Apple’s next-gen ‘Pro’ iPhone to offer dramatically enhanced Face ID, camera system, new “matrix” co-processor, and more

Apple's 5.8-inch iPhone XS and 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max (right)
Apple’s current 5.8-inch iPhone XS and flagship 6.5-inch iPhone XS Max (right) sport OLED screens

Apple is planning to unveil three new iPhones at an event in September and the new smartphones are likely go on sale in the same month.

Mark Gurman and Debby Wu for Bloomberg:

[Apple is planning to launch new] “Pro” iPhone models to succeed the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max as well as a successor to the iPhone XR. The main feature of the Pro iPhones will be a new camera system on the back with a third sensor for capturing ultra-wide-angle photos and videos. The extra camera will let users zoom out and capture a larger field of view. The sensors will capture three images simultaneously and use new artificial intelligence software to automatically correct the combined photo… The new system will also take higher resolution pictures rivaling some traditional cameras. Photos taken in very low-light environments will improve, too. The high-end handsets will have significantly upgraded video recording capabilities, getting them closer to professional video cameras. Apple has developed a feature that allow users to retouch, apply effects, alter colors, reframe and crop video as it is being recorded live on the device. Another notable new feature: A reverse wireless charging system so that a user can power-up the latest AirPods in the optional wireless-charging case by leaving it on the back of the new Pro phones.

The new models should hold up better when they’re dropped due to new shatter-resistance technology. The phones will include a new multi-angle Face ID sensor that captures a wider field of view so that users can unlock the handsets more easily – even when the devices are flat on a table.

Apple has dramatically enhanced water resistance for the new models, which could allow them to be submerged under water far longer than the 30-minute rating on the current iPhones.

All of the new iPhones will have faster A13 processors. There’s a new component in the chip, known internally as the “AMX” or “matrix” co-processor, to handle some math-heavy tasks, so the main chip doesn’t have to. That may help with computer vision and augmented reality…

MacDailyNews Take: Anyone who’s used an X-class iPhone, will greatly appreciate the new, more-capable multi-angle Face ID!

Beyond the still and video camera system, which we believe will be the main selling point of this crop of iPhones, what’s not to love about increased shatter-resistance, “dramatically enhanced” water resistance, and a powerful new A13 processor with all-new “AMX” or “matrix” co-processor?!

As for catching up — and, hopefully, exceeding — Google when it comes to very low-light photos, that will be a very welcome move, too!

See also: Apple had 800 people working on iPhone cameras, but Google still outclassed them — May 8, 2019


  1. Here’s the killer app for me: Video Portrait Mode. Automatically blur the background in my talking head video so it looks like I’m being filmed by a $24,000 camera. Likelihood: seemingly high?

  2. Face ID blows compared to Touch ID, from a usefulness standpoint. I don’t mind the larger screen, but having to pick up the phone and type in the passcode (sometimes even when I’m looking at it directly) is so much less convenient (and dangerous in the car or boat when I’m trying to use CarPlay or other accessories that require the phone to be unlocked first). I’d love to see a better implementation that allows both – through-the-screen touch ID would be ideal.

  3. Could the AMX chip be the sleeper in the new iPhone because it is a major stepping stone for moving to the notebook/desktop market. Giving it a vigorous testing in an iPhone for a generation or two might be in their long range plan.

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