AppleCare now costs more for larger iPhones

Are you eyeing a larger-screened iPhone, like the iPhone X or 8 Plus? Unfortunately, it’ll cost you extra to extend the warranty. Apple has quietly raised the price of AppleCare+ coverage for bigger iPhones, with the price varying depending on what you’re getting. If you want to protect any Plus model, it now costs $ 149 instead of the $ 129 you continue to pay for mid-size iPhones. And brace yourself if you’re getting an iPhone X: it’ll cost $ 199 to get your device covered.

The increase is somewhat understandable. A larger phone typically means a more expensive display, and device-specific parts like dual cameras are bound to involve pricier fixes. However, this still means that you’re paying at least $ 20 more than before for what’s ultimately the same service. It raises the effective price of handsets that already carry a premium.

Follow all the latest news from Apple’s iPhone event here!

Via: TechCrunch

Source: Apple

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Retro adventure ‘Thimbleweed Park’ comes to Switch on September 21st

You no longer need an iPhone to take the traditional adventure gaming of Thimbleweed Park on the road. Terrible Toybox has confirmed that the Nintendo Switch version of its retro mystery will be available for $ 20 on September 21st, or about a month after it reached the PS4. Portability is clearly the selling point of this release, but it also gives you a distinct choice of controls — you can use the Joy-Cons or the touchscreen depending on your tastes.

To recap, Thimbleweed is ultimately LucasArts veteran Ron Gilbert’s giant love letter to fans of adventure classics like Maniac Mansion and Secret of Monkey Island. You’re controlling an eccentric cast of characters (including a cursed clown, a game developer and an X-Files-style duo) as they investigate strange deaths and other odd happenings around the title’s namesake town. True to the genre, you have to use phrase-based commands to solve puzzles and pick up virtually every object in sight. It’s definitely not the kind of game you’d expect on the Switch, but it might scratch your itch if you still have fond memories of point-and-click storytelling.

Source: Thimbleweed Park

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Apple iPhone X pricing starts at a hefty £999 in the UK

Apple today announced the new iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, but it was the iPhone X that stole the show. In fact, it’s enough of a departure from recent models that Apple skipped the 9 and went straight to 10. The iPhone X includes unique features such as a nigh bezel-free Super Retina Display and Face ID unlocking and authentication system. All these new tricks make for a pretty expensive device, though, with the smaller 64GB model retailing for £999. The version with 256GB of storage will sell for £1149, and both models will be available to pre-order on October 27th, with the official launch pencilled in for November 3rd.

So far we’ve heard from Vodafone, EE and Three, which all say they’ll be stocking the device, though it’s going to be such a high-profile launch you’ll inevitably have your choice of practically any carrier. No word on contract pricing yet — we’ll likely have to wait until October 27th for the full skinny — but Apple’s site states the iPhone X will be available on two-year plans starting at £47.95 per month.

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Apple adds a mail-in option to its iPhone Upgrade Program

Apple is adding a mail-in option to its iPhone Upgrade Program, making it easier to ditch your suddenly-outdated iPhone 7 Plus after tomorrow’s 10th-anniversary iPhone showcase. First spotted by techdude13 on the MacRumors forums, the page for Apple’s iPhone Upgrade Program now lists mail-in trade-in kits as an option. If you decide to have a new iPhone shipped directly to your door, Apple will also send along a package with a pre-paid shipping label so you can return that old hunk of junk.

That’s right, this eliminates the need to actually visit an Apple Store to upgrade your iPhone.

The new program should be a relief for plenty of Upgrade Program customers. Previously, anyone looking to get the latest model had to schedule an appointment at an Apple Store — where stock had a habit of quickly running out.

Apple unveiled the iPhone Upgrade Program in 2015, allowing customers to purchase the latest iPhone every year directly from the mothership, without going through their individual carriers.

The iPhone turns 10 in 2017, and this week we took a trip down memory lane to dissect the specs of each model. Tomorrow, Apple is expected to reveal the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus and the iPhone X.

Follow all the latest news from Apple’s iPhone event here!

Source: Apple

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The iPhone 10 years in: Everything that’s changed from 2007 to 2017

Few times of the year are as thrilling for gadget buffs as an Apple launch event, and tomorrow the company is expected to pull back the curtain on a trio of new iPhones. While some incredibly specific leaks this weekend might have spoiled the surprise, there’s no denying just how important the iPhone is to Apple’s business; Apple is the most valuable company in the world thanks mostly to this product line. With new iPhones upon us, we thought we’d take a look back at Apple’s history in smartphones to remind ourselves how they’ve matured into the market-leading machines they are now.

iPhone (2007)

Smartphones have essentially looked like glass-and-metal slabs for years now, so it’s easy to forget how distinct the original iPhone looked. Remember, 2007 was the year the BlackBerry Curve debuted to rave reviews, and people were thrilled about the dual-sliding powerhouse that was Nokia’s N95. Suffice to say, the iPhone was nothing like them. It was a device with a 3.5-inch capacitive touchscreen, a rounded aluminum body, a plastic butt and very few actual buttons to speak of. At the time, you could pick up a model with either 4GB or 8GB of internal storage for $ 499 and $ 599, respectively. Considering most phones in the US were sold on-contract, the iPhones were much more expensive than its competitors, and Apple later tried to address this by dropping the 4GB model altogether and making the 8GB model $ 399.

Apple’s engineering prowess meant the phone was as well-built a smartphone as you could get at the time, and that aesthetic would soon drive other OEMs to embrace multi-touch displays. Still, some of the original iPhone’s design and engineering features were pretty questionable. Remember the recessed headphone jack? The one that required people to use an adapter with existing headphones they liked, or use the lousy pack-in earbuds? Yeah, not great. What’s more, the cellular radio inside the phone only supported Cingular’s EDGE data network, and not its newer, faster 3G network. Steve Jobs defended the decision by claiming that those early 3G-capable chipsets were bigger, with a tendency to drain a phone’s battery.

Where the iPhone really shined was its software. Even in its infancy, iOS felt remarkably different from any other smartphone OS. Its early, WebKit-based browser was a joy to use compared to the alternatives found on other devices, and the way the phone allowed for multi-touch gestures effectively changed the way people expected to interact with their smartphones. That’s not to say the software was perfect: It couldn’t connect to most corporate email servers, which meant business users got burned. And that seemingly lovely virtual keyboard? You had to make sure you didn’t accidentally type too fast because it could only recognize one finger tap at a time. The iPhone didn’t have the ability to send rich MMS messages either, so sending pictures to friends only ever worked through email, or unofficial apps available to jailbroken iPhones.

The original iPhone remains an icon in the annals of computing history, but there was much more to come.

iPhone 3G (2008)

After the first iPhone launched, Apple pursued progress on two fronts: It had to build a second-gen phone, and also make sure people could get more done with it. In March 2008, nine months after the first iPhone went on sale, Apple released a software development kit, while a prominent Silicon Valley VC firm announced a $ 100 million fund to help spur iPhone software development. Four months after that, the iPhone 3G debuted with iOS 2.0 and the App Store, which only contained around 500 apps at launch. While users were pleased with the prospect of squeezing new features out of their new phones, one of the most notable changes about this new phone was how it looked.

