Apple shares guided tour of iPhone 13 & iPhone 13 Pro

If you are considering an iPhone 13 series phone, this video is worth watching. If nothing else, don’t miss the demonstration of Cinematic Mode and, especially, that bit at 2:37 in showing editing the focus points after the video was shot.

First iPhone 13 pre-orders now shipping for Friday release

Chance Miller, 9to5Mac:

Just two days after pre-orders began, Apple has now started shipping the first batch of iPhone 13 orders to to early buyers. Unfortunately, however, this doesn’t mean you should expect your iPhone 13 pre-order to arrive any earlier than the September 24 release date.

Still, Friday will be here soon enough. And it is certainly possible that some phones might slip through and arrive a day early, though clearly the intent is for the arrivals to start on Friday.

I jumped through the hoops of checking the trade-in value of my iPhone 11 Pro with Apple and comparing it to the trade-in value offered by my carrier. Turns out there’s a significant difference, worth exploring.

In my specific case, with my existing unlimited plan, my carrier offered me $1000 for my iPhone 11 Pro, as compared to Apple’s offer of $450. Here’s the details:

  • I am getting an iPhone 13 Pro, 256 GB, Sierra Blue. The phone will arrive Friday.
  • Also arriving Friday will be a pre-paid trade-in box. Once I get my new phone set up, I pop my iPhone 11 Pro in the box and send it back.
  • My iPhone 13 Pro will take 36 months to pay off. This means that $2.78 will be added to my monthly bill and, after 36 months, we’ll be square.
  • My iPhone 13 Pro will remain locked to my carrier for that time. If I want out earlier, I have to pay off the remaining balance. By my math, it’ll take roughly 18 months to start having more value than Apple’s $450 offer.

I have no plans to switch carriers anytime soon, so this feels like a good deal to me. Your mileage may vary.

China preorders for iPhone 13 blow away preorders for iPhone 12, year-over-year

South China Morning Post:

Chinese consumers have placed more than 2 million pre-orders for the new 5G iPhone 13 line through Apple’s official store on JD.com as of Thursday, surpassing the 1.5 million iPhone 12 pre-orders on the same platform a year earlier, as the world’s largest smartphone market finds fewer high-end models on offer amid the decline of Huawei Technologies Co.

That’s a year-over-year increase from 1.5 million units to 2 million units (33% YOY growth).

Less competition at the high end, combined with a price decrease:

Pricing for the iPhone 13 lineup in China comes in at 5,199 yuan for the iPhone 13 Mini, 5,999 yuan for the iPhone 13 and 7,999 yuan for the iPhone 13 Pro, prices that are 300 yuan to 800 yuan cheaper than the iPhone 12 family

If these numbers are accurate, that’s certainly excellent news for Apple in the China market.

AppleCare+ now covers cracked back glass on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models for reduced $29 fee

Joe Rossignol, MacRumors:

Apple today indicated that “back-glass only” damage on iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 models is now eligible for repair under AppleCare+ for a reduced fee of $29 in the United States, $39 in Canada, £25 in the UK, or the equivalent in other countries.


The iPhone must be covered by AppleCare+ and have no additional damage beyond the damaged back glass that would prevent Apple from replacing the back glass, such as a bent or dented enclosure.

Back glass, as opposed to the front display.

Apple warns vibrations like those from high-power motorcycle engines can harm iPhone cameras

Eric Slivka, MacRumors:

Apple today published a new support document warning iPhone users that the cameras on their devices can be damaged by exposure to certain vibrational frequencies such as those generated by high-power motorcycle engines.

From Apple’s support document:

High-power or high-volume motorcycle engines generate intense high-amplitude vibrations, which are transmitted through the chassis and handlebars. It is not recommended to attach your iPhone to motorcycles with high-power or high-volume engines due to the amplitude of the vibration in certain frequency ranges that they generate. Attaching your iPhone to vehicles with small-volume or electric engines, such as mopeds and scooters, may lead to comparatively lower-amplitude vibrations, but if you do so a vibration dampening mount is recommended to lessen the risk of damage to your iPhone and its OIS and AF systems. It is also recommended to avoid regular use for prolonged periods to further lessen the risk of damage.

Sounds like the issue is mitigated if you keep your iPhone in your pocket. If you do mount your camera on, say, your handlebars, will AppleCare+ still fix the issue? Is there fine print on this?

I looked through the AppleCare+ iPhone coverage web site, could not find any mention of this issue.

