This Year Apple boasts significant improvements to their cameras on their iPhone 12 lineup especially their 12 pro max. Apple claims their larger sensors on the 12 pro max will perform much better in low light situations.
The camera sensor on the iPhone 12 pro max is about 40% larger than on the 12 pro, which means the sensor can absorb more light, improving low light photos. Also, instead of stabilizing the lens, this time on the Pro Max, the actual sensor is stabilized and should reduce shakiness in videos and improve overall image quality.
Suppose you have even been to the Georgia Aquarium, which is the largest Aquarium in the United States, or just an aquarium in general. In that case, you know lighting situations can be precarious if not challenging. Below you can see photos that were shot on the iPhone 12 Pro Max and have not been retouched by me in any way. Also the flash was disabled for all photos taken.
Corner of the Aquarium. . Telephoto x2 zoom .Outdoors great lighting
Cannon Ball Jelly. Standard Wide Angle Lens. Low Light
Coral or Sea Anemone. Standard Wide Angle Lens. Low Light
Orchid. Telephoto X2 Zoom. Moderate Light
Japanese Spider Crab telephoto X2 Zoom . Low Light
South African Penguin. Standard Wide Angle Lens. Moderate Light
Great Hammer Head Shark. Standard Wide Angle Lens. Very Low light + Motion
Weedy Sea Dragon. Standard Wide Angle Lens. Moderate Light
Southern Sea Otter. Standard Wide Angle Lens. Moderate Light
Top of Habitat. Ultra Wide Lens. Great light
Top of Habitat/Workspace. Wide Angle Lens. Moderate Light
On November 10th, Apple officially unveiled it’s custom silicon Mac computers. For nearly a decade, Apple has been dependent on the slow progression of Intel chipsets. Like other PC makers, Apple has designed their laptops and workstations around Intel’s specifications. Apple’s dependence on Intel timelines bottlenecked its ability to innovate and fully customize the macOS experience. Apple has designed it’s custom chips for it’s iOS devices for years now, and now that the technology is mature, it was finally time to bring this technology to the Mac.
The chipset that will be making its way to Macs this year is the M1. The M1 uses a 5mn process and utilizes eight cores. Four of those eight cores are high-performance cores, and the other four and efficiency cores. The chips will intelligently swap between the high performance and efficiency cores on the fly for specific tasks to maximize these new machines’ battery life and performance.
The performance and efficiency of these chips are the main stories here. Apple is introducing these chips into a new MacBook Air, a MacBook Pro, and a Mac Mini. Apple claims their MacBooks will receive drastically improved battery life and unparalleled performance, especially for optimized apps to work with the M1 chip.
The power of Apple’s chips isn’t a mystery. Devices like the iPad Pro and iPhone have continually blown away the competition in performance and streamlining workflows. Some creative professionals use the iPad Pro exclusively to edit high-resolution videos in record time.
Though I believe Apple’s claims regarding performance and battery life, I would hesitate for a creative professional to rush out and purchase Apple’s latest offering. I would recommend letting reviewers test these machines, run them through their paces, and see how quickly compatibility and optimization come for apps they may depend on.
Apple is continuing to be competitive with their pricing for their new devices. The MacBook Air still starts at a reasonable $999 with 256GB of storage to start. The Mac Mini starts at a very competitive $699, meaning the bar for entry for capable Mac desktops is the lowest its ever been.
These new Macs are going to usher in the latest generation of creative professionals. The substantial performance gains, unified coding experience across macOS and iOS, and reasonable price points will encourage first-time Mac buyers and seasoned professions to invest in Apple’s new hardware within the next few years. Apple silicon is going to be huge, and custom silicon will be the future of computing. Luckily, Apple has a massive head start.
This week Apple held its virtual October event highlighting its latest iPhone models. For the first time, Apple has revealed 4 iPhone models for its annual line up. Apple CEO Tim Cook said, “the iPhone 12 begins a new era for the smartphone. Many might assume Cook was referring to 5G connectivity with that statement, and while I agree 5G is part of the equation, I believe Cook’s vision for the future of the iPhone is much more ambitious.
