What to expect at Apple’s ‘far out’ iPhone 14 event

Get ready for some major upgrades to the iPhone and Apple Watch lineup next week at Apple’s Far Out event. While last year’s iPhone 13 was a mostly marginal update (barring fast ProMotion screens and Cinema mode on the Pro models), the latest rumors suggest that the iPhone 14 will take a sizeable step forward. The iPhone 14 Pro could finally lose its notch! We might actually get higher resolution cameras! We’re also curious to see exactly what Apple means with its cryptic invitation and star-studded imagery. Even if you don’t want to upgrade, half the fun of these launch events is predicting what Apple has up its sleeve. So let’s speculate!

iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro

We’re expecting four iPhone models once again, but the line-up will likely look different than in recent years. Not too long after the iPhone 13 hit stores, Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman reported that the iPhone 14 would be a “complete redesign,” which would mark the first major makeover since the iPhone X landed in 2017. Also, Apple may be giving up the iPhone Mini, a phone we’ve always wanted to love, but the short battery life was a sticking point. Instead, Apple will reportedly unveil a 6.7-inch iPhone 14 Max or Plus that will likely just have the same hardware as the standard iPhone 14.

iPhone 14 Pro notification dots
iPhone 14 Pro notification rendering via 9to5Mac.

9to5Mac

While this is unfortunate news for fans of tiny devices, the trend for most consumers is towards larger screens. After all, Apple can’t let Samsung do all the fun. Similarly, Apple could take inspiration from the Galaxy phone maker (and virtually every other Android phone maker) by introducing punch-hole front cameras on the iPhone 14 Pro models. While early leaks pointed to two separate cutouts – a circular one for the camera next to a pill-shaped hole for the FaceID sensor – MacRumors claims (with Gurman support) they appear as a single pill-shaped cavity unified by the software. (See image above.) Additionally 9to5Mac reports that Apple uses the space in the center of the cutout for its privacy notification dots, which appear when an app is using your camera or microphone. On existing iPhones, these dots slide over the cellular coverage bars.

Apple seems to be saving most of its big updates for the Pro iPhones. For one, they could have always-on screens 9to5Mac. That might work well with the revamped lock screens we saw in iOS 16, which now have room for widgets and far more customization than before.

More controversial, however, is a report that claims this only The Pro models get Apple’s new A16 Bionic chip. The standard iPhone 14 models might stick with last year’s A15 (which is still very powerful). This makes sense as a cost-saving measure, especially for chips and other components that are still in short supply. But it’s the first time Apple has introduced a wide performance gap between its iPhone models. (It’s particularly surprising since Apple was also able to squeeze the A15 chip into the tiny iPhone 13 Mini.) Most consumers won’t tell the difference, but a more powerful chip would clearly be a huge benefit for Pro models.

iPhone 13 Pro camera

David Imel for Engadget

Typically, Apple has used its camera technology as a big differentiator between the standard and Pro iPhones. That doesn’t seem to change. In addition to all of the above upgrades. According to analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, Apple plans to up the Pro’s widescreen camera to 48-megapixels, a big jump from the 12-megapixel cameras the company has relied on for years. Recently, Kuo also claimed that the iPhone 14 Pro’s ultra-wide sensors will feature larger pixels with better low-light sensitivity. The base iPhone 14 is expected to get the six-element ultra-side camera from the iPhone 13 Pro.

And what are we supposed to do with the “Far Out” text on Apple’s event invitation? That The always busy Kuo remarked recently that Apple has completed satellite connectivity testing for the iPhone 14, something that was also rumored to arrive before the iPhone 13 launches. While the hardware may be there, Apple is reportedly still working on partner deals to unlock that connectivity. And while the idea of ​​satellite support seemed wild last year, it makes more sense now that we’ve seen T-Mobile and SpaceX team up to offer emergency satellite support via StarLink. (Good news for iPhone 13 owners: Kuo claims these phones also have satellite hardware built in.) Don’t expect FaceTiming over satellite, though, as the limited bandwidth only leaves room for short text messages and voice calls.

Apple Watch Series 8 and Apple Watch Pro

Much like the iPhone, all eyes will likely be on a “Pro” Apple Watch next week. Bloomberg’s Gurman reported in July that the new model could feature a larger 2-inch screen, a more durable titanium body and a battery life of up to two days thanks to a new “low-power” mode. If all of that is true, the Apple Watch Pro would also be significantly larger than the current Series 7 model. Given all of its new hardware, Gurman claims it will be the biggest Apple Watch redesign since the Series 4 landed in 2017. Don’t get your hopes up for a round design though, it sounds like Apple is only progressing the current rectangular style.

The Apple Watch Pro is also rumored to include the new temperature sensor rumored for the Watch Series 8. He could potentially warn you if you have a fever and suggest that you see a doctor or use a special thermometer for a more accurate reading. It could also be a useful resource for period and fertility tracking apps. In terms of design, the Series 8 is not expected to change much from last year’s models. It could end up using the same dual-core S7 chip as the Series 7, although some higher-end models could have an upgraded display.

Render of the AirPods Pro 2 case

MacRumors

AirPods Pro 2

Given that it’s been three years since the AirPods Pro launched, it’s high time Apple followed up with a sequel. Gurman first claimed last year the AirPods Pro 2 could have a stemless design, similar to Google’s Pixel Buds, but a more recent report from MacRumors suggests that the AirPods Pro 2 won’t look much different than before. Instead, leaked renders point to a new case with speaker holes (which would help with alerts for the Find My app) and a slot for a strap. The latter would be an anomaly for Apple, but could be useful for attaching an AirTag. (Better yet, just build this into Apple’s case!)

In terms of sound quality, Kuo claimed earlier this year that the AirPods Pro 2 could include support for Apple’s Lossless Audio (ALAC), which could be a draw for audiophiles. (Let’s not get into the possibility of actually hearing differences in small earbuds, though.) Additionally, the new headphones may include an updated H1 chip, as well as driver improvements similar to the AirPods 3. But don’t hold your breath for any health-tracking capabilities , as Gurman recently noted that they won’t include heart rate or body temperature sensors as previous rumors suggested.

9th Gen iPad

Nathan Ingraham/Engadget

iPad

Apple usually saves its biggest iPad news for its second fall event, but we wouldn’t be surprised to see some news about its entry-level model next week. The 10th-gen iPad is expected to include a USB-C port, bringing it in line with the rest of the family, and it could get a speed boost with the A14 Bionic chip. Don’t expect big design changes, though, as the entry-level iPad doesn’t get much love from Apple these days. So be prepared to see thick bezels and a home button again. But on the plus side, there could finally be 5G support, as well as an overhauled front camera 9to5Mac.

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Russell Falcon

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