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'Tis the season for iPhone leaks. Plus, T-Mobile's network testing, Instagram's link sharing, and earbuds from Nothing.
More iPhone 13 leaks hint at tweaked design and upgraded ultra-wide camera
Apple’s iPhone 13 is expected to gain an upgraded ultra-wide camera with improved low-light performance.
The new ultra-wide will apparently remain exclusive to the iPhone 13 Pro line, but cheaper models will get it in 2022.
In addition, new CAD-based dummies of the iPhone 13 series give us a pretty good look at what will be different with this generation compared to last year’s.
Apple’s iPhone 13 is expected to debut in less than three months, and the summer is usually when the most accurate leaks pertaining to an upcoming iPhone are published. I’m not saying the leaks I’m talking about here are incredibly accurate, but I am saying there’s a good chance the actual iPhone 13 series will consist of something similar.
That starts with a new ultra-wide camera, which is expected to receive a major upgrade this generation. Notably, the upgrades will only pertain to the iPhone 13 Pro line while the standard iPhone 13 retains a similar ultra-wide to the iPhone 12.
According to reliable leaker Ming-Chi Kuo (via 9to5Mac), the iPhone 13 Pro will sport an ultra-wide camera with auto-focus and a six-element lens. This is in direct opposition to the iPhone 12 Pro’s ultra-wide which has a five-element lens and fixed focus.
These upgrades seem modest on the surface, but they can make a huge difference when it comes to the quality of your photos. Let’s say there’s a landscape that’s so beautiful, you wanna grab your phone and snap a pic. The only problem is you have a limited amount of time to do so. With current ultra-wides on iPhones, there’s a solid chance you’ll duff the focus because you have to manually set it, whereas the main sensor can automatically focus and get a much sharper and clearer image on the first run.
Ultra-wides at night will also see improvements thanks to the six-element lens. Past rumors have suggested the camera will have a larger aperture to let in more light, and the megapixel count could also be increased. Altogether, you’ll get an ultra-wide sensor that’s much better equipped for challenging lighting conditions, something many iPhone 12 users have confirmed is of interest.
That’s not the only iPhone 13 leak worth talking about. Over on Weibo (as spotted by DuanRui on Twitter), new dummy models of the iPhone 13 have appeared in a set of photos that seem to confirm the new camera placement for the standard iPhone 13’s ultra-wide shooter.
The images also give us a glimpse at what’s apparently a noticeably smaller notch at the top of the devices’ screens. Speaking of which, the models indicate there will be two 6.1-inch models, a 6.7-inch model, and another 5.4-inch model after this year’s failed iPhone 12 mini. The screens will come with 120Hz refresh rates and likely look a bit more appealing thanks to the smaller cutout.
It’s not clear how accurate these dummies are, but usually, these leaks are the result of crafty people looking at CAD renders of unreleased devices from someone in the respective company. This time around, someone at Apple is likely to blame for these models becoming real objects.
If you haven’t been caught up to speed, the rest of the iPhone 13 series is expected to come with A15 chipsets, new main cameras (potentially weighing in at 48MP), improved 5G support, larger batteries, and more. As far as how much they’ll cost or their exact availability, that’s all unclear. We’ll just have to wait for Apple to formally take the wraps off… or some accurate leaker to publish a report with all the details.
Y’know, whichever comes first.
Remember the ZenFone 8 from Asus? It’s what everyone called the Android alternative to the iPhone 12 mini and a solid run for the Pixel 5’s money. Whelp, if you’ve wanted to buy one and live in the United States, today’s your lucky day. The device is officially available Stateside starting at $629. It comes with a 5.9-inch 120Hz display, a Snapdragon 888 processor, up to 16GB of RAM, up to 256GB of storage, dual rear cameras, a 4,000mAh battery, 5G, and Android 11.
Samsung’s upcoming Galaxy Z Flip 3 has made yet another appearance, this time in leaked renders from GizNext. The renders don’t reveal a ton of stuff we don’t already know about like the more seamless front display, dual rear cameras, new colors, and internal 6.7-inch 25:9 display. Still, it’s another leak published in advance of the rumored August 11th Unpacked event when Samsung‘s expected to reveal the Z Flip 3.
Apple has released a collection of 22 new Apple Watch Sport Loop bands that each represent the 22 nations competing in the Tokyo Summer Olympics next month. You can also download a matching watch face if you want. Each band is $49 and is available from Apple’s website for a limited time.