With the 3G, Apple ditched its original, mostly aluminum chassis in favor of glossy polycarbonate. The 3G was available in black and white, and both versions could be had with either 8GB or 16GB of storage. While that change in materials was meant to improve signal strength and reception, the polycarbonate shells were prone to cracking, particularly around the 30-pin dock connector. The iPhone 3G’s modified curvature was more comfortable to hold, but it also meant all those docks that came with the original iPhone were essentially junk. Otherwise, the phone’s key features, including its screen and camera, remained the same.

Apple gave the phone its name for a reason, though: The addition of a 3G radio meant AT&T customers could finally use the carrier’s higher-speed data network. This paved the way for snappier browsing, not to mention the ability to talk and browse at the same time. The 3G also included a GPS radio, though it was still fairly limited; while it could locate you with help from a cell tower triangulation scheme, it would be a while before the first apps with true turn-by-turn navigation appeared.

Although Apple and its carrier partner sold the original iPhones at full price, the 3G was the first to be sold with contract subsidies — remember the days when signing two years of your life away meant hefty discounts? In this case, the 8GB 3G sold for $ 199 and the 16GB model went for $ 299, both dramatic drops that helped spur mass iPhone adoption.


iPhone 1st-gen iPhone 3G
Pricing $ 499, $ 599 (on contract) $ 199, $ 299 (on contract)
Dimensions 115 x 61 x 11.6mm (4.5 x 2.4 x 0.46 inches) 115 x 62.1 x 12.3mm (4.55 x 2.44 x 0.48 inches)
Weight 135g (4.8 ounces) 133g (4.7 ounces)
Screen size 3.5 inches (88.9mm) 3.5 inches (88.9mm)
Screen resolution 480 x 320 (163ppi) 480 x 320 (163ppi)
Screen type 18-bit LCD 18-bit LCD
Battery 1,400 mAh 1,150 mAh
Storage 4 / 8GB (16GB released 2008) 8 / 16GB
Rear camera 2MP 2MP
Front-facing cam None None
Video capture None None
GPS None Yes
NFC None None
Bluetooth v2.0 v2.0
Radios GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 800, 900, 1800, 1900 GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 800, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA: 850, 1900, 2100
SoC Apple APL0098 Apple APL0098
CPU 412MHz 412MHz
GPU PowerVR MBX Lite 3D PowerVR MBX Lite 3D
RAM 128MB 128MB
WiFi 802.11b/g 802.11b/g
Operating system iPhone OS 1.0 iPhone OS 2.0
Ports 3.5mm headphone jack, 30-pin connector 3.5mm headphone jack, 30-pin connector

iPhone 3GS (2009)

One year later and the iPhone 3G was back, more or less. Apple announced the new iPhone 3GS in June 2009, where marPhil Schiller casually mentioned the “S” stood for “speed” — he wasn’t kidding, either. The iPhone’s fundamental performance hadn’t changed in two years, so when the 3GS showed up with an updated processor and double the RAM of its predecessors, it ran roughly twice as fast. That improved performance was great to have, but it didn’t change the fact that the iPhone 3GS looked exactly like its predecessor. As you might’ve guessed from the name, this is the phone that inaugurated Apple’s “tick-tock” update schedule. ne year you’d get new features wrapped in a new design; the next, a phone with the same phone with the same body but with better performance.

Performance isn’t the only improvement, though. Among the biggest additions were an improved 3-megapixel camera with autofocus that could finally shoot video, and, err, a compass. Software additions like VoiceOver (which read on-screen elements as you dragged your finger over them) helped make the iPhone a more suitable device for the visually impaired, but the rest of the improvements were modest. Consider the 3GS’s 3.5-inch screen: It ran at the same resolution, but Apple fitted it with an oleophobic coating to help prevent the display from getting too smudgy. Bluetooth performance also improved slightly, and the battery got a minor bump in capacity to help the phone cruise on 3G networks for a little longer. There’s no doubting that the 3GS was a solid phone for the times, but since many purchased the iPhone 3G with a two-year contract, the 3GS could be easily skipped.


iPhone 3G iPhone 3GS
Pricing $ 199, $ 299 (on contract) $ 199, $ 299 (new customers on contract)
$ 599, $ 699 (existing customers on contract)
Dimensions 115 x 62.1 x 12.3mm (4.55 x 2.44 x 0.48 inches) 115.5 x 62.1 x 12.3mm (4.55 x 2.44 x 0.48 inches)
Weight 133g (4.7 ounces) 135g (4.8 ounces)
Screen size 3.5 inches (88.9mm) 3.5 inches (88.9mm)
Screen resolution 480 x 320 (163ppi) 480 x 320 (163ppi)
Screen type 18-bit LCD 24-bit LCD
Battery 1,150 mAh 1,220 mAh
Storage 8 / 16GB 16 / 32GB (8GB released 2010)
Rear camera 2MP 3MP
Front-facing cam None None
Video capture None VGA (640 x 480) at 30fps
GPS Yes Yes
NFC None None
Bluetooth v2.0 v2.1
Radios GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 800, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA: 850, 1900, 2100
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 800, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA: 850, 1900, 2100
SoC Apple APL0098 Apple APL0298
CPU 412MHz 600MHz
GPU PowerVR MBX Lite 3D PowerVR SGX535
RAM 128MB 256MB
WiFi 802.11b/g 802.11b/g
Operating system iPhone OS 2.0 iPhone OS 3.0
Ports 3.5mm headphone jack, 30-pin connector 3.5mm headphone jack, 30-pin connector

iPhone 4 (2010)

While the iPhone 3GS was busy racking up sales, Apple was working on a radical iPhone redesign behind closed doors. Then some guy lost a prototype in a bar, and the internet exploded as the leak of a lifetime gave us our first look at Apple’s vision. Up until 2010, iPhones were known for their contoured plastic shells, but no more. The iPhone 4 was covered with flat glass on both the front and back, separated by a stainless steel band that ran around the phone and acted as its antenna. The aesthetic was a stunning departure from earlier iPhones, but Apple’s design had a serious flaw: Holding the phone just right (or wrong) would cause cellular coverage to plummet. Welcome to Antennagate.

Apple remedied the issue by offering free bumpers and cases to iPhone 4 owners, but critics had a field day with the company’s massive blunder. Though Antennagate’s cultural pervasiveness was difficult to avoid (“you’re holding it wrong” became a catchphrase unto itself) the iPhone 4 still offered several major improvements to the long-standing iPhone formula. In fact, the most important was impossible to miss: Though Steve Jobs might have overstated exactly how crisp it was, the iPhone 4’s 960 x 540 Retina display was essentially unmatched in clarity. It didn’t just blow away older iPhones, the screen blew away all other phones, period.

