After the sassiest and most stylish cars, Pininfarina, an ace Italian design house, is now collaborating in the far east to deliver the most desirable iPhone case for motorheads. The cases designed in partnership with Japanese startup INKAR are perhaps the most incredible choice if you have the means and zeal to burn 10 grands for a way to protect your iPhone.
Boasting top-notch craftsmanship and immaculate detail in design, the Pininfarina x INKAR iPhone Cases are made to order. The buyers have the option to configure these cases to match their supercar if they like.
According to Pininfarina, the cases are visually inspired by the Ferrari 512S Modulo, and the limited-edition covers are made to order in Italy. The accessories are strictly limited to iPhone 13 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro only for now.
Since Pininfarina’s idea is to allow buyers to receive an iPhone case that is designed to match their car; the buyers have a choice to choose their preferred color for the case – from a range of five distinct options – and can even select lens trim leathers. Even more exciting is the option of black plate materials that a buyer can select. These choices range from carbon fiber to leather and from aluminum to wood.
Despite your selection of color and the base plate material, each Pininfarina x INKAR iPhone Case is distinctly numbered for exclusivity. The serial number is engraved into the case. For the techier ones, every iPhone case comes with an NFT that provides access to INKAR’s exclusive membership program and early access to the Japanese brand’s forthcoming products. As the cases are limited to only 99 models of each iPhone 13 Pro and 14 Pro smartphones, these are steeply priced at $10,000 apiece, and expected to be available starting December 1.
The introduction of MagSafe has made wireless charging snap on the iPhone range. Therefore, a slew of MagSafe chargers in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and form factors rock the market today. In this sea of options, a product has appeared online which is believed to be an Apple MagSafe charger that never made it into production. The images of this rarity, shared on the internet, have some semblance to the iPhone Lightning Dock, then why was it canned?
The images first shared by Apple collector TheBlueMister on Twitter have been doing rounds on the internet over the past few days. The said Twitter account is now suspended (not guessing these images made content violation), but since, a few other collectors in Asia have managed to go hands-on with the design validation test (DVT) versions of the charger in question.
When plugged into a Mac, it is believed that the device was identified as Apple Magic Charger. If there was some magic in the metallic puck, it would have definitely been made out of the company’s production lines instead of being abandoned altogether. So, what’s this mysterious Apple product really all about?
Looking somewhat like the iPhone Lightning Dock, the Apple Magic Charger is based on a metal stand, which features a metallic puck integrated within its square rim. The device is likely made of anodized aluminum while the round charging area within is rubberized. Interestingly the aluminum stand allows the charger to be pushed into a vertical position to charge the connected iPhone.
Reportedly, and as suggested by the available images, the Magic Charger was designed to keep the connected iPhone upright and in a horizontal position; perhaps this limitation of use could have been a reason the magic was never done outside of the Apple production lines!
Looking for a good fast charger for your iPhone? Shargeek just designed the perfect one!
Now the Retro 35W GaN Charger from Shargeek isn’t as impressive as is much more popular transparent cyberpunk-inspired power bank, but it has a different sort of appeal that most tech nerds will instantly fall in love with. The charging brick models itself on the original Macintosh computer, complete with the MacOS ‘smiling’ logo displayed on the tiny computer’s screen. Built with a GaN semiconductor on the inside, the tiny charger comes with a max output of 35W, which is enough to fast-charge your iPhone or any other device. Plug it in and not only does it charge your device, but the Mac’s screen comes to life too, lighting up in various colors to let you know your device’s charging status!
The highlight of this tiny charger is its design. Created as a perfect tribute to the Macintosh and also a rather funny juxtaposition of an old-tech exterior but a state-of-the-art GaN interior, the charging brick sits on your plug socket or extension board, smiling at you while delivering juice to your devices. The smiling screen also comes with its own LED backlight which just feels like an incredibly joy-giving experience on its own. Plug your charger in and the backlight lets you know the charging status. A white light means ‘not charging’, while yellow, blue, and green lights range between normal to fast, and finally ‘super’ charging.
As adorably tiny as it looks, the Mac-shaped charger packs a punch. Powered by GaN Ⅲ technology, the charger delivers up to 35W of power in its tiny avatar, charging devices like your phone, tablet, TWS earbuds, drone, handheld gaming console, and even your laptop. Its ability to deliver high wattage to your devices makes them charge faster (that’s putting it simply) – for instance, the Retro 35W GaN Charger gates your iPhone 14 from 0% to 50% battery in just 30 minutes.
