mordant queen of Sydney suburbia.
Until this novel – her ninth – I knew Moriarty’s books only by reputation and buzz from the prestige television adaptations of Big Little Lies and Nine Perfect Strangers: Nicole Kidman in various shades of aloof. When the galley of Apples Don’t Fall landed on my doorstep with its 500 pages of wallop, I was primed for a tale of lily-white affluence and its discontents: weaponised gossip, class frictions and the occasional untimely death; a harbour view, perhaps. Moriarty’s trademarks are certainly present, but there’s something else in here – something quiet and clenched – that’s overshadowed by her book’s more salacious trimmings.
In a neighbourhood of “nicely modulated voices” and well-tended gardens, aspiring grandmother and fearsome doubles player Joy Delaney has gone missing. Her husband Stan is suspiciously scratched-up. He blames a vengeful hedge, but the neighbours – ears ever-pricked – heard the pair arguing the night before she disappeared. For more than 40 years, Joy and Stan ran the local tennis school (“Joy made the money and Stan made the stars”) while they lustily produced four enormous, tennis-crazy children (now embittered, tennis-averse adults). But the couple have recently retired and, relieved of all their hectic obligations, their marriage has curdled. “Maybe every marriage had secret cracks that could turn into chasms,” Moriarty ponders. Or maybe the signs were there all along.
The Delaney family is a magnificent snarl of allegiances and grievances, unsalved wounds and intergenerational chafing. There’s churlish, hulking Stan, who once unearthed a Grand Slam champion, only to be cast aside when the kid hit the big time; and the ever-fractious sibling quartet – blue-haired Amy, morally slippery Troy, pathologically laid-back Logan, and Brooke with an e – not one of them a tennis prodigy, nor able to forget it. Joy is forever in the middle, her brood’s peacekeeper-in-chief. She could have made it to Wimbledon, but sacrificed her talent on the altar of family.
When Moriarty plonks us down at the dinner table, her pages are pyrotechnic. The writer turns a Father’s Day lunch into a deliciously theatrical centrepiece – a buffet of bruised egos. There’s Olympic-level bickering, a chocolate brownie duel. Every short Delaney fuse is lit and fizzing, and we can only wait to see who will detonate first. All that emotional shrapnel whizzing past our ears. But farce slips into domestic horror: as the days turn to weeks with no sign of Joy, the children must grapple with the hardening probability that their father has murdered their mother. “Sometimes when she pulled out a funny memory from their shared childhood,” the eldest Delaney daughter, Amy, reflects, “it turned out to be not so funny after all.”
If Moriarty had kept the aperture narrowed – a portrait of a family riven by new suspicions and old rivalries – Apples Don’t Fall would have been a subtle tale of everyday violence. The ways women are incrementally eroded; the ways men are taught to harness their rage. All the ecstasies and cruelties of elite sports (not to mention its striving parents). But Moriarty wraps her family in a glossier mystery: a young woman arrives on the Delaney doorstep in the dead of night, bruised, bloodied and in need of shelter. Grand revelations brew; ornate revenge.
It’s a restless, rambling subplot that relies, dispiritingly, on a wearying and pernicious shock tactic: a vixenish schemer who cries wolf, faking her claim of intimate partner violence (“another girl’s awful truth at the heart of her awful lie”). That Moriarty’s characters are well aware of the trope – and trust their interloper more readily because of it – makes it all the more grotesque and lazy.
Apples Don’t Fall ends up feeling indulgently overgarnished, like some ornate cafe breakfast that’s designed to be Instagrammed rather than eaten. It’s all perfectly readable, but it’s hard not to want something more from someone so scabrously smart. “If Joy had been young and beautiful,” Moriarty writes, “the street would’ve been crawling with reporters.” As she’s a woman in her 60s, the case simmers along as a minor neighbourhood scandal. It’s hard not to feel, in so clumsily grafting Joy’s story to a young, titillating stranger, Moriarty has done exactly the same thing.
This story is part of , our full coverage of the latest news from Apple.
I like my iPhone, but I’d love it if it had USB-C. So I was cheered this week to see an indication that it might someday.
I wasn’t surprised when Apple introduced theon Tuesday with the same old the company has used since 2012. Lightning is fine. But it isn’t USB-C.
Here’s what I like about USB-C. It’s versatile, an industry standard that spans more and more of the electronics world. It transfers data at up to 20 gigabits per second and is jumping to 40Gbps with the new 240W upgrade that’ll be great for gaming laptops. And there’s a growing ecosystem of USB-C accessories, including hubs, docking stations, keyboards, flash drives and memory card readers.just now arriving. It charges phones, tablets, PCs and anything else that needs up to 100 watts of power, with a
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Apple has more or less stuck with Lightning, a proprietary product, for its mobile devices, though its top-endand the . ( debuted USB-C in 2015, a move that prompted some grumbling because it did away with the beloved MagSafe connector.)