The iPhone 12 series has numerous new features and improvements over last year’s iPhone 11 series of phones. For one, all of the iPhones in Apple’s lineup are equipped with OLED displays. Significant camera improvements make their way across all of the new iPhones. However, only the 12 pro series of iPhones will receive the new Lidar camera sensor, which will be used for 3D Mapping for improved AR and even faster autofocus.
One new feature that Apple did introduce this week that I feel will have significantly more impact in the coming years, and that feature is MagSafe on the iPhone. All of the new iPhones are equipped with an array of magnets on the phone’s rear to assist with perfect alignment for apples fresh MagSafe accessories. You can even charge your new iPhone through this rear magnetic mount with a new MagSafe charger.
The introduction of this new charging method is a subtle warning for a future many in the tech community has seen coming for some time now. Apple is getting ready to kill the charging port on the iPhone. For those hoping that the iPhone would ever adopt a USB-C port like the MacBook and iPad Pro, I’m sorry to report that Apple plans to eliminate this port altogether. In the past, Apple has said its vision of the iPhone was to be a port less and buttonless slab of glass, and this new MagSafe standard is apple setting the stage to eliminate one of the essential ports on an iPhone or any device for that matter.
You may be asking yourself why would apple eliminate the charging port on their devices. Apple has a record of pushing the technology community forward, even when they understand these transitions will be uncomfortable. Eliminating this port will work wonders for the device’s security, blacking nearly all brute force attempts to access data stored on the device. Having no port would also increase the device’s resistance to dust and water elements, damaging the device or causing the device to deteriorate faster.
I believe Apple is pragmatic about this new standard and easing its customers into this change slower than usual. The iPhone 12 series will still have the option to charge via the lightning port on the phone’s bottom. Apple is hoping its users will adopt this charging method now, so they will have the proper hardware already on hand when apple is ready to make the switch to a port less iPhone. I believe that change is coming sooner than we think, perhaps as early as the iPhone 13.
Without a doubt, this change will stress those who aren’t prepared to make the switch, no matter Apple’s efforts to soften the blow.
To the delight of Dark Mode enthusiasts everywhere, Instagram has enabled a dark theme for its app. If users want to take advantage of Dark Mode for Instagram, they need to be running iOS 13 on their iPhone. Instagram, by default, has a bright white interface that can be uncomfortable to look at for long periods, especially in darker environments. Aesthetics aside, dark mode for Instagram will be much easier on the eyes due to its darker interface. Perhaps it will also be easier on battery life for phones with OLED displays.
To ensure you can use Dark Mode on Instagram, follow these steps.
Make Sure you are running iOS 13 (You can make sure in the settings app)
Update your Instagram app to the latest version (Version 114.0)
Enable System Dark Mode on your iPhone. (Settings or Control Center)
The iPhone 11 Pro has been out for a few weeks now, and early impressions continue to hold the new iPhone cameras in high regard. As someone who used their iPhone as their primary camera, I was excited to finally get my hands on the iPhone 11 Pro Max.
Once I finally got my device, I rushed to one of the most photogenic spots in the city. The Atlanta Botanical Gardens was my destination. Filled with colorful and exotic plants, what better local to test Apple’s latest and greatest camera sensors.
Below I will share some of the photos I captured on this trip. As a disclaimer, I am not a professional photographer, nor have these photos been edited by me. Any edits to these photos have been facilitated by the iPhones photo processing, which is automatic.
Red Flowering Plant: Telephoto Lens
Pink Flowering Plant, With Water droplets: Telephoto Lens
Ultra Wide View of Various Green Leaves: Ultra Wide Lens
Bumble Bee Resting: Telephoto Lens
Red Leaves: Standard Wide Lens
Close up Red Flower: Standard Wide Lens
All Photos are credited to Kostner Guyton and are Property of iPhoneTennisMatch.com. Please contact Kostner Guyton @iPhoneTennismatch@gmail.com for permissions regarding these photos.