The retro-inspired charger is compatible with a wide range of devices, almost an antithesis to Apple’s own ‘walled garden’. It’s tiny enough to fit in your pocket and weighs a mere 55 grams or 2 ounces. Each Shargeek Retro 35W GaN charger also comes with a set of DIY stickers that you can place on the tiny Mac’s screen, effectively changing your charger’s ‘wallpaper’!
Have you ever tried taking a photo of fish in a pond only to realize that your camera is catching the reflections on top of the water instead of the fish IN the water? Or how about trying to take a photo from your airplane window at night, but struggling with the fact that your phone’s reflection keeps coming in the photo? Reflections can sometimes really enhance a photo, but at other times, they’re just a hindrance. Think back to the time when you tried taking a selfie while wearing spectacles and all you got were reflections of things around you instead of the camera capturing your eyes… The way you eliminate those reflections is by using what’s called a polarizing filter – a special piece of glass that can selectively block out reflections and allow certain wavelengths of light to pass through. Designed to do precisely that, Sandmarc’s Drama Polarizer Filter comes with a clip-on feature that lets you easily attach it to iPhone cameras or practically any other smartphone camera. The Drama Polarizer Filter covers all three lenses on the iPhone camera and can be rotated to help you allow certain wavelengths to pass through to your camera. The Drama Polarizer Filter is perhaps the easiest, quickest hack to better photography. You can use it to cut reflections, accentuate colors, and even boost contrast to create photos that just look better because you’ve now got control over the light that makes it into your camera’s lens!
The filter either clips onto the back of your phone, or if you’re using a Sandmarc iPhone case, it screws into the special mounting system built into the case’s camera cutout. To use the filter, just fire your camera app, compose your shot, and rotate the filter to choose what wavelengths to let through. Rotating the filter changes what wavelengths the filter allows, and just the way you’d turn the ring on a camera lens to focus on an object, you turn the polarizer filter to focus on a wavelength. Once you notice a difference and when you feel the composition looks good, click away! Or hey, you could record videos too…
Designed as a part of Sandmarc’s existing line of smartphone camera filters, the Drama Polarizer Filter fits directly onto other Sandmarc lenses, like their Telephoto, Anamorphic and Wide Lenses.
The filter does a variety of things, although cutting glare is probably one of its prime functions. Whether you’re taking photos of someone through a glass window, or of a friend (or yourself) wearing spectacles or sunglasses, or even of a lovely lake or pond, you can now use the filter to eliminate reflections entirely to allow for crystal clear photos with zero glare and great detail.
Sometimes multiple wavelengths of light clash with one another, creating a ‘haze’ of colors. With the Drama Polarizing Filter, you can cut down on unwanted wavelengths to get better color reproduction and higher dynamic range. You could take photos of brilliant blue skies by eliminating all the non-blue frequencies, or take incredible green landscapes by focusing on the green wavelength. The lens does much more than just eliminate glare, it eliminates wavelengths you don’t need either, allowing your camera to capture just the right photo by accentuating and focusing on certain colors and wavelengths… so you can take some truly beautiful photos that look like they were shot on camera, but essentially, they were shot on your smartphone!
2022 is by far the best year for foldable smartphones: Perfected by Samsung in the fourth generation after three valiant attempts at getting that fold right and the form factor thin. While most OEMs have already got some sort of foldable smartphone on the market; Samsung Galaxy Z Fold4 stands as the best in the lot, this is perhaps because Apple has not entered the waters yet.
Apple is late to jump on the foldable phone bandwagon; and rumors suggest, the Cupertino company has no intention of releasing a variant any time before 2025 either. This leaves other companies, led by Samsung, to delve deep and explore the domain. This means Apple fanboys have nothing more than their own backs to keep if they have to see how and what the iOS can do on a form factor that folds in the middle.
This was something a YouTuber modders had in mind perhaps before he ripped off an iPhone X (a few other models in the process) to fit its innards into a Motorola Razr chassis. The end result is a foldable iPhone that breaks the mold of the much-anticipated debut.