More detail on Apple’s rumored iPhone satellite plans

From Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac, yesterday:

In an investor note, Ming-Chi Kuo today said that he expects the upcoming iPhone 13 models to feature a low-earth-orbit (LEO) satellite communication mode. This would allow an iPhone 13 user to send messages and make phone calls, even when they are not within standard 4G/5G cell tower coverage.

And today, from Juli Clover, reporting on this paywalled Bloomberg article:

There are at least two emergency features that will rely on satellite networks, and while satellite technology has been in the works for years, these capabilities are not likely to launch in 2021.

The first feature, Emergency Message via Satellite, is designed to let users text emergency services and contacts using a satellite network when there is no signal available, and it will be integrated into the Messages app as a third communications protocol alongside SMS and iMessage. It will feature gray message bubbles rather than green or blue, and message length will be restricted.


The second feature will let users report major emergencies like plane crashes and fires using satellite networks. It will be similar to a “911” call in the U.S. and can provide information like a user’s location and medical ID, in addition to alerting emergency contacts.

Sounds like this will be built into the iPhone 13 hardware, not intended as an alternative to traditional carriers, and those grey bubbles won’t roll out until next year.

iPhone 13 and Portrait mode

The linked report from Mark Gurman is full of spoilers, so don’t follow the headline link if you want to be surprised by Apple’s coming hardware event.

And the text below has one of those spoilers, a tiny one, but one I think may compel a lot of people to make the leap to a new iPhone.

Read on, fairly warned:

The new handsets will include a video version of the phone’s Portrait mode feature.

Portrait mode, and the accompanying Portrait Lighting effects brought a huge wave of excitement and, I suspect a big wave of iPhone updates. Portrait mode arrived about 5 years ago (back in September 2016), hinted at with a much-analyzed bokeh invitation.

Portrait mode was possible because of a big leap in iPhone processing power. Bringing this power to video? That’s huge, sure to bring a new wave of TikToks taking advantage of the effect. And also (IMO) sure to bring a new wave of upgrades.

Some simple, yet powerful iPhone filmmaking techniques

Some great technique insights, in this short commissioned by Apple.

There’s forced perspective (little kid as giant monster), a cool low-budget crane shot, and a spooky lighting effect. All of these are shots you can recreate at home, and a good starting point for other shots you might be inspired to create with your own materials/equipment.

Fear of iPhone 13

Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac:

The iPhone 13 name would be off-putting to some 18% of iPhone and iPad users, who would describe themselves as triskaidekaphobic – that is, having a fear of the number 13.

The preferred alternative name would be iPhone (2021).

Famously, most tall buildings have no 13th floor. Because triskaidekaphobia, a superstitious fear of the number 13. There’s even a “thirteenth floor” Wikipedia page.

Will Apple push on with the name iPhone 13, despite the widespread (at least in the US) superstition? As Mike Glass points out, Apple didn’t have this issue with iOS 13, so my bet is on iPhone 13 and business as usual.

iOS 15: Find My network can still find your iPhone when it is powered off, or factory reset

Benjamin Mayo, 9to5Mac:

With iOS 15, your iPhone is still traceable through the Find My network even when the device is powered off. It seems that with iOS 15, the phone is not really fully ‘powered off’, it stays in a low-power state and acts like an AirTag, allowing any nearby iOS device to pick up the Bluetooth signal and send back its location.

This also means if your iPhone runs out of battery during the day, you still have a chance of finding its location for several more hours. In fact, Apple says the location tracking will even keep working whilst the phone is reset to factory settings with Activation Lock enabled.

So if someone steals your iPhone and powers it off, or factory resets it, Find My will still work? At least if you get to it before it truly runs out of power?

This seems huge.

PSA: iPhone users reporting ‘SIM Failure’ error after updating to iOS 14.7 beta 2

Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac:

Apple today released iOS 14.7 beta 2 for developers, and while bugs and other weird issues are quite common in beta software, sometimes they can make your device nearly unusable. According to some reports, today’s beta seems to be causing a “SIM Failure” error for iPhone users.

Not enough data to know for sure, but this may be an eSim issue. But that said, if you’ve not yet made the leap, I’d hold off on installing the latest beta until this gets sorted.

How to remotely control your iPhone’s camera

Lance Whitney, Macworld:

There are several reasons why you might not want to hold your iPhone while taking a picture: You need to snap the perfect still photo while your iPhone is on a tripod and don’t want to spoil the shot by jostling it. You’re taking a group photo but also want to be in it. You’re too lazy to lift your finger. Whatever the reason, it’s not a problem. There are actually a few different ways to remotely trigger the shutter button on an iPhone.

This is one of those handy tips that’s great to know. Consider setting up the shortcut (as an easy way to get to know Shortcuts) now, so you have it when the need arises.