HP has unveiled the new Pavilion Aero 13 which it claims is its “lightest consumer laptop yet.” it weighs just 2.18 pounds while still offering a ton of premium features like a 13.3-inch 2.5K 16:10 OLED display, up to 10.5 hours of battery life, and Wi-Fi 6. It also includes AMD’s Ryzen 5000 series processors which should give you enough performance for everyday tasks. What’s more, the laptop will start at $749 when it goes on sale this fall.
I’m not sure how many people are still hunting around for a high-quality webcam, but if you are, you might wanna give Dell a look. It just unveiled the new UltraSharp Webcam which includes an 8.3MP Sony STARVIS CMOS sensor and support for 4K video capture at up to 30 frames per second. It also has autofocus, 5x digital zoom, and a new AI auto-framing mode that will keep your face centered during a video call by panning around. It also supports Windows Hello thanks to an infrared sensor, but it doesn’t have a microphone. The webcam costs $199.99.
Carl Pei’s new company, Nothing, is prepping to unveil its very first product soon. The company has announced on July 27th, it’ll unveil the new Nothing Ear (1) earbuds. Pei tweeted the news by retweeting a tweet from MKBHD. So far, details are scarce, but I assume we’ll know more leading up to the launch date through leaks.
If you’ve wanted to switch your phone’s carrier but don’t trust marketing jargon about “excellent coverage in your area,” T-Mobile’s willing to roll the dice and help you become a customer of theirs with an easier-than-ever Test Drive program. Now, if you own an unlocked iPhone XS or newer running iOS 14.5 or higher, you can download an app and use your eSIM to try out T-Mobile’s network for 30 days (or until you hit a 30GB data cap). The program will help give you an idea of what it’s like living on the network which can be extremely useful if you’re on the edge about coverage.
Facebook has officially unveiled its Substack competitor, Bulletin. The platform is similar to its competitors in which it gives independent creators a platform to publish written content for a subscriber base in the form of newsletters. At launch, Facebook says it won’t be taking a profit from paid newsletters, although that will likely change in the future. Currently, Facebook’s only letting certain people publish content, and it’s unclear when it’ll expand to everyone.
Instagram has confirmed it’s testing a new sticker that will let anyone attach a link to a Story post. Right now, people either need to be verified or have 10,000+ followers to use the “swipe up” gesture for links, but this new sticker would be open to anyone who uses the platform. The company says it’s running a small test at the moment to explore the best way to implement the feature, but there’s a chance it could roll out to everyone one day in the near future.
Amazon is adding a new feature called Reading Sidekick to its Kids Plus subscription service. Powered by Alexa, the feature lets kids take turns with the digital assistant reading physical and digital books, helping to improve their reading and comprehension skills. Reading Sidekick will be available on Amazon’s Fire tablets and Echo devices via Kids Plus which costs $2.99/month with a Prime subscription.
Google is trying to clean up the marketplace for extensions on Chrome. The company has begun requiring developers who want to distribute extensions via the Chrome Web Store to have two-factor authentication enabled on their Google accounts. It’s also trying to crack down on extensions with “highly similar functionality, content, and user experiences” as one another. This could help get rid of scammy-looking extensions from the store and promote high-quality add-ons for your browser. These changes kick in on August 2nd.
Google is updating privacy and security settings for school-managed Google accounts to make them safer for both students and teachers. For example, K-12 students with such an account will no longer be able to view or interact with any sort of YouTube content beginning September 1st, so long as they’re under 18. Other age-appropriate restrictions will also be added to areas like Search and Google Play. It’s all a part of new age-based access settings Google will make available to administrators. More details can be found on Google’s Workspace Admin Help page.
Apple has confirmed it will be sticking with its proposed hybrid work model after employees have demanded the company let them remain remote going into the future. The iPhone maker believes the best work its teams are capable of is made in-person, and it seems that they believe this can be achieved by having all employees return to its campus on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays this fall.
Google & Microsoft
A truce between Google and Microsoft that was made five years ago has crumbled, according to Bloomberg (via Yahoo Finance). The agreement was made between the two companies’ then-fresh CEOs who wanted to lay to rest a battle over a bunch of stuff like search ads, publisher payments, and cloud computing. However, recently, both companies have ramped up their lobbying of each other over the issues that have pegged them for years. “At a time when regulators are training their guns on the whole industry, Microsoft and Google handing them ammo against each other may backfire, leaving both companies and their peers subject to even more scrutiny.”
Zoom is acquiring Kites, a company known for creating real-time translation and transcription software that’s proven impressive in early examples. Technology from Kites could be integrated into Zoom’s transcription and translation features in the future in order to improve it.