Since I have been following the idea of a foldable iPhone, I have been excited by the prospect. There has been nothing official for Apple on this, but rumors and possible prototypes have floated, which give us an idea. But the video in the discussion, with Chinese audio (English subtitles), does leave me in awe, even though the foldable iPhone here is way too thick to be a normal device you and I would want to carry every day.
The modded iPhone folds in half and is called the iPhone V. In addition to the folding function, the modder has been able to keep the phone pretty authentic by running iOS, and a screen as good as the Retina display. It’s an interesting concept that however substantiates the fact that foldable phones with more screen real estate look good but only if the folding mechanism and the thickness can be perfected.
Because dream it and you can achieve it, Chinese YouTuber 科技美学 has created the iPhone V, a folding iPhone he built using parts from both an iPhone X and Motorola Razr. That’s cool; I’ve also bent an iPhone before. Granted, it wasn’t on purpose, and it cost me $900 to replace, but this time I got the insurance.
The video walks through the process in which the phone was Frankenstein’d together, which looks slightly above my expertise level. And by slightly, I mean vastly. I can barely put a protective case on my phone without breaking something.
There are rumors Apple is going to release its own folding version of the iPhone. Are they true? No clue; I don’t participate in gossip. But if other phone companies are making flip phones and they’re selling, I suspect Apple will as well, then claim they invented them in the first place. When are pagers going to make a comeback?
New Apple iPhone 14 owners should think about the accessories they want for their new handset not long after unboxing it. Like with last year’s iPhone 13s, this year’s models don’t come with a charging adapter, so that’s one thing you’ll probably need to have on hand. If you plan on going all-in on wireless charging, you can take advantage of the best MagSafe technology with the many accessories to choose. We’ve tested out some of the best iPhone accessories available, from the Apple AirTag to wireless headphones to phone cases, and gathered the best ones here.
There are often better and cheaper alternatives to Apple’s first-party accessories, but the company’s MagSafe wireless charger is worth considering if you have a new iPhone. Like all other MagSafe accessories, this charging pad uses magnets to attach to the back of the latest iPhones and it’s surprisingly strong. Not only can you safely pick up your handset and use it with the disk still attached, but the iPhone can dangle by the charger’s cord without falling off. (You still probably shouldn’t do this.)
The charging plate itself is about a quarter-inch thick so it barely adds any heft to the iPhone. The magnets only attach to the latest iPhones, but it will still charge older models wirelessly, going back to the iPhone 8. I only wish the cable were longer than three feet so that you had more leeway to use your iPhone on the couch or in bed while powering it up.
Apple’s MagSafe charger accessory comes in at $39 (although we’ve seen it go on sale a few times), but if you want to spend a bit less, Spigen’s $25 ArcField magnetic wireless charger is a decent dupe. It’s magnets are nowhere near as strong as those on the Apple MagSafe charger — so you definitely shouldn’t pick up your iPhone by this cable — but it’ll power up your handset and stay put while doing so.
You may have accumulated a number of devices that support wireless charging at this point and Mophie’s 4-in-1 charging mat is an easy way to power them all. It’s an 11-by-8-inch rectangle with four spaces for different items to charge simultaneously. Two of those spots are large enough to accommodate smartphones while the other two in the center are smaller and fit things like AirPods perfectly. It also has an optional attachment for an Apple Watch, which means it could actually charge up to five devices at the same time.
I found the mat useful as a charging hub, turning to it each night to charge my iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods Pro. It’s worth noting that both my iPhone and my AirPods Pro live in cases, and I didn’t have to remove either in order to charge them with Mophie’s mat. But while the mat’s size allows it to do a lot at once, it’s also tough to find a big enough spot for it. It’ll fit on most nightstands, but you may have to rearrange things first. Mophie has a 3-in-1 charging station that takes up less space and has dedicated spots for your iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods.
It’s well known now that Apple AirPods are the best wireless earbuds for those with iPhones. Apple made its standard AirPods even better this year with the introduction of the third-generation models, which have an improved design, noticeably better sound and longer battery life. We appreciate the new “contoured” design, which is way more comfortable than previous AirPods, and the H1 chipset makes features like hands-free Siri and speedy pairing and switching possible. They’re well worth their $179 price tag — but if that’s a bit steep for you, Beats’ new Studio Buds are a good alternative. At $150, they have the same H1 chip inside along with balanced sound that doesn’t sacrifice the punchy bass that Beats devices are known for.
