iOS 14: Everything New in Messages

Messages, one of the quintessential apps on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, is the home of iMessages, Apple’s exclusive device-to-device messaging protocol indicated by those well-known blue chat bubbles.


If you’re an ‌‌iPhone‌‌ user you know how the Messages app works, but in iOS 14, the Messages app is getting some useful new features that are worth highlighting. Read on for a rundown of everything that’s new, and make sure to check out our included how tos for instructions on how to use all of the new features.

Updated Interface

Messages in ‌iOS 14‌ has an updated main interface that lets you choose to see all messages in one feed, all messages from your known senders list, or messages from unknown senders that are not in your contact list.


You can get to these different views by tapping on the “Filters” button in the main conversation list in the Messages app.

There’s also a new feature that lets you see typing indicators in the conversation list without needing to tap into a conversation, so you can see all of your contacts who are typing at a glance.

Pinned Chats

Your most important conversations can be pinned to the top of the Messages app by swiping to the right on any of the conversations in the main chat list.


Pinning a conversation turns it into a circle at the top of the Messages app, putting it front and center. You can pin a total of nine conversations.

Icons for pinned chats are dynamic, so you can see the photo of the participant overlaid with recent unread messages, Tapbacks, and typing indicators. Fun fact: Typing indicators on pinned chats will line up with the mouths for people who have a portrait photo or a Memoji selected as their shared image.

Both single person conversations and group conversations can be pinned, and each one has the same dynamic icon feature.

The images in pinned conversations are those that the people you’re chatting with have chosen to share with you. Shared profile photos are a feature that was introduced back in iOS 13. Group chats will have the photo that has been selected for the group, and ‌iOS 14‌ introduces new group photo customization options.

Inline Replies

Inline replies is a feature that’s designed to make it easier to organize chats that involve multiple people and/or multiple subjects.


If you’re in a chat with several people and there are conversations going on that cover multiple topics, you can make it clear who you want to reply to by using an inline reply.

Make an inline reply by long pressing on the message that you want to reply to and choosing the “Reply” option.

Inline replies will show up threaded under the original reply, and if you tap on one, you can see the entire conversation separate from the main chat conversation. Inline replies can be used in single person conversations or in group chats, but they’re most useful in multi-person chats.

Mentions

Mentions in the Messages app are designed to let you direct a message to a specific person in a group chat to get their attention or to make it clear who you’re speaking to in a multi-person conversation.

messages
Mentions are available in both single person chats and group conversations, but are most useful in group chats.

You can mention someone by typing their specific name as it appears in contacts, so if your friend is Eric and you want to mention Eric, you’d type in his name, wait for it to turn gray, and then tap it to turn the name into a mention. The person you’re mentioning needs to be in the chat with you, of course.

Names that will function as mentions turn blue, so you know that the mention feature is working. Note that you can use @eric if you want to highlight someone’s name, but the @ isn’t necessary. It is, however, sometimes more convenient to use @ because it turns the name into a mention automatically without the need to tap on it.

With the mentions feature, you can mute noisy group chats but then activate a setting that alerts you when someone mentions your name, so you won’t miss out on important bits of the conversation that are directed specifically at you. Go to Settings > Messages > Notify Me to get a notification when your name is mentioned in a muted conversation.

Memoji

Apple’s Memoji feature lets you create a custom avatar that resembles you or how you prefer to be seen. In ‌iOS 14‌, Apple has added hew hairstyles, headwear, and age options so your Memoji can look more like you than ever before.


There are also masks so your Memoji can wear a mask as many of us are doing these days, and there are new Memoji stickers available to represent hugs, fist bumps, and blushing.

Emoji Search

Macs have long had an emoji interface that includes a search option, and now iOS devices do too. When you tap on the Emoji or Globe button to bring up the emoji interface, there’s now a search bar available where you can search through emoji by keyword to find exactly what you’re looking for.

Group Chat Customizations

‌iOS 14‌ allows icons to be picked in a group chat in addition to a name, allowing for greater customization of your group conversations so you can tell them apart. Just open the info tab of any group conversation to customize it.


You can choose a custom photo, letter, Memoji, Animoji, or emoji to serve as an icon for a group chat, as well as customizing the background color for the icon.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about Messages, know of an ‌iOS 14‌ feature we left out, or or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

Related Roundups: iOS 14, iPadOS 14

This article, “iOS 14: Everything New in Messages” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Messages, one of the quintessential apps on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac, is the home of iMessages, Apple's exclusive device-to-device messaging protocol indicated by those well-known blue chat bubbles.


If you're an ‌‌iPhone‌‌ user you know how the Messages app works, but in iOS 14, the Messages app is getting some useful new features that are worth highlighting. Read on for a rundown of everything that's new, and make sure to check out our included how tos for instructions on how to use all of the new features.

Updated Interface


Messages in ‌iOS 14‌ has an updated main interface that lets you choose to see all messages in one feed, all messages from your known senders list, or messages from unknown senders that are not in your contact list.


You can get to these different views by tapping on the "Filters" button in the main conversation list in the Messages app.

There's also a new feature that lets you see typing indicators in the conversation list without needing to tap into a conversation, so you can see all of your contacts who are typing at a glance.

Pinned Chats


Your most important conversations can be pinned to the top of the Messages app by swiping to the right on any of the conversations in the main chat list.


Pinning a conversation turns it into a circle at the top of the Messages app, putting it front and center. You can pin a total of nine conversations.

Icons for pinned chats are dynamic, so you can see the photo of the participant overlaid with recent unread messages, Tapbacks, and typing indicators. Fun fact: Typing indicators on pinned chats will line up with the mouths for people who have a portrait photo or a Memoji selected as their shared image.

Both single person conversations and group conversations can be pinned, and each one has the same dynamic icon feature.

The images in pinned conversations are those that the people you're chatting with have chosen to share with you. Shared profile photos are a feature that was introduced back in iOS 13. Group chats will have the photo that has been selected for the group, and ‌iOS 14‌ introduces new group photo customization options.

Inline Replies


Inline replies is a feature that's designed to make it easier to organize chats that involve multiple people and/or multiple subjects.


If you're in a chat with several people and there are conversations going on that cover multiple topics, you can make it clear who you want to reply to by using an inline reply.

Make an inline reply by long pressing on the message that you want to reply to and choosing the "Reply" option.

Inline replies will show up threaded under the original reply, and if you tap on one, you can see the entire conversation separate from the main chat conversation. Inline replies can be used in single person conversations or in group chats, but they're most useful in multi-person chats.

Mentions


Mentions in the Messages app are designed to let you direct a message to a specific person in a group chat to get their attention or to make it clear who you're speaking to in a multi-person conversation.

messages
Mentions are available in both single person chats and group conversations, but are most useful in group chats.

You can mention someone by typing their specific name as it appears in contacts, so if your friend is Eric and you want to mention Eric, you'd type in his name, wait for it to turn gray, and then tap it to turn the name into a mention. The person you're mentioning needs to be in the chat with you, of course.

Names that will function as mentions turn blue, so you know that the mention feature is working. Note that you can use @eric if you want to highlight someone's name, but the @ isn't necessary. It is, however, sometimes more convenient to use @ because it turns the name into a mention automatically without the need to tap on it.

With the mentions feature, you can mute noisy group chats but then activate a setting that alerts you when someone mentions your name, so you won't miss out on important bits of the conversation that are directed specifically at you. Go to Settings > Messages > Notify Me to get a notification when your name is mentioned in a muted conversation.

Memoji


Apple's Memoji feature lets you create a custom avatar that resembles you or how you prefer to be seen. In ‌iOS 14‌, Apple has added hew hairstyles, headwear, and age options so your Memoji can look more like you than ever before.


There are also masks so your Memoji can wear a mask as many of us are doing these days, and there are new Memoji stickers available to represent hugs, fist bumps, and blushing.


Emoji Search


Macs have long had an emoji interface that includes a search option, and now iOS devices do too. When you tap on the Emoji or Globe button to bring up the emoji interface, there's now a search bar available where you can search through emoji by keyword to find exactly what you're looking for.


Group Chat Customizations


‌iOS 14‌ allows icons to be picked in a group chat in addition to a name, allowing for greater customization of your group conversations so you can tell them apart. Just open the info tab of any group conversation to customize it.


You can choose a custom photo, letter, Memoji, Animoji, or emoji to serve as an icon for a group chat, as well as customizing the background color for the icon.

Guide Feedback


Have questions about Messages, know of an ‌iOS 14‌ feature we left out, or or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.
Related Roundups: iOS 14, iPadOS 14

This article, "iOS 14: Everything New in Messages" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

CarKey: A New Feature That Will Let You Unlock a Car With Your iPhone

Apple’s iPhones and Apple Watches have supported NFC for some time now, and in the future, those NFC capabilities will be used to allow Apple users to lock, unlock, and start compatible NFC-enabled vehicles using the iPhone or Apple Watch in lieu of a physical key.


Apple calls this upcoming feature “CarKey” and this guide covers everything we know about how CarKey will work once it’s released.

What is CarKey?

CarKey is a digital protocol that lets an ‌iPhone‌ or ‌Apple Watch‌ with NFC capabilities unlock, lock, start, and otherwise control an NFC-capable vehicle.

Cars do not have NFC functionality by default, so this is a feature that needs to be implemented by automobile manufacturers much like CarPlay.

What can be done with CarKey may vary by car manufacturer, but at a minimum, it seems to be able to unlock your car, lock your car, and start your car, which are the features available with a physical key.

CarKey will work through an NFC-based Digital Key 2.0 specification that’s developed by the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC), which Apple is a member of. The Digital Key 2.0 specification establishes a secure connection between mobile devices and vehicles over NFC.

How does CarKey work?

Many newer cars these days have key fobs that unlock and start a car just via proximity, and CarKey is a lot like that. CarKey is a digital version of a car key that’s stored inside the Wallet app.

Unlocking (or locking) a vehicle with CarKey will involve holding an ‌Apple Watch‌ or ‌iPhone‌ near an NFC reader located inside the car. When the NFC reader detects the digital key stored in the ‌iPhone‌ or ‌Apple Watch‌, the locking mechanism in the car will activate.

The ‌iPhone‌ will authenticate the unlocking action with Face ID or Touch ID to verify, though iOS 13 code suggests there’s an Express Mode that will eliminate the need to authenticate, allowing for a faster vehicle unlocking process. From text found in ‌iOS 13‌:

To use CarKey, hold ‌iPhone‌ or ‌Apple Watch‌ to reader. It will work automatically, without requiring Face ID. You can change express mode settings in Wallet.

How is CarKey set up?

Code in ‌iOS 13‌ includes details on how CarKey’s setup will work. CarKey users will need to put the ‌iPhone‌ on top of an NFC reader located inside the vehicle, and the pairing process could take several minutes to complete.

A pairing code provided by the car manufacturer will need to be entered, though some setup processes could involve downloading an app from the carmaker. Instructions found in iOS:

Place this ‌iPhone‌ on top of the NFC reader in your car. Pairing process may take several minutes, do not remove it from the reader until pairing is done.

Enter the CarKey code provided by your car dealer or connect using the [Vehicle Brand’s] app.

What does CarKey look like in the Wallet app?

CarKey will look like a standard card in the Wallet app. When you tap on the card, it will provide vehicle info like model number and issuing automaker.

A screenshot pulled from ‌iOS 13‌ depicting the CarKey interface

There will also be a toggle to activate Express Mode (unlocking without biometric authentication), or sharing a key with other people with a few options for access.

Can I share my CarKey with others?

Yes. There will be an option to send a digital CarKey to unlock your car to others using the Messages app. This will be useful for valet parking, sharing vehicle access with a spouse or a friend, getting a repair, and other similar situations.

Different levels of access can be provided, so you can do things like provide full unlocking/driving access or more restricted access, such as allowing someone to unlock a car but not start it. Access can be permanent or temporary. From text found in iOS:

[Vehicle Owner] invited you to use their [Vehicle Model] with unlock & drive access. This allows you to use your ‌iPhone‌ and ‌Apple Watch‌ to unlock/lock the car, start the engine and drive.

There are three levels of access: Unlocking the vehicle, unlocking the vehicle and driving it, or unlocking the trunk only.

In the ‌Messages‌ app, you can send a digital CarKey much like you can send Apple Cash. CarKey keys can be shared in individual conversations, but not group conversations.

CarKey is not available in group conversations. You can send CarKey in conversations with an individual.

A person who has a digital CarKey to your car will be able to use their ‌iPhone‌ or ‌Apple Watch‌ to unlock and/or start the car just like the car owner can do.

Will CarKey work automatically?

No. CarKey will only work in vehicles that have NFC capabilities, and car manufacturers need to implement NFC and CarKey support into their vehicles.

Apple is partnering with automakers and CarKey may be a factory-installed option that’s limited to newer car models. As with ‌CarPlay‌, though, it’s possible there could be some aftermarket options for installing an NFC reader connected to the car locks and engine.

Screenshots found in iOS suggest that one of Apple’s first partners will be BMW. BMW already supports locking and unlocking a vehicle and starting the engine with the BMW Digital Key in the BMW Connected app, and plans to bring it to other platforms as well.


Will CarKey work if my ‌iPhone‌’s battery dies?

Yes. CarKey is based on NFC, and it will continue to operate even when an ‌iPhone‌ or ‌Apple Watch‌ battery is low or recently died as there is a low-power mode included. It may not always be possible to unlock a car with a dead ‌iPhone‌, however, depending on how long it’s been since the ‌iPhone‌ died and whether all of the power reserves have been exhausted.

With the similar Express transit functionality that also works over NFC, Apple says power reserve lasts for about five hours beyond the point your ‌iPhone‌ needs to be recharged, although using the NFC functionality while on power reserve will decrease that time.

Does Apple know when I lock and unlock my car with CarKey?

No. Apple in iOS 13.5.1 released a CarKey privacy policy that gives some insight into CarKey’s built-in privacy. During setup, the one-time redemption token that must be entered to pair a vehicle with the Wallet app is sent along with information about a user’s Apple account, device, and location at the time of setup for fraud prevention purposes.

A unique device identifier is sent to the vehicle manufacturer to set up CarKey. The identifier is unique for each manufacturer for privacy protection purposes. Apple says that car makers can connect the device identifier with other information it has about you, based on the manufacturer’s privacy policy.

Likewise, while Apple does not retain information on vehicle usage (such as when a CarKey is used to lock or unlock a car), a vehicle manufacturer may collect this kind of usage information according to user agreements established with the manufacturer.

When will CarKey launch?

There’s no word yet on when CarKey will launch. Signs of CarKey have been found in multiple versions of ‌iOS 13‌, so it’s definitely something that Apple is actively developing and refining.

With iOS 14 being previewed in June and launched in the fall, there’s a chance that CarKey is designed to be an ‌iOS 14‌ feature, and it’s possible Apple will unveil it at WWDC. CarKey is dependent on car makers, though, so Apple may need to wait until partnerships have been established.

Future CarKey Capabilities

While the Digital Key 2.0 Specification was released in May 2020, the Car Connectivity Consortium is working on a Digital Key 3.0 specification based on Bluetooth LE and Ultra Wideband that would allow for passive, location-aware keyless access.

With a feature that works over Bluetooth and Ultra Wideband over NFC, the ‌iPhone‌ would be able to be left in a pocket and would still unlock or start a vehicle without direct NFC contact and authentication. Apple’s iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max feature Ultra Wideband support and would be compatible with this functionality.

CarKey Rumors and Coverage

Guide Feedback

Have a question about CarKey, know of something we left out, or want to offer feedback? Send us an email here.
This article, “CarKey: A New Feature That Will Let You Unlock a Car With Your iPhone” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple's iPhones and Apple Watches have supported NFC for some time now, and in the future, those NFC capabilities will be used to allow Apple users to lock, unlock, and start compatible NFC-enabled vehicles using the iPhone or Apple Watch in lieu of a physical key.


Apple calls this upcoming feature "CarKey" and this guide covers everything we know about how CarKey will work once it's released.

What is CarKey?


CarKey is a digital protocol that lets an ‌iPhone‌ or ‌Apple Watch‌ with NFC capabilities unlock, lock, start, and otherwise control an NFC-capable vehicle.

Cars do not have NFC functionality by default, so this is a feature that needs to be implemented by automobile manufacturers much like CarPlay.

What can be done with CarKey may vary by car manufacturer, but at a minimum, it seems to be able to unlock your car, lock your car, and start your car, which are the features available with a physical key.

CarKey will work through an NFC-based Digital Key 2.0 specification that's developed by the Car Connectivity Consortium (CCC), which Apple is a member of. The Digital Key 2.0 specification establishes a secure connection between mobile devices and vehicles over NFC.

How does CarKey work?


Many newer cars these days have key fobs that unlock and start a car just via proximity, and CarKey is a lot like that. CarKey is a digital version of a car key that's stored inside the Wallet app.