Apple shows you how to unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch

One of the most notable features of Apple’s newly release iOS 14.5 is the ability to unlock your iPhone with your Apple Watch while wearing a mask. No more constantly typing in your passcode while, say, masked up cruising the aisles of your grocery store.

Apple Support released this video showing you how to turn this feature on.

Have an iPhone 12 Pro or iPad Pro? Check out the new AR Spaces in the Clips app


Clips, Apple’s easy-to-use video creation app for iPhone and iPad, gives users even more fun options to record captivating videos. With all-new AR Spaces powered by LiDAR on iPhone 12 Pro and iPad Pro models, creators can transform a space by adding immersive visual effects that map to the contours of a room, and can be easily shared with anyone.


With AR Spaces in Clips 3.1, users can easily scan a room and see a live preview of effects that bring dynamic lighting, falling objects, and immersive scenes to life. Using the rear camera on a supported iPhone or iPad, users will see effects appear on walls, floors, surfaces, furniture, and objects.

This looks like a lot of fun. Depends on the LiDAR Scanner introduced on last year’s iPad Pro and found on the iPhone 12 Pro as well.

Apple ProRAW + Adobe Super Resolution = Amazing!

Om Malik:

In December 2020, with the release of the iOS 14.3, the owners of iPhone 12 Pro (and ProMax), got to experience Apple’s new photo format, ProRaw. In simplest terms, the iPhone camera captures multiple image frames, picks out the best bits from these frames, and stitches them together in a photo with higher amount of data that can be manipulated for editing later. These are big files — about 10-12 times the sized on normal files captured by the iPhone.

On the Adobe Photoshop side:

The term ‘Super Resolution’ refers to the process of improving the quality of a photo by boosting its apparent resolution,” Adobe engineers write on the company blog. “Enlarging a photo often produces blurry details, but Super Resolution has an ace up its sleeve — an advanced machine learning model trained on millions of photos.”

The results are pretty amazing. Follow the headline link, keep in mind that the two base photos were captured with an iPhone. The crops used Photoshop’s Super Resolution machine learning to tease extra resolution and sharpness out of those originals.

Apple researching Mac Pro’s “cheese grater” design for other devices like iPhone

Hartley Charlton, MacRumors:

Apple introduced an innovative milled lattice pattern on the ‌Mac Pro‌ and Pro Display XDR in 2019, which is created by machining a spherical array into the internal and external surfaces of the aluminum. The result is a lightweight lattice pattern that maximizes airflow while creating an extremely rigid structure.

The new patent, first spotted by Patently Apple and granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is titled “Housing construction” and covers expanding the lattice pattern to other devices, such as the ‌iPhone‌.

Look at that first image. When I saw the article, then the image, my first thought was a check of the date. Nope, too early for April Fools Day. This appears to be a real patent filing.

Here’s a link to the actual patent, with a page showing the cheese grater on the sides of an iPhone.

Still can’t wrap my head around the use case here. A cheese grater on a device Apple worked so hard to waterproof? Not getting it.

Will It Work: Installing DOS games on your iPhone

I watch every one of the Will It Work videos. Always an interesting twist on connecting obscure hardware/media to your iPhone.

This episode is one of my favorites. It shows off an App Store approved DOS emulator running fresh out of the package DOS games. Nice.

iPhone 12. Fumble. An ad.

I laughed at this ad. Mostly cause I’ve done that dance so many times.

Relax. It’s iPhone.

iOS security fixes could soon be delivered separately from other updates, beta code suggests

Filipe Espósito, 9to5Mac:

A new section added to the iOS software update menu indicates that Apple will provide standalone security updates for iPhone and iPad users. Users would be able to choose whether they want to install only security updates or full iOS updates.

Follow the headline and check out the first image to see the new choices that appear when you go to Settings > General > Software Update, then tap Automatic Updates.

You’ll see two, independent switches:

  • Download New Updates
  • Install Security Updates

Similar to what’s offered on the Mac, you can choose to apply all updates, or just one or the other. For example, I can imagine installing all security updates automatically, but not running new general updates without doing a bit more research first.

For me, both switches were enabled by default. I’m leaving them that way.

Apple brand loyalty hits all-time high as Samsung loyalty dives

Ben Lovejoy, 9to5Mac:

Apple brand loyalty among smartphone owners has hit an all-time high, according to a survey by SellCell. It shows that 91.9% of iPhone owners plan to buy another iPhone when they next upgrade, up 1.4% from 2019.