To this point, iPhones never had particularly great cameras, but the iPhone 4’s 5-megapixel rear shooter was the best Apple had made to date (it helped that our prayers for a LED flash were answered). Apple also saw fit to include the iPhone’s first front-facing camera, a must for vain selfies and the new FaceTime feature built into iOS 4.

The new A4 chipset (the first mobile processor Apple designed itself) with 512MB of RAM was another huge step over its predecessor, and this jump in performance was absolutely necessary. The launch of iOS 4 also meant the introduction of true multitasking on an iPhone; even after all these years, it’s still surprising that it took Apple as long as it did to cook up a solution that worked. A quick double-tap of the home button would bring up your running apps, and that was that. The updated iOS also added folders for better app management and finally let people leave audio running the background while they used other apps. While the iPhone 4 was the most powerful smartphone Apple had built up to that date, it almost paradoxically had better battery life than before thanks to a more capacious cell stuck inside.

Other new inclusions were more subtle, like a second microphone for improved noise cancellation and a gyroscope that allowed for (among other things) more precise motion controls in games and apps. Apple stuck with the standard 8GB, 16GB and 32GB storage variants, and they only came in black at first; it took time for Apple to ensure the white finish offered enough UV protection, so white iPhone 4s weren’t available until April 2011. Color choices may have been limited, but at least carrier choice wasn’t. After years of AT&T exclusivity, the 4 was the first iPhone available on a carrier other than AT&T — in this case, Verizon.


iPhone 3GS iPhone 4
Pricing $ 199, $ 299 (new customers on contract)
$ 599, $ 699 (existing customers on contract)
$ 199, $ 299 (on contract)
$ 599, $ 699 (off contract)
Dimensions 115.5 x 62.1 x 12.3mm (4.55 x 2.44 x 0.48 inches) 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm (4.54 x 2.31 x 0.37 inches)
Weight 135g (4.8 ounces) 137g (4.8 ounces)
Screen size 3.5 inches (88.9mm) 3.5 inches (88.9mm)
Screen resolution 480 x 320 (163ppi) 960 x 640 (326ppi)
Screen type 24-bit LCD Retina IPS LCD
Battery 1,220 mAh 1,420 mAh
Storage 16 / 32GB (8GB released 2010) 16 / 32GB (8GB released 2011)
Rear camera 3MP 5MP
Front-facing cam None 0.3MP
Video capture VGA (640 x 480) at 30fps 720p at 30fps
GPS Yes Yes
NFC None None
Bluetooth v2.1 v2.1
Radios GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 800, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA: 850, 1900, 2100
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 800, 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA: 800, 850, 900, 1900, 2100
SoC Apple APL0298 Apple A4
CPU 600MHz 800MHz
GPU PowerVR SGX535 PowerVR SGX535
RAM 256MB 512MB
WiFi 802.11b/g 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz)
Operating system iPhone OS 3.0 iOS 4
Ports 3.5mm headphone jack, 30-pin connector 3.5mm headphone jack, 30-pin connector


iPhone 4s (2011)

Apple’s press fete for the iPhone 4S was unlike any other — for one, it was the first hosted by then-new CEO Tim Cook, a supply chain whiz picked by Jobs to take over. (Jobs, sadly, died the day after the announcement.) It was also one of the first iPhone announcements that really seemed to disappoint some, thanks to endless rumors about a thinner, redesigned iPhone 5 coming in 2011. While that sleeker, slimmer iPhone was still a year off, the iPhone 4S offered up plenty of helpful and notable updates.

The iPhone 4’s A4 chipset gave way to the dual-core A5 (first used in the iPad 2), which kept the same 512MB of RAM but still made for a nearly two-fold improvement in general performance. Meanwhile, the rear camera was bumped to eight megapixels and gained the ability to record 1080p video. To help store those larger files, Apple introduced a new 64GB storage tier alongside the standard 16GB and 32GB options. And while Apple recycled the iPhone 4’s design, it used the CDMA version of the device as a template for the 4S; its improved antenna setup eliminated lingering Antennagate concerns.

The iPhone 4S launched with iOS 5 on board, making it the first new iPhone to pack support for Apple’s new iCloud storage system and iMessage’s now-ubiquitous blue bubbles. We can’t talk about the 4S without talking about Siri, though. Originally a voice assistant app spun out from research at SRI International, Siri came to the iPhone 4S by way of a multimillion dollar acquisition before its creators could build versions of the app for rival platforms. At launch, users could ask it to make calls, create reminders, interact with calendars and more, all with conversational language instead of specific commands. Siri felt novel and capable in ways other apps at the time didn’t, but it would take time before Apple’s first digital assistant became more than just an interesting gimmick.


iPhone 4 iPhone 4S
Pricing $ 199, $ 299 (on contract)
$ 599, $ 699 (off contract)
$ 199, $ 299, $ 399 (on contract)
$ 649, $ 749, $ 849 (off contract)
Dimensions 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm (4.54 x 2.31 x 0.37 inches) 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm (4.54 x 2.31 x 0.37 inches)
Weight 137g (4.8 ounces) 140g (4.9 ounces)
Screen size 3.5 inches (88.9mm) 3.5 inches (88.9mm)
Screen resolution 960 x 640 (326ppi) 960 x 640 (326ppi)
Screen type Retina IPS LCD Retina IPS LCD
Battery 1,420 mAh 1,430mAh
Storage 16 / 32GB (8GB released 2011) 16 / 32 / 64GB (8GB released 2012)
Rear camera 5MP 8MP, f/2.4
Front-facing cam 0.3MP 0.3MP
Video capture 720p at 30fps 1080p
GPS Yes Yes
NFC None None
Bluetooth v2.1 v4.0
Radios GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 800, 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA: 800, 850, 900, 1900, 2100
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 800, 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA: 800, 850, 900, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A: 800, 1900
SoC Apple A4 Apple A5
CPU 800MHz 1 GHz
GPU PowerVR SGX535 PowerVR SGX543MP2
RAM 512MB 512MB
WiFi 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz) 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz)
Operating system iOS 4 iOS 5
Ports 3.5mm headphone jack, 30-pin connector 3.5mm headphone jack, 30-pin connector

iPhone 5 (2012)

When the iPhone 5 was revealed in 2012, people got the design overhaul they were waiting for. Apple traded stainless steel for aluminum and shaved nearly two millimeters off the existing iPhone 4S design. The end result: the thinnest, sleekest and arguably most beautiful iPhone to date. More importantly, Apple finally saw fit to pack a taller, 4-inch Retina display into the iPhone 5, a move meant to counter the rapidly growing screens found in popular Android devices. Building a bigger, thinner iPhone came at a cost, though: Apple ditched its classic, 30-pin connector in favor of the reversible Lightning connector. The decision meant generations of existing iPhone docks and accessories became obsolete almost instantly, but the world eventually moved on.