Unlocking (or locking) a vehicle with CarKey will involve holding an ‌Apple Watch‌ or ‌iPhone‌ near an NFC reader located inside the car. When the NFC reader detects the digital key stored in the ‌iPhone‌ or ‌Apple Watch‌, the locking mechanism in the car will activate.

The ‌iPhone‌ will authenticate the unlocking action with Face ID or Touch ID to verify, though iOS 13 code suggests there's an Express Mode that will eliminate the need to authenticate, allowing for a faster vehicle unlocking process. From text found in ‌iOS 13‌:
To use CarKey, hold ‌iPhone‌ or ‌Apple Watch‌ to reader. It will work automatically, without requiring Face ID. You can change express mode settings in Wallet.

How is CarKey set up?


Code in ‌iOS 13‌ includes details on how CarKey's setup will work. CarKey users will need to put the ‌iPhone‌ on top of an NFC reader located inside the vehicle, and the pairing process could take several minutes to complete.

A pairing code provided by the car manufacturer will need to be entered, though some setup processes could involve downloading an app from the carmaker. Instructions found in iOS:
Place this ‌iPhone‌ on top of the NFC reader in your car. Pairing process may take several minutes, do not remove it from the reader until pairing is done.

Enter the CarKey code provided by your car dealer or connect using the [Vehicle Brand's] app.

What does CarKey look like in the Wallet app?


CarKey will look like a standard card in the Wallet app. When you tap on the card, it will provide vehicle info like model number and issuing automaker.

A screenshot pulled from ‌iOS 13‌ depicting the CarKey interface


There will also be a toggle to activate Express Mode (unlocking without biometric authentication), or sharing a key with other people with a few options for access.

Can I share my CarKey with others?


Yes. There will be an option to send a digital CarKey to unlock your car to others using the Messages app. This will be useful for valet parking, sharing vehicle access with a spouse or a friend, getting a repair, and other similar situations.

Different levels of access can be provided, so you can do things like provide full unlocking/driving access or more restricted access, such as allowing someone to unlock a car but not start it. Access can be permanent or temporary. From text found in iOS:
[Vehicle Owner] invited you to use their [Vehicle Model] with unlock & drive access. This allows you to use your ‌iPhone‌ and ‌Apple Watch‌ to unlock/lock the car, start the engine and drive.
There are three levels of access: Unlocking the vehicle, unlocking the vehicle and driving it, or unlocking the trunk only.

In the ‌Messages‌ app, you can send a digital CarKey much like you can send Apple Cash. CarKey keys can be shared in individual conversations, but not group conversations.
CarKey is not available in group conversations. You can send CarKey in conversations with an individual.
A person who has a digital CarKey to your car will be able to use their ‌iPhone‌ or ‌Apple Watch‌ to unlock and/or start the car just like the car owner can do.

Will CarKey work automatically?


No. CarKey will only work in vehicles that have NFC capabilities, and car manufacturers need to implement NFC and CarKey support into their vehicles.

Apple is partnering with automakers and CarKey may be a factory-installed option that's limited to newer car models. As with ‌CarPlay‌, though, it's possible there could be some aftermarket options for installing an NFC reader connected to the car locks and engine.

Screenshots found in iOS suggest that one of Apple's first partners will be BMW. BMW already supports locking and unlocking a vehicle and starting the engine with the BMW Digital Key in the BMW Connected app, and plans to bring it to other platforms as well.


Will CarKey work if my ‌iPhone‌'s battery dies?


Yes. CarKey is based on NFC, and it will continue to operate even when an ‌iPhone‌ or ‌Apple Watch‌ battery is low or recently died as there is a low-power mode included. It may not always be possible to unlock a car with a dead ‌iPhone‌, however, depending on how long it's been since the ‌iPhone‌ died and whether all of the power reserves have been exhausted.

With the similar Express transit functionality that also works over NFC, Apple says power reserve lasts for about five hours beyond the point your ‌iPhone‌ needs to be recharged, although using the NFC functionality while on power reserve will decrease that time.

Does Apple know when I lock and unlock my car with CarKey?


No. Apple in iOS 13.5.1 released a CarKey privacy policy that gives some insight into CarKey's built-in privacy. During setup, the one-time redemption token that must be entered to pair a vehicle with the Wallet app is sent along with information about a user's Apple account, device, and location at the time of setup for fraud prevention purposes.

A unique device identifier is sent to the vehicle manufacturer to set up CarKey. The identifier is unique for each manufacturer for privacy protection purposes. Apple says that car makers can connect the device identifier with other information it has about you, based on the manufacturer's privacy policy.

Likewise, while Apple does not retain information on vehicle usage (such as when a CarKey is used to lock or unlock a car), a vehicle manufacturer may collect this kind of usage information according to user agreements established with the manufacturer.

When will CarKey launch?


There's no word yet on when CarKey will launch. Signs of CarKey have been found in multiple versions of ‌iOS 13‌, so it's definitely something that Apple is actively developing and refining.

With iOS 14 being previewed in June and launched in the fall, there's a chance that CarKey is designed to be an ‌iOS 14‌ feature, and it's possible Apple will unveil it at WWDC. CarKey is dependent on car makers, though, so Apple may need to wait until partnerships have been established.

Future CarKey Capabilities


While the Digital Key 2.0 Specification was released in May 2020, the Car Connectivity Consortium is working on a Digital Key 3.0 specification based on Bluetooth LE and Ultra Wideband that would allow for passive, location-aware keyless access.

With a feature that works over Bluetooth and Ultra Wideband over NFC, the ‌iPhone‌ would be able to be left in a pocket and would still unlock or start a vehicle without direct NFC contact and authentication. Apple's iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max feature Ultra Wideband support and would be compatible with this functionality.

CarKey Rumors and Coverage



Guide Feedback


Have a question about CarKey, know of something we left out, or want to offer feedback? Send us an email here.
This article, "CarKey: A New Feature That Will Let You Unlock a Car With Your iPhone" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

What to Expect When Apple Transitions to Mini-LED Technology

Apple is planning to introduce mini-LED displays across much of its product lineup, adding the technology to the Mac notebooks and iPads. Mini-LED displays will bring some useful technology improvements to Apple’s products, as outlined in our guide below.


What is Mini-LED?

LCD panels used by Apple use LEDs, or light-emitting diodes inside for backlighting purposes to light up the display. Mini-LEDs, as the name suggests, are smaller diodes that are less than 0.2mm.

A device like an iPad features an LCD panel with LEDs for backlighting, with the panel used to control where light is displayed on the screen. Depending on what’s on the ‌iPad‌’s display, the LEDs are lit up fully or dimmed down for dark scenes.

Compared to a traditional LCD, a panel light with mini-LEDs uses many more LEDs, which means there are more total dimming zones to work with. A traditional display might use hundreds of LEDs, but a mini-LED display could have more than a thousand. Apple, in fact, is said to be exploring mini-LED displays that use 10,000 LEDs, each one below 200 microns.

Mini-LED Improvements

Because there are more LEDs and more dimming zones, mini-LED displays can offer deeper, darker blacks, brighter brights, richer colors, and better contrast because there’s more control over what’s displayed on the screen with so many LEDs.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also said that Apple’s transition to mini-LED will allow for thinner and lighter product designs that offer a lot of the same benefits as OLED. Mini-LEDs are close to the deep blacks and better HDR provided by OLED, but without the burn-in or degradation issues.

LED-backlit LCDs are much more power efficient than the cold cathode fluorescent lighting used for LCD panels in the past, and mini-LED LCDs will have additional power efficiency gains.

Mini-LED vs. Micro-LED vs. OLED

Micro-LEDs are similar to mini-LEDs, but are even smaller (microscopic, even) with an LED or multiple LEDs per pixel. Apple is working on micro-LED technology as well, but mini-LED will come first in iPads and Macs because micro-LED technology is so expensive right now.

OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode, and in an OLED display, every pixel or subpixel lights up individually in a specific color or switches as power is applied or turned off, allowing for the deepest blacks and the best contrast.

Apple uses OLED displays in its iPhones, but OLED is also a technology that has so far proven to be too expensive to be used for the larger displays of Macs and iPads. Apple may be planning to skip OLED all together in its Macs and iPads, going from mini-LED technology to micro-LED eventually.

OLED is superior to mini-LED technology because it’s pixel-based, but micro-LED is believed to be superior because it can offer higher levels of brightness and there are no issues that can lead to screen burn in or drops in brightness over time. While mini-LED displays use thousands of LEDs, micro-LED displays use millions.

Micro-LED is the future technology to look forward to, but mini-LED is the technology that Apple is ready to debut in the near future.

Products Expected to Get Mini-LED Displays

Apple is working on multiple iPads and MacBooks that use mini-LED technology, according to Apple analyst ‌Ming-Chi Kuo‌. Here’s where we can expect to see mini-LED technology deployed in the next year or two:

Based on rumors, it sounds like Apple’s ultimate plan is to transition much of its ‌iPad‌ and Mac lineup to mini-LED display technology. The MacBook Pro lineup, the iPad Pro, and the iMac Pro could be some of the first products to get mini-LED displays.

When to Expect Mini-LED Technology

The first mini-LED products were expected at the end of 2020, but with the global health crisis, Apple’s plans are up in the air. Kuo recently said that we may not see any mini-LED devices until 2021, with mass production to kick off in the third quarter of 2020 and final assembly to take place in the first quarter of 2021.

There have been other rumors from DigiTimes that still suggest a 2020 release for some mini-LED products, so we’ll just have to wait and see how the rumors pan out in the coming months. Right now, we’re looking at either late 2020 or early 2021 for the first mini-LED devices.

Guide Feedback

Have a question about Apple’s transition to mini-LED, know of something we left out, or want to offer feedback? Send us an email here.
This article, “What to Expect When Apple Transitions to Mini-LED Technology” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple is planning to introduce mini-LED displays across much of its product lineup, adding the technology to the Mac notebooks and iPads. Mini-LED displays will bring some useful technology improvements to Apple's products, as outlined in our guide below.


What is Mini-LED?


LCD panels used by Apple use LEDs, or light-emitting diodes inside for backlighting purposes to light up the display. Mini-LEDs, as the name suggests, are smaller diodes that are less than 0.2mm.

A device like an iPad features an LCD panel with LEDs for backlighting, with the panel used to control where light is displayed on the screen. Depending on what's on the ‌iPad‌'s display, the LEDs are lit up fully or dimmed down for dark scenes.

Compared to a traditional LCD, a panel light with mini-LEDs uses many more LEDs, which means there are more total dimming zones to work with. A traditional display might use hundreds of LEDs, but a mini-LED display could have more than a thousand. Apple, in fact, is said to be exploring mini-LED displays that use 10,000 LEDs, each one below 200 microns.

Mini-LED Improvements


Because there are more LEDs and more dimming zones, mini-LED displays can offer deeper, darker blacks, brighter brights, richer colors, and better contrast because there's more control over what's displayed on the screen with so many LEDs.

Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has also said that Apple's transition to mini-LED will allow for thinner and lighter product designs that offer a lot of the same benefits as OLED. Mini-LEDs are close to the deep blacks and better HDR provided by OLED, but without the burn-in or degradation issues.

LED-backlit LCDs are much more power efficient than the cold cathode fluorescent lighting used for LCD panels in the past, and mini-LED LCDs will have additional power efficiency gains.

Mini-LED vs. Micro-LED vs. OLED


Micro-LEDs are similar to mini-LEDs, but are even smaller (microscopic, even) with an LED or multiple LEDs per pixel. Apple is working on micro-LED technology as well, but mini-LED will come first in iPads and Macs because micro-LED technology is so expensive right now.

OLED stands for organic light-emitting diode, and in an OLED display, every pixel or subpixel lights up individually in a specific color or switches as power is applied or turned off, allowing for the deepest blacks and the best contrast.

Apple uses OLED displays in its iPhones, but OLED is also a technology that has so far proven to be too expensive to be used for the larger displays of Macs and iPads. Apple may be planning to skip OLED all together in its Macs and iPads, going from mini-LED technology to micro-LED eventually.

OLED is superior to mini-LED technology because it's pixel-based, but micro-LED is believed to be superior because it can offer higher levels of brightness and there are no issues that can lead to screen burn in or drops in brightness over time. While mini-LED displays use thousands of LEDs, micro-LED displays use millions.

Micro-LED is the future technology to look forward to, but mini-LED is the technology that Apple is ready to debut in the near future.

Products Expected to Get Mini-LED Displays


Apple is working on multiple iPads and MacBooks that use mini-LED technology, according to Apple analyst ‌Ming-Chi Kuo‌. Here's where we can expect to see mini-LED technology deployed in the next year or two:

Based on rumors, it sounds like Apple's ultimate plan is to transition much of its ‌iPad‌ and Mac lineup to mini-LED display technology. The MacBook Pro lineup, the iPad Pro, and the iMac Pro could be some of the first products to get mini-LED displays.

When to Expect Mini-LED Technology


The first mini-LED products were expected at the end of 2020, but with the global health crisis, Apple's plans are up in the air. Kuo recently said that we may not see any mini-LED devices until 2021, with mass production to kick off in the third quarter of 2020 and final assembly to take place in the first quarter of 2021.

There have been other rumors from DigiTimes that still suggest a 2020 release for some mini-LED products, so we'll just have to wait and see how the rumors pan out in the coming months. Right now, we're looking at either late 2020 or early 2021 for the first mini-LED devices.

Guide Feedback


Have a question about Apple's transition to mini-LED, know of something we left out, or want to offer feedback? Send us an email here.
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Apple’s Work on High-End Over-Ear Headphones: Everything We Know

Apple has been selling audio accessories since December 2016 when the original AirPods launched. We now have the ‌AirPods‌ 2 and the AirPods Pro, and Apple is planning to add to its lineup with new over-ear Apple-branded headphones.

Apple already sells over-ear headphones under its Beats brand, but as with the ‌AirPods‌, Apple is also working on headphones that will be Apple branded rather than Beats branded. These headphones are said to be aimed at the high-end market.


Design

The headphones will feature an all-new design, and while we don’t know a lot about it, we do know some details shared by Bloomberg.

Apple is said to be working on two versions of the high-end over-ear headphones, including a premium version with leather-like fabrics and a fitness-focused model that uses lighter, breathable materials with small perforations for better airflow.

Prototypes of the headphones have been described as having a retro-like look with over-ear cups that swivel along with a headband connected with thin metal arms.

Apple is planning to attach the ear pads and the head padding to the headphone’s frame magnetically, allowing users to swap different colors and variants in and out for customization purposes.

An icon representing the headphones was found in the code in a leaked version of iOS 14, but little detail can be gleaned from the imagery.

Rumored Features

According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple’s over-ear headphones will feature Active Noise Cancellation, a high-end feature baked into the Beats Studio 3 headphones, Solo Pro headphones, and the ‌AirPods Pro‌.

Active Noise Cancellation is designed to cut down on ambient noise so you can focus on what you’re listening to. If it mimics ANC on the ‌AirPods Pro‌, there will be a transparency mode that will enable noise cancelling features, but with an option to continue to hear what’s going on around you.

Sound quality is expected to be better than the sound quality of the ‌AirPods‌.

Pricing

Apple could price the new headphones at around $350.

Launch Date

Current rumors indicate the headphones will launch at some point in 2020, though a specific date has not yet been nailed down. Mass production on the headphones is scheduled to begin in mid-2020, which perhaps suggests a fall 2020 launch.

There were rumors indicating that Apple initially planned to launch the headphones at some point in 2019, but that did not happen.

Over-Ear Headphones Rumor History

Guide Feedback

Have a question about Apple’s over-ear headphones, know of something we left out, or want to offer feedback? Send us an email here.
This article, “Apple’s Work on High-End Over-Ear Headphones: Everything We Know” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple has been selling audio accessories since December 2016 when the original AirPods launched. We now have the ‌AirPods‌ 2 and the AirPods Pro, and Apple is planning to add to its lineup with new over-ear Apple-branded headphones.

Apple already sells over-ear headphones under its Beats brand, but as with the ‌AirPods‌, Apple is also working on headphones that will be Apple branded rather than Beats branded. These headphones are said to be aimed at the high-end market.


Design


The headphones will feature an all-new design, and while we don't know a lot about it, we do know some details shared by Bloomberg.

Apple is said to be working on two versions of the high-end over-ear headphones, including a premium version with leather-like fabrics and a fitness-focused model that uses lighter, breathable materials with small perforations for better airflow.

Prototypes of the headphones have been described as having a retro-like look with over-ear cups that swivel along with a headband connected with thin metal arms.

Apple is planning to attach the ear pads and the head padding to the headphone's frame magnetically, allowing users to swap different colors and variants in and out for customization purposes.

An icon representing the headphones was found in the code in a leaked version of iOS 14, but little detail can be gleaned from the imagery.

Rumored Features


According to Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple's over-ear headphones will feature Active Noise Cancellation, a high-end feature baked into the Beats Studio 3 headphones, Solo Pro headphones, and the ‌AirPods Pro‌.