I’m actually surprised that this “renewal” number is so low. Once you are in the Apple ecosystem, it’s not easy to walk away. The ecosystem is sticky. Makes me curious for follow-up on why the 8.1% of iPhone owners do not plan on buying another iPhone. Bad experience? Too expensive? A preference for Android?

Here are the reasons given:

  • Other brand has better technology (e.g., screen, camera, battery, etc.): 38%
  • Prefer the design of other brand: 26.4%
  • Latest model from the other brand has more features than the latest model of my current brand: 12.9%

On the flip side:

SellCell says that only 74% of Samsung smartphone owners plan to buy another Samsung model, down from 85.7% in 2019.


Apple releases iPhone 12 Ceramic Shield ad


iPhone 12. More spill and splash resistant than ever. Ceramic Shield, tougher than any smartphone glass. Relax, it’s iPhone.

“Relax, it’s iPhone”. That tagline is eerily reminiscent of this old chestnut.

Here’s the new Ceramic Shield ad. That’s one sloppy chef.

What I really think of the iPhone!

MKBHD shares a long form (really long form, 48 minutes worth) deep dive into the iPhone 12 Pro.

The video is interesting all the way through, but even if you are not in the mood for iPhone coverage, or long, long videos, spend the time to watch the first few minutes. Fascinating thoughts on how much goes in to making all those short videos short, and living with Apple embargoes.

iPhone fished out of British Columbia lake, still works after 6 months underwater

CBC News:

Fatemeh Ghodsi was skeptical at first when she got a text from someone saying they found her phone nearly six months after she lost it in Harrison Lake.

Ghodsi, who lives in Vancouver, was confused and thought one of her friends might be playing a prank on her. But she was soon convinced and made the trip to Chilliwack to collect the phone, which amazingly still works.

Clayton Helkenberg and his wife Heather found the lost iPhone 11 during a sweep of the lake bottom under the water park at Harrison Lake — part of a hobby that includes the odd treasure find, but mostly just lots of garbage clean up.

Amazing that a previous generation iPhone could live under water for 6 months and still work perfectly. That’s a pretty solid waterproof test.

[H/T John Kordyback]

iPhone sticking with Lightning port over USB-C for ‘foreseeable future’

Hartley Charlton, MacRumors:

Apple will retain the Lightning connector on the iPhone for the “foreseeable future,” with no intention of switching to USB-C, according to reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.

Getting a bit of whiplash here, from rumored moves to USB-C, to no port at all, and now back to square one. Take it all with a grain of salt.

How to find your pointer

OK, this is silly, but fun and worth trying. Best on your Mac, but even works on your iPhone/iPad, as long as you keep your finger on the screen.

Hometown — Shot on iPhone


In honor of Black History Month, 32 of the country’s most visionary Black photographers show us their hometowns. Phillip Youmans, the youngest ever director to win at the Tribeca Film Festival, follows a number of our image-makers as they each celebrate the Black experience, Black excellence, love, and imagination.

Set aside a few minutes when you can both watch these videos, but also listen to the compelling stories these artists are telling. Big fan of this work.

These are the best iPhone apps for converting images and screenshots to text

Michael Potuck, 9to5Mac:

The tried-and-true copy/paste combo is a staple of productivity but that can grind to a halt when you need to quickly grab text from the real world or existing screenshots and pictures. Read along for how to convert iPhone images to text available right on your clipboard.

This is one of those things that is a wonder once you add an app like this to your stable.

Take a look at the screenshot in Michael’s article to get a sense of how you might use something like this. It really is a nice tool to have.

A nit, but I would change the headline, since this is more of a here’s a great iPhone app, here’s a great Mac app, not so much a rundown of iPhone apps. But that aside, worth a look.

Your smartphone doesn’t have to be glued shut!

[VIDEO] Think about replacing the battery on your iPhone. Or any other part. Then watch this video embedded in the main Loop post.

Part of this is about me being a tinkerer, with a long history of taking things apart and putting them back together again. Sure.

But I think anyone would benefit from the ability to swap out their iPhone battery in just a few minutes, without having to take/ship it in to the Apple Store, at considerable expense.

Watch the video, look at these examples. True, these folks aren’t making millions of phones, and Apple does cram a tremendous amount of tech into an incredibly thin package, but still, I can’t help but think there’s a path to making an iPhone easier/possible to repair.

Great video showing the setup and use of Apple Watch unlocking an iPhone

[VIDEO] The video (embedded in the main Loop post) does a nice job showing off the use of an Apple Watch to unlock an iPhone when Face ID is hampered by a mask.

Note that you’ll need both the iOS 14.5 beta as well as the watchOS 7.4 beta for this to work. You’ll also need WiFi enabled on your iPhone (no need to be connected to a network).