Top Stories: Apple One Launch, iPhone 12 Pro Camera Performance, AirPods and HomePod Rumors
The iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro have been out for a week now, so this week gave us lots of opportunities to learn more about the new devices now that we've been able to get our hands on them and test them out.
There was quite a bit of other news this week as well, including the launch of Apple One subscription bundles, Apple's September quarter earnings release, rumors about future plans for updated AirPods, AirPods Studio, and a potential third HomePod model, and more. Read on for details on our most popular stories from this week on those topics and more!
Apple One is Now Available: Save Money by Bundling Apple Music, iCloud Storage, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and More
Pricing in the U.S. begins at $14.95 per month for an Individual plan with Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 50GB of iCloud storage. A Family plan valid for up to six users offers Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, and 200GB of iCloud storage for $19.95 per month, while a Premier plan at $29.95 per month takes the Family plan offerings and adds Apple News+ and Apple Fitness+ and increases iCloud storage to 2TB.
If you need more iCloud storage beyond what's offered in your Apple One tier, you can add up to an additional 2TB, which means users on the Premier plan can have up to 4TB of total iCloud storage.
Camera Comparison: iPhone 12 Pro vs. iPhone 11 Pro
Apple last week released the iPhone 12 Pro, which is being sold alongside the iPhone 12, 12 mini, and 12 Pro Max. The Pro Max has the best camera of the bunch, but since it's not out yet, we thought we'd take a look at the camera improvements introduced in the iPhone 12 Pro and see how the camera quality compares to the iPhone 11 Pro.
We have also continued to learn more details about the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro in the week or so since their launch. Notably, it has been discovered through FCC documents that iPhone 12 models may have a hidden reverse charging feature for future Apple accessories, and this has led to speculation that it may be possible to charge a new MagSafe-enabled AirPods case or perhaps even Apple's rumored AirTags item trackers by simply placing them on the back of the iPhones.
We also learned that Personal Hotspot uses faster 5GHz Wi-Fi by default on iPhone 12 models. The combination of iPhone 12 models supporting higher-speed 5G networks and 5GHz Wi-Fi's higher maximum throughput paves the way for faster Personal Hotspot. There is a new "Maximize Compatibility" toggle to revert to 2.4GHz Wi-Fi like on previous iPhones. Personal Hotspot allows an iPhone's cellular data connection to be shared with other devices like a Mac over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Lightning.
Apple Invites Developers to Get One-on-One Guidance From Engineers Ahead of Apple Silicon Mac Launch
At WWDC in June, Apple announced that it will be transitioning from Intel processors to its own custom Apple Silicon processors in Macs, promising industry-leading performance per watt.
Apple has been allowing Mac developers to get their apps ready for Apple Silicon through the Universal App Quick Start Program, and now Apple is emailing developers to invite them to get one-on-one code-level guidance from an Apple engineer. The one-on-one labs are scheduled for November 4-5.
Apple has previously said that it plans to ship its first Mac with Apple Silicon by the end of 2020, and rumors suggest that Apple plans to hold a virtual Mac-focused event on Tuesday, November 17.
Report: New AirPods and AirPods Pro Coming in 2021, AirPods Studio Delayed, Mid-Range HomePod Also Possible
Bloomberg's Mark Gurman and Debby Wu this week outlined several upcoming Apple products that are reportedly in development for release as early as 2021, including new AirPods and AirPods Pro, high-end over-ear headphones dubbed AirPods Studio, and potentially even a mid-range HomePod that would be positioned between the HomePod and HomePod mini.
Interestingly, the report claimed that Apple is aiming to remove the stems that drop below the ears on the AirPods Pro. The new version of AirPods Pro would instead have a more circular design, similar to Samsung's Galaxy Buds.
MagSafe: Everything About Apple's New iPhone 12 Charging Technology
iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro models have a new feature called MagSafe that allows magnetic accessories to be easily attached to the back of the devices. In our latest guide, we go over everything you need to know about Apple's new charging system.
If you keep your iPhone in a leather case while charging with Apple's new MagSafe Charger, the case might show circular imprints from contact with the accessory, according to an Apple support document. Apple also said users should not place credit cards, security badges, passports, or key fobs between the iPhone and MagSafe Charger, because this might damage magnetic strips or RFID chips in those items.
2020 iPad Air vs. iPad Pro: Hands-On Comparison
Apple introduced a new 10.9-inch iPad Air in September, but the device just started shipping out to customers last week. We picked one up to do a hands-on comparison with the iPad Pro, which was last updated in March, given that the tablets share many similarities.
The new iPad Air features a similar design as the iPad Pro, with an edge-to-edge display and a USB-C port. The device also features Apple's newest A14 Bionic chip, whereas the iPad Pro still has an older A12Z Bionic chip. The new iPad Air is also Apple's first device with Touch ID built into the power button, in place of Face ID.
iPhone 12 Pro Allows You to Measure Someone's Height Instantly Using LiDAR Scanner
iPhone 12 Pro models feature a new LiDAR Scanner for enhanced augmented reality experiences, but the sensor also enables another unique feature: the ability to measure a person's height instantly.
To measure a person's height, open Apple's preinstalled Measure app and position the iPhone so that the person you want to measure appears on the screen from head to toe. After a brief moment, a line will appear on the screen at the top of the person's head with their height measurement.
This feature is limited to devices with a LiDAR Scanner, including 2020 iPad Pro models and the upcoming iPhone 12 Pro Max.
Each week, we publish an email newsletter like this highlighting the top Apple stories, making it a great way to get a bite-sized recap of the week hitting all of the major topics we've covered and tying together related stories for a big-picture view.