On September 10th, Apple held its annual iPhone update event. The company unveiled three different models of phones for its customers to choose from. These phones included the iPhone 11, the iPhone 11 Pro, and the iPhone 11 Pro Max. As reactions from this event pour in, the consensus seems to be that these phones are incremental upgrades from last year’s models. Before we discuss if you upgrade your phone this year, we will cover what is new with these iPhones.
Apple’s naming strategy for their phones has been unpredictable as of late. You might think the iPhone 11 would become the direct successor of the iPhone 10s (Xs). In terms of the processor, yes, there is an upgrade there. However, the screen resolution is much lower on the iPhone 11 over the Xs. Also, the XS uses an OLED display while the iPhone 11 still uses an LED display. In essence, the iPhone 11’s purpose is to be a comparable phone to last year’s extremely popular iPhone XR. The XR was a successful attempt by Apple to introduce another budget model of its iPhone. The iPhone 11 hopes to continue that trend and hopefully persuade cost-conscious customers to upgrade their aging iPhones finally. So what does the iPhone 11 offer?
First, we will cover what is the same as last year’s XR. The iPhone 11 still has its 6.1-inch Liquid Retina Display. The display has a roughly 720p resolution, which sounds disappointing on paper. However, the display is very sharp and showcases vibrant and accurate colors. Users of the iPhone XR have been satisfied with the display, and keeping the resolution the same is an efficient way for Apple to keep the cost of the phone lower. Speaking of the costs, the price for the iPhone 11 is about $50 cheaper than last year’s XR. This strategy is exciting news for budget wary customers as the iPhone 11 is priced at $699 to start instead of the $749 starting price of the XR last year.
It’s not all the same with the iPhone 11. This time the iPhone 11 gets a dual camera set up like the iPhone 10. Only this time the iPhone 11 is getting a wide-angle lens and an ultra-wide lens. If you want the extra zoom of the telephoto lens, you need to pick up an iPhone 11 Pro.
iPhone 11 Pro (Max)
Like the iPhone 11 and XR, much hasn’t changed between this year’s flagships from last year’s model. The iPhone 11 Pro models are the direct successors to last year’s XS phones. As you might expect, the phones are physically very similar to the XS. The display sizes remain the same at 5.8 in for the 11 Pro and 6.5 in for the 11 Pro Max. The resolution for the phones also stays the same. The iPhone 11 Pro’s display does get significantly brighter. The phones can sustain a brightness of around 800 nits, and reach a peak brightness of about 1200 nits. The 1200 nit peak cannot be sustained for extended periods, and will only trigger in specific situations. The Cameras on the iPhone 11 Pro have also changed. The phones now sport a triple-lens setup. All of the lenses are 12 MP but have different functions. The primary shooter is a wide-angle lens. The telephoto lens has also returned to provide a 2x optical zoom. This time, however, the telephoto lens will have a much wider aperture to let in more light. This wider aperture should significantly improve low light photography when taking macro photos. Finally, the third lens on the new iPhone is the ultra-wide camera. This lens will allow the iPhone to take a much better landscape or pictures of large groups of people.
Aside from the significant camera improvements, the iPhone 11’s battery life has been noticeably improved. The iPhone 11 Pro is expected to achieve four hours more battery life than the XS, and the 11 Pro Max should receive five more hours than the XS Max.
While the changes presented here are significant, in the grand scheme of things they may seem incremental.
Should You Upgrade?
The decision to upgrade or rather my endorsement to upgrade depends mostly on what your current device is. If you are using a phone older than the iPhone X I would highly suggest upgrading. The speed, battery, and camera improvements will be monumental for your user experience. If you have an iPhone X or newer, it depends on if you want the best iPhone you can get. Full disclosure, I am an iPhone XS Max user, and I am upgrading to the 11 Pro Max. I love taking photos on my iPhone. I, however, was beginning to fall out of love with the camera experience on the iPhone. The more I saw pictures from Googles Pixel 3. The new camera updates to the 11 Pro have me excited again, and I’m eager to have a comparable camera experience to Google’s phones.
If you don’t primarily use your iPhone for photography, and the battery life is exceptional on your current iPhone, I would hold off and wait for the 2020 iPhone. In 2020 Apple should be ready to refresh the design of the iPhone significantly and finally make some changes to the notch.