Also new to the iPhone 5 was Apple’s dual-core A6 chipset and 1GB of RAM — double the amount of memory found in the iPhone 4 and 4S. As usual, the new phone generally exhibited performance that was around twice as fast as the previous model, and in certain benchmarks, we saw even bigger performance gains. The iPhone 5’s camera didn’t change dramatically along the way, but its 8-megapixel sensor was swathed in sapphire crystal rather than glass for extra protection. Thanks to the A6’s increased horsepower, the camera was noticeably quicker too — photo capture speeds were faster than in earlier iPhones. And speaking of speed, Apple built an LTE radio into the iPhone 5, making it the first to support the next generation of high-speed wireless data networks.

The iPhone 5 was a big step forward in terms of design, but changes on the software side weren’t as dramatic. iOS 6 officially went live just days before the iPhone 5 went on sale, making the 5 the first new iPhone to support digital tickets in Passbook and the new, oft-maligned Apple Maps. A handy Do Not Disturb mode was also added to the fold, as well as the ability to make FaceTime calls over cellular connections and native Facebook integration. All told, it felt like Apple was going back and ticking software feature requests off a checklist, but that makes sense — the company was working on a big redesign behind the scenes.


iPhone 4S iPhone 5
Pricing $ 199, $ 299, $ 399 (on contract)
$ 649, $ 749, $ 849 (off contract)
$ 199, $ 299, $ 399 (on contract)
$ 649, $ 749, $ 849 (off contract)
Dimensions 115.2 x 58.6 x 9.3mm (4.54 x 2.31 x 0.37 inches) 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm (4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 inches)
Weight 140g (4.9 ounces) 112g (3.95 ounces)
Screen size 3.5 inches (88.9mm) 4 inches (101.6mm)
Screen resolution 960 x 640 (326ppi) 1,136 x 640 (326ppi)
Screen type Retina IPS LCD Retina IPS LCD
Battery 1,430mAh 1,440mAh
Storage 16 / 32 / 64GB (8GB released 2012) 16 / 32 / 64GB
Rear camera 8MP, f/2.4 8MP iSight, f/2.4
Front-facing cam 0.3MP 1.2MP
Video capture 1080p 1080p at 30fps
GPS Yes Yes
NFC None None
Bluetooth v4.0 v4.0
Radios GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 800, 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA/HSUPA: 800, 850, 900, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A: 800, 1900
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1900
LTE: 1, 3, 13, 25
SoC Apple A5 Apple A6
CPU 1 GHz 1.3 GHz dual-core
GPU PowerVR SGX543MP2 PowerVR SGX543MP3
RAM 512MB 1GB
WiFi 802.11b/g/n (2.4 GHz) Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n
Operating system iOS 5 iOS 6
Ports 3.5mm headphone jack, 30-pin connector 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning connector


iPhone 5s (2013)

As usual, Apple largely left the iPhone 5’s design alone when it built the iPhone 5s in 2013. Its home button looked a little different though — it lost the trademark squircle and gained a shiny metal ring instead. That signified the inclusion of Touch ID, Apple’s first fingerprint sensor, for unlocking the phone and authenticating iTunes purchases. Oh, and it was hard to miss the new gold and slate gray color options, the first changes to Apple’s hardware palette since white iPhones hit the scene years earlier.

The rest of the 5s’s hardware changes are harder to see: The faster A7 chipset inside was the first 64-bit sliver of silicon in an Apple smartphone, and next to it was a new motion coprocessor called the M7 to help manage data from the phone’s myriad sensors. The 8-megapixel camera was updated with larger pixels and a larger aperture, too, though people were more likely to notice how the camera could record video slow-motion footage at up to 120 frames per second.

The iPhone 5s’s software, meanwhile, looked hardly anything like the versions that came before it. iOS 7 traded Apple’s classic skeuomorphic design elements for a flatter, cleaner aesthetic that persists to this day. Beyond that, iOS 7 saw the addition quick settings shortcuts in the Control Center, as well as a revamped Notification Center and AirDrop for rapidly off-loading files from iOS devices.

iPhone 5c (2013)

When Apple launched the iPhone 5c alongside the 5s, it effectively drove a nail into the iPhone 5’s coffin. Reports suggested that Apple whipped up this model to keep costs down — the colorful polycarbonate bodies were less expensive to manufacture at scale than carefully chamfered aluminum.

Aside from this major cosmetic change, the 5c is essentially the same phone as the standard 5, from the A6 chipset to the screen. The camera assembly was tweaked somewhat and the 5c supported more LTE bands, but the real reasons to own this phone were its modest price tag and its five color options. Popular perception of the 5c was that it was a flop, but it went on to sell more than 24 million units in its time on the market. It wasn’t quite the loser people expected, and it’s not hard to see how the 5c influenced devices like the iPhone SE.


iPhone 5 iPhone 5S iPhone 5C
Pricing $ 199, $ 299, $ 399 (on contract)
$ 649, $ 749, $ 849 (off contract)
$ 199, $ 299, $ 399 (on contract)
$ 649, $ 749, $ 849 (off contract)
$ 99, $ 199 (on contract)
$ 549, $ 649 (off contract)
Dimensions 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm (4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 inches) 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm (4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 inches) 124.4 x 59.2 x 8.97mm (4.9 x 2.33 x 0.35 inches)
Weight 112g (3.95 ounces) 112g (3.95 ounces) 132g (4.66 ounces)
Screen size 4 inches (101.6mm) 4 inches (101.6mm) 4 inches (101.6mm)
Screen resolution 1,136 x 640 (326ppi) 1,136 x 640 (326ppi) 1,136 x 640 (326ppi)
Screen type Retina IPS LCD Retina IPS LCD Retina IPS LCD
Battery 1,440mAh 1,560mAh 1,510mAh
Storage 16 / 32 / 64GB 16 / 32 / 64GB 16 / 32GB (8GB released 2014)
Rear camera 8MP iSight, f/2.4 8MP iSight, f/2.2 8MP iSight, f/2.4
Front-facing cam 1.2MP 1.2MP 1.2MP
Video capture 1080p at 30fps 1080p at 30fps 1080p at 30fps
GPS Yes Yes Yes
NFC None None None
Bluetooth v4.0 v4.0 v4.0
Radios GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1900
LTE: 1, 3, 13, 25
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1900
LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 19, 20, 25
(bands vary by model)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1900
LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 19, 20, 25
(bands vary by model)
SoC Apple A6 Apple A7 Apple A6
CPU 1.3 GHz dual-core 1.3 GHz dual-core 1.3 GHz dual-core
GPU PowerVR SGX543MP3 PowerVR G6430 PowerVR SGX543MP3
RAM 1GB 1GB 1GB
WiFi Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n
Operating system iOS 6 iOS 7 iOS 7
Ports

iPhone 6/Plus (2014)

Beset by the popularity of big Android phones, Apple launched two new, larger iPhones in September 2014: the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus. The former featured a 4.7-inch display with a 1334×750 resolution, while the super-sized Plus model instead used a 5.5-inch screen running at 1080p. Apple aficionados had long suspected the company would split its most important product line up like this, and many welcomed the seemingly overdue change. Unsurprisingly, the smaller of the two iPhones was easier to hold and use for long periods of time — the larger Plus model could be difficult to grip compared to its big-screened contemporaries.