Now Apple is providing hints that USB-C could spread. At its event this week, the, making the device more powerful and flexible. It’ll be harder to switch iPhones to USB-C because so many phones and Lightning chargers are already in use, but it increasingly looks like Apple is preparing its formidably large customer base and product ecosystem to make the leap.
Picking apart Apple product announcements is a bit like Cold War Kremlinology: spycraft that attempted to figure out what the Soviet Union was up to by assessing which Russian officials were in or out of favor. The introduction of USB-C to some new devices doesn’t necessarily mean Apple is softening the ground for a major change to its most important product line.
Still, I think USB-C is in the iPhone’s future. A wholesale transition, while no doubt a big pain, ultimately will be good for you, the iPhone and the planet. You’ll get less electronic junk, the iPhone will get more utility and landfills won’t be littered with as many cables that only work with a fraction of devices.
Apple didn’t comment for this story.
Apple, get with the program
Almost every other corner of the tech world has moved to USB-C for data and charging. Android phones settled on USB-C ports years ago, and it’s a fixture in Windows PCs. The price premium for USB-C accessories is easing, too.
I use USB-C for external drives, earbuds, headphones, flash card readers, two laptop docking stations, a Nintendo Switch and its Joy-Cons,, Android phones, hardware security keys, the family’s Macs, a Microsoft Surface Laptop and a Google Pixel Slate. I have USB-C chargers in two cars and four rooms in my house. On the road, I use portable batteries with USB-C ports.
The pesky Lightning cable I need for my iPhone is increasingly out of place. Lightning was a fine replacement for the iPhone’s older and bulky 30-pin connector, but now USB-C is a much better alternative.
Apple sees the benefits, too. Katie MacDonald, an iPad product manager, said Tuesday that the iPad Mini’s USB-C connector is 10 times faster than Lightning and can “connect to a vast ecosystem of USB-C accessories.” That’s great for everyone from amateur photographers to medical personnel scanning patients with Butterfly portable ultrasound scanners.
If you’re filling your cinematographer Greig Fraser for another iPhone endorsement, he won’t have to use that awkward Lightning dongle on a USB-C iPhone.‘s 1TB of storage with high-end ProRes video, you might appreciate a faster technology than Lightning to transfer your data. And if Apple signs up
Why Apple isn’t racing to sell USB-C iPhones
With millions of iPhones in use, dumping Lightning connectors won’t be easy. Customers have invested in chargers and cables in homes, offices and cars. Lightning is also used in AirPods charging cases and wired Apple earbuds, too.
Moving to USB-C means that Lightning gear has to be replaced. I’m old enough to remember the howls of displeasure when Apple dumped its 30-pin connector, and Lightning today is vastly better established than the old connector was in 2012.
Lightning also has kept iPhones above the fray for some of USB-C’s growing pains. It can be hard to tell if a particular cable can handle USB’s full power and top data transfer speeds. Some of those issues remain, but USB’s advantages outweigh them.
A transition, should one come, would force iPhone loyalists to buy a lot of new cables, a prospect no one is likely to relish. In the long run, though, it’ll be worthwhile. Now or soon, you’ll likely use USB-C to charge other devices, so switching ultimately reduces your life’s electronic clutter. It will also reduce e-waste because you’d need fewer cables to cover most of your devices. You can always donate your old cables to those who still need them.
How about an iPhone with no ports at all?
iPhones could go straight from Lightning connectors to no connectors at all. Connectors pierce holes in a phone’s chassis that weaken it, expose it to the elements and increase manufacturing costs.
Wireless charging and data transfer techniques are getting better. With Apple’s iCloud, you don’t need to back up and sync your iPhone with a cable plugged into your laptop anymore. The best way to get music from your phone to better speakers is with Bluetooth, not a phone docking station.
Charging and data ports, however, will maintain their utility. Nothing beats a cheap copper cable when it comes to fast, private, reliable data transfer. When you have only a few minutes to spare in the airport or car, rapid charging will boost your battery better than any charging pad.
When it’s time to plug that cable into my phone, I vote for USB-C.
iPhone 13 and 13 Mini explained
September 16, 2021
Apple offers customers more ways to shop for the all-new iPhone 13 lineup, iPad, and iPad mini
iPad and iPad mini available for order now; iPhone 13 lineup available for pre-order beginning September 17
Starting tomorrow, September 17, customers can pre-order Apple’s innovative and elegant iPhone 13 lineup, and choose from a number of new pickup, payment, and delivery options, as well as great carrier offers directly at Apple Retail. Customers can already order the powerful new iPad mini and ninth-generation iPad. The full iPhone 13 and iPad product lineups will be available in stores and delivered to customers beginning Friday, September 24.