Apple has numerous new services slated to become available later this Fall. Apple Arcade and Apple TV + (Plus) will be joining the ranks of Apple Music, News (+), and iCloud. These services are here to provide content and experiences for iOS and MacOS users across a variety of Apple devices. Apple is shifting much of its branding power behind these services in an attempt to bring in new streams of revenue for the company. It’s no secret that smartphone sales are becoming stagnant across the spectrum, including the iPhone. With customers demanding more and more features from phones, the cost of making them has intern gone up dramatically, as have the prices that customers pay. Smartphone users are holding on to their phones longer and not upgrading as often as they used to. Apple and investors are hoping that this push for services will help recoup revenue lost from stagnant iPhone sales.
As of June 2019, Apple has persuaded 60 million people to sign up for their Apple Music subscription service. Those numbers are in contrast to Apples biggest competition in the music streaming industry, Spotify, which has over 200 million active users. Spotify, however, has a free ad-supported option for music streaming and about half of their user base is using their free model. Spotify still has a remarkable 100 million paid subscribers to its premium service.
Apple isn’t only trying to get a slice of the music streaming pie. Apple is also gunning for the likes of Netflix and Amazon and the video streaming industry. Apple intends to compete with these media giants by creating their original content and releasing it on their streaming platform, Apple TV +. Unlike Apple Music, Apple has to create its content, which, as Netflix and Amazon have discovered costs billions of dollars. Not only is creating this programming expensive but its also a massive risk. These shows and movies have to resonate with audiences, develop a following, and most importantly be critically acclaimed and win awards. Unlike Apple TV+ Netflix and Amazon have TV shows and movies that aren’t their original content. This means all they had to do is pay for a license to run the show. The Alternative would have been funding the show from the ground up, which is significantly more expensive. Of course, Apple is free to pursue this route as well, however, the owners of popular content like Disney want their segment of the streaming market. At the end of their contract with Netflix, Disney is pulling all of their properties from the platform and is launching their own this Fall called Disney +
Disney knows the steaming industry is crowded and highly competitive. If you look at Disney’s acquisitions over the past couple years like Marvel, Star Wars, 20th Century Fox, and ESPN, it should all be clear as to their motives. Owning these properties means they own the rights to stream them without having to pay licensing fees. Disney is taking full advantage of the properties they have control over and are bundling them into one easily accessible package.
Apple is spending an estimated 6 billion dollars on it’s streaming and services efforts. Apple certainly has the cash in excess to take these kinds of risks. I, however, think Apple should follow in Disney’s footsteps to their approach to services, and that is bundling! For a limited time like Disney Plus, or more of a permanent fixture, Apple should bundle a few of their various services with each other. For example, I am a subscriber to Apple Music myself and a Publisher on Apple News, I, however, am not subscribed to Apple news plus. However, if Apple offered a bundle of both news and music for $15 a month instead of the $20, it would be separately, I would likely go for that option. I can see parents considering an Apple TV + subscription, and perhaps their children want Apple Arcade. I feel more parents would more likely add Apple Arcade if they could get access in a bundle. Who knows, Apple customers might have been waiting in mass for these services and won’t require any packages or other offers. I, however, am on a tight budget, and with all the new players entering the streaming market, each company needs to persuade customers as to why theirs is the best.
It’s no secret, flagship smartphone prices are on the rise and climbing to extraordinary heights. Apple started this trend with its first thousand-dollar iPhone back when the iPhone X released. Apple pressed its customers, even more, then Apple announced the follow up to the iPhone X, the Xs Max and Xs. The top of the line iPhone XS Max with Max storage of 512 GB will cost potential buyers about $1500 after taxes and fees. Samsung has been trying to increase its prices as well, most likely trying to improve its profit margins. Samsung, however, has taken a different approach to their pricing. Their prices continue to climb with Apple, but they seem to undercut them by about $100-$200 consistently. For comparison, Samsung’s new Galaxy Note Plus with 512GB and 5G compatible is 1399.99 concerning Apples iPhone XS Max with 512 GB and no 5G option priced at $1449. Contrary to Apple’s Pricing Strategy, Samsung feels compelled to assure you that your money is well spent. Let’s go over what all Samsung is offering this fall.