The design modifications didn’t end there, either. If the iPhone 5-series looked like sleek slabs, the 6 and 6 Plus were rounder and friendlier in a way that evoked Apple’s first phones. Since both devices were notably longer than the iPhones that came before them, Apple moved the power button to the devices’ right edges for easier access and trimmed a few fractions of a millimeter to make both versions of the iPhone 6 slimmer than the iPhone 5s. Apple’s focus on crafting trim bodies took its toll, though: Both versions of the phone were supposedly susceptible to bending under pressure. Apple only received a handful of reports about bent units in the wild, but no matter: Bendgate became a thing regardless.

Inside, both devices were nearly identical. Each sported improved A8 chipsets and 1GB of RAM, and Apple chose this year to drop the 32GB storage option in favor of a more spacious mid-range choice. While the most basic iPhone 6 and 6 Plus still came with 16GB of storage, customers could step into 64GB and 128GB for $ 100 and $ 200 extra, respectively. Naturally, both phones shipped with iOS 8, which added third-party keyboard support, cross-platform features like Continuity and a handful of new health-focused features. With so much crossover when it came to performance and software, most would-be iPhone owners made their choice based on size.

Of course, that isn’t to say that size is the only area where these phones differed. Both phones packed updated 8-megapixel rear cameras, but only the Plus’s shooter came with optical image stabilization (another first for iPhones). And while both phones used what Apple called “Retina HD” displays, the higher pixel density found on the bigger display meant text and images appeared crisper.


iPhone 5S iPhone 6 iPhone 6 Plus
Pricing $ 199, $ 299, $ 399 (on contract)
$ 649, $ 749, $ 849 (off contract)
$ 199, $ 299, $ 399 (on contract)
$ 649, $ 749, $ 849 (off contract)
$ 299, $ 399, $ 499 (on contract)
$ 749, $ 849, $ 949 (off-contract)
Dimensions 123.8 x 58.6 x 7.6mm (4.87 x 2.31 x 0.30 inches) 138.1 x 67 x 6.9mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 inches) 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm (6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches)
Weight 112g (3.95 ounces) 129g (4.55 ounces) 192g (6.77 ounces)
Screen size 4 inches (101.6mm) 4.7 inches (119.38mm) 5.5 inches (139.7mm)
Screen resolution 1,136 x 640 (326ppi) 1,334 x 750 (326ppi) 1,920 x 1,080 (401 ppi)
Screen type Retina IPS LCD Retina HD, IPS LCD Retina HD, IPS LCD
Battery 1,560mAh 1,810mAh 2,750mAh
Storage 16 / 32/ 64GB 16 / 64 / 128GB 16 / 64 / 128GB
Rear camera 8MP iSight, f/2.2 8MP iSight, f/2.2 12MP iSight, f/2.2
Front-facing cam 1.2MP 1.2MP, f/2.2 5MP FaceTime HD, f/2.2
Video capture 1080p at 30fps 1080p 4K at 30fps
GPS Yes Yes Yes
NFC None Yes Yes
Bluetooth v4.0 v4.0 v4.2
Radios GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1900
LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 19, 20, 25
(bands vary by model)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29
TD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41
TD-SCDMA: 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
(bands vary by model)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29
TD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41
TD-SCDMA: 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
(bands vary by model)
SoC Apple A7 Apple A8 Apple A9
CPU 1.3 GHz dual-core 1.4 GHz dual-core 1.8GHz dual-core
GPU PowerVR G6430 PowerVR GX6450 PowerVR GT7600
RAM 1GB 1GB 2GB
WiFi Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Operating system iOS 7 iOS 8 iOS 9
Ports 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning connector 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning connector 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning connector


iPhone 6s/Plus (2015)

By the time the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus rolled around in 2015, Apple’s tick-tock update cadence was well understood. It was no surprise, then, that both would use the improved A9 chipset with 2GB of RAM and look exactly like the models that came before them. Thankfully, Apple didn’t just carry over the original iPhone 6 and 6 Plus bodies — the 6s and 6s Plus were reinforced to prevent the possibility of bending under pressure (it definitely didn’t need another Bendgate-level debacle to deal with). This was also the year Apple added rose gold to its list of standard phone finishes, and we haven’t been able to escape it since.

Apple also ditched its stockpile of 8-megapixel sensors and instead built 12-megapixel cameras into the 6s and 6s Plus. The added resolution was a welcome touch, and so was the ability to record video in 4K — after all, Android phones had been able to shoot at this super-high quality for some time. Also new to the photographic fold: Live Photos, which sprung to life as you swiped through your camera roll. The marquee feature this time was 3D Touch, which took advantage of the 6s’s new pressure-sensitive screens to offer users shortcuts and context with a forceful press. In its early days, the feature didn’t always feel that useful, but seeing a company implement a novel new way for us to interact with our smartphones without too many hiccups was impressive nonetheless.

As was often the case with S-series iPhones, software provided much of the excitement. The 6s and 6s Plus shipped with iOS 9 onboard, and with it came a smarter, more contextually aware version of Siri and a whole new portal for Apple’s News. Search was dramatically improved too, as it could peer directly into apps installed on the 6s and 6s Plus, and Apple’s Maps finally started to understand how the subway worked. While the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus were huge sellers, the 6s and 6s Plus were proof that biennial refreshes didn’t need to be dull.

iPhone SE (2015)

Apple faced a bit of a conundrum after launching two bigger smartphones — what would it do for people who still liked compact devices? The answer was straightforward: The company essentially took the guts of the iPhone 6s and squeezed them into an iPhone 5s’s body.