While Apple’s 20W charger works just fine, you can opt for a more versatile adapter in Anker’s Nano II 45W charger. Not only can it fast-charge an iPhone, but it can also power up a 2020 MacBook Air at full speed, along with mid-sized devices like iPads. It’s 34 percent smaller than other 45W chargers, and it uses GaN technology to prevent overheating. We also appreciate that its prongs flip down to make the adapter even more compact when you need to travel with it. The 45W model will set you back $40, but Anker also makes a $34 30W version and a $66 65W two-port model for when you want to charge your phone and your laptop at the same time.
Apple’s AirTags make it easy for iPhone users to locate things they might misplace. Just attach one of the tiny Bluetooth trackers to your keys, backpack or wallet and then use the Find My app to keep track of them. If you know your stuff is within reach, you can force the AirTag to play a tune to lead you to it. And when you truly don’t know where something is, you can enable Lost Mode to be automatically notified when the Find My network locates the item. AirTags only work with iPhones, but iPhone users have other Bluetooth tracker options (namely Tile’s). But Apple’s gadgets have a convenience level that’s similar to AirPods — your iPhone will automatically identify a new Apple AirTag nearby and immediately pair with it, and it’s quite simple to manage multiple AirTags in the Find My app.
Remember Amazon’s adorable Echo Spot, the orb-like smart display that was eventually replaced by the Echo Show 5? Well, Anker’s latest magnetic charging station looks much like it, just without the tiny touchscreen and with a lot more connectivity options. The 8-in-1 device has a magnetic charging pad on the front and a bunch of ports on its back: three AC outlets, two USB-C ports and two USB-A ports. The magnets in the charging pad are quite strong and able to hold up an iPhone 14 Pro Max so it looks like it’s floating in mid air. You can even use it when your iPhone has a MagSafe case on, too. Since the iPhone screen is angled upward and clearly visible while charging, Anker’s device would make a good addition to a desk, or even a nightstand for those who want to use their phone as their evening clock. And on top of that, it’ll keep all your other cables organized and (mostly) out of sight.
We’ve been fans of Anker’s Powerline charging cables for a long time and its Powerline II USB-C to Lightning cord is no exception. First, it’s more affordable than Apple’s — you’ll pay $19 for a three-foot cable from Apple, whereas Anker’s three-foot cord costs $13. It also has MFi-certification, which means it’s passed enough tests to get Apple’s seal of approval as a safe, reliable iOS accessory. While not all of them are made out of braided nylon, those that don’t still have a 12,000-bend lifespan so you can use it without fear of wire fraying after a few weeks. Anker also has a similar USB-C to C cable in the Powerline III series that should work well for charging the latest iPads and MacBooks.
Belkin’s MagSafe car mount is easier to use than one of those fussy clamps you pray will stay put on a vent while you’re driving. The strong magnets truly make this one of the best iPhone accessories — the iPhone 14 snaps into place on the mount’s credit-card sized plate and doesn’t budge even if you have to quickly swerve to avoid hitting a squirrel. The clip that attaches to your car’s vent is also quite snug and you can swivel your phone into landscape or portrait mode.
Even if you don’t drive to work on a daily basis anymore, this will come in handy on the days you’re in the office and when you need to consult Google Maps during your next roadtrip. Just remember that this mount won’t charge your iPhone; it’s just a magnetic holder. You can, however, weave a charging cable through an opening in the back of the mount so you can neatly power up your phone while driving.
There are plenty of ways to prop up your iPhone, but Peak Design’s new mobile tripod is one of the more elegant solutions I’ve tried. This iPhone accessory is a 0.3-inch thick plate made of anodized aluminum with strong magnets inside and three legs that fold down and out. It attaches to the back of the latest iPhone and delivers a generous lift off the surface it’s sitting on. Out of all of the stands I’ve used, it’s the one that looks and feels most like a tripod thanks to its micro ball-head, which lets you adjust the angle of your phone nearly 360 degrees, and its three legs, which provide much more support than your standard phone-case kickstand.