Galaxy Note 10 (Not Plus)
This year Samsung decided it would try offering two different models of its Note phones. The first and more affordable option is the Base Galaxy Note 10. The note 10 features a 6.3″ 1080p AMOLED display with very minimal bezels. The Note 10 uses the infinity “O” variant of its display meaning it has a single small circular cutout placed directly centered near the top pf the phone. This camera layout is in contrast to the Galaxy S 10 (Plus) which has a dual camera cutout in the shape of a pill in the right-hand corner of the phone. Speaking of Cameras both the Galaxy S 10 and the Note 10 have triple-lens cameras on the rear of the device. The Note 10 has two 12MP ( Mega Pixel) cameras one has a wide-angle lens, and the other utilizes a telephoto lens. The final lens has a 16MP sensor that is used to take ultra-wide photos. The handsets will also come in a variety of colors with an iridescent gloss continuing their psychedelic phone aesthetic. Instead of facial recognition, the Note 10 will continue to use an ultrasonic fingerprint reader that is embedded in the bottom of the display. The base model of the Note 10 ships with an impressive 256 GB of storage, it, however, does not feature a Micro SD card slot. Pricing for the Note 10 Starts at $949.
Galaxy Note 10 Plus
The Note 10 Plus is nearly the same with its smaller counterpart, but this version of the phone does have a few key differences. First is the screen size. The Note 10 Plus features a 6.8″ display and a Quad HD resolution. Also different from its smaller brother is the option to utilize a Micro SD card for expandable storage. Samsung is finally making its user base pay a premium for that feature. Another feature that is exclusive to the Note 10 Plus is the depth sensing camera on the back, a 512 GB storage option, and the option to have a 5G modem in the phone. The Smaller Note 10 won’t have a 5G option. Pricing for the Note 10 Plus is as follows. $1099 256 GB, $1199 512 GB, and $1399 512GB and 5G. Again I have to reiterate even the fully specked Note 10 Plus with 5G capabilities is cheaper than the maxed out iPhone XS Max nearly a year after its release. Hopefully, this years’ iPhone 11 will have killer features that will justify its sticker price. Otherwise, I fear many looking to upgrade will jump to Samsung’s more affordable offering.
The design language of smartphone components is continuously changing and evolving with the implementation of new technologies. The pressure to be innovative can stem from competitors and the growing boredom and reluctance from customers to upgrade their devices as often as they used to.
The quest to have the best smartphone camera has forced smartphone manufacturers to rethink their previous strategy of having small and minimalist cameras on the rears of their handsets. Google and Apple have had a different approach to their camera functionality. Apple has embraced a hardware-based approach featuring dual lenses and proximity sensors. Google, on the other hand, has used a software-based method utilizing artificial intelligence to tweak and enhance the quality of photos shot on their phone. Apple uses AI as well for its camera sensors but not as focused as Google’s model.
At this point, it seems Google has achieved the perfect balance between competent hardware and a heavy emphasis on AI-based photography to produce stunning results when taking pictures on their Pixel phones. While iPhones are certainly no slouch in the photography department, many agree that Google still holds the edge with camera features and photo quality. A prominent example of this is Google’s Night-Sight mode on their newer Pixel phones. The Night-Sight feature uses AI to take well-composed pictures in near black-out environments without the need for a flash.
Apple plans to try to even the score or even surpass Google by doubling down on its hardware strategy by adding another camera sensor to its next iPhone. This would give the top tier iPhone a total of three lenses on the rear. However, due to a recent leak and subsequent surprise confirmation by Google, Google also plans on adding another lens to its flagship for a grand total of two cameras on the rear with an unknown sensor.
Because of leaks, we now know that both Apple and Google have significant physical changes coming to their camera sensors. These new camera modules will be relatively large and square in shape. Impressions from the leaks and renders of the phones have been mixed, and sometimes leaning to the negative side of the fence due to differences in design preferences.