That didn’t sound like it would work very well, but to our surprise, the iPhone SE was a remarkably capable little machine for small phone fans. The A9 provided excellent performance, and battery life was generally impressive, but our biggest gripe had to do with the limited storage options available at launch. Originally, Apple produced the SEs with either 16 or 64GB of internal storage; It has since shifted to selling 32GB and 128GB models instead.


iPhone 6 iPhone 6S iPhone 6 Plus iPhone 6S Plus
Pricing $ 199, $ 299, $ 399 (on contract)
$ 649, $ 749, $ 849 (off contract)
$ 199, $ 299, $ 399 (on contract)
$ 649, $ 749, $ 849 (off contract)
$ 299, $ 399, $ 499 (on contract)
$ 749, $ 849, $ 949 (off contract)
$ 299, $ 399, $ 499 (on contract)
$ 749, $ 849, $ 949 (off contract)
Dimensions 138.1 x 67 x 6.9mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.27 inches) 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches) 158.1 x 77.8 x 7.1mm (6.22 x 3.06 x 0.28 inches) 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm (6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches)
Weight 129g (4.55 ounces) 143g (5.04 ounces) 172g (6.07 ounces) 192g (6.77 ounces)
Screen size 4.7 inches (119.38mm) 4.7 inches (119.38mm) 5.5 inches (139.7mm) 5.5 inches (139.7mm)
Screen resolution 1,334 x 750 (326ppi) 1,334 x 750 (326ppi) 1,920 x 1,080 (401 ppi) 1,920 x 1,080 (401 ppi)
Screen type Retina HD, IPS LCD Retina HD, IPS LCD Retina HD, IPS LCD Retina HD, IPS LCD
Battery 1,810mAh 1,715mAh 2,750mAh 2,750mAh
Storage 16 / 64 / 128GB 16 / 64 / 128GB 16 / 64 / 128GB 16 / 64 / 128GB
Rear camera 8MP iSight, f/2.2 12MP iSight, f/2.2 8MP iSight, f/2.2 8MP iSight, f/2.2
Front camera 1.2MP, f/2.2 5MP FaceTime HD, f/2.2 1.2MP, f/2.2 5MP FaceTime HD, f/2.2
Video capture 1080p 4K at 30fps 1080p 4K at 30fps
GPS Yes Yes Yes Yes
NFC Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bluetooth v4.0 v4.2 v4.0 v4.2
Radios GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29
TD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41
TD-SCDMA: 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
(bands vary by model)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
TD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41
TD-SCDMA: 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
(bands vary by model)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 28, 29
TD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41
TD-SCDMA: 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
(bands vary by model)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
TD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41
TD-SCDMA: 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
(bands vary by model)
SoC Apple A8 Apple A9 Apple A8 Apple A9
CPU 1.4 GHz dual-core 1.8GHz dual-core 1.4 GHz dual-core 1.8GHz dual-core
GPU PowerVR GX6450 PowerVR GT7600 PowerVR GX6450 PowerVR GT7600
RAM 1GB 2GB 1GB 2GB
WiFi Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Dual-band, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Dual-band, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Operating system iOS 8 iOS 9 iOS 8 iOS 9
Ports 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning connector 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning connector 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning connector 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning connector

iPhone 7/Plus (2016)

Well, this was unexpected. Up until 2016, Apple had only ever kept the same design for two generations of smartphones. With the launch of the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, Apple once again kept the iPhone 6’s design language alive, albeit with several few tweaks.

Where to start? Well, neither version of the 7 featured a headphone jack, a move Apple’s Phil Schiller hilariously chalked up to “courage” during the company’s press conference. The physical home button was also replaced with a capacitive button that haptically vibrated when pressed. IP67 water and dust resistance was added, too — a first for iPhones, though Android devices had touted superior water resistance for years. Oh, and Apple added a Product (RED) model and a glossy, Jet Black finish option to its roster. That’s a lot of updates, and that doesn’t even factor in the changes in performance. The iPhone 7 and 7 Plus used Apple’s A10 Fusion chipset, a quad-core affair paired with either 2 or 3GB of RAM.

As always, the 7 and 7 Plus were more alike than not, and the most notable difference between the two was in their cameras. The 7 got a perfectly respectable 12-megapixel rear camera with a quad-LED flash and optical image stabilization — quite an upgrade over the prior year’s shooter. The 7 Plus, meanwhile, was fitted with a more impressive dual-camera array that allowed users to optically zoom in and out and add bokeh to the background of a photo in a Portrait Mode released later. This, along with a bigger battery and the inclusion of a little extra RAM, made the larger iPhone a more compelling option than it had ever been before.


iPhone 6S iPhone 7 iPhone 6S Plus iPhone 7 Plus
Pricing $ 199, $ 299, $ 399 (on contract)
$ 649, $ 749, $ 849 (off contract)
$ 199, $ 299, $ 399 (on contract)
$ 649, $ 749, $ 849 (off contract)
$ 299, $ 399, $ 499 (on contract)
$ 749, $ 849, $ 949 (off contract)
$ 299, $ 399, $ 499 (on contract)
$ 749, $ 849, $ 949 (off contract)
Dimensions 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches) 138.3 x 67.1 x 7.1mm (5.44 x 2.64 x 0.28 inches) 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm (6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches) 158.2 x 77.9 x 7.3mm (6.23 x 3.07 x 0.29 inches)
Weight 143g (5.04 ounces) 138g (4.87 ounces) 192g (6.77 ounces) 188g (6.63 ounces)
Screen size 4.7 inches (119.38mm) 4.7 inches (119.38mm) 5.5 inches (139.7mm) 5.5 inches (139.7mm)
Screen resolution 1,334 x 750 (326ppi) 1,334 x 750 (326 ppi) 1,920 x 1,080 (401 ppi) 1,920 x 1,080 (401 ppi)
Screen type Retina HD, IPS LCD Retina HD, IPS LCD Retina HD, IPS LCD Retina HD, IPS LCD
Battery 1,715mAh 1,960mAh 2,750mAh 2,900mAh
Storage 16 / 64 / 128GB 32 / 128 / 256GB 16 / 64 / 128GB 32 / 128 / 256GB
Rear camera 12MP iSight, f/2.2 12MP, f/1.8 12MP iSight, f/2.2, 1.22µm pixel size Dual cameras, 12MP, f/1.8 and f/2.8
Front camera 5MP, f/2.2 7MP, f/2.2 5MP, f/2.2 7MP, f/2.2
Video capture 4K at 30fps 4K at 30fps 4K at 30fps 4K at 30fps
GPS Yes Yes Yes Yes
NFC Yes Yes Yes Yes
Bluetooth v4.2 v4.2 v4.2 v4.2
Radios GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
TD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41
TD-SCDMA: 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
(bands vary by model)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
FDD-LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
TD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41
TD-SCDMA: 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
(bands vary by model)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
TD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41
TD-SCDMA: 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
​​​​​​​(bands vary by model)
GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 850, 900, 1800, 1900
UMTS/HSDPA+/DC-HSDPA: 850, 900, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
CDMA/EV-DO Rev. A and Rev. B: 800, 1700/2100, 1900, 2100
FDD-LTE: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 12, 13, 17, 18, 19, 20, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30
TD-LTE: 38, 39, 40, 41
TD-SCDMA: 1900 (F), 2000 (A)
​​​​​​​(bands vary by model)
SoC Apple A9 Apple A10 Fusion Apple A9 Apple A10 Fusion
CPU 1.8GHz dual-core 2.34GHz quad-core 1.8GHz dual-core 2.34GHz quad-core
GPU PowerVR GT7600 PowerVR Series 7XT GT7600 Plus PowerVR GT7600 PowerVR Series 7XT GT7600 Plus
RAM 2GB 2GB 2GB 2GB
WiFi Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Dual band, 802.11a/b/g/n/ac
Operating system iOS 9 iOS 10 iOS 9 iOS 10
Ports 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning connector Lightning connector 3.5mm headphone jack, Lightning connector Lightning connector

Image credits: Justin14 (iPhone 3G render); Apple.