Active Noise Cancellation is designed to cut down on ambient noise so you can focus on what you're listening to. If it mimics ANC on the ‌AirPods Pro‌, there will be a transparency mode that will enable noise cancelling features, but with an option to continue to hear what's going on around you.

Sound quality is expected to be better than the sound quality of the ‌AirPods‌.

Pricing


Apple could price the new headphones at around $350.

Launch Date


Current rumors indicate the headphones will launch at some point in 2020, though a specific date has not yet been nailed down. Mass production on the headphones is scheduled to begin in mid-2020, which perhaps suggests a fall 2020 launch.

There were rumors indicating that Apple initially planned to launch the headphones at some point in 2019, but that did not happen.

Over-Ear Headphones Rumor History



Guide Feedback


Have a question about Apple's over-ear headphones, know of something we left out, or want to offer feedback? Send us an email here.
This article, "Apple's Work on High-End Over-Ear Headphones: Everything We Know" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple’s Exposure Notification System: Everything You Need to Know

Apple in the iOS 13.5 beta introduced an exposure notification API, which will let apps from public health authorities and governments worldwide help people figure out if they’ve been exposed to COVID-19, and if so, what steps to take next to minimize the spread of the virus.


Exposure Notification Explained

Exposure notification started out as contact tracing, an Apple-Google initiative that was announced in early April to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Apple and Google created an API that is designed to allow iPhones and Android smartphones to interface with one another for contact tracing purposes, so if and when you happen to be nearby someone who is later diagnosed with COVID-19, you can get a notification and take the appropriate steps to self isolate and get medical help if necessary.

Determining whether you’ve come into contact with someone relies on your iPhone, which, using the exposure notification API, interacts with other iPhones and Android smartphones over Bluetooth whenever you’re around someone else who also owns a smartphone, exchanging anonymous identifiers.

Apple and Google are developing the underlying APIs and Bluetooth functionality, but they are not developing the apps that will use those APIs. Instead, the technology will be incorporated into apps designed by public health authorities worldwide, which will be able to use the tracking information to send notifications on exposure and follow up with recommended next steps.

The APIs have been created with privacy and security in mind, and app usage is opt in rather than mandatory.

How Exposure Notification Works

Almost everyone has a smartphone, which makes them ideal for determining who you’ve come in contact with. Exposure notification has a self-explanatory name, and in a nutshell, the feature is designed to send you a notification if you’ve been in proximity to a person who is diagnosed with COVID-19.

Here’s a detailed, step-by-step walkthrough on how it works:

  1. Two people, Ryan and Eric, are both at the same grocery store shopping for food on a Tuesday afternoon. Eric has an ‌iPhone‌ and Ryan has an Android phone, both with a health app that uses the exposure tracking API.
  2. There’s a long line, so Eric and Ryan are standing in the checkout line together for approximately 10 minutes. During this time, each of their phones is transmitting entirely anonymous identifier beacons, and picking up the identifier beacons transmitted by the other person. Their phones know they’ve been in contact and store that information on the device itself, transmitting it nowhere else.
  3. A week later, Ryan comes down with COVID-19 symptoms, sees a doctor, and is diagnosed with COVID-19. He opens up his health app, verifies his diagnosis using documentation from a healthcare provider, and taps a button that uploads his identifier beacon to a centralized cloud server.
  4. Later that day, Eric’s health app downloads a list of all recent beacons from people that have contracted COVID-19. Eric then receives a notification that he was in contact with someone that has COVID-19 because of his interaction with Ryan at the grocery store.
  5. Eric does not know it was Ryan who has COVID-19 because no personally identifiable information was collected, but Eric knows he was exposed to COVID-19 for 10 minutes on Tuesday, and that he was standing close to the person who exposed him based on the Bluetooth signal strength between their two phones.
  6. Eric follows the health app’s steps on what to do after COVID-19 exposure.
  7. If Eric later comes down with COVID-19, he follows the same steps listed above to alert people he’s been in contact with, allowing everyone to better monitor for potential exposure.

Apple and Google also created a handy graphic that explains the process, which we’ve included below:


What You Need to Do to Use Exposure Notification

Apps that use Apple’s exposure notification API will be available when Apple releases iOS 13.5, a beta update that has the API to allow public health authorities to begin incorporating the API into their COVID-19 apps.

Exposure Notification is a feature that’s on by default in the iOS 13.5 beta, and it may be enabled automatically when the update is released, but actually using the API requires you to download an app from a verified health authority. Many countries are developing country-specific apps that you will be able to download.

At the current time, there are no apps that use Apple’s API available, but once these apps are released, you will need to download one and consent to using it before Exposure Notification becomes functional on your smartphone.

Without an app that you explicitly download and opt in to using, the Exposure Notification API on the ‌iPhone‌ doesn’t do anything at this time.

Cross-Platform App Communication

Apple and Google have both worked to create APIs for exposure notifications that work together so ‌iPhone‌ and Android smartphones can interface with one another and you’ll receive notifications if exposure happens even if the person you’ve been in contact with has an Android smartphone.

Exposure Notification Opt-In

In the iOS 13.5 beta, Exposure Notification is a privacy setting that is on by default, but using the feature is still opt-in rather than opt-out because you need to download an app and consent to sign up for the exposure notification system.

If you do, at some point, get COVID-19, there’s a separate consent process for anonymously alerting people that you’ve been in contact with. The app needs express consent to inform others of the diagnosis, and nothing happens automatically.

Image via Guilherme Rambo

Exposure Notifications can be turned off in the Privacy section of the Settings app. As you can see in the demo screenshot below, users will need to tap “Allow” after installing an app to allow the app to collect and share random IDs with nearby devices.

Disabling Exposure Notification

You can disable Exposure Notification entirely by following the steps in our how to, and there will also be options to toggle off the feature on a per-app basis if multiple apps that use the API are installed. Apps that you have installed that use the API will be listed in the Privacy settings on your ‌iPhone‌.

Image via Guilherme Rambo

Exposure Notification Verification

When a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, before an alert is sent out to the people they’ve been in contact with, the apps that are using Apple and Google’s exposure notification APIs will require verification that a person has tested positive for the disease.

This will prevent people from using the system maliciously to trick others into believing exposure has happened when it has not.

As an example, a person who tests positive for COVID-19 might receive a QR code with their test results, which could be scanned into an exposure notification app for verification purposes. The verification process will vary by region, according to Apple.

How Exposure Notifications Will Work

As explained above, with a health app that uses the exposure notification API installed, your smartphone exchanges anonymous identifiers with each person you come in contact with that also has an app that uses the API.

Your phone keeps a list of these identifiers on it, and this list remains on your device – it is not uploaded anywhere. The exception is if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19 and then follow the steps to send out notifications to the smartphones that have been in contact with yours.

In this situation, the list of random identifiers that your ‌iPhone‌ has been assigned over the course of the previous 14 days will be sent to a centralized server. Other people’s iPhones check this server and download that list, checking it against the identifiers stored on their own iPhones. If there’s a match, they receive a notification about exposure with more information about the steps to take next.

Matches are made on device rather than on a server in a central location, which preserves privacy while also making sure people know about possible exposure.

For a more simple explanation, here’s a step-by-step walkthrough on how it works:

  1. Ryan and Eric interact at the grocery store. During this interaction, Ryan’s Android phone has a random identifier number, 12486, which is unique to Ryan’s phone (and which changes every 15 minutes).
  2. Eric’s ‌iPhone‌ records Ryan’s random identifier number, 12486, and sends Ryan his own random identifier, 34875. Both Ryan and Eric are in contact with a dozen people at the grocery store, so their smartphones download random identifiers from all of these phones.
  3. Ryan contracts COVID-19, confirms his diagnosis in the app, and consents to upload all of the identifiers his phone has used for the last two weeks (including 12486) to a central server accessible by Eric’s COVID-19 app. At this point, Ryan’s identifier is shared with a central database, but these random identifier numbers are not associated with any personal information and don’t include location data.
  4. Eric’s phone downloads the list of identifiers of people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, which includes Ryan’s identifier, 12486, and compares it against the list of identifiers that have been stored based on Eric’s interactions.
  5. A match is made, so Eric receives a notification that he has been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 and he receives info on what steps to take next.

Health apps will have access to information that includes the amount of time that Eric and Ryan’s phone were in contact and the distance between them, as determined by Bluetooth signal strength, which can be used to estimate distance.

Based on this information, the app can deliver tailored notifications to Eric, perhaps letting him know his exposure level and potential danger based on those factors. Eric will know the day he was exposed, how long the exposure lasted, and the Bluetooth signal strength of that contact. No other information is shared.

When Data is Shared

For the most part, the exposure notification system runs on your device. Identifiers are collected and matched entirely on your smartphone and are not shared with a central system. There are two exceptions to this:

  1. When a user is diagnosed with COVID-19 and chooses to report that positive diagnosis to the contact tracing app, the most recent identifier beacons (from the last 14 days) will be added to the positive diagnosis list shared by a public health authority to allow others who came in contact with that identifier to be alerted.
  2. When a user is notified through their app that they’ve come into contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, the day the contact occurred, how long it lasted, and the Bluetooth signal strength of that contact will be shared.

Exposure Notification Privacy Details

First and foremost, full privacy details on exposure notification are available on Apple’s website, but we’ll cover some important frequently asked questions about privacy below.

  • No identifying info – Your name, Apple ID, and other information are never shared in or associated with apps that use the exposure tracking API.
  • No location data – The app does not collect, use, or share location data. Exposure notification isn’t for tracking where people are, but for determining whether a person has been around another person.
  • Random identifiers – Your ‌iPhone‌ is assigned a random, rotating identifier (a string of numbers) that is transmitted using Bluetooth to other nearby devices. Identifiers change every 10 to 20 minutes.
  • On-device operation – Identifiers that your phone comes into contact with, or phones that come into contact with your identifier, are stored on device and are not uploaded anywhere without consent.
  • Consent-based sharing – If you do test positive for COVID-19, the people you have been in contact with will not receive an alert without express permission.
  • On-device identifier matching – If you contract COVID-19 and consent to share that information, the list of identifiers you have come into contact with will be uploaded to a central server that other devices can check to identify a match on their iPhones.
  • Opt-in – Exposure notification is entirely opt-in. You do not need to use the feature, and it does not work unless you download an app that uses the API. It also does not work if you turn off the Exposure Notifications option in the Settings app.
  • Data sharing with Apple/Google – Apple and Google will not receive identifying information about the users, location data, or any other devices the user has been in proximity of.
  • Data monetization – Apple and Google will not monetize the exposure notification project.
  • Verified health apps only – Apple’s APIs will only be able to be used by verified public health apps from public health authorities around the world. Apps must meet specific criteria around privacy, security, and data control. Apps will be able to access a list of beacons provided by users confirmed as positive for COVID-19 who have opted in to sharing them, but no personally identifiable information is included.
  • Disabling exposure notification – Apple and Google can disabled the exposure notification system on a regional basis when it is no longer needed.

Apps That Use the Exposure Notification API

Right now, there are no apps that use the Exposure Notification API because it’s not publicly released yet. Apple plans to release iOS 13.5 with exposure notification support in mid-May, and at that point, we’ll see the first apps that use it and will list them here.

The Future of Exposure Notification

Apple and Google are releasing an API for apps to use in May, but eventually, later in the year, exposure notification will be introduced at the operating system level to ensure a broader adoption, which is necessary for contact tracing to succeed in cutting down on the spread of COVID-19.

When the feature is built into the operating system, it will continue to work the way it does with an app right now, but no app will need to be installed for identifier information to be exchanged.

More Information

Apple and Google both have dedicated websites with more information about exposure notification, and that should be your first stop if you want to know more about it and how it works.

Guide Feedback

Have a question about the exposure notification system, know of something we left out, or want to offer feedback? Send us an email here.
This article, “Apple’s Exposure Notification System: Everything You Need to Know” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple in the iOS 13.5 beta introduced an exposure notification API, which will let apps from public health authorities and governments worldwide help people figure out if they've been exposed to COVID-19, and if so, what steps to take next to minimize the spread of the virus.


Exposure Notification Explained


Exposure notification started out as contact tracing, an Apple-Google initiative that was announced in early April to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Apple and Google created an API that is designed to allow iPhones and Android smartphones to interface with one another for contact tracing purposes, so if and when you happen to be nearby someone who is later diagnosed with COVID-19, you can get a notification and take the appropriate steps to self isolate and get medical help if necessary.

Determining whether you've come into contact with someone relies on your iPhone, which, using the exposure notification API, interacts with other iPhones and Android smartphones over Bluetooth whenever you're around someone else who also owns a smartphone, exchanging anonymous identifiers.

Apple and Google are developing the underlying APIs and Bluetooth functionality, but they are not developing the apps that will use those APIs. Instead, the technology will be incorporated into apps designed by public health authorities worldwide, which will be able to use the tracking information to send notifications on exposure and follow up with recommended next steps.

The APIs have been created with privacy and security in mind, and app usage is opt in rather than mandatory.

How Exposure Notification Works


Almost everyone has a smartphone, which makes them ideal for determining who you've come in contact with. Exposure notification has a self-explanatory name, and in a nutshell, the feature is designed to send you a notification if you've been in proximity to a person who is diagnosed with COVID-19.

Here's a detailed, step-by-step walkthrough on how it works:

  1. Two people, Ryan and Eric, are both at the same grocery store shopping for food on a Tuesday afternoon. Eric has an ‌iPhone‌ and Ryan has an Android phone, both with a health app that uses the exposure tracking API.

  2. There's a long line, so Eric and Ryan are standing in the checkout line together for approximately 10 minutes. During this time, each of their phones is transmitting entirely anonymous identifier beacons, and picking up the identifier beacons transmitted by the other person. Their phones know they've been in contact and store that information on the device itself, transmitting it nowhere else.

  3. A week later, Ryan comes down with COVID-19 symptoms, sees a doctor, and is diagnosed with COVID-19. He opens up his health app, verifies his diagnosis using documentation from a healthcare provider, and taps a button that uploads his identifier beacon to a centralized cloud server.

  4. Later that day, Eric's health app downloads a list of all recent beacons from people that have contracted COVID-19. Eric then receives a notification that he was in contact with someone that has COVID-19 because of his interaction with Ryan at the grocery store.

  5. Eric does not know it was Ryan who has COVID-19 because no personally identifiable information was collected, but Eric knows he was exposed to COVID-19 for 10 minutes on Tuesday, and that he was standing close to the person who exposed him based on the Bluetooth signal strength between their two phones.

  6. Eric follows the health app's steps on what to do after COVID-19 exposure.

  7. If Eric later comes down with COVID-19, he follows the same steps listed above to alert people he's been in contact with, allowing everyone to better monitor for potential exposure.


Apple and Google also created a handy graphic that explains the process, which we've included below:




What You Need to Do to Use Exposure Notification


Apps that use Apple's exposure notification API will be available when Apple releases iOS 13.5, a beta update that has the API to allow public health authorities to begin incorporating the API into their COVID-19 apps.

Exposure Notification is a feature that's on by default in the iOS 13.5 beta, and it may be enabled automatically when the update is released, but actually using the API requires you to download an app from a verified health authority. Many countries are developing country-specific apps that you will be able to download.

At the current time, there are no apps that use Apple's API available, but once these apps are released, you will need to download one and consent to using it before Exposure Notification becomes functional on your smartphone.

Without an app that you explicitly download and opt in to using, the Exposure Notification API on the ‌iPhone‌ doesn't do anything at this time.

Cross-Platform App Communication


Apple and Google have both worked to create APIs for exposure notifications that work together so ‌iPhone‌ and Android smartphones can interface with one another and you'll receive notifications if exposure happens even if the person you've been in contact with has an Android smartphone.

Exposure Notification Opt-In


In the iOS 13.5 beta, Exposure Notification is a privacy setting that is on by default, but using the feature is still opt-in rather than opt-out because you need to download an app and consent to sign up for the exposure notification system.

If you do, at some point, get COVID-19, there's a separate consent process for anonymously alerting people that you've been in contact with. The app needs express consent to inform others of the diagnosis, and nothing happens automatically.

Image via Guilherme Rambo

Exposure Notifications can be turned off in the Privacy section of the Settings app. As you can see in the demo screenshot below, users will need to tap "Allow" after installing an app to allow the app to collect and share random IDs with nearby devices.

Disabling Exposure Notification


You can disable Exposure Notification entirely by following the steps in our how to, and there will also be options to toggle off the feature on a per-app basis if multiple apps that use the API are installed. Apps that you have installed that use the API will be listed in the Privacy settings on your ‌iPhone‌.

Image via Guilherme Rambo


Exposure Notification Verification


When a person is diagnosed with COVID-19, before an alert is sent out to the people they've been in contact with, the apps that are using Apple and Google's exposure notification APIs will require verification that a person has tested positive for the disease.