The jury is still out on what new advancements these new camera modules will bring, but I have to assume Apple and Google can justify the risk of an unpopular design by providing a significant upgrade to their current camera systems.
During this year’s WWDC, Apple debuted its future for its various operations systems. Highlights included iOS 13, MacOS Catalina, and the debut of Apple’s newest operating system iPad OS. While Apple revealed a great deal about these upcoming software releases, there are still many questions we have about the operating systems themselves, including how they will affect existing devices, and to what degree the new features will be implemented.
My biggest question about iOS 13 is regarding the new Dark Mode. I wonder if Dark Mode will present “true blacks” on OLED devices such as the various iPhone X models except for the XR which uses a liquid retina display which is an LCD. When I say a “true black,” I mean pixels being entirely turned off while using dark mode. If this is the case, I iPhone X(s, Max) could see gains in battery life because fewer pixels have to be illuminated and thus are saving energy. Older iPhones and the XR will of course not be able to achieve true blacks dude to the nature of LCDs, but I’m sure the Dark Mode will still be much easier on the eyes, there however just won’t be any battery savings.
As a gamer, you can imagine that I was excited at the announcement that the Apple TV would natively support PlayStation and Xbox One controllers. This is fantastic news as I have been highly reluctant to purchase one of the expensive MiFi controllers that were compatible with iOS and TvOS. As I already own multiple PS4 controllers, I now feel empowered to try out more games on my Apple TV. I am, however, more curious about the support Playstation and Xbox controllers will have with iOS, Mac OS, and iPad OS. The Nintendo Switch is one of my favorite gaming consoles due to its very portable nature, other devices I always have with me are my iPad, my MacBook, and my iPhone. I have never liked only having a touch screen for gaming inputs, and I know I could have purchased one of those MiFi controllers, but as I said, I already have enough controllers at home laying around. A few years back, I bought Final Fantasy 7 and Transistor on iOS, but I just didn’t want to play with touch controls or buy a new controller to play them. But now I have the option to play both of these games on my Switch. I historically haven’t had a problem with double dipping on games, when they release on a platform that is more in line with my play-style, and I’ve been on the fence about purchasing these games on Switch. But now my decision will depend on if I can natively use my PS4 controller with my iPad because in that case, I will stick with those games on iOS.
Year after year, changes to the software experience on iPad had stolen the show at WWDC, and this year was no different. This time, Apple defined a new pedigree for the software experience on iPad by giving the device its own operating system. iPadOS is the new name of the software that will now power iPad Devices. At this time, iPadOS isn’t a significant departure from the iOS experience on iPad but is different in a few key ways. A notable update is that multitasking is now improved on iPadOS. Multitasking has been improved by allowing better window management and allowing multiple windows of the same app to be displayed. Two of the most desired features that I wanted for iPad (https://iphonetennismatch.com/) are finally making their way to the tablet. The First feature is one that Apple omitted from their presentation, but none the less is present in iPadOS and will for many vastly improve their iPad workflows. That feature is mouse support on the iPad. This feature won’t be immediately apparent as Apple wants you to primarily utilize the iPad’s touch screen to navigate menus and apps. The support for mice and trackpads will be found in the accessibility section of the settings app and can be toggled on or off. It has been confirmed that Apple’s own Magic Mouse and Trackpad will be compatible with iPads on iPadOS. The cursor will be the same found In the assistive touch function found in iOS. Whether or not Apple will add a proper cursor or be more forthcoming on the addition of this feature will remain to be seen.The Second feature that I anticipated coming to the iPad was the adoption of native support for using an iPad a second display for the Mac. Apple did publicize this feature during its keynote, and they called this feature “Side Car.” It has been confirmed that this feature can be used via USB-C and a wireless Bluetooth connection. There are however questions on whether older iPads that use a lighting cable will be able to utilize the Side Car feature, or if older Macs will be able to interface with newer iPads using this feature as well. According to some sources, All iPads that can support iPadOS will be able to use the Sidecar feature with Macs that can install MacOS Catalina. I do hope that this is the case as it wouldn’t force current Mac and iPad users to upgrade their devices to take advantage of this feature.