Forbes Gordon Kelly
In a pair of exclusives, the famously forensic 9to5Mac has attained leaked Apple iOS 14 code which is full of references to the company’s upcoming products and features. These are the standouts for iPhone fans.
03/11 Update: big specs news on the iPhone 12 with popular YouTuber EverythingApplePro combining with prolific leaker Max Weinbach to reveal the iPhone 12 Pro Max will come with a massive 4,400 mAh battery (up over 400mAh from the iPhone 11 Pro Max), further confirmation of the range’s new 120Hz ProMotion displays and a massive camera upgrade to a new 64 megapixel primary shooter. Needless to say, the camera news is the big one and a potential move to Pixel Binning (as used on the Galaxy S20 range) would be the biggest technical change in iPhone cameras for years. As for the battery capacity increases, while they sound great on paper, my understanding is they are simply there to compensate for their more power hungry 5G connectivity. As such, I’d expect the same excellent stamina delivered by the iPhone 11 line-up but not anything significantly better. That camera on the other hand, could be a game-changer. You can read further analysis of the new camera here.
03/12 Update: respected developer Steve Troughton-Smith has attained further information about the iOS 14 build which has given up all these Apple secrets. The important caveat is Troughton-Smith says it originates from a December 2019 build “so information coming out of it may be a little less concrete and less reliable than something more recent”. With Troughton-Smith says he hasn’t had access to the code himself, the context is important because it means the build was extremely early and may, therefore, be more speculative than code closer to release. That said, information about the iPhone 9 should still be solid given its impending launch (dependent on the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic), so I’d still place money on its arrival in the first half of 2020. Though its March launch now appears all but dead.
All-New Budget iPhone Confirmed
9to5Mac found that buried within iOS 14 are repeated references to the iPhone 9 (previously dubbed the iPhone SE2), Apple’s exciting re-entry into the budget smartphone sector. iOS 14 code confirms that the iPhone 9 will launch with Touch ID (seemingly confirming its leaked retro design) as well as a reference to support for Express Transit capabilities, which allows you to pay for travel on major travel networks, including New York’s MTA and London’s TfL.
The iPhone 9 will feature a cutting edge Apple A13 chipset used in the iPhone 11 range, a primary camera also tipped to come from the iPhone 11 and is expected to have top-notch battery life, all for under $400. Now we know it’s definitely real, and it’s going to sell like hotcakes.
All-New iPhone Interface Confirmed
And yet the real headline news here is 9to5Mac’s discovery that Apple is making fundamental changes to how you will use your iPhone. Similar to Android’s app drawer, iOS 14 introduces a new ‘list view’ option which enables users to see all their installed apps at once. Moving beyond Android, iOS 14 will allow users to sort this list by frequency of use, new notifications and more while smart app suggestions will predict what apps you need based on the time and your location.
In addition to this, iOS 14 will bring system-wide support for mouse cursors and new gestures for switching apps. The combination of all these factors is going to radically change how iPhone owners use their devices, and it’s exciting to see Apple shake up the iOS homescreen for the first time, arguably, since the first iPhone launched 12 years ago.
The Road Ahead
The fly in the ointment here is launch times. Today, an Apple source told Forbes that the company has decided to cancel its March event for the iPhone 9 during to the Coronavirus outbreak and both Cult of Mac and cult YouTuber Jon Prosser have also confirmed this via multiple sources.
Beyond this, Apple is already running low on iPhone warranty stock due to the virus and it is putting the iPhone 12 launch later this year in serious doubt. With the iPhone 12 set to wow premium buyers thanks to MacBook Pro-like performance, a long-range 3D camera, next-gen OLED displays, high refresh rates and Apple-designed 5G, and the iPhone 9 set to demolish budget rivals, this is the last thing Apple’s 2020 plans needed.
Tim Cook may be the undisputed master of the supply chain, but he’s going to have to be a magician to navigate this year.
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