This will prevent people from using the system maliciously to trick others into believing exposure has happened when it has not.

As an example, a person who tests positive for COVID-19 might receive a QR code with their test results, which could be scanned into an exposure notification app for verification purposes. The verification process will vary by region, according to Apple.

How Exposure Notifications Will Work


As explained above, with a health app that uses the exposure notification API installed, your smartphone exchanges anonymous identifiers with each person you come in contact with that also has an app that uses the API.

Your phone keeps a list of these identifiers on it, and this list remains on your device - it is not uploaded anywhere. The exception is if you're diagnosed with COVID-19 and then follow the steps to send out notifications to the smartphones that have been in contact with yours.

In this situation, the list of random identifiers that your ‌iPhone‌ has been assigned over the course of the previous 14 days will be sent to a centralized server. Other people's iPhones check this server and download that list, checking it against the identifiers stored on their own iPhones. If there's a match, they receive a notification about exposure with more information about the steps to take next.

Matches are made on device rather than on a server in a central location, which preserves privacy while also making sure people know about possible exposure.

For a more simple explanation, here's a step-by-step walkthrough on how it works:

  1. Ryan and Eric interact at the grocery store. During this interaction, Ryan's Android phone has a random identifier number, 12486, which is unique to Ryan's phone (and which changes every 15 minutes).

  2. Eric's ‌iPhone‌ records Ryan's random identifier number, 12486, and sends Ryan his own random identifier, 34875. Both Ryan and Eric are in contact with a dozen people at the grocery store, so their smartphones download random identifiers from all of these phones.

  3. Ryan contracts COVID-19, confirms his diagnosis in the app, and consents to upload all of the identifiers his phone has used for the last two weeks (including 12486) to a central server accessible by Eric's COVID-19 app. At this point, Ryan's identifier is shared with a central database, but these random identifier numbers are not associated with any personal information and don't include location data.

  4. Eric's phone downloads the list of identifiers of people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, which includes Ryan's identifier, 12486, and compares it against the list of identifiers that have been stored based on Eric's interactions.

  5. A match is made, so Eric receives a notification that he has been in contact with someone who has COVID-19 and he receives info on what steps to take next.


Health apps will have access to information that includes the amount of time that Eric and Ryan's phone were in contact and the distance between them, as determined by Bluetooth signal strength, which can be used to estimate distance.

Based on this information, the app can deliver tailored notifications to Eric, perhaps letting him know his exposure level and potential danger based on those factors. Eric will know the day he was exposed, how long the exposure lasted, and the Bluetooth signal strength of that contact. No other information is shared.

When Data is Shared


For the most part, the exposure notification system runs on your device. Identifiers are collected and matched entirely on your smartphone and are not shared with a central system. There are two exceptions to this:

  1. When a user is diagnosed with COVID-19 and chooses to report that positive diagnosis to the contact tracing app, the most recent identifier beacons (from the last 14 days) will be added to the positive diagnosis list shared by a public health authority to allow others who came in contact with that identifier to be alerted.

  2. When a user is notified through their app that they've come into contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, the day the contact occurred, how long it lasted, and the Bluetooth signal strength of that contact will be shared.



Exposure Notification Privacy Details


First and foremost, full privacy details on exposure notification are available on Apple's website, but we'll cover some important frequently asked questions about privacy below.

  • No identifying info - Your name, Apple ID, and other information are never shared in or associated with apps that use the exposure tracking API.

  • No location data - The app does not collect, use, or share location data. Exposure notification isn't for tracking where people are, but for determining whether a person has been around another person.

  • Random identifiers - Your ‌iPhone‌ is assigned a random, rotating identifier (a string of numbers) that is transmitted using Bluetooth to other nearby devices. Identifiers change every 10 to 20 minutes.

  • On-device operation - Identifiers that your phone comes into contact with, or phones that come into contact with your identifier, are stored on device and are not uploaded anywhere without consent.

  • Consent-based sharing - If you do test positive for COVID-19, the people you have been in contact with will not receive an alert without express permission.

  • On-device identifier matching - If you contract COVID-19 and consent to share that information, the list of identifiers you have come into contact with will be uploaded to a central server that other devices can check to identify a match on their iPhones.

  • Opt-in - Exposure notification is entirely opt-in. You do not need to use the feature, and it does not work unless you download an app that uses the API. It also does not work if you turn off the Exposure Notifications option in the Settings app.

  • Data sharing with Apple/Google - Apple and Google will not receive identifying information about the users, location data, or any other devices the user has been in proximity of.

  • Data monetization - Apple and Google will not monetize the exposure notification project.

  • Verified health apps only - Apple's APIs will only be able to be used by verified public health apps from public health authorities around the world. Apps must meet specific criteria around privacy, security, and data control. Apps will be able to access a list of beacons provided by users confirmed as positive for COVID-19 who have opted in to sharing them, but no personally identifiable information is included.

  • Disabling exposure notification - Apple and Google can disabled the exposure notification system on a regional basis when it is no longer needed.



Apps That Use the Exposure Notification API


Right now, there are no apps that use the Exposure Notification API because it's not publicly released yet. Apple plans to release iOS 13.5 with exposure notification support in mid-May, and at that point, we'll see the first apps that use it and will list them here.

The Future of Exposure Notification


Apple and Google are releasing an API for apps to use in May, but eventually, later in the year, exposure notification will be introduced at the operating system level to ensure a broader adoption, which is necessary for contact tracing to succeed in cutting down on the spread of COVID-19.

When the feature is built into the operating system, it will continue to work the way it does with an app right now, but no app will need to be installed for identifier information to be exchanged.

More Information


Apple and Google both have dedicated websites with more information about exposure notification, and that should be your first stop if you want to know more about it and how it works.

Guide Feedback


Have a question about the exposure notification system, know of something we left out, or want to offer feedback? Send us an email here.
This article, "Apple's Exposure Notification System: Everything You Need to Know" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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An iPhone With a Periscope Lens Could Significantly Boost Optical Zoom

One of the iPhone models that’s coming two years from now in 2022 will feature a “periscope” lens, according to information shared today by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who often provides accurate insight into Apple’s plans.


2022 is a long way off, but periscope lens technology is already built into some smartphones on the market, giving us an idea of what we can expect from the ‌iPhone‌ feature when it launches. A periscope lens offers optical zoom capabilities not otherwise possible in a smartphone camera, allowing for 5x or even 10x optical zoom.

First and foremost, Kuo has very little to say about Apple’s plans for a periscope lens, with the information limited to one sentence: “The new 2H22 ‌iPhone‌ will feature a periscope.” Due to the lack of information, we have no idea at this time what Apple’s periscope lens might be capable of, aside from an increase in optical zoom capabilities.

At the current time, Apple’s higher-end iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max models feature a telephoto lens capable of 2x zoom capabilities, but a periscope lens will go even further.

How a Periscope Lens Works

It’s not clear how Apple plans to implement a periscope lens, but in general, the technology uses a prism or mirror to refract light onto the lens sensor for magnification purposes, with the mechanics of the lens built into the inside of the smartphone instead of the outside like a traditional zoom lens for a DSLR.

The 5x periscope lens in the Huawei P30 Pro from an iFixit teardown

Periscope lens technology has advanced enough that in smartphones, the lenses are compact and small enough to fit into a normal lens enclosure and don’t even take up too much internal space. Depending on the build of the phone and internal space available, a periscope lens could theoretically be quite long, allowing for impressive levels of optical zoom.

Another look inside the Huawei P30 Pro and its periscope lens

Optical vs. Digital Zoom

The ‌iPhone‌’s telephoto lens is limited to 2x optical zoom, but digital zoom is available up to 10x. Optical zoom capabilities use the lens to capture a close-up image, so pictures taken with optical zoom remain crisp and clear.

Digital zoom is basically cropping in to an image taken with a wider-angle lens, resulting in blurriness and artifacts that often make the photo undesirable due to the lack of detail.

The iPhone 11 and 11 Pro offer 0.5x zoom (ultra wide-angle lens) and 1x zoom (wide-angle lens) alongside the 2x telephoto lens. With a periscope lens, Apple would presumably bump up the telephoto lens capabilities to allow it to zoom in further than 2x.

The periscope lens would likely be limited to the telephoto camera, as this technology works best in a single lens situation. So you’d have a single camera that can zoom in super far alongside other more standard wide-angle and ultra wide-angle cameras.

Existing Smartphones with Periscope Lenses

Periscope-style lenses for advanced optical zooming capabilities are trending right now, and several manufacturers have implemented the technology. Apple’s main competitor, Samsung, just introduced the Galaxy S20 Ultra with hybrid 10x optical zoom capabilities.

Huawei has come out with the P30 Pro, which also offers 5x true optical zoom and 10x hybrid optical zoom, and the company is rumored to be working on a P40 Pro that has even more advanced true 10x optical zoom capabilities. Oppo too is said to be planning a smartphone with 10x optical zoom.

Huawei P30 Pro 10x hybrid optical zoom via DxOMark

Samsung calls the zoom functionality in the S20 Ultra “Space Zoom” and it enables up to 100x digital zoom. The periscope lens itself uses a folded 4x telephoto lens combined with a 48-megapixel sensor, which can swap between 4x and 10x zoom. Samsung’s zoom feature is technically a hybrid option because it uses some sensor cropping for the 10x zoom.


The 100x zoom capability uses digital zooming technology that we thought worked quite well up to 30x, but is not particularly useful at 100x. Apple, like Samsung, could combine digital zoom with optical zoom for a similar effect.


So far, periscope zoom lenses in smartphones that are truly 10x don’t seem to be available, but the technology is certainly on the verge of launching, and Huawei’s rumored P40 Pro may be the first with 10x optical zoom. The technology should be even more advanced by the time Apple is ready to build it into a smartphone in 2022.

Apple Patents for Periscope Lens Technology

Apple has patented technology related to periscoping smartphone camera lenses, so this is certainly something the company has experimented with and considered.


A 2016 patent, for example, describes a folded telephoto camera lens system that includes multiple lenses with refractive power and a light path folding element in the form of a mirror.

According to the description included in the patent, light would be channeled into the camera through a primary lens, bounced off of the included mirror in the smartphone, and then would be sent to a secondary lens that moves up and down for the purpose of zooming in.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about this guide, want to offer feedback, or know of something that we left out? Send us an email here.
This article, “An iPhone With a Periscope Lens Could Significantly Boost Optical Zoom” first appeared on MacRumors.com

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One of the iPhone models that's coming two years from now in 2022 will feature a "periscope" lens, according to information shared today by Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who often provides accurate insight into Apple's plans.


2022 is a long way off, but periscope lens technology is already built into some smartphones on the market, giving us an idea of what we can expect from the ‌iPhone‌ feature when it launches. A periscope lens offers optical zoom capabilities not otherwise possible in a smartphone camera, allowing for 5x or even 10x optical zoom.

First and foremost, Kuo has very little to say about Apple's plans for a periscope lens, with the information limited to one sentence: "The new 2H22 ‌iPhone‌ will feature a periscope." Due to the lack of information, we have no idea at this time what Apple's periscope lens might be capable of, aside from an increase in optical zoom capabilities.

At the current time, Apple's higher-end iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max models feature a telephoto lens capable of 2x zoom capabilities, but a periscope lens will go even further.

How a Periscope Lens Works


It's not clear how Apple plans to implement a periscope lens, but in general, the technology uses a prism or mirror to refract light onto the lens sensor for magnification purposes, with the mechanics of the lens built into the inside of the smartphone instead of the outside like a traditional zoom lens for a DSLR.

The 5x periscope lens in the Huawei P30 Pro from an iFixit teardown

Periscope lens technology has advanced enough that in smartphones, the lenses are compact and small enough to fit into a normal lens enclosure and don't even take up too much internal space. Depending on the build of the phone and internal space available, a periscope lens could theoretically be quite long, allowing for impressive levels of optical zoom.

Another look inside the Huawei P30 Pro and its periscope lens

Optical vs. Digital Zoom


The ‌iPhone‌'s telephoto lens is limited to 2x optical zoom, but digital zoom is available up to 10x. Optical zoom capabilities use the lens to capture a close-up image, so pictures taken with optical zoom remain crisp and clear.

Digital zoom is basically cropping in to an image taken with a wider-angle lens, resulting in blurriness and artifacts that often make the photo undesirable due to the lack of detail.

The iPhone 11 and 11 Pro offer 0.5x zoom (ultra wide-angle lens) and 1x zoom (wide-angle lens) alongside the 2x telephoto lens. With a periscope lens, Apple would presumably bump up the telephoto lens capabilities to allow it to zoom in further than 2x.

The periscope lens would likely be limited to the telephoto camera, as this technology works best in a single lens situation. So you'd have a single camera that can zoom in super far alongside other more standard wide-angle and ultra wide-angle cameras.

Existing Smartphones with Periscope Lenses


Periscope-style lenses for advanced optical zooming capabilities are trending right now, and several manufacturers have implemented the technology. Apple's main competitor, Samsung, just introduced the Galaxy S20 Ultra with hybrid 10x optical zoom capabilities.

Huawei has come out with the P30 Pro, which also offers 5x true optical zoom and 10x hybrid optical zoom, and the company is rumored to be working on a P40 Pro that has even more advanced true 10x optical zoom capabilities. Oppo too is said to be planning a smartphone with 10x optical zoom.

Huawei P30 Pro 10x hybrid optical zoom via DxOMark

Samsung calls the zoom functionality in the S20 Ultra "Space Zoom" and it enables up to 100x digital zoom. The periscope lens itself uses a folded 4x telephoto lens combined with a 48-megapixel sensor, which can swap between 4x and 10x zoom. Samsung's zoom feature is technically a hybrid option because it uses some sensor cropping for the 10x zoom.


The 100x zoom capability uses digital zooming technology that we thought worked quite well up to 30x, but is not particularly useful at 100x. Apple, like Samsung, could combine digital zoom with optical zoom for a similar effect.


So far, periscope zoom lenses in smartphones that are truly 10x don't seem to be available, but the technology is certainly on the verge of launching, and Huawei's rumored P40 Pro may be the first with 10x optical zoom. The technology should be even more advanced by the time Apple is ready to build it into a smartphone in 2022.

Apple Patents for Periscope Lens Technology


Apple has patented technology related to periscoping smartphone camera lenses, so this is certainly something the company has experimented with and considered.


A 2016 patent, for example, describes a folded telephoto camera lens system that includes multiple lenses with refractive power and a light path folding element in the form of a mirror.

According to the description included in the patent, light would be channeled into the camera through a primary lens, bounced off of the included mirror in the smartphone, and then would be sent to a secondary lens that moves up and down for the purpose of zooming in.

Guide Feedback


Have questions about this guide, want to offer feedback, or know of something that we left out? Send us an email here.
This article, "An iPhone With a Periscope Lens Could Significantly Boost Optical Zoom" first appeared on MacRumors.com

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COVID-19 Coronavirus: Impact on Apple’s iPhone, Mac and WWDC

The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak has been spreading around the world since January, and so far, it has had a major impact on Apple’s device production and device sales in affected countries like China.


As the virus continues to move through the United States and other countries, it could lead to production and supply problems for several months, and it could cause events like WWDC to be canceled. This guide covers everything that we know about COVID-19’s impact on Apple.

Coronavirus Explained

SARS-CoV-2 is a virus in the coronavirus family that surfaced in Wuhan, China in December of 2019, and the illness that it causes is COVID-19. It is believed that the virus originated at a seafood market where exotic animal meats were sold, though Chinese scientists have suggested that it may have originated elsewhere and then spread in the market.

Genetically, SARS-CoV-2 has been found to have a similarity to coronaviruses in bats, which is the animal it may have originated from, though researchers believe a secondary animal such as a pangolin was involved in the transmission.


SARS-CoV-2 is known as a coronavirus because of its shape, which is circular with protruding club-shaped spike peplomars that look similar to the corona aura that surrounds the sun and other stars.

Coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections, and while many coronaviruses in humans cause mild problems similar to a cold, rarer versions are more dangerous. Other examples of coronaviruses that have raised alarms in the past include SARS and MERS, both of which were deadlier than SARS-CoV-2, but not as widespread. Symptoms include fever, a dry cough, and shortness of breath.

Regardless of where SARS-CoV-2 came from, the virus has infected over 95,000 people and killed more than 3,000, primarily in China. It has spread to over 50 locations around the world, including the United States, and in the U.S. specifically, there have been cases of community transmission, where medical professionals are unsure of how the virus was contracted.

Many younger people who contract COVID-19 have recovered, but because this is a new virus, there are still many unknowns, and older people who are more prone to respiratory issues have not fared as well. There are also unknowns about the extent of the transmissibility of the virus, which has led to events worldwide being canceled as it spreads.

For those who want more information on the COVID-19 outbreak, the CDC’s website is a good source.

Coronavirus Impact on Apple’s Device Sales

When news of COVID-19 spread in late January and infection numbers began to rise, Apple shut down all retail stores, corporate offices, and contact centers in China for two or more weeks.