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iPhone X may pack a 6-core processor

This weekend’s huge iOS 11 leak continues to spill the beans on the iPhone X… and the latest tidbits may be particularly relevant to performance junkies. Twitter user Longhorn has found that the processor in the iPhone X, and likely the step-down iPhone 8 models, will be a six-core chip. It’s not clear how many of these will be higher-powered cores versus energy-saving secondary cores (Longhorn suspects only two are high-speed cores), but it looks as if they might all be usable at the same time. That would be a big step up from the A10 Fusion in the iPhone 7, which only allows the high- or low-speed cores to run at any given moment.

Notably, Apple has never made an iPhone where more than two cores were active at the same time. That hasn’t been necessary for good performance in most circumstances (Apple’s chips have regularly gone toe-to-toe with the latest from Qualcomm), but it has hurt the iPhone’s potential in multi-threaded tasks where more cores could help. Even the A10X in the current iPad Pro sticks to three full-speed cores and three efficient cores.

As it is, the latest code investigations allude to more than just a CPU update. There’s more than one reference to USB-C, to begin with. This doesn’t necessarily mean that the iPhone X will have a native USB-C connector, but it may take advantage of the format in a way the iPhone 7 can’t. Other tidbits? There are further nods to wireless charging, although the absence of animations hints that it might not be available right away. And the previously mentioned Portrait Lighting feature, which changes the perception of how a subject was lit, may be available for both the iPhone X and iPhone 8 Plus. We’ll only know the full scoop on September 12th, but these are at least tantalizing clues.

Via: 9to5Mac

Source: Longhorn (Twitter 1), (2)

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The next iPhone creates animated emoji from your facial expressions

You may already know that the next iPhone will use face detection for all kinds of clever tricks, but here’s one you probably weren’t expecting: customized emoji. The 9to5Mac crew has discovered that leaked “gold master” iOS 11 firmware includes references to ‘Animoji,’ or 3D emoji that you create using your facial expressions and voice. Pick one of the familiar non-human faces in the emoji library and it’ll map your eye, mouth and cheek expressions to that character — you can make a robot smile or have a dog raise its eyebrows. Even the poo emoji can be animated. This comes across as a gimmick (we can see many people dropping this once the novelty wears off), but it shows what’s possible now that Apple has face tracking at its disposal. And there’s more to the leak than just emoji.

The scoop also offers more clues as to what the next iPhone can do. The camera will be more powerful, for one thing: in a confirmation of previous leaks, you can shoot 4K video at 60 frames per second, and slow-motion 240FPS video at 1080p. It’ll also have an adaptive True Tone display like on the iPad Pro. The face-based authentication system appears to be relatively advanced, as you have to pivot your head in a circle to make sure it can recognize you from a wide range of angles. And if there was any doubt that the home button is going away, Apple just removed it: apps on the next iPhone have a line at the bottom indicating that gestures are available.

A separate code search by Steve Troughton-Smith may have also revealed the finished name. The brand new, all-screen iPhone appears to be called iPhone X. The revamped versions of the classic design, in turn, would be called the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus. Yes, Apple may be skipping the “S” naming scheme for the first time since it was instituted back in 2009 with the iPhone 3GS.

There are also mentions of dual-camera iPhone owners getting a Portrait Lighting mode that could alter the perceived lighting of a shot. You could add a stage lighting effect, or add the soft tones of natural lighting to a harshly-lit picture.

Other hints? We’ve already seen references to the LTE Apple Watch, but there’s also evidence of updated AirPods. The only conspicuous change entails moving the charging light to the outside of the case (no more flipping the lid), but we wouldn’t rule out under-the-hood revisions. The one sure thing is that Apple will have a lot to talk about during its September 12th event.

Via: TechCrunch

Source: 9to5Mac (1), (2), S. Troughton-Smith (Twitter)

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The LG V30 is the perfect smartphone for vlogging

When LG took the wraps off of the LG V30 at IFA last week, it spent nearly 20 of its 50-minute presentation talking about the phone’s dual camera system. Juno Cho, President of Mobile Communications, rattled off statistics like “almost 80 percent of smartphone users use their smartphone at least once a week to shoot videos.” He also said that “we are literally on the verge of transitioning from storytelling to storyshowing,” which is almost as crazy as Samsung’s new catchphrase: “Your New Normal.” I digress.

Cho is on to something: YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram are proof that amatuer video is massively popular. Having spotted this trend, LG is positioning the V30 as the ideal tool for anyone trying to break into making video. I decided to put LG’s claim to the test and spent some time using the V30 to snap stories for Instagram and Snapchat, plus I took plenty of regular videos with the (amazing) built-in camera app.

Unfortunately the Android versions of Instagram and Snapchat are so bad that I couldn’t see much of a difference between the blotchy stories that were shot on my Xperia X Compact (bad camera) and the blotchy stories shot on the V30 (good camera), so that was out. Instead I decided to narrow my focus to the following three questions: Can you use the V30 to make YouTube videos? Is the V30 a reasonable substitute for a dedicated camera? And is the V30 the best smartphone for making video?

Can you use the V30 to make YouTube videos?

Can you use the V30 to vlog? Can you use the V30 to make YouTube videos even if you’re not vlogging? Yes. This seems like a simple question, and it is: You can use almost any camera to make videos for YouTube, but unfortunately “camera” and “Android phone” are not always compatible. I got the bright idea to vlog with the HTC 10 last year because of that front-facing camera with image stabilization, but HTC’s default app (at the time) allowed videos to dip below 24 frames per second (fps) in low light, and that just looks terrible. It’s fine if a video is dark; it’s not fine if it looks like a simulated drug trip.

The V30s wide-angle lens is perfect for vlogging.

Is the V30 a reasonable substitute for a dedicated camera?

Luckily my experience with the HTC 10 was not repeated with the V30. In fact, the V30 is the closest thing I’ve seen to a smartphone behaving like a real camera to date. Not only does LG give you control over the really important stuff like white balance and ISO, it also gives you control of shutter speed in video (!) and three options for bitrate (!!!). If you’re someone who knows cameras and has ever tried to use one of the faux manual video apps on many smartphones, this is like being handed a cool glass of water in hell.

And with a couple of exceptions the V30’s camera app does exactly what it says it’s doing, and, this is what I consider necessary for a smartphone to replace a dedicated camera. Not sensor or aperture size or anything like that. The camera has to do what I tell it to do and it has to work all of the time. Then it can replace my real camera.

LG’s manual camera app gives almost total control over video recording.

Despite what LG says on stage, the V30 can’t match cameras with DSLR-sized sensors, if we’re being realistic. A tiny sensor will never produce the bokeh or sensitivity of a sensor of nearly three times the size. But LG gave us something new with the V30: LG-Cine Log. B&H has a lengthy explanation of Log (short for logarithmic) recording, but in a nutshell this mode gives you flat, unsharpened video that’s much better for editing in programs like Premiere and Final Cut. Smartphones may not have the resolving power of larger cameras, but gaining full control over the recording makes the concession far more palatable.