The Mobile Tripod is a solid option for those who use their phone cameras for everything from family photos to vacation landscape shots, and those who want to use their phone almost as a second screen while travelling. It’s a bit steep at $80, but you’re paying for a sturdy accessory with a thoughtful design — plus the Peak name. Of course, there are plenty of more affordable MagSafe phone stands such as Moft’s Snap-On Stand and Wallet, which props up your iPhone while holding a few credit cards, Anker’s MagGo phone grip, and the now-ubiquitous PopSockets. Just keep in mind that, while MagSafe accessories like these are convenient, they ultimately won’t be as sturdy as something securely snapped onto your smartphone. All of the MagSafe stands, wallets, chargers and other accessories I’ve tried eventually fell off if I applied enough force.
There are many more MagSafe cases available now than there were just a year ago, and they run the gamut from affordable to quite expensive. If you like a silicone iPhone case, it’s usually best to save some money and get a third party one rather than buying Apple’s. However, the first-party silicone MagSafe iPhone case is worth considering for its luxurious feel and slim design. It doesn’t add much heft to the iPhone at all and it gives you a bit more protection against scratches and drops. This MagSafe accessory also has a premium, smooth texture that makes it nicer to hold than cheaper silicone cases.
Apple also makes hard-shell MagSafe cases, but we typically prefer Otterbox for that level of protection. The company’s Symmetry+ line is only a hair thicker than Apple’s but they are slightly more flexible, making it easier to take your iPhone in and out. They also have Otterbox’s signature rubberized bumper around the edges and, although you can’t remove it like you can with some of its other heavy-duty cases, it provides an extra cushion if you accidentally drop your iPhone.
But Otterbox’s cases will set you back $60 or more — for something more budget-friendly, Spigen’s Mag Armor series is worthy of consideration. At around $20 each, these cases are made of shock-absorbing TPU and they have a raised lip around the camera array to protect it. They’re compatible with MagSafe accessories and they only add about 0.15-inches of thickness to the overall profile of your iPhone. These are good options if you want to add only what’s necessary to your phone to protect it against the occasional drop or bump.
In the past year, Apple’s made a case for small phones, citing their convenience, and large phones, mentioning how nice a bigger display is. This Apple iPhone Fold concept gives consumers the ultimate best of both worlds.
Here’s the scoop. We KNOW Apple’s working on folding phones. Multiple patents confirm that they’ve been testing bending screens, new-fangled hinges, and their IP repertoire almost certainly has foldables in it. However, the company is famed for its ‘go hard or go home’ approach, which means they will never attempt anything until it’s absolutely perfect… even if it means being beaten to the punch by companies like Samsung or Huawei.
Designer: Michal Dufka
Although it’s unlikely that Apple will launch a folding iPhone in at least the next 2 years, here’s a look at a concept that does the tough job of living up to the iPhone’s already hallowed reputation of being the best phone on the market. Meet the iPhone iFold, a concept foldable from the mind of Michal Dufka. The iPhone iFold (although Apple would probably call it the iPhone Dynamic Clamshell) follows the format of the MotoRAZR and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip, with a clamshell-style folding design that gives you the benefit of a compact iPhone with a generously large screen.
There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s start with the format itself. It isn’t too different from the Galaxy Z Flip (which is arguably a more popular model than the Z Fold), and for what it’s worth, looks a lot like your standard iPhone too. So for Apple purists, there’s nothing really to dislike here – it’s literally a standard iPhone when open. However, there are two little details that are interesting… (actually maybe more than just two)
For starters… this is the first iPhone to have two displays. With a smaller display located just to the side of the camera bump, the iPhone iFold, you can now access important stats and notifications without opening your phone. Sort of like having the convenience of an Apple Watch, this secondary display gives you the gist of what’s up. Given Apple’s recent advancements in always-on displays, this new iPhone has the perfect setup. Keep the main display off while the phone’s closed, and keep the secondary display on all the time. Also, is it just me or does the secondary display’s concave bezel feel a lot like the Apple Watch Ultra?!
The second detail, however, can be attributed to the fact that this concept was made before the September 7th iPhone event. Scroll up above and look at the display and you’ll notice the presence of a hole-punch camera instead of a “dynamic island”. It isn’t entirely clear how designer Michal Dufka expected the new phone to authenticate users, although maybe future technologies could see facial-recognition tech sitting entirely under the display with just the need for a camera cutout to manifest itself on the screen. Arguably, the primary camera lenses could serve as FaceID scanners too (after all there is a LiDAR scanner in the camera array), although that seems like it would complicate things. If you notice, the iPhone iFold concept also has a SIM tray, which Apple famously did away with the iPhone 14 series.