Many of the stores started reopening in late February, but there are still some store locations that remained closed into March, while other stores that reopened in February are operating on reduced hours.

Closing stores, operating on reduced hours, government-imposed travel bans and quarantines, and the public’s fear over contracting coronavirus in public spaces have led to less foot traffic in stores in China, which has significantly impacted Apple’s sales in the country.

Coronavirus Impact on Apple’s Device Production

Many of Apple’s suppliers in China were forced to shut down production for several weeks in early February, with the factory closures coming right after the Lunar New Year holiday. Main iPhone suppliers that include Foxconn and Pegatron were closed for quite some time because an outbreak of COVID-19 at a supplier campus where workers live in close quarters would be devastating.


Apple’s factories were up and running by mid to late February for the most part, but travel restrictions from heavily impacted areas in China, mandatory quarantines, and low labor return rates led to delays with factories ramping up to full production. Outbreaks in new countries like South Korea have also led to factory closures.

Supplier issues have already led to some Apple products having long ship times, such as build-to-order versions of the iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Pro, and MacBook Pro, and this could be more of a problem in coming months as existing component supplies dwindle.

Analysts have lowered their estimated device shipments for the first half of 2020 due to the coronavirus, and the overall impact of the coronavirus throughout the rest of 2020 remains to be seen.

Rumors suggest that Apple plans to move forward with the launch of the rumored low-cost iPhone that’s expected in March, but it’s possible there could be some supply issues. Also at risk is the 2020 ‌iPhone‌ lineup, which Apple begins working on much earlier in the year.


Apple has implemented travel restrictions for its employees, and employees have not been able to travel to China to begin the preparation process that takes place ahead of when new iPhones are manufactured. In February, Apple employees typically travel to China to perfect their manufacturing processes with partners like Foxconn, and delays have the potential to eat into the time that Apple needs to finalize orders for chips and other ‌iPhone‌ components.

It is not yet known if and how these issues will cause production problems with Apple’s 2020 iPhones, but so far, rumors suggest Apple is still on track to launch the new iPhones in fall 2020.

Device production on current and upcoming devices will continue to be impacted well into April, and reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo does not believe that ‌iPhone‌ production will significantly improve until the second quarter of 2020.

Apple’s Response to Coronavirus

Apple in January announced plans to donate to money to groups dedicated to fighting the COVID-19 outbreak in China, and later, Apple CEO Tim Cook said it would more than double the company’s donation.

As mentioned before, Apple temporarily closed all corporate offices and retail stores in China in response to the virus. Corporate offices are now reopened, and stores are in the process of reopening.

According to Apple CEO ‌Tim Cook‌, Apple’s chief concern is the health and safety of its employees, supply chain partners, customers, and communities in which it operates, with Apple prioritizing people over revenue.

March Revenue Cuts

Apple in mid-February announced that its financial guidance for the March quarter would fall short due to the COVID-19 outbreak. During the January earnings call, Apple said it expected to see revenue of $63 to $67 billion in the March quarter, but that is no longer a goal the company will be able to meet.

Apple cited lower customer demand in China and constrained ‌iPhone‌ supplies worldwide as the factors leading to lower than expected revenue. We won’t know the full extent of the coronavirus’s impact on sales until Apple’s next earnings call, expected to take place in April.

Apple Stock

Apple’s stock has been fluctuating wildly due to uncertainty caused by the spread of COVID-19. On February 16, Apple’s stock hit an all-time high closing price of $327.20, but by February 28, it had dropped as low as the $260s. As of March 2, it was back up to $298 a share.

Stock prices may continue to ping pong back and forth as analysts and shareholders attempt to determine the long-term impact of the coronavirus.

Coronavirus and WWDC

With COVID-19 now spreading across the world, many companies have been canceling or postponing major events that would see people gathering in large numbers.

Mobile World Congress, a major smartphone trade show that takes place in February, was the first to be canceled. The Game Developers Conference, a major gaming event set to take place in San Francisco in March, has been canceled, Google’s I/O event has been nixed, and Facebook also recently canceled F8, its annual developers conference that would have happened in May.

The cancellation of F8 is of particular interest because it is an event that’s very similar to WWDC. F8 attracts around 5,000 people and it was set to be held at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, which is also where Apple now hosts WWDC.

F8 was set to take place on May 5 and 6, which is just about a month ahead of when Apple is expected to hold WWDC this year. Apple has not provided firm dates for WWDC in 2020, but based on past year’s events, we are expecting Apple to hold it from June 8 to June 12.

Given that Facebook has canceled F8, Apple could be considering a similar move, but at this time, there is no word on whether the event might be postponed or canceled. If WWDC does end up being canceled, Apple may opt to share all of its developer information online while holding a small keynote just for media to announce new software and products.

Similarly, there’s also no word on how the coronavirus will affect Apple’s plans for a March event, if there are indeed plans for an event in late March.

In Cupertino, California, which is where Apple’s campuses are located, there have been reports of multiple coronavirus infections without a known source. These cases are believed to be community transmission cases as the people in question have not traveled to a country with a known outbreak nor have they had contact with people who had an infection from travel.

How COVID-19 spreads in the Bay Area will dictate what Apple decides to do in the coming weeks.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about COVID-19’s impact on Apple, know of something we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

This article, “COVID-19 Coronavirus: Impact on Apple’s iPhone, Mac and WWDC” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

The COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak has been spreading around the world since January, and so far, it has had a major impact on Apple's device production and device sales in affected countries like China.


As the virus continues to move through the United States and other countries, it could lead to production and supply problems for several months, and it could cause events like WWDC to be canceled. This guide covers everything that we know about COVID-19's impact on Apple.

Coronavirus Explained


SARS-CoV-2 is a virus in the coronavirus family that surfaced in Wuhan, China in December of 2019, and the illness that it causes is COVID-19. It is believed that the virus originated at a seafood market where exotic animal meats were sold, though Chinese scientists have suggested that it may have originated elsewhere and then spread in the market.

Genetically, SARS-CoV-2 has been found to have a similarity to coronaviruses in bats, which is the animal it may have originated from, though researchers believe a secondary animal such as a pangolin was involved in the transmission.


SARS-CoV-2 is known as a coronavirus because of its shape, which is circular with protruding club-shaped spike peplomars that look similar to the corona aura that surrounds the sun and other stars.

Coronaviruses cause respiratory tract infections, and while many coronaviruses in humans cause mild problems similar to a cold, rarer versions are more dangerous. Other examples of coronaviruses that have raised alarms in the past include SARS and MERS, both of which were deadlier than SARS-CoV-2, but not as widespread. Symptoms include fever, a dry cough, and shortness of breath.

Regardless of where SARS-CoV-2 came from, the virus has infected over 95,000 people and killed more than 3,000, primarily in China. It has spread to over 50 locations around the world, including the United States, and in the U.S. specifically, there have been cases of community transmission, where medical professionals are unsure of how the virus was contracted.

Many younger people who contract COVID-19 have recovered, but because this is a new virus, there are still many unknowns, and older people who are more prone to respiratory issues have not fared as well. There are also unknowns about the extent of the transmissibility of the virus, which has led to events worldwide being canceled as it spreads.

For those who want more information on the COVID-19 outbreak, the CDC's website is a good source.

Coronavirus Impact on Apple's Device Sales


When news of COVID-19 spread in late January and infection numbers began to rise, Apple shut down all retail stores, corporate offices, and contact centers in China for two or more weeks.


Many of the stores started reopening in late February, but there are still some store locations that remained closed into March, while other stores that reopened in February are operating on reduced hours.

Closing stores, operating on reduced hours, government-imposed travel bans and quarantines, and the public's fear over contracting coronavirus in public spaces have led to less foot traffic in stores in China, which has significantly impacted Apple's sales in the country.

Coronavirus Impact on Apple's Device Production


Many of Apple's suppliers in China were forced to shut down production for several weeks in early February, with the factory closures coming right after the Lunar New Year holiday. Main iPhone suppliers that include Foxconn and Pegatron were closed for quite some time because an outbreak of COVID-19 at a supplier campus where workers live in close quarters would be devastating.


Apple's factories were up and running by mid to late February for the most part, but travel restrictions from heavily impacted areas in China, mandatory quarantines, and low labor return rates led to delays with factories ramping up to full production. Outbreaks in new countries like South Korea have also led to factory closures.

Supplier issues have already led to some Apple products having long ship times, such as build-to-order versions of the iMac, iMac Pro, Mac Pro, and MacBook Pro, and this could be more of a problem in coming months as existing component supplies dwindle.

Analysts have lowered their estimated device shipments for the first half of 2020 due to the coronavirus, and the overall impact of the coronavirus throughout the rest of 2020 remains to be seen.

Rumors suggest that Apple plans to move forward with the launch of the rumored low-cost iPhone that's expected in March, but it's possible there could be some supply issues. Also at risk is the 2020 ‌iPhone‌ lineup, which Apple begins working on much earlier in the year.


Apple has implemented travel restrictions for its employees, and employees have not been able to travel to China to begin the preparation process that takes place ahead of when new iPhones are manufactured. In February, Apple employees typically travel to China to perfect their manufacturing processes with partners like Foxconn, and delays have the potential to eat into the time that Apple needs to finalize orders for chips and other ‌iPhone‌ components.

It is not yet known if and how these issues will cause production problems with Apple's 2020 iPhones, but so far, rumors suggest Apple is still on track to launch the new iPhones in fall 2020.

Device production on current and upcoming devices will continue to be impacted well into April, and reliable Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo does not believe that ‌iPhone‌ production will significantly improve until the second quarter of 2020.

Apple's Response to Coronavirus


Apple in January announced plans to donate to money to groups dedicated to fighting the COVID-19 outbreak in China, and later, Apple CEO Tim Cook said it would more than double the company's donation.

As mentioned before, Apple temporarily closed all corporate offices and retail stores in China in response to the virus. Corporate offices are now reopened, and stores are in the process of reopening.

According to Apple CEO ‌Tim Cook‌, Apple's chief concern is the health and safety of its employees, supply chain partners, customers, and communities in which it operates, with Apple prioritizing people over revenue.

March Revenue Cuts


Apple in mid-February announced that its financial guidance for the March quarter would fall short due to the COVID-19 outbreak. During the January earnings call, Apple said it expected to see revenue of $63 to $67 billion in the March quarter, but that is no longer a goal the company will be able to meet.

Apple cited lower customer demand in China and constrained ‌iPhone‌ supplies worldwide as the factors leading to lower than expected revenue. We won't know the full extent of the coronavirus's impact on sales until Apple's next earnings call, expected to take place in April.

Apple Stock


Apple's stock has been fluctuating wildly due to uncertainty caused by the spread of COVID-19. On February 16, Apple's stock hit an all-time high closing price of $327.20, but by February 28, it had dropped as low as the $260s. As of March 2, it was back up to $298 a share.

Stock prices may continue to ping pong back and forth as analysts and shareholders attempt to determine the long-term impact of the coronavirus.

Coronavirus and WWDC


With COVID-19 now spreading across the world, many companies have been canceling or postponing major events that would see people gathering in large numbers.

Mobile World Congress, a major smartphone trade show that takes place in February, was the first to be canceled. The Game Developers Conference, a major gaming event set to take place in San Francisco in March, has been canceled, Google's I/O event has been nixed, and Facebook also recently canceled F8, its annual developers conference that would have happened in May.

The cancellation of F8 is of particular interest because it is an event that's very similar to WWDC. F8 attracts around 5,000 people and it was set to be held at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California, which is also where Apple now hosts WWDC.

F8 was set to take place on May 5 and 6, which is just about a month ahead of when Apple is expected to hold WWDC this year. Apple has not provided firm dates for WWDC in 2020, but based on past year's events, we are expecting Apple to hold it from June 8 to June 12.

Given that Facebook has canceled F8, Apple could be considering a similar move, but at this time, there is no word on whether the event might be postponed or canceled. If WWDC does end up being canceled, Apple may opt to share all of its developer information online while holding a small keynote just for media to announce new software and products.

Similarly, there's also no word on how the coronavirus will affect Apple's plans for a March event, if there are indeed plans for an event in late March.

In Cupertino, California, which is where Apple's campuses are located, there have been reports of multiple coronavirus infections without a known source. These cases are believed to be community transmission cases as the people in question have not traveled to a country with a known outbreak nor have they had contact with people who had an infection from travel.

How COVID-19 spreads in the Bay Area will dictate what Apple decides to do in the coming weeks.

Guide Feedback


Have questions about COVID-19's impact on Apple, know of something we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.


This article, "COVID-19 Coronavirus: Impact on Apple's iPhone, Mac and WWDC" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple’s Working on a Smart Keyboard With Trackpad for the iPad: Here’s What You Need to Know

Apple is rumored to be working on a new version of the Smart Keyboard that includes a trackpad for the first time, which goes even further towards positioning the iPad as a replacement for a Mac.

In the guide below, we cover everything that we know about Apple’s new ‌Smart Keyboard‌ plans, including compatible devices, when it might launch, and more.

A mockup of a ‌Smart Keyboard‌ with Trackpad

‌Smart Keyboard‌ Trackpad Rumors

Apple has been experimenting with trackpad keyboard options for the iPad Pro for several years, according to a recent report from The Information, and is finally ready to release a new ‌Smart Keyboard‌ that includes a trackpad.

There’s no word on what the specific design will look like, but in the mockups above, we’ve imagined a version that is similar to the current ‌iPad Pro‌ ‌Smart Keyboard‌ but with a space-saving design that moves the keyboard up to accommodate a trackpad at the bottom.

A mockup of a ‌Smart Keyboard‌ with Trackpad

It’s similar in design to the keyboard that Microsoft has designed for the Microsoft Surface as the Surface has a form factor that’s similar to the ‌iPad Pro‌.

The new ‌Smart Keyboard‌ is expected to be made from materials similar to those in Apple’s current ‌Smart Keyboard‌ Folio design, which includes waterproof keys covered with a polyurethane material.

Current ‌Smart Keyboard‌ for ‌iPad Pro‌

The Information suggests that Apple has designed prototype keyboards that feature capacitive keys, but it’s not known if this feature is included in the final product.

Other Expected ‌Smart Keyboard‌ Features

A recent rumor from DigiTimes did not mention a trackpad, but did say that Apple is working on an iPad Pro Smart Keyboard with backlit keys and scissor switches, which could also be features that might be included in the trackpad ‌Smart Keyboard‌ that The Information outlined.

Backlighting and scissor switches would likely result in a keyboard that has thicker keys with more travel than the keys on the current ‌Smart Keyboard‌ options.

Scissor switches were used in MacBook keyboards until 2015, when Apple introduced the first keyboard with butterfly switches. Butterfly switches turned out to be a huge disaster, however, due to their penchant for failure when exposed to dust and other small particulates. Apple is facing lawsuits over the butterfly keyboard and has implemented a repair program that covers every Mac equipped with a butterfly keyboard.

With the 16-inch MacBook Pro that was released in October 2019, Apple reverted to using a keyboard with more reliable scissor switches, and the MacBook keyboard lineup is expected to return to scissor keys. Whether Apple will also transition the ‌Smart Keyboard‌ to scissor switches also remains to be seen as we haven’t heard. a second rumor about it.

Compatible Devices

It sounds like the new ‌Smart Keyboard‌ with Trackpad will be released alongside updated ‌iPad Pro‌ models set to come out during the first half of 2020.

The new ‌iPad Pro‌ models are expected to be the same size as the current ‌iPad Pro‌ models (11 and 12.9-inches), with the only design change being a square-shaped camera cutout. Because the designs will be the same, it’s possible the new ‌Smart Keyboard‌ that has a trackpad will be compatible with 2018 ‌iPad Pro‌ models as well.

This is not confirmed, however, and compatibility will depend on the overall design Apple goes with. If there is a back cover with the keyboard, it could be limited to the new ‌iPad Pro‌ models due to the new camera design.

‌Smart Keyboard‌ Trackpad Launch Date

Multiple rumors have suggested Apple is planning to launch new ‌iPad Pro‌ models in the first half of 2020, perhaps as early as March. Back in February, one rumor indicated Apple is planning an event for March 31, so that could be the date that we see new products unveiled.

The new ‌Smart Keyboard‌ with a trackpad will likely launch alongside new ‌iPad Pro‌ models.

It is not known if production issues caused by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak will have an impact on Apple’s plans to release the ‌iPad Pro‌ and accompanying ‌Smart Keyboard‌ early in 2020.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about the new ‌Smart Keyboard‌, know of a something we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

This article, “Apple’s Working on a Smart Keyboard With Trackpad for the iPad: Here’s What You Need to Know” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple is rumored to be working on a new version of the Smart Keyboard that includes a trackpad for the first time, which goes even further towards positioning the iPad as a replacement for a Mac.