I won’t dwell on Log recording because it is somewhat technical, but one thing is worth noting—and it’s not even clear that LG has this in mind—but for the first time you’ll be able to download and share color profiles with other people in the form of lookup tables or LUTs. Plenty of communities exist for trading and selling LUTs for Sony and Panasonic cameras, and maybe there’s a better colorist out there than the engineers at LG. I look forward to spending $ 15 on their V30 LUT package on Gumroad.

Smartphones may not have the resolving power of larger cameras, but gaining full control over the recording makes the concession far more palatable.

But of course, nothing’s perfect and neither is the V30. I should disclaim that we’re using pre-production V30s and the camera firmware and software isn’t final. That being said, I did find a couple of strange behaviors with the V30 camera. First, when you plug in an external microphone, the app doesn’t automatically record with it. Instead you have to tap on the microphone icon and set it to record from the headset mic. This is unlike any camera or smartphone I’ve ever used, so this behavior is a bit head-scratcher. Second, something is wrong with 1080p video from the wide angle camera. Again, this is a pre-production model, but the 1080p video from the wide angle camera looks someone set the sharpening and noise reduction to 100 and called it a day.

Is the V30 the best smartphone for making video?

The iPhone 7 Plus and the recently announced Galaxy Note 8 also have dual camera systems, and both take very good video, but their telephoto lenses aren’t a perfect match for what people want to create on YouTube. The tight shots that the telephoto lenses provide are great for interviews and documentary style video, but those aren’t the prevailing formats on YouTube right now. The V30’s combination of wide angle and normal lens open up more popular YouTube formats like vlogging, extreme sports videos, skate videos, and several more. And while the upcoming iPhone announcement could change a lot, the current iPhone 7 series lacks a headphone jack, making it an ordeal to charge and use an external microphone at the same time.

Otherwise it comes down to taste. Video taken on the iPhone, in my opinion, has best-in-class coloring. Samsung’s coloring is fine but looks weird and is hard to post-process because it’s already been pushed pretty far. Not only does the V30 offer Log video that allows you to choose your coloring later, I also think the colors coming out of regular video are very nice.

So can the V30 cut it as your primary video making device? The answer is absolutely yes. Thanks to its versatile dual-camera system the V30 is capable of getting lots of different shots. The camera app itself and the manual video mode within it make the V30 worth considering by itself, and nice perks like the headphone jack and waterproofing set it above devices like the iPhone and the OnePlus 5. Samsung’s “Do What You Can’t” campaign is clearly in love with the idea of empowering content creators, but LG has actually come to the table with the tools content creators need.

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Hobbyist gives iPhone 7 the headphone jack we’ve always wanted

For those of you who miss the iPhone headphone jack, you’re definitely not alone. But Strange Parts creator Scotty Allen missed it so much that he decided to add one to his iPhone 7. He just posted a video of the project’s entire saga, with all of its many ups and downs, and in the end he holds what he set out to create – a current generation iPhone with a fully functional headphone jack. It turns out, real courage is adding the headphone jack back to the iPhone.

The project took around 17 weeks to complete and throughout it Allen spent thousands of dollars on parts including multiple iPhones and screens and handfuls of lightning to headphone adaptors. Along the way, Allen bought a printer, a nice microscope and fancy tweezers. He had to design his own circuit boards, have a company manufacture multiple iterations of flexible circuit boards and at one point early on had to consult with a chip dealer that a friend hooked him up with, because who doesn’t have a chip guy these days?

Towards the end, after breaking lots and I mean lots of parts, Allen gets a little down on the project and says he wants to give up. But he doesn’t and it all works out. The final product works by using a lightning to headphone adaptor that’s incorporated into the internal structure of the phone. However, because the headphone jack is powered via the phone’s lightning jack with a circuit board switching between the two depending on whether headphones or a charger are plugged into the phone, you can’t actually listen to music and charge the phone at the same time.

Aside from that caveat, the iPhone jack works normally in every other way. You can watch the video of the project below and you can watch Allen’s video of how he made an iPhone 6S from parts he bought in public markets here. For those who want to add their own headphone jack to their iPhone 7, Allen has made the steps publicly available on Github.

Source: Strange Parts (1), (2)

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Truly wireless earbuds are coming for your headphones

One of the dominant trends of IFA 2017 was the sheer volume of companies, both known and not-so known, that launched Bluetooth earbuds. The “truly wireless” revolution that was kickstarted by Bragi and embraced by Samsung and Apple is now a bandwagon that everyone is jumping on.

A recent Wirecutter roundup listed more than 20 companies making truly wireless earbuds, and we can expect that number to increase exponentially soon. At the show we took a closer look at offerings from mid-lower-end players like Philips and higher-end ones like B&O Play.

Speaking with representatives at the show, it’s clear that the advent of the Bragi, back in 2014, sparked a flurry of internal discussions at many audio companies. But many didn’t begin working on their own product until the launch of AirPods and the iPhone 7, which did away with the headphone port.

The slow (and contentious) demise of the smartphone’s headphone jack is prompting a wave of interest in wireless audio. And that, as consumers are gently encouraged to ditch the wire connecting them to their phones, they might as well abandon the ones that you’ll find in traditional Bluetooth headphones.

The numbers back it up, too, analysts NPD believe that around 900,000 pairs of wireless earbuds have been sold in the US since the start of the year. Of that figure, however, it’s thought that 85 percent of them were sold by Apple, with the rest fighting for the remaining 15 percent.

One of the smartest things that Bragi did was to embrace what could have been the fatal flaws in its design. These earbuds are super small, with limited battery space and it’s far, far too easy to lose them — all points that would dissuade plenty of wary customers from purchasing them. But by offering a charging case, supplied alongside the earbuds, Bragi solved both problems by forcing users to develop a habit of only ever moving their earbuds from their skulls to the dock.

SONY DSC

The case is just as important as the earbuds, which is why B&O made a big deal of making theirs look like a scaled-down sunglass case. You could easily plonk it down on the table in a restaurant and no-one would bat an eyelid.

There’s also the issue of sound quality, which requires some elegant audio engineering to get around how cramped these devices are. By and large, most of them that we tried at the show didn’t sound too bad, although it’s clear that — for now — they’ll never be as expressive as a pair of larger cans.

But being good enough, especially if users are only listening to low-resolution Spotify streams while they navigate a crowded subway station or office, will probably suffice. And the convenience of wire-free listening is probably enough to allay concerns from all but the snootiest audio snob.

What’s likely, however, is that as more companies build their own entrants to the market, that we’ll see prices crater. And since there still seems to be some room for innovation, expect to see plenty of nuanced takes on the form — and yeah, a million and one copycats as well.

Follow all the latest news from IFA 2017 here!

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