With an entirely redesigned online store, shopping with Apple online or in-store is simpler than ever. Whether a customer is seeking personalized support and advice from an Apple Specialist or taking advantage of Apple’s convenient delivery and pickup options, free engraving, special carrier offers, or great new trade-in values, the best place to buy the latest Apple products is at Apple.
“Hey Siri, Set an Alarm for iPhone 13 Pre-Orders Tomorrow at 5 A.M. PDT”
Apple is making it easier than ever for customers to get ready for pre-orders of iPhone 13 Pro, iPhone 13 Pro Max, iPhone 13, and iPhone 13 mini. From now until tonight at 9 p.m. PDT, customers can get a head start on pre-orders by choosing their iPhone 13 model, selecting how they want to pay, and leaving the product in their shopping bag, so they’re only a click away once pre-orders open.
There are new options to pay monthly, and when customers add Apple Card as their payment method, they will get 3 percent Daily Cash back, whether their order is paid in full or via monthly installments. Customers can also elect to trade in their current device to get credit toward a new iPhone.
Turn the Device You Have into the Device You Want with Apple Trade In
Through carrier offers, financing options, and Apple’s Trade In program, customers now have even more ways to become Apple owners.
iPhone holds its value for years, and new trade-in values are better than ever. Customers can save up to $1,000 on iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max with trade-in directly from the Apple Store online or at an Apple Store when they activate it with select US carriers. For terms, eligibility requirements, and more details, see apple.com/shop/buy-iphone/carrier-offers. In-store or online, Apple Specialists help customers choose the right device and payment plan, and will activate and set up new products.
Apple’s Trade In program is quick and simple. In an Apple Store, customers receive instant credit toward a purchase or an Apple Gift Card to use anytime. For those trading in products from home, Apple will send a prepaid trade-in kit to package the old device. As always, if the device isn’t eligible for credit, Apple will recycle it for free.
Shop with Help from Apple
Available only at Apple, those looking for help finding the product that best meets their needs are able to receive one-on-one support from Apple Specialists. Online or in-store, Apple matches customers with a dedicated team member to provide a personalized shopping experience and offer help setting up new devices. In addition, SignTime offers on-demand sign language interpreters to customers in-store and online.
Once a customer buys their new iPhone or iPad, Apple offers same-day and next-day delivery in a number of markets, as well as convenient pickup at a local Apple Store.
Going Further with Expert Support
Apple’s highly trained teams are available to assist customers in whatever way they may need. After a new product is shipped or purchased in-store, Apple offers free online sessions with experts to cover any question, all with the goal of helping customers get the most from their new devices.
For those looking to learn more about their new products, online Today at Apple Product Skills sessions offer tips on how to get the most out of iPhone, iPad, and Mac across various hardware and software features.
To find a nearby store or shop online, visit apple.com/store.
Apple Media Helpline
Non-practicing entity TOT Power Control, the licensing arm of Top Optimized Technologies, this week filed suit against Apple for infringing a pair of wireless communications technology patents covering baseband modem power output and its relation to call quality.
Lodged with the U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware on Tuesday, TOT Power Control’s complaint alleges Apple products like iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad contain wireless baseband components, including those manufactured by Qualcomm and Intel, that infringe on owned intellectual property.
As described in the complaint, power control is utilized in 3G wireless communications protocols to avoid interference between user equipment codes in uplink and downlink signals. Power control for ongoing transmissions, like phone calls, is reliant on a closed loop system that adjusts transmission power (inner loop) based on on a signal-to-interference ratio target (outer loop).
While standards like 3GPP UMTS offer specifications for inner loop power control, outer loop algorithms, which adjust the signal-to-interference ratio target to account for changing radio conditions, are not well defined, the complaint says. TOT’s patented solutions manage signal-to-interference ratio target values “so that power, and consequently wireless channel capacity, is not wasted and call quality is maintained.” Each IP focuses on reducing interference by applying specialized code to the outer loop process.
Apple’s iPhone, Apple Watch and iPad are named in the complaint.
TOT has sued a number of major wireless carriers over similar claims in the past including Vodafone Spain, Verizon, AT&T and T-Mobile. Huawei was also named as an infringing party in TOT’s suit against Vodafone Spain after the telco backed out of a 2012 licensing agreement to implement 3G technology developed by the Chinese company.