In the guide below, we cover everything that we know about Apple's new ‌Smart Keyboard‌ plans, including compatible devices, when it might launch, and more.

A mockup of a ‌Smart Keyboard‌ with Trackpad

‌Smart Keyboard‌ Trackpad Rumors


Apple has been experimenting with trackpad keyboard options for the iPad Pro for several years, according to a recent report from The Information, and is finally ready to release a new ‌Smart Keyboard‌ that includes a trackpad.

There's no word on what the specific design will look like, but in the mockups above, we've imagined a version that is similar to the current ‌iPad Pro‌ ‌Smart Keyboard‌ but with a space-saving design that moves the keyboard up to accommodate a trackpad at the bottom.

A mockup of a ‌Smart Keyboard‌ with Trackpad

It's similar in design to the keyboard that Microsoft has designed for the Microsoft Surface as the Surface has a form factor that's similar to the ‌iPad Pro‌.

The new ‌Smart Keyboard‌ is expected to be made from materials similar to those in Apple's current ‌Smart Keyboard‌ Folio design, which includes waterproof keys covered with a polyurethane material.

Current ‌Smart Keyboard‌ for ‌iPad Pro‌

The Information suggests that Apple has designed prototype keyboards that feature capacitive keys, but it's not known if this feature is included in the final product.

Other Expected ‌Smart Keyboard‌ Features


A recent rumor from DigiTimes did not mention a trackpad, but did say that Apple is working on an iPad Pro Smart Keyboard with backlit keys and scissor switches, which could also be features that might be included in the trackpad ‌Smart Keyboard‌ that The Information outlined.

Backlighting and scissor switches would likely result in a keyboard that has thicker keys with more travel than the keys on the current ‌Smart Keyboard‌ options.

Scissor switches were used in MacBook keyboards until 2015, when Apple introduced the first keyboard with butterfly switches. Butterfly switches turned out to be a huge disaster, however, due to their penchant for failure when exposed to dust and other small particulates. Apple is facing lawsuits over the butterfly keyboard and has implemented a repair program that covers every Mac equipped with a butterfly keyboard.

With the 16-inch MacBook Pro that was released in October 2019, Apple reverted to using a keyboard with more reliable scissor switches, and the MacBook keyboard lineup is expected to return to scissor keys. Whether Apple will also transition the ‌Smart Keyboard‌ to scissor switches also remains to be seen as we haven't heard. a second rumor about it.

Compatible Devices


It sounds like the new ‌Smart Keyboard‌ with Trackpad will be released alongside updated ‌iPad Pro‌ models set to come out during the first half of 2020.

The new ‌iPad Pro‌ models are expected to be the same size as the current ‌iPad Pro‌ models (11 and 12.9-inches), with the only design change being a square-shaped camera cutout. Because the designs will be the same, it's possible the new ‌Smart Keyboard‌ that has a trackpad will be compatible with 2018 ‌iPad Pro‌ models as well.

This is not confirmed, however, and compatibility will depend on the overall design Apple goes with. If there is a back cover with the keyboard, it could be limited to the new ‌iPad Pro‌ models due to the new camera design.

‌Smart Keyboard‌ Trackpad Launch Date


Multiple rumors have suggested Apple is planning to launch new ‌iPad Pro‌ models in the first half of 2020, perhaps as early as March. Back in February, one rumor indicated Apple is planning an event for March 31, so that could be the date that we see new products unveiled.

The new ‌Smart Keyboard‌ with a trackpad will likely launch alongside new ‌iPad Pro‌ models.

It is not known if production issues caused by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak will have an impact on Apple's plans to release the ‌iPad Pro‌ and accompanying ‌Smart Keyboard‌ early in 2020.

Guide Feedback


Have questions about the new ‌Smart Keyboard‌, know of a something we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

This article, "Apple's Working on a Smart Keyboard With Trackpad for the iPad: Here's What You Need to Know" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Everything You Need to Know About the Apple Pencil

Apple in 2015 unveiled the first iPad Pro, which came with an optional stylus called the Apple Pencil. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was famously against styluses, but the Apple Pencil has proven to be a useful tool for note taking, sketching, and more.

The Apple Pencil has stuck around since 2015, and as of today, it is compatible with Apple’s entire current iPad lineup. In the guide below, we cover everything you need to know about the Apple Pencil.

What is the Apple Pencil?

The Apple Pencil is an Apple-designed stylus that works with Apple’s iPads. It’s called the Apple Pencil because of its resemblance to a traditional pencil, albeit with a definitively Apple-esque design.


There’s a small plastic tip (which can be replaced) that connects with the ‌iPad‌’s display, a pencil-like body to hold onto, and a charging mechanism. In the original Apple Pencil, there’s a Lightning connector, but the second-generation model charges magnetically.

The Apple Pencil is used in lieu of a finger for precision tasks like writing and sketching, and it can also be used for navigating through the operating system. It’s excellent for drawings, art creation, note taking, and similar tasks because it’s precise, has palm rejection, and offers pressure and tilt sensitivity.

In a nutshell, the Apple Pencil is meant to work like a traditional pencil, but instead of writing on paper, you write on the ‌iPad‌’s display. You can put your hand right on the ‌iPad‌ while you write, which, for a long time, was functionality other styluses were not able to accurately replicate.

What are the differences between Apple Pencil 1 and Apple Pencil 2?

There are two versions of the Apple Pencil, the first version released in 2015 and the second version released in 2018. The two do the same thing, but have different designs and charging mechanisms.

The biggest difference between them is their device compatibility – Apple Pencil 2 works with the 2018 ‌iPad Pro‌ models and Apple Pencil 1 works with everything else.

Original Apple Pencil

The second-generation Apple Pencil is sleeker, smaller, and more compact than the original Apple Pencil because it has no Lightning port at the end. It’s designed to charge through the ‌iPad Pro‌ magnetically, so you stick it on the right side of the ‌iPad Pro‌ in the flat area to initiate charging.

Apple Pencil 2

With the original Apple Pencil, there’s a Lightning connector that lets it plug into the Lightning port of an ‌iPad‌ for charging purposes, which is inconvenient because of the size of the Apple Pencil. Apple also includes an adapter with the Apple Pencil 1 so you can charge it with any Lightning cable.

Apple Pencil 2 has a more pencil-like design because it has a flat side and a sanded design that improves the texture. The Apple Pencil 1 is smooth and round. Apple Pencil 2 also supports touch gestures for swapping between tools, something not possible with the original Apple Pencil.

Though there are different charging mechanisms and bells and whistles, Apple Pencil 1 and 2 fundamentally work in the same way and have the same general feature set.

What devices are compatible with Apple Pencil?

The original Apple Pencil, manufactured from 2015 on with the round body design and Lightning connector is compatible with the following devices:

  • iPad Air (3rd generation)
  • ‌iPad‌ mini (5th generation)
  • ‌iPad‌ (7th generation)
  • ‌iPad‌ (6th generation)
  • ‌iPad Pro‌ 12.9-inch (2nd generation)
  • ‌iPad Pro‌ 12.9-inch (1st generation)
  • ‌iPad Pro‌ 10.5-inch
  • ‌iPad Pro‌ 9.7-inch

The second-generation Apple Pencil with a smaller footprint and magnetic charging capabilities is compatible with the following devices:

  • ‌iPad Pro‌ 12.9-inch (3rd generation)
  • ‌iPad Pro‌ 11-inch

The original Apple Pencil cannot be used with the 11 and 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ models released in 2018, and the newer Apple Pencil does not work with older iPads.

What are the Apple Pencil’s features?

The Apple Pencil has a rich feature set, allowing it to be used for any precision task, or as a replacement for a finger when navigating through iOS.


The need to know features are below:

  • Palm Rejection – When the Apple Pencil is connected to the ‌iPad‌, it only recognizes the Apple Pencil tip and not your hand or your finger, allowing you to write or sketch comfortably.
  • Pressure Sensitivity – Depending on how much pressure is placed on the ‌iPad‌ while writing or drawing, a line can be thicker or thinner. Apple doesn’t provide a specific pressure sensitivity level for the Apple Pencil.
  • Tilt Sensitivity – Apple Pencil is designed to work like a regular pencil, so if you hold it at an angle and press the side of the tip alongside the ‌iPad‌ for something like shading, it works. The Apple Pencil knows its general orientation and how it’s being tilted.
  • Pencil-Like Weighting – Apple designed the Apple Pencil to have a pencil-like feel in the hand, and it is weighted to feel like a real writing instrument.
  • Low Latency – Apple Pencil has super low latency, which means that when you write on the ‌iPad‌, there’s no delay between the movement of the pencil and what appears on the display. Apple Pencil latency is as low as 9ms on iPads with 120Hz displays (the ‌iPad Pro‌ models from 2017 and later).
  • Precision – Apple Pencil is precise, so it is accurate down to the pixel. That means there’s no offsetting between where the pencil is located and what’s shown on the screen.
  • Simple Pairing – There’s no need to fuss with Bluetooth with Apple Pencil. It connects automatically. Just plug in the first version or attach the second version to the ‌iPad Pro‌.
  • Touch Gestures (V2 only) – The second-generation version of the Apple Pencil supports touch gestures. With a double tap, the Apple Pencil 2 can swap between tools in apps, useful because it allows for quick switching between a pen tool and eraser tool, as an example.
  • Magnetic Charging (V2 only) – Apple Pencil 2 charges through a magnetic connection to the ‌iPad Pro‌. Apple Pencil 1 does not have this feature and charges through a Lightning connector.

Where can Apple Pencil be used?

Apple Pencil can be used as a finger replacement to do things like open apps, scroll, and more, but support for Apple Pencil is also built into iPadOS. There are several unique Apple Pencil features worth being aware of for those thinking about an Apple Pencil purchase.

  • Screenshots – If you take a screenshot on your ‌iPad‌ and then tap it when a preview appears in the corner, you can draw and write on it using the Apple Pencil through a feature called Markup.
  • Markup – Markup is the Apple feature that lets you write on screenshots, but it also works across the operating system in various apps. In Mail, you can edit photos or PDFs (it’s great for signing documents), in Messages, you can draw on photos, in the Photos app, you can add captions and drawings to images, and in Books, you can edit PDFs.

Apple Pencil also works with tons of third-party apps for note taking, drawing, sketching, and more. You can find these apps by searching for Apple Pencil in the App Store on the ‌iPad‌, but below we’ve listed some standouts.

  • Procreate ($9.99) – Ideal for sketching, drawing, and art creation. Simple enough for beginners, but powerful enough for professionals.
  • Notability ($8.99) – Notability is a note taking app that’s been around for a long time. It has all kinds of features for writing, sketching, annotating PDFs, and more, plus there are plenty of paper styles and it can scan documents, record audio clips, and more.
  • Pixelmator ($4.99) – If you like to edit photos on your ‌iPad‌, Pixelmator is worth checking out. It supports Apple Pencil, and the Apple Pencil is a great tool for precision edits.
  • Pigment (Free with in-app purchases) – If you like to color and find it relaxing, there are tons of coloring apps for the Apple Pencil like Pigment.
  • Adobe Photoshop Sketch (Free) – Adobe Photoshop Sketch is a pared down version of Photoshop that’s optimized for artists who like to sketch and draw. It has a bunch of brushes and supports brushes from Photoshop, plus useful color mixing features and layers support. Adobe also has a full Photoshop app for the ‌iPad‌.
  • Linea Sketch ($4.99) – If you like to jot down ideas and make quick drawings, Linea Sketch is easy to learn, easy to use, and has a useful range of tools for you to take advantage of.

How is the Apple Pencil different from other styluses?

Prior to when the Apple Pencil came out, styluses either had a fine hard tip and were battery powered to activate the capacitive display of the ‌iPad‌, or had a wide, rubber finger-shaped tip that was not accurate.

A pre-Apple Pencil stylus

Palm rejection was all done via software by individual app creators and it didn’t work reliably, plus connections were all done via Bluetooth rather than the automatic process that the Apple Pencil uses.

Many styluses on the market that are not the Apple Pencil are still have these kinds of tips that are nowhere near as accurate as the Apple Pencil and can’t offer the same simple charging and palm rejection features, but there are now some more affordable Apple Pencil alternatives that have Apple Pencil-like functionality.

What Apple Pencil alternatives are available?

There are a few non-Apple made styluses on the market that have some of the same capabilities as the Apple Pencil, but for a more affordable price. These options aren’t as feature rich as the Apple Pencil and don’t have the same simple design, but the base functionality is there.

The Logitech Crayon

  • Logitech Crayon ($55) – Designed by Logitech, the Crayon was originally meant to be a cheaper version of the Apple Pencil for students to use with the low-cost ‌iPad‌. It’s now available to anyone. It works just like the Apple Pencil and offers the same palm rejection, latency, and tilt support, but it does not include pressure sensitivity.
  • Adonit Note ($43) – The Adonit Note is similar to the Apple Pencil, offering the same small tip, excellent latency, and palm rejection, but there is no pressure sensitivity.
  • Adonit Note+ ($62) – The Adonit Note+ is similar to the Adonit Note, but it includes 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity and two configurable shortcut buttons.

What apps are compatible with Apple Pencil?

Any first or third-party app is compatible with the Apple Pencil, but it is designed for writing, drawing, and sketching apps where handwritten content is appropriate. The Apple Pencil can also be used in place of a fingertip for navigating through ‌iPadOS‌.

Is the Apple Pencil worth the money?

For anyone who wants to take advantage of the ‌iPad‌ for drawing, sketching, note taking, or other similar activities, the Apple Pencil is absolutely worth the money, but for those who don’t need all of the advanced features, there are some similar styluses on the market like the much more affordable Logitech Crayon.


Does Apple Pencil work with iPhone?

The Apple Pencil and Apple Pencil 2 are only compatible with iPads and will not work with the ‌iPhone‌. The Apple Pencil requires a display built for it, which iPhones do not have.

Will Apple make an Apple Pencil for ‌iPhone‌?

There have been rumors here and there suggesting Apple could develop a version of the Apple Pencil for the ‌iPhone‌, specifically ahead of the release of the 2019 ‌iPhone‌ lineup, but we haven’t heard much since then and there has been no concrete information indicating such a product is in the works.

Apple could potentially be planning on a stylus for the ‌iPhone‌ in the future, but it doesn’t look like it’s coming in the near future and it’s not something that we expect to see for the 2020 iPhones.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about the Apple Pencil, know of a feature we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

This article, “Everything You Need to Know About the Apple Pencil” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

Apple in 2015 unveiled the first iPad Pro, which came with an optional stylus called the Apple Pencil. Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was famously against styluses, but the Apple Pencil has proven to be a useful tool for note taking, sketching, and more.

The Apple Pencil has stuck around since 2015, and as of today, it is compatible with Apple's entire current iPad lineup. In the guide below, we cover everything you need to know about the Apple Pencil.

What is the Apple Pencil?


The Apple Pencil is an Apple-designed stylus that works with Apple's iPads. It's called the Apple Pencil because of its resemblance to a traditional pencil, albeit with a definitively Apple-esque design.


There's a small plastic tip (which can be replaced) that connects with the ‌iPad‌'s display, a pencil-like body to hold onto, and a charging mechanism. In the original Apple Pencil, there's a Lightning connector, but the second-generation model charges magnetically.

The Apple Pencil is used in lieu of a finger for precision tasks like writing and sketching, and it can also be used for navigating through the operating system. It's excellent for drawings, art creation, note taking, and similar tasks because it's precise, has palm rejection, and offers pressure and tilt sensitivity.

In a nutshell, the Apple Pencil is meant to work like a traditional pencil, but instead of writing on paper, you write on the ‌iPad‌'s display. You can put your hand right on the ‌iPad‌ while you write, which, for a long time, was functionality other styluses were not able to accurately replicate.

What are the differences between Apple Pencil 1 and Apple Pencil 2?


There are two versions of the Apple Pencil, the first version released in 2015 and the second version released in 2018. The two do the same thing, but have different designs and charging mechanisms.

The biggest difference between them is their device compatibility - Apple Pencil 2 works with the 2018 ‌iPad Pro‌ models and Apple Pencil 1 works with everything else.

Original Apple Pencil

The second-generation Apple Pencil is sleeker, smaller, and more compact than the original Apple Pencil because it has no Lightning port at the end. It's designed to charge through the ‌iPad Pro‌ magnetically, so you stick it on the right side of the ‌iPad Pro‌ in the flat area to initiate charging.

Apple Pencil 2

With the original Apple Pencil, there's a Lightning connector that lets it plug into the Lightning port of an ‌iPad‌ for charging purposes, which is inconvenient because of the size of the Apple Pencil. Apple also includes an adapter with the Apple Pencil 1 so you can charge it with any Lightning cable.


Apple Pencil 2 has a more pencil-like design because it has a flat side and a sanded design that improves the texture. The Apple Pencil 1 is smooth and round. Apple Pencil 2 also supports touch gestures for swapping between tools, something not possible with the original Apple Pencil.

