Apple recently unveiled its new iPhone 12 lineup along with its new HomePod mini and two new wireless MagSafe chargers. It was a fast-moving presentation with Apple highlighting the flagship features of its new products. These talking points are important, but we dug deeper to find those less-talked-about and well-kept-secret features that Apple slipped into the presentation. Continue reading to browse the new features that are worth knowing about, even though Apple might have glossed them over.
Ceramic Shield Won't Protect the Entire Phone
How many times a day does your iPhone slip out of your fingers and go careening to the floor? Once? Twice? Maybe more if you're a real butterfingers? If you are one of those people with a cracked screen, you may want to upgrade to the iPhone 12 just so you can get the company's new Ceramic Shield glass technology. Apple talked about the new glass during the press event, but there is one key point you may have missed -- this new super-strong glass is only on half of the phone.
Developed along with Corning, Apple's new Ceramic Shield glass covers the front display and is stronger than any other smartphone glass on the market. According to Apple, it has four times the drop resistance of the glass it currently uses on its iPhones. Now when you drop your phone, you only have to be slightly worried that the screen will break.
Like previous iPhones, the back of the iPhone 12 also blanketed in a glass layer. Unfortunately, this rear glass is the regular strength glass and not Corning's extra-strong Ceramic Shield. The take-home message -- if you drop your phone, drop it so it lands face down, or better yet, grab a case that'll protect the back upon impact.
The HomePod mini takes the best features of the HomePod and packages it into a smaller and more affordable package. Apple made the HomePod mini even better by turning it into an intercom with a new feature of the same name, which never leaked to the rumor mill.
Using Siri, you can send voice messages to other people in your house. You can broadcast a message to everyone or choose individual rooms that are equipped with a HomePod, iOS device, or Apple Watch. How great would it be to ask someone in the kitchen to bring you a fresh cup of coffee when you are stuck in an hours-long Zoom meeting.
iPhone Cases Get Sticky
Apple spent some time talking about its new wireless MagSaafe chargers and how they connect magnetically to the back of the iPhone 12. It's an ingenious use of Apple's MagSafe technology, and we are excited to see Apple bring it back. When talking about MagSafe, the company blew right past another innovative use of the iPhone's magnetic back -- cases!
Apple barely mentioned its upcoming magnetic cases that take advantage of these embedded magnets. Instead of bending and twisting a case to make it fit securely onto your iPhone, you now can use the power of magnetism. Simply slap on a case, and it'll stick. When you want to swap out your case, you only need to peel the existing one off and attach its replacement.
And it isn't just Apple working on accessories. Apple quickly announced that Belkin also is working on accessories that take advantage of this magnetic backing. We can't' wait to see the innovative accessories that these two companies and other accessory makers create.
Night Mode for Everyone
People often measure camera performance in megapixels but that's a mistake. Apple's iPhone camera has sat at 12MP for years, but the camera keeps getting better and better. Why? Because every year Apple boosts the processor, giving it more power that can be allocated to image processing. In previous years, Apple has added SmartHDR and Portrait Mode to its iPhone lineup. This year, the iPhone 12 gets a shot in the dark. Thanks to the A14 Bionic, Night Mode is now available on both the TrueDepth and the Ultra Wide cameras, expanding how and when you can take low-light photos. There's even a night mode time-lapse for capturing the changes from dawn to dusk and everything in between.