TOT in its suit against Apple seeks damages, royalties and court fees.
For many who follow tech news closely, Apple’s event on Tuesday had a few big surprises — not because there were completely unexpected announcements, but because we didn’t see things we really thought we’d be getting. Rumors that had enough smoke to be almost a sure-fire thing in previous years ended up falling flat.
The Apple Watch was rumored to get a complete redesign, featuring flat edges and a flat screen. We saw this design in renders, reportedly leaked CAD files (which act as a 3D blueprint for products), and even heard that it’d be happening from noted Apple reporter Mark Gurman two days before the event. While the Apple Watch that showed up on stage does have some design tweaks, it looks nothing like what we were expecting.
Another notable analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, also reported days before the event that Apple would debut a new set of AirPods, redesigned to include shorter stems. The wireless earbud redesign has also been rumored for months by Gurman, we’ve even seen alleged pictures of them, and some noted publications wrote that Apple was set to start production on the buds in August. With this rumor, though, it’s possible that just the timing was off, and that Apple will release them at an (of course!) already-rumored future event.
Gurman also suggested that the iPhone 13 could feature an always-on display, thanks to the (accurately rumored) LTPO display that could theoretically allow for the low refresh rate needed to make always-on not destroy the phone’s battery. The always-on rumor was also backed up by well-known leaker Max Weinbach earlier this year. Alas, Apple didn’t announce this display feature that has been a staple on Android phones for years.
There was also just some general weirdness with rumors this time around. Only a few weeks before the iPhone 13 was announced, Kuo wrote that it might have the ability to communicate with satellites, letting you make calls or texts without cell service. The next day, Bloomberg offered its own interpretation, saying that Apple was working on a satellite communications feature for emergency use, and that the iPhone 13 may include hardware for it, but probably not software. However, when the iPhone 13 spec page hit Apple’s website, it didn’t include any mention of the cellular bands that started the starry-eyed rumors in the first place.
Of course, rumors have always had to be taken with a grain of salt, as anyone trading in them is almost certainly going to be working with incomplete information. Still, some of the big names like Kuo and Gurman get it right so often — the rumors about the iPad Mini redesign, high refresh-rate iPhone display, and smaller notch all came true, and we even saw the rumored cinematic camera mode. Success like that, and how accurate rumors have been in years past, can make it easier to forget the tenuousness of rumors — no matter how many times people like Marques Brownlee remind us.
This isn’t to laugh at those who believed the rumors, or say that there’s no place for rumors in the buildup to events — it can be exciting to feel like we’re getting a peek at what’s coming next, and to start thinking about whether we’ll pick up the new device, and how we’ll use it.
P.S. Remember this moment if Apple announces something that looks suspiciously like a Mac event later this fall. This isn’t to say that the 14- and 16-inch redesigned MacBook Pros with all the ports and processing power you ever wanted aren’t coming, but treating them as a sure thing could lead to some real heartache.
The refreshed Apple TV 4K hit shelves in April, but the anticipated tvOS 15 update that introduces exciting updates to the Apple TV experience was previously only available in beta. That will change next week: Apple has confirmed tvOS 15 will become widely available to everyone on September 20th.
Apple confirmed to The Verge that the tvOS 15 update will go live the same day as its other operating system updates, which include iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8. The tvOS 15 update brings a number of new features to the Apple TV experience. SharePlay is arguably the most exciting addition to the experience and will allow FaceTime users to stream titles together in sync across their Apple devices, including on Apple TV. However, Apple confirmed in August that the feature would be delayed on iOS 15 and tvOS 15 initially and would arrive in a later update, so that feature’s currently still on ice — for now.
tvOS will also add two new discovery features to its Apple TV app: For All of You and Shared with You. For All of You will appear as a new row in the Apple TV app and will suggest titles for an entire household to stream together. Shared with You, meanwhile, will show movies and series that have been shared from Messages in their own row within the Apple TV app.
Plus, tvOS is also getting a handful of less flashy but nonetheless functionally exciting updates. Beginning with tvOS 15, Apple TV users will see an on-screen prompt to connect their AirPods for easy silent streaming, and the AirPods Pro or AirPods Max will also get support for Apple’s spatial audio feature when connected to the Apple TV for a theater-like experience. The update will also introduce HomePod Mini pairing as well as a HomeKit update that will allow Apple TV users to see multiple home camera feeds at once. Apple didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about whether any of these other expected features would be delayed.
tvOS 15 will be supported on the Apple TV HD, Apple TV 4K (2017), and the latest Apple TV 4K (2021). Look for the software update in the settings menu on your Apple TV device beginning next week.