Though there are different charging mechanisms and bells and whistles, Apple Pencil 1 and 2 fundamentally work in the same way and have the same general feature set.

What devices are compatible with Apple Pencil?


The original Apple Pencil, manufactured from 2015 on with the round body design and Lightning connector is compatible with the following devices:

  • iPad Air (3rd generation)

  • ‌iPad‌ mini (5th generation)

  • ‌iPad‌ (7th generation)

  • ‌iPad‌ (6th generation)

  • ‌iPad Pro‌ 12.9-inch (2nd generation)

  • ‌iPad Pro‌ 12.9-inch (1st generation)

  • ‌iPad Pro‌ 10.5-inch

  • ‌iPad Pro‌ 9.7-inch

The second-generation Apple Pencil with a smaller footprint and magnetic charging capabilities is compatible with the following devices:

  • ‌iPad Pro‌ 12.9-inch (3rd generation)

  • ‌iPad Pro‌ 11-inch

The original Apple Pencil cannot be used with the 11 and 12.9-inch ‌iPad Pro‌ models released in 2018, and the newer Apple Pencil does not work with older iPads.

What are the Apple Pencil's features?


The Apple Pencil has a rich feature set, allowing it to be used for any precision task, or as a replacement for a finger when navigating through iOS.


The need to know features are below:

  • Palm Rejection - When the Apple Pencil is connected to the ‌iPad‌, it only recognizes the Apple Pencil tip and not your hand or your finger, allowing you to write or sketch comfortably.

  • Pressure Sensitivity - Depending on how much pressure is placed on the ‌iPad‌ while writing or drawing, a line can be thicker or thinner. Apple doesn't provide a specific pressure sensitivity level for the Apple Pencil.

  • Tilt Sensitivity - Apple Pencil is designed to work like a regular pencil, so if you hold it at an angle and press the side of the tip alongside the ‌iPad‌ for something like shading, it works. The Apple Pencil knows its general orientation and how it's being tilted.

  • Pencil-Like Weighting - Apple designed the Apple Pencil to have a pencil-like feel in the hand, and it is weighted to feel like a real writing instrument.

  • Low Latency - Apple Pencil has super low latency, which means that when you write on the ‌iPad‌, there's no delay between the movement of the pencil and what appears on the display. Apple Pencil latency is as low as 9ms on iPads with 120Hz displays (the ‌iPad Pro‌ models from 2017 and later).

  • Precision - Apple Pencil is precise, so it is accurate down to the pixel. That means there's no offsetting between where the pencil is located and what's shown on the screen.

  • Simple Pairing - There's no need to fuss with Bluetooth with Apple Pencil. It connects automatically. Just plug in the first version or attach the second version to the ‌iPad Pro‌.

  • Touch Gestures (V2 only) - The second-generation version of the Apple Pencil supports touch gestures. With a double tap, the Apple Pencil 2 can swap between tools in apps, useful because it allows for quick switching between a pen tool and eraser tool, as an example.

  • Magnetic Charging (V2 only) - Apple Pencil 2 charges through a magnetic connection to the ‌iPad Pro‌. Apple Pencil 1 does not have this feature and charges through a Lightning connector.

Where can Apple Pencil be used?


Apple Pencil can be used as a finger replacement to do things like open apps, scroll, and more, but support for Apple Pencil is also built into iPadOS. There are several unique Apple Pencil features worth being aware of for those thinking about an Apple Pencil purchase.


  • Screenshots - If you take a screenshot on your ‌iPad‌ and then tap it when a preview appears in the corner, you can draw and write on it using the Apple Pencil through a feature called Markup.

  • Markup - Markup is the Apple feature that lets you write on screenshots, but it also works across the operating system in various apps. In Mail, you can edit photos or PDFs (it's great for signing documents), in Messages, you can draw on photos, in the Photos app, you can add captions and drawings to images, and in Books, you can edit PDFs.
Apple Pencil also works with tons of third-party apps for note taking, drawing, sketching, and more. You can find these apps by searching for Apple Pencil in the App Store on the ‌iPad‌, but below we've listed some standouts.

  • Procreate ($9.99) - Ideal for sketching, drawing, and art creation. Simple enough for beginners, but powerful enough for professionals.

  • Notability ($8.99) - Notability is a note taking app that's been around for a long time. It has all kinds of features for writing, sketching, annotating PDFs, and more, plus there are plenty of paper styles and it can scan documents, record audio clips, and more.

  • Pixelmator ($4.99) - If you like to edit photos on your ‌iPad‌, Pixelmator is worth checking out. It supports Apple Pencil, and the Apple Pencil is a great tool for precision edits.

  • Pigment (Free with in-app purchases) - If you like to color and find it relaxing, there are tons of coloring apps for the Apple Pencil like Pigment.

  • Adobe Photoshop Sketch (Free) - Adobe Photoshop Sketch is a pared down version of Photoshop that's optimized for artists who like to sketch and draw. It has a bunch of brushes and supports brushes from Photoshop, plus useful color mixing features and layers support. Adobe also has a full Photoshop app for the ‌iPad‌.

  • Linea Sketch ($4.99) - If you like to jot down ideas and make quick drawings, Linea Sketch is easy to learn, easy to use, and has a useful range of tools for you to take advantage of.

How is the Apple Pencil different from other styluses?


Prior to when the Apple Pencil came out, styluses either had a fine hard tip and were battery powered to activate the capacitive display of the ‌iPad‌, or had a wide, rubber finger-shaped tip that was not accurate.

A pre-Apple Pencil stylus

Palm rejection was all done via software by individual app creators and it didn't work reliably, plus connections were all done via Bluetooth rather than the automatic process that the Apple Pencil uses.

Many styluses on the market that are not the Apple Pencil are still have these kinds of tips that are nowhere near as accurate as the Apple Pencil and can't offer the same simple charging and palm rejection features, but there are now some more affordable Apple Pencil alternatives that have Apple Pencil-like functionality.

What Apple Pencil alternatives are available?


There are a few non-Apple made styluses on the market that have some of the same capabilities as the Apple Pencil, but for a more affordable price. These options aren't as feature rich as the Apple Pencil and don't have the same simple design, but the base functionality is there.

The Logitech Crayon

  • Logitech Crayon ($55) - Designed by Logitech, the Crayon was originally meant to be a cheaper version of the Apple Pencil for students to use with the low-cost ‌iPad‌. It's now available to anyone. It works just like the Apple Pencil and offers the same palm rejection, latency, and tilt support, but it does not include pressure sensitivity.

  • Adonit Note ($43) - The Adonit Note is similar to the Apple Pencil, offering the same small tip, excellent latency, and palm rejection, but there is no pressure sensitivity.

  • Adonit Note+ ($62) - The Adonit Note+ is similar to the Adonit Note, but it includes 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity and two configurable shortcut buttons.

What apps are compatible with Apple Pencil?


Any first or third-party app is compatible with the Apple Pencil, but it is designed for writing, drawing, and sketching apps where handwritten content is appropriate. The Apple Pencil can also be used in place of a fingertip for navigating through ‌iPadOS‌.

Is the Apple Pencil worth the money?


For anyone who wants to take advantage of the ‌iPad‌ for drawing, sketching, note taking, or other similar activities, the Apple Pencil is absolutely worth the money, but for those who don't need all of the advanced features, there are some similar styluses on the market like the much more affordable Logitech Crayon.


Does Apple Pencil work with iPhone?


The Apple Pencil and Apple Pencil 2 are only compatible with iPads and will not work with the ‌iPhone‌. The Apple Pencil requires a display built for it, which iPhones do not have.

Will Apple make an Apple Pencil for ‌iPhone‌?


There have been rumors here and there suggesting Apple could develop a version of the Apple Pencil for the ‌iPhone‌, specifically ahead of the release of the 2019 ‌iPhone‌ lineup, but we haven't heard much since then and there has been no concrete information indicating such a product is in the works.

Apple could potentially be planning on a stylus for the ‌iPhone‌ in the future, but it doesn't look like it's coming in the near future and it's not something that we expect to see for the 2020 iPhones.

Guide Feedback


Have questions about the Apple Pencil, know of a feature we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.


This article, "Everything You Need to Know About the Apple Pencil" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums

iPhone: 2019 Buyer’s Guide


In 2007, Apple launched the original iPhone, kickstarting the modern smartphone era which is now dominated by the Apple iPhone and Google Android platforms. We’ve had 12 years of iPhones so far, with the latest models, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, having launched in October of 2019. Apple follows an annual update cycle, introducing new high-end flagship models while often discounting prior-year models and selling them at more affordable price points.

iPhone vs Android

Over the years, the Android and iPhone platforms have evolved to the point where feature-wise, they’re similar in function. Android smartphones are made by multiple manufacturers, but the operating system is provided by Google, which leads to a wider variety of phones and price points to choose from, but poorer integration between software and hardware.


Apple’s control of both the iPhone and the operating system (iOS) results in a more consistent experience plus ongoing support. With iOS 13, Apple supports all iPhones that were introduced in the last four years, so the majority of active iPhone owners can and do upgrade to the newest version of iOS that Apple rolls out each year.

Android updates, though, are are more inconsistent and often don’t make it to all Android-based smartphones because each manufacturer has to implement support on an individual basis. So while Google also does yearly Android updates, the reality is that a lot of older Android smartphones don’t get the new software.

With Apple’s control and curation of the iPhone experience, the iPhone is largely considered to be the more secure platform, and Apple has made it a point to focus heavily on privacy. Apple’s iOS is, however, less customizable than Android, so for individuals who prefer flexibility and customization options, the Android operating system may be worth looking at.

How do iPhone Updates Work?

Here are the basics you should know about how Apple updates the iPhone and the iOS operating system.

Each fall, usually in September, Apple releases a new series of flagship smartphones. These often come at high prices and feature the latest technologies, with Apple offering one super high-end model and one still high-end but more affordable model. Prior year iPhones often stick around with lower price points as cheaper alternatives to the latest and greatest technology.

At the current time, Apple’s iPhone lineup includes the iPhone 8 (2017), iPhone XR (2018), iPhone 11 (2019), iPhone 11 Pro (2019), and iPhone 11 Pro Max (2019).


Apple also debuts an updated version of iOS at the same time that new iPhones launch, but new versions of iOS are pre-introduced every year at Apple’s annual Worldwide Developers Conference to give developers time to incorporate new features and technologies into their apps ahead of when the software becomes available to the public.

In 2020, Apple will introduce iOS 14 in June, letting developers and public beta testers try out the software early. iOS 14 will see its official public launch alongside new iPhones in the fall of 2020.

In this guide, we go over all of the iPhones that are in the current Apple lineup, offer up some buying suggestions, and provide tips and resources for both new and existing iPhone owners.

iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max ($999+)


The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are Apple’s current flagship devices, with the top of the line features and the most bells and whistles.

Pricing on the iPhone 11 Pro starts at $999, while pricing on the iPhone 11 Pro Max starts at $1,099. The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max are identical with the exception of screen sizes and some minor differences in battery life.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 6.5-inch display and can accommodate a larger battery due to its bigger screen size, while the iPhone 11 Pro has a 5.8-inch display.

Both have edge-to-edge OLED displays with slim bezels, a notch with TrueDepth front-facing camera systems for Face ID biometric authentication, glass bodies with stainless steel frames, the latest super fast A13 chips, IP68 water resistance (the highest offered in an iPhone), and a triple-lens camera system.

The triple-lens camera system is unique to the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, offering a telephoto lens, a wide-angle lens, and a super wide-angle lens that gives you a lot of versatility when taking shots.

You can use the telephoto lens to take close up shots and portraits, and then zoom out to the ultra wide-angle lens for amazing landscape and architecture shots. Night Mode, a feature that lets you get awesome shots even in super low lighting conditions, is also included.

Key Features:

  • Highest End, Highest Price
  • Triple Lens Camera: Ultra Wide, Wide, Telephoto
  • OLED Screen

Bottom Line: The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max are the iPhones to choose if you want the absolute best camera capabilities that you can get in an iPhone. If you value an OLED display, these are Apple’s only current devices with OLED.

iPhone 11 ($699+)


The iPhone 11, being sold alongside the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, is a new 2019 iPhone that features many of the same capabilities as the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, but with some notable downgrades to keep the price tag lower.

Priced starting at $699, the iPhone 11 features an LCD display instead of an OLED display and it has a dual-lens camera setup instead of a triple-lens camera setup. Size wise, the iPhone 11 is in between the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max at 6.1 inches, and it too supports Face ID with the TrueDepth camera system.

The LCD display doesn’t offer the deeper blacks and HDR features available with the OLED display, but the iPhone 11’s display is still quite good and one of the better smartphone LCD displays on the market. You can see a difference between the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro when the two phones are side-by-side, but in everyday usage, the lack of OLED is less noticeable.

As far as the camera goes, the iPhone 11 has the wide-angle lens and the ultra wide-angle lens that’s in the 11 Pro, but it does not have the third telephoto lens. The iPhone 11 has the same A13 chip that’s in the iPhone 11 Pro, plus 4GB RAM.

The difference in the cameras doesn’t matter much unless you’re someone who often likes to take portraits and closer shots as it still has the ultra wide-camera, which is the new technology in 2019.

The iPhone 11 features a glass body but rather than the stainless steel frame of the 11 Pro, it has a less expensive aluminum frame. It also comes in a range of bright colors, while the 11 Pro is limited to Silver, Space Gray, Gold, and Midnight Green.

Key Features:

  • Dual Lens Camera: Ultra Wide, Wide
  • LCD Screen

Bottom Line: The iPhone 11 is a solid phone for a much more affordable price than the iPhone 11 Pro. The differences between the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro are relatively minor for most people, but there’s a $300 price difference.

iPhone XR ($599+)


Apple’s iPhone XR was released in 2018, but Apple is continuing to sell it as a lower-cost alternative to the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.

Priced starting at $599, the iPhone XR has the same design as the iPhone 11, but with a single-lens camera instead of a dual-lens camera and a different range of color options.

Aside from these changes and some updates to the iPhone 11 display, the iPhone XR is identical to the iPhone 11 with TrueDepth camera system and Face ID, LCD display, glass body and and aluminum frame (with lesser water resistance), and wireless charging support.

It’s using year-old technology, though, so it has an A12 chip instead of an A13 chip and cameras that aren’t quite as good as the camera in iPhone 11, but at its price point, it’s still a very capable device that’s going to last for several years to come.

Key Features:

  • Previous Generation CPU
  • Single Lens Camera
  • LCD Screen

Bottom Line: The iPhone XR is a good choice if you like the feature set of the iPhone 11 but want to shell out slightly less money. We believe it’s worth the $100 upgrade to the 11 if you take a lot of photos, but if you don’t, there aren’t too many differences between the 11 and the XR.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus ($449+)


The iPhone 8 was first introduced in 2017, so it’s using two-year-old technology. It’s the cheapest iPhone that Apple offers in its current lineup with pricing starting at $449, and it’s also the sole iPhone that continues to offer a Touch ID Home button which uses fingerprint recognition for security.

The iPhone 8 has comparably thick bezels at the top and bottom of the device, housing the Home button at the bottom and the front-facing camera, speaker, and microphone at the top.

It features a 4.7-inch LCD display, but there’s also an iPhone 8 Plus option (priced starting at $549) with a larger 5.5-inch LCD display. The iPhone 8 has a glass front and a glass back with an aluminum frame, and the glass body allows for wireless charging.

Inside, there’s an A11 Bionic processor, which is two years older than the A13 processor in the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, but it’s still capable of performing well for everyday tasks like gaming, watching videos, messaging, using augmented reality apps, and more. There’s also 2GB of RAM, the lowest in any of the available iPhones.

The iPhone 8 uses a single-lens 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, while the iPhone 8 Plus has a dual-lens camera setup with a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens for portrait shots.

The cameras aren’t as good as the cameras that you’ll find in the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, and iPhone 11 Pro, but you still get Portrait mode (with the 8 Plus’ telephoto lens) and some decent photographic capabilities with the wide-angle lens. LTE capabilities are also ultimately slower, but most people shouldn’t notice this in day to day usage.

Key Features:

  • Two Year Old CPU
  • Only the “Plus” size iPhone 8 has a Dual Lens Camera

Bottom Line: The iPhone 8 is still a capable phone for a cheaper price. Based on Apple’s history of support, the iPhone 8 will likely be supported for at least two years with the latest version of iOS, and it’s the only iPhone Apple sells with Touch ID support.

Frequently Asked Questions


There’s no one single iPhone that’s best for everyone, as picking the right smartphone for you needs to take into account factors like budget, desired battery life, preferred feature set, and more.

If, for example, you’re not a fan of Face ID and want to use Touch ID, you’re going to want to choose an iPhone 8 model. If you want the absolute best photographic capabilities, you’re going to want the iPhone 11 Pro, and if you want something that has a solid feature set at a great price, the iPhone 11 is what you’ll want to look at.