Will Apple launch a folding phone soon? If I were a betting man, I’d put all my money on NO. The company’s product development cycle is absolutely spy-proof, but word almost always leaks about what’s releasing in the next 1-2 years. From credible leakers, a folding iPhone isn’t one of them.
That isn’t to say that a folding iPhone isn’t a great idea. As I said, this particular folding format offers the best of both worlds, giving you a compact little square puck when you need it, and a large vertical screen when you want it. I wonder where and how you’d mount things like the MagSafe Charger and Wallet, however…
Dubbed the ‘Dynamic Island’, this new hardware feature has some incredible UI/UX potential. With the notch gone, Apple has arrived at a more meaningful ‘pill-shaped’ camera cutout called the Dynamic Island… and it isn’t just a camera cutout, it’s an interactive part of the OS, offering a unique way to experience notifications, multitasking, and background apps. The notch walked, so the Dynamic Island could run.
Of the 22 minutes devoted to the iPhone 14 Pro, VP of Human Interface Design Alan Dye spent 3 full minutes just talking about the pill, or what the company likes to officially call the ‘Dynamic Island’. For reference, that’s more time than they spent talking about their new A16 Bionic chip (which clocked in at around 2 and a half minutes). Heck, the Dynamic Island even got its own separate video on Apple’s YouTube page, showing exactly how important it is for the company and how integral it is to the iPhone’s experience moving forward.
For years, phone companies have tried to hide their notches and camera hole punches using clever tricks and illusions. Apple itself stands conveniently guilty of using dark stock wallpapers to make the notch disappear on phone adverts, and Android companies even designed wallpapers that rather cunningly camouflaged the hole punch camera cutout. I don’t think there’s anyone who thinks that the pill is a step back from the notch. Pretty much everyone agrees that the Dynamic Island is progress – to what degree is something that’s debatable.
There are two schools of thought regarding the island and its dynamism. There’s one group of people who think it’s Apple making the best of a bad situation, and then there’s the other group that I’m a strong, vocal member of – that instead of ignoring or hiding behind the cutout, Apple’s found a way to celebrate it in a manner that feels refreshing and truly inspired. The Dynamic Island isn’t just a front-facing camera cutout anymore. It isn’t an area that resembles the lack of a display. It’s its own interaction element that forms the practical backbone of the OS. Apple’s basically created a new button. A button that serves as a dynamic notification bar, as a means to access and view important information, switch between active apps, and multitask seamlessly. It almost seems like a secondary feature that this button also clicks selfies and scans your face to unlock your phone. The name ‘Dynamic Island’ is incredibly corny (even Marques Brownlee thinks so), but heck, it describes the pill’s shape and purpose perfectly. Apple has a strong ethos of doing something brilliantly or not doing it at all – it’s why they still haven’t made a calculator app for the iPad, and why they waited four long years to ditch the notch. In parlance that youngsters would understand, it’s either a hell yes, or a hell no.
The Dynamic Island relies on the iPhone 14’s OLED screen, which has the ability to switch off individual pixels, causing them to turn pitch black. This is what drives the island’s shapeshifting effect, causing it to magically expand and contract in different ways and forms. The execution, at least from what Apple showed us, is flawless. The island stores background apps, giving you hints of context regarding information that may be important – like the music you’re listening to, charging stats, how far your Lyft is, and whether your phone’s on silent. Unlike with the MacBook Air’s new notch that sometimes ends up obscuring menu buttons and bits of text, Apple’s presentation of the Dynamic Island perfectly hides the cameras and sensors in plain sight. Digital elements don’t get blocked out by the camera, which means you don’t even notice the camera is there. The Dynamic Island is an evolved version of Apple’s iconic home button – but placed on top.
That being said, there’s one small problem with the Dynamic Island. No, it isn’t the fact that it still overlaps on top of videos on YouTube. It’s, in fact, the island’s placement. Located right at the top of your phone’s screen, the island is difficult to reach with your thumb. Quite like Apple’s unfortunately placed ‘back’ button, users with average-sized hands will have a degree of difficulty tapping on notifications and accessing other apps in single-hand usage. Given that this zone is now the de-facto hotspot for all app-related activity, the island is easy to view, but will require your non-phone-holding hand during interaction. Is that a deal-breaker, though? Not even close. Apple’s managed to pull off something remarkable here, and one could argue that it’ll probably set the standard for other phones moving forward, because the pill absolutely has everyone talking… talking for more than just 3 minutes!