Cameras continue to be one of the biggest differentiators in smartphones, and Apple’s iPhone lineup is no different. Apple says the iPhone 13 and 13 Mini have the company’s “most advanced dual-camera system ever,” while the 13 Pro and Pro Max have “our three most powerful cameras ever.”
Which you’d hope for, of course. But this year, Apple really does appear to be making a big push with its cameras, particularly with the Pro models. As ever, the question will be what Apple is able to wring out of its hardware with image processing and software.
The iPhone 13 lineup represents the first time Apple has increased the primary camera’s sensor size across the board since the iPhone XS and XR in 2018, though last year’s 12 Pro Max had a 47 percent bigger sensor than the 12 and 12 Pro. Sensor size is a key factor in image quality because, together with lens aperture, it determines how much light the camera is able to capture. More light, less noise and blur.
The iPhone 13 and 13 Mini’s main cameras have bigger sensors, which is part of the reason why it and the ultrawide are now arranged diagonally in the camera bump. Apple also added sensor-shift optical image stabilization, a feature first seen on the 12 Pro Max. It’s not clear exactly how big the 13’s sensor is, but Apple says it’ll capture 47 percent more light than the 12.
The 13 Pro and Pro Max have a even bigger primary sensor and slightly faster f/1.5 lens that capture 2.2 times as much light as before, according to Apple. Again, the exact sensor size hasn’t been advertised, but Apple did give the pixel size: it’s 1.9μm, which is bigger than any modern smartphone I’m aware of. Apple can do this because the sensor is a relatively low-resolution 12 megapixels, but it’s still an impressive stat that should translate to better low-light performance. For comparison, the 12 Pro Max had 1.7μm pixels, while every other iPhone since the XS has had 1.4μm pixels.
It’s not clear exactly what hardware changes Apple has made to the iPhone 13’s ultrawide camera; the company simply says it has a “faster sensor” that “reveals more detail in the dark areas of your photos.” The Pro does have significant hardware tweaks, though, since Apple has increased the aperture to f/1.8 for a 92-percent improvement in light-gathering capability. The sensor also now has focus pixels on board — things are rarely out of focus in ultrawide shots because the depth of field is so large, but adding autofocus means that the camera can be used for macro photography, with a focusing distance of 2cm.
The telephoto camera remains exclusive to the 13 Pro phones, and Apple has increased its equivalent focal length to 77mm, or three times longer than the primary camera. Previously the iPhone 12 Pro’s telephoto offered 2x zoom while the 12 Pro Max went out to 2.5x. There’s a tradeoff here — if you want to frame something with 2x zoom, the 13 Pro will need to crop in from the main camera, reducing image quality. But your pictures that go beyond 3x zoom will be much sharper than before, and it should make for a better portrait lens. Apple has also added Night mode to the telephoto for the first time.
When compared to the Android competition, Apple isn’t doing much to outgun them on the hardware front. The large 1.9μm pixels are noteworthy, but most Android phone makers have been prioritizing big, high-resolution sensors rather than pure pixel size. Xiaomi’s Mi 11 Ultra, for example, has a huge 50-megapixel sensor with 1.4μm pixels, meaning it has decent light-gathering ability even when shot at native resolution without binning the pixels together. And while the 3x telephoto lens is going to be useful, it’s now common to see 5x periscope telephotos (or occasionally even 10x) in the Android world.
So even though Apple has made meaningful hardware improvements across the iPhone 13 lineup, as ever its performance relative to competitors will come down to how well its software and image processing pipeline has been optimized. The iPhone 11 was a hugely better camera than the XS the year before it, after all, even though the hardware barely changed. This year Apple is touting Smart HDR 4, which is capable of individually adjusting exposure for multiple people in the frame, but we’ll have to see the phones for ourselves to know what kind of a difference that makes. The same goes for Photographic Styles, a new filter-like feature that Apple says is smarter about adjusting elements like skin tones and skies in each photo.
As for video, Apple is making a big deal out of its Cinematic mode that lets you selectively adjust focus and depth of field when post-processing, like Portrait mode for photos. That’s something we’ll definitely have to test extensively. The 13 Pro, meanwhile, lets you record and edit video in Apple’s ProRes codec on the phone itself, or you can export the ProRes file to Final Cut Pro on a Mac.
All the usual caveats about waiting for full reviews most certainly still apply, but this is looking like a pretty good year for the iPhone camera. Apple is never going to have the flashiest hardware, but it’s made some welcome improvements in areas that make sense, and thankfully it hasn’t locked any features to the Max-sized iPhone. We’re looking forward to seeing the results — as well as those of looming competitors like the Pixel 6.