Below, we’ve outlined some of the best iPhone choices based on different scenarios or features that you might be looking for.

Which iPhone Has the Best Battery Life?

With their more efficient A13 processors, the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max have the longest battery life of Apple’s iPhones.

Of the three, the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max has the longest battery life because it has the space for a larger battery. It offers up to 20 hours of video playback, 12 hours of streaming video playback, and 80 hours of audio playback.

Comparatively, the iPhone 11 Pro offers up to 18 hours of video playback, 11 hours of streaming video playback, and 65 hours of audio playback. The more affordable iPhone 11 offers up to 17 hours of video playback, 10 hours of streaming video playback, and 65 hours of audio playback.

The iPhone XR offers battery life close to the iPhone 11, but the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus fall far behind with up to 13 and 14 hours of video playback, respectively.

Which iPhone Has the Best Camera?

With their updated triple-lens camera systems, the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max have the best iPhone cameras that you can get.

There’s a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera with a larger sensor and better autofocusing capabilities than previous iPhone models, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens with an improved f/2.0 aperture for closer shots, and a new ultra wide-angle lens that offers up a 13mm focal length that’s perfect for wide group shots, architecture, landscapes, and more.

The iPhone 11 Pro also features Night Mode for taking incredible photos in low lighting conditions, and Portrait Mode for shots where the background is blurred. Night Mode is easily one of the best camera improvements Apple has added in years, and it’s an incredible feature to have for iPhone photographers.

The iPhone 11 gets an honorable mention here because it has the same wide-angle and ultra wide-angle cameras that are in the iPhone 11 Pro, but without the telephoto lens. It too does Night Mode, making this the best choice if you’re looking for fantastic image quality on a budget.

Which iPhone Has Touch ID?

If you want an iPhone with Touch ID, your only option at this time is the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Apple stopped using Touch ID in 2017, and the 2018 and 2019 iPhone lineups have not included an updated Touch ID iPhone.

The good news is that rumors suggest Apple is working on an updated Touch ID iPhone, so it’s possibly worth holding out for that if you want to upgrade to a Touch ID iPhone rather than a Face ID iPhone.

Which iPhone is the Best Value?

Unquestionably, it’s the iPhone 11. Apple introduced a great feature set in the iPhone 11 while also keeping the price point below $700, and even less if you trade in an older model.

The iPhone 11 has the same camera setup as the iPhone 11 Pro (minus the telephoto lens) and the same super fast, super efficient A13 chip with 4GB RAM, Battery life is similar too (and incredible), plus it has the same TrueDepth front-facing camera system with Face ID, and it comes in a whole range of fun colors.

For most people, the iPhone 11 is a great deal and has all of the capabilities you could possibly want from an iPhone, so this is the best all-around iPhone to get if you want a modern feature set that will last.

The iPhone XR is fine if you’re on a budget, but it’s priced starting at $599. If you can swing the extra $100, the iPhone 11 is worth the upgrade for the updated camera technology, better water resistance, and the much-improved front-facing camera.

Which iPhone Has the Most Features?

If you want the iPhone with the most bells and whistles, that’s the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. Compared to the iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max offer OLED displays, triple lens cameras, a glass body with a stainless steel frame (compared to aluminum in the iPhone 11), better water resistance (four meters for up to 30 minutes), larger maximum storage capacities, and longer battery life.

In More Depth

Still not sure? We have deeper dives directly comparing the iPhone 11 vs iPhone Pro and the iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR. For full details on each phone, explore our roundups:

Upcoming iPhone Rumors

Apple is working on a few new iPhone products, including the 2020 flagship iPhone 12 devices and a new low-cost device that’s being referred to as the “iPhone SE 2” because of its rumored price point.

In reality, the new “iPhone SE 2” is expected to be an iPhone 8 followup with an A13 chip, a single camera, and an affordable price tag. It’s said to be coming in early 2020, while we can expect the iPhone 12 lineup in September 2020.

Guide Feedback

Have questions about choosing an iPhone, notice something we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.

This article, “iPhone: 2019 Buyer’s Guide” first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums


In 2007, Apple launched the original iPhone, kickstarting the modern smartphone era which is now dominated by the Apple iPhone and Google Android platforms. We've had 12 years of iPhones so far, with the latest models, the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, having launched in October of 2019. Apple follows an annual update cycle, introducing new high-end flagship models while often discounting prior-year models and selling them at more affordable price points.

iPhone vs Android


Over the years, the Android and iPhone platforms have evolved to the point where feature-wise, they're similar in function. Android smartphones are made by multiple manufacturers, but the operating system is provided by Google, which leads to a wider variety of phones and price points to choose from, but poorer integration between software and hardware.


Apple's control of both the iPhone and the operating system (iOS) results in a more consistent experience plus ongoing support. With iOS 13, Apple supports all iPhones that were introduced in the last four years, so the majority of active iPhone owners can and do upgrade to the newest version of iOS that Apple rolls out each year.

Android updates, though, are are more inconsistent and often don't make it to all Android-based smartphones because each manufacturer has to implement support on an individual basis. So while Google also does yearly Android updates, the reality is that a lot of older Android smartphones don't get the new software.

With Apple's control and curation of the iPhone experience, the iPhone is largely considered to be the more secure platform, and Apple has made it a point to focus heavily on privacy. Apple's iOS is, however, less customizable than Android, so for individuals who prefer flexibility and customization options, the Android operating system may be worth looking at.

How do iPhone Updates Work?


Here are the basics you should know about how Apple updates the iPhone and the iOS operating system.

Each fall, usually in September, Apple releases a new series of flagship smartphones. These often come at high prices and feature the latest technologies, with Apple offering one super high-end model and one still high-end but more affordable model. Prior year iPhones often stick around with lower price points as cheaper alternatives to the latest and greatest technology.

At the current time, Apple's iPhone lineup includes the iPhone 8 (2017), iPhone XR (2018), iPhone 11 (2019), iPhone 11 Pro (2019), and iPhone 11 Pro Max (2019).


Apple also debuts an updated version of iOS at the same time that new iPhones launch, but new versions of iOS are pre-introduced every year at Apple's annual Worldwide Developers Conference to give developers time to incorporate new features and technologies into their apps ahead of when the software becomes available to the public.

In 2020, Apple will introduce iOS 14 in June, letting developers and public beta testers try out the software early. iOS 14 will see its official public launch alongside new iPhones in the fall of 2020.

In this guide, we go over all of the iPhones that are in the current Apple lineup, offer up some buying suggestions, and provide tips and resources for both new and existing iPhone owners.

iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max ($999+)



The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max are Apple's current flagship devices, with the top of the line features and the most bells and whistles.

Pricing on the iPhone 11 Pro starts at $999, while pricing on the iPhone 11 Pro Max starts at $1,099. The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max are identical with the exception of screen sizes and some minor differences in battery life.

The iPhone 11 Pro Max has a 6.5-inch display and can accommodate a larger battery due to its bigger screen size, while the iPhone 11 Pro has a 5.8-inch display.

Both have edge-to-edge OLED displays with slim bezels, a notch with TrueDepth front-facing camera systems for Face ID biometric authentication, glass bodies with stainless steel frames, the latest super fast A13 chips, IP68 water resistance (the highest offered in an iPhone), and a triple-lens camera system.

The triple-lens camera system is unique to the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, offering a telephoto lens, a wide-angle lens, and a super wide-angle lens that gives you a lot of versatility when taking shots.

You can use the telephoto lens to take close up shots and portraits, and then zoom out to the ultra wide-angle lens for amazing landscape and architecture shots. Night Mode, a feature that lets you get awesome shots even in super low lighting conditions, is also included.

Key Features:

  • Highest End, Highest Price

  • Triple Lens Camera: Ultra Wide, Wide, Telephoto

  • OLED Screen
Bottom Line: The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max are the iPhones to choose if you want the absolute best camera capabilities that you can get in an iPhone. If you value an OLED display, these are Apple's only current devices with OLED.

iPhone 11 ($699+)



The iPhone 11, being sold alongside the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max, is a new 2019 iPhone that features many of the same capabilities as the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max, but with some notable downgrades to keep the price tag lower.

Priced starting at $699, the iPhone 11 features an LCD display instead of an OLED display and it has a dual-lens camera setup instead of a triple-lens camera setup. Size wise, the iPhone 11 is in between the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max at 6.1 inches, and it too supports Face ID with the TrueDepth camera system.

The LCD display doesn't offer the deeper blacks and HDR features available with the OLED display, but the iPhone 11's display is still quite good and one of the better smartphone LCD displays on the market. You can see a difference between the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro when the two phones are side-by-side, but in everyday usage, the lack of OLED is less noticeable.

As far as the camera goes, the iPhone 11 has the wide-angle lens and the ultra wide-angle lens that's in the 11 Pro, but it does not have the third telephoto lens. The iPhone 11 has the same A13 chip that's in the iPhone 11 Pro, plus 4GB RAM.

The difference in the cameras doesn't matter much unless you're someone who often likes to take portraits and closer shots as it still has the ultra wide-camera, which is the new technology in 2019.

The iPhone 11 features a glass body but rather than the stainless steel frame of the 11 Pro, it has a less expensive aluminum frame. It also comes in a range of bright colors, while the 11 Pro is limited to Silver, Space Gray, Gold, and Midnight Green.

Key Features:

  • Dual Lens Camera: Ultra Wide, Wide

  • LCD Screen

Bottom Line: The iPhone 11 is a solid phone for a much more affordable price than the iPhone 11 Pro. The differences between the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro are relatively minor for most people, but there's a $300 price difference.

iPhone XR ($599+)



Apple's iPhone XR was released in 2018, but Apple is continuing to sell it as a lower-cost alternative to the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro.

Priced starting at $599, the iPhone XR has the same design as the iPhone 11, but with a single-lens camera instead of a dual-lens camera and a different range of color options.

Aside from these changes and some updates to the iPhone 11 display, the iPhone XR is identical to the iPhone 11 with TrueDepth camera system and Face ID, LCD display, glass body and and aluminum frame (with lesser water resistance), and wireless charging support.

It's using year-old technology, though, so it has an A12 chip instead of an A13 chip and cameras that aren't quite as good as the camera in iPhone 11, but at its price point, it's still a very capable device that's going to last for several years to come.

Key Features:

  • Previous Generation CPU

  • Single Lens Camera

  • LCD Screen

Bottom Line: The iPhone XR is a good choice if you like the feature set of the iPhone 11 but want to shell out slightly less money. We believe it's worth the $100 upgrade to the 11 if you take a lot of photos, but if you don't, there aren't too many differences between the 11 and the XR.

iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus ($449+)



The iPhone 8 was first introduced in 2017, so it's using two-year-old technology. It's the cheapest iPhone that Apple offers in its current lineup with pricing starting at $449, and it's also the sole iPhone that continues to offer a Touch ID Home button which uses fingerprint recognition for security.

The iPhone 8 has comparably thick bezels at the top and bottom of the device, housing the Home button at the bottom and the front-facing camera, speaker, and microphone at the top.

It features a 4.7-inch LCD display, but there's also an iPhone 8 Plus option (priced starting at $549) with a larger 5.5-inch LCD display. The iPhone 8 has a glass front and a glass back with an aluminum frame, and the glass body allows for wireless charging.

Inside, there's an A11 Bionic processor, which is two years older than the A13 processor in the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, but it's still capable of performing well for everyday tasks like gaming, watching videos, messaging, using augmented reality apps, and more. There's also 2GB of RAM, the lowest in any of the available iPhones.

The iPhone 8 uses a single-lens 12-megapixel wide-angle camera, while the iPhone 8 Plus has a dual-lens camera setup with a 12-megapixel wide-angle lens and a 12-megapixel telephoto lens for portrait shots.

The cameras aren't as good as the cameras that you'll find in the iPhone XR, iPhone 11, and iPhone 11 Pro, but you still get Portrait mode (with the 8 Plus' telephoto lens) and some decent photographic capabilities with the wide-angle lens. LTE capabilities are also ultimately slower, but most people shouldn't notice this in day to day usage.

Key Features:

  • Two Year Old CPU

  • Only the "Plus" size iPhone 8 has a Dual Lens Camera

Bottom Line: The iPhone 8 is still a capable phone for a cheaper price. Based on Apple's history of support, the iPhone 8 will likely be supported for at least two years with the latest version of iOS, and it's the only iPhone Apple sells with Touch ID support.

Frequently Asked Questions



There's no one single iPhone that's best for everyone, as picking the right smartphone for you needs to take into account factors like budget, desired battery life, preferred feature set, and more.

If, for example, you're not a fan of Face ID and want to use Touch ID, you're going to want to choose an iPhone 8 model. If you want the absolute best photographic capabilities, you're going to want the iPhone 11 Pro, and if you want something that has a solid feature set at a great price, the iPhone 11 is what you'll want to look at.

Below, we've outlined some of the best iPhone choices based on different scenarios or features that you might be looking for.

Which iPhone Has the Best Battery Life?


With their more efficient A13 processors, the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max have the longest battery life of Apple's iPhones.

Of the three, the 6.5-inch iPhone 11 Pro Max has the longest battery life because it has the space for a larger battery. It offers up to 20 hours of video playback, 12 hours of streaming video playback, and 80 hours of audio playback.

Comparatively, the iPhone 11 Pro offers up to 18 hours of video playback, 11 hours of streaming video playback, and 65 hours of audio playback. The more affordable iPhone 11 offers up to 17 hours of video playback, 10 hours of streaming video playback, and 65 hours of audio playback.

The iPhone XR offers battery life close to the iPhone 11, but the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus fall far behind with up to 13 and 14 hours of video playback, respectively.

Which iPhone Has the Best Camera?


With their updated triple-lens camera systems, the iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max have the best iPhone cameras that you can get.

There's a 12-megapixel wide-angle camera with a larger sensor and better autofocusing capabilities than previous iPhone models, a 12-megapixel telephoto lens with an improved f/2.0 aperture for closer shots, and a new ultra wide-angle lens that offers up a 13mm focal length that's perfect for wide group shots, architecture, landscapes, and more.

The iPhone 11 Pro also features Night Mode for taking incredible photos in low lighting conditions, and Portrait Mode for shots where the background is blurred. Night Mode is easily one of the best camera improvements Apple has added in years, and it's an incredible feature to have for iPhone photographers.

The iPhone 11 gets an honorable mention here because it has the same wide-angle and ultra wide-angle cameras that are in the iPhone 11 Pro, but without the telephoto lens. It too does Night Mode, making this the best choice if you're looking for fantastic image quality on a budget.

Which iPhone Has Touch ID?


If you want an iPhone with Touch ID, your only option at this time is the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Apple stopped using Touch ID in 2017, and the 2018 and 2019 iPhone lineups have not included an updated Touch ID iPhone.

The good news is that rumors suggest Apple is working on an updated Touch ID iPhone, so it's possibly worth holding out for that if you want to upgrade to a Touch ID iPhone rather than a Face ID iPhone.

Which iPhone is the Best Value?


Unquestionably, it's the iPhone 11. Apple introduced a great feature set in the iPhone 11 while also keeping the price point below $700, and even less if you trade in an older model.

The iPhone 11 has the same camera setup as the iPhone 11 Pro (minus the telephoto lens) and the same super fast, super efficient A13 chip with 4GB RAM, Battery life is similar too (and incredible), plus it has the same TrueDepth front-facing camera system with Face ID, and it comes in a whole range of fun colors.

For most people, the iPhone 11 is a great deal and has all of the capabilities you could possibly want from an iPhone, so this is the best all-around iPhone to get if you want a modern feature set that will last.

The iPhone XR is fine if you're on a budget, but it's priced starting at $599. If you can swing the extra $100, the iPhone 11 is worth the upgrade for the updated camera technology, better water resistance, and the much-improved front-facing camera.

Which iPhone Has the Most Features?


If you want the iPhone with the most bells and whistles, that's the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. Compared to the iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max offer OLED displays, triple lens cameras, a glass body with a stainless steel frame (compared to aluminum in the iPhone 11), better water resistance (four meters for up to 30 minutes), larger maximum storage capacities, and longer battery life.

In More Depth


Still not sure? We have deeper dives directly comparing the iPhone 11 vs iPhone Pro and the iPhone 11 vs iPhone XR. For full details on each phone, explore our roundups:

Upcoming iPhone Rumors


Apple is working on a few new iPhone products, including the 2020 flagship iPhone 12 devices and a new low-cost device that's being referred to as the "iPhone SE 2" because of its rumored price point.

In reality, the new "iPhone SE 2" is expected to be an iPhone 8 followup with an A13 chip, a single camera, and an affordable price tag. It's said to be coming in early 2020, while we can expect the iPhone 12 lineup in September 2020.

Guide Feedback


Have questions about choosing an iPhone, notice something we left out, or want to offer feedback on this guide? Send us an email here.


This article, "iPhone: 2019 Buyer's Guide" first appeared on MacRumors.com

Discuss this article in our forums