Later today, Apple will host its big 2021 smartphone launch event. Dubbed the “California Streaming” launch, this Apple event will launch the 2022 iPhone Series. Unlike the likes of Google, Apple runs a tight ship around launch so all we have is sparse rumours. Still, here’s what I personally think we’ll see later today.
An Impressive Streamed Apple Event
This is pretty much nailed on. Over the past few years, I’ve grown tired of these launch events because they’re a bit dull and scripted. While this evening will no doubt remain scripted to the hilt, it won’t be dull. Because of pandemic restrictions, Apple has invested heavily in the production values of their streamed events. The result for the past few events has been a mind-blowing show. Honestly, just wait and see how they transition from one scene to the next. It’s worth tuning in for a few minutes to see that alone.
The 2022 iPhone Family
I’d be outright shocked if Apple doesn’t repeat last year’s family approach of four phones. The iPhone 12 mini brought small phones back into focus. For me, the iPhone 12 is the right size, but I get why not everyone wants massive screens. Apple’s approach makes sense, offering an iPhone for everyone. For that reason, I’m expecting to see Apple’s iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max all get the iPhone 13 treatment.
The New iPhone 13
So, yes. It’ll be the iPhone 13 series.
There have been a few occasions where Apple bucked trends and changed names, but I really doubt today is going to be one of those days. We’ll get a new iPhone 13 later today. I don’t expect this to be a groundbreaking step up from the iPhone 12 I’ve been using myself for the past few months.
iPhone 13 Design
Apple’s big redesign normally comes every two years. The iPhone 12 being a significant design change from the iPhone 11 is the reason I don’t expect anything major. In fact, you should in theory, be expecting older iPhone 12 cases to fit the iPhone 13 such is the lack of change. But obviously, that’s just my opinion and absolutely not set in stone.
There are some small design changes still expected.
To align with some iOS 15 Safari tweaks, a smaller notch is expected to add to an increased viewing area on the screen. The refresh rates of the screens are expected to be a talking point whether they are increased or not. Apple will either align with the competition norms or continue to keep the lower refresh rate screens.
An In-screen Fingerprint Reader
One absolute nuisance with my iPhone for the past few months has been using it to pay in shops. Apple Wallet requires that I verify my identity before being used. A couple of taps later and I’ve paid, but it ruins the flow Apple initially designed with Face ID. Face ID is really good and works excellently. That is until you wear a mask. So when a global pandemic hit, Apple’s perfect system was ruined by a piece of cheap cloth.
Many have speculated that this will lead to Apple introducing an in-screen fingerprint reader. It will kill Apple’s design team to row back on this, but with masks now likely to be part of our lives in the long term, I can’t really see how Apple will introduce the iPhone 13 range without an in-screen fingerprint reader.
One possibility is that this will be a premium feature, only available on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max, or even limited to just the latter.
If this does happen, I look forward to Apple’s spin on why they’re introducing this tech, years after the cheapest smartphones included it as standard.
Camera Upgrades And Night Shooting
It’s tough to keep wowing people with tech specs, but Apple manages to “big up” their camera every single year. I actually quite like the iPhone 12 camera and for me it’s at least on par with the likes of the Google Pixel 5 camera. This year, there’s going to be more upgrades and a night sky mode has been teased by Apple’s marketing head, Greg Joswiak.
iOS 15 To Launch At The Apple Event
iOS 15 is currently in public beta. Basically, that means it’s already out for those who are either brave or stupid enough to have somewhat buggy operating systems on their phones. That said, if you’re and iOS 14.8 user, be sure to hit update as soon as you can. Not to get iOS 15, but to avoid a security vulnerability that Apple has just patched.
I’ve been using it for a few weeks now and I have to say I like it. There are a few interesting features being introduced around Facetime video calling and notification updates. There are also update to Apple Maps, but I’m not aware of anyone using that considering Google Maps remains far superior.
The biggest update is Focus Mode, which may also be referred to as just Focus. This mode lets you take back control of your phone. You can read about my experience using Focus as I believe this is the biggest thing launching later. I feel like I’ve got more control over my phone. I choose when I interact with my phone and how it’ll look to minimize my distraction when I do so. It’s genuinely great.
What Apple Won’t Launch At The Apple Event
There’s a long list of stuff that we won’t see later. While you can expect to see some new AirPods and a new Apple Watch or two, there’ll be no tablets, Macs or MacBooks. There may be an Apple TV box and some teases of something for Apple TV+. I’m also calling it right now that there may be a cameo from Ted Lasso.
There won’t be a sudden change of heart from Apple on their charging ports either despite one long-standing rumour and one new.
Lightning Charging To Remain
Despite the entire world and even some Apple products adopting USB-C, the iPhone 13 range will continue to require a Lightning charging cable. I despise Apple for this. Nearly every product in my life requires USB-C, but I still have to carry an extra cable for my iPhone.
No Portless iPhone
I think it’s still a bridge too far for Apple to kill all ports on a phone too. Last year was Apple’s biggest leap towards wireless-only technology with the iPhone 12 series. The Magsafe range is a great solution to needing wires at all, but I still cannot see Apple making a phone without a charging port. At least not this year.
I could, however, see the iPhone 14 Pro Max being made in a completely wireless variant.
The main reason I doubt this will happen in a teetotal way is down to the iPhone Pro and iPhone Pro Max series being great film-making smartphones. I’m not just talking about your friend’s wedding. These iPhones are being used to film blockbusters, at least, in parts. That means lots of accessories that plugin and a requirement to download files from the phone quickly. The wire often being the fastest way to do so.
When Is The Apple Event?
The Apple iPhone 13 event kicks off this evening at 6pm Irish time. Bookmark this page and pop back then to watch it. The stream below will go live later.