If there’s one takeaway from this year’s keynote, it’s that Apple wants to make all its devices more useful in practical scenarios. With crash detection, and the unique ability to connect to satellites for SOS calls, the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro are quite literally must-haves.
It’s a simple yet BRILLIANT idea. How do you get people who’ve just spent money on an iPhone 13 to switch over to the latest model? Surely a better camera isn’t a compelling enough reason to spend $999 on a new phone… but, if Tim Cook were to say that the new iPhone can literally save your life, that becomes a stronger reason to make a switch. Moreover, it now leaves Google, Samsung, and the like scrambling, because, for the past decade, the camera seems to have been the single most important piece of hardware and software on a phone. The new iPhone 14 and 14 Pro series aren’t just good iPhones with great cameras, they’re also now the potential difference between an emergency and safety.
Before really talking about the fluff that makes the phone attractive to consumers for daily use, let’s highlight the two features that absolutely change how people perceive iPhones. Debuting both on the iPhone 14 and the Watch Series 8 at exactly the same time, the Cras Detection feature is a culmination of millions of studies on how Apple’s hardware can help detect car crashes and alert emergency services in an instant. The company had perfected fall-detection over the last few years, but ‘Crash Detection’ is an absolutely different ball game. The phone uses a high g-force accelerometer, gyroscope, sensors, microphone inputs, machine learning algorithms, and data from the Watch Series 8 (if the victim is wearing one) to detect multiple types of car crashes, including impacts on the front, side, rear, or eve barrel-rolls across different car types from smaller smart cars to large SUVs. This allows the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro to know exactly when you’ve been in a crash, notifying the authorities and emergency services in an instant. Sure, Android phones have touted car-crash-detection features in the recent past, but the iPhone 14 goes above and beyond with its next feature.
Before last year’s keynote, there was speculation that the iPhone would be getting Low Earth Orbit satellite connectivity, and with the 14 and 14 Pro, it seems like Apple’s ready to roll the feature out – well, at least initially to customers in USA and Canada. The way the phone works is pure hardware ingenuity. Unlike satellite phones that are bulky and come with a massive antenna to help you get cell coverage in areas with no infrastructure or access, the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro simply redesigned their hardware and their antennas to help the phone connect to satellites in different intuitive ways. The phone’s new interface lets you connect to a satellite simply by pointing your phone at it. The interface allows you to detect the direction of the satellite, although the caveat is that you need to be outdoors and preferably in the open with no obstacles like trees or foliage blocking the connection. Once connected, you can send texts (which are now compressed to a third of their original space for faster transmission), your location, and even make voice calls. The iPhone’s new SOS UI also allows you to pre-select the nature of your emergency and your possible surroundings, to aide better search and rescue missions. Your $799 iPhone 14 can now potentially save you from being stranded and possibly being in severe danger.
Now onto the good stuff. The iPhone 14 and 14 Pro come in regular and large sizes with different nomenclatures, strangely. The larger 14 is called the 14 Plus, but the larger 14 Pro is called the 14 Pro Max. The iPhone 14 runs on the A15 Bionic chip (something we suspected, given the chip shortage), while the new iPhone 14 Pro sports the new A16 Bionic chip (with an entire part of the chip dedicated to just the interactions around the Dynamic Island). Surprisingly enough, Apple hasn’t caved in to the EU’s demands for a USB-C iPhone, and didn’t even address it in their keynote in a way that makes me think they’re taking a rather firm stance. Other features in the new phones is their always-on display, and the ability to save battery by decreasing brightness and dramatically reducing the screen’s refresh rate down to as little as 1 Hz for a battery that literally lasts an entire day.
The new phones have better cameras too, although that isn’t really a surprise. They work remarkably well in low-light conditions, with the iPhone 14 Pro sporting what Apple calls a quad-pixel sensor for much better performance. Like the Cinematic Mode from last year’s iPhones, this year Apple unveiled an Action Mode for their cameras, that provide incredibly stable videos that almost feel like they’ve been taken using expensive cinematic rigs. The iPhone 14 Pro also offers a 2X mode that works in a unique way by simply cropping a part of the 1X mode but preserving an incredible amount of detail, thanks to that quad-pixel sensor and the 48-megapixel main camera.