Every new iPhone includes a marquee feature that Apple focuses on in the new product announcement. Recently, Apple has repeatedly highlighted improvements to the camera system, spending the majority of time in their new product presentation showing the beautiful photos the phone may take. As the camera within the iPhone 12 receives a bump, the 2010 marquee feature is a new mobile technology that most people can't benefit from: 5G.

The iPhone 12 also sports a new design, with narrower bezels, and a new, better quality kind of glass, in addition to being "the fastest iPhone ever," which is the case each year. Apple also announced the HomePod mini, that is more of a good speaker with Siri features than an audio device, like its older sibling.

iPhone 12

As the ability to enhance pocket computers is constantly on the wane, this year’s model includes a new design, three sizes, a new, faster processor, and, as Apple spent considerable time pointing out, support for that 5G cell phone standard. Much of the presentation appeared like an industrial for Verizon, using the company’s CEO Hans Vestberg spending several minutes talking about the Verizon 5G network.

Unfortunately, most users won’t be able to access 5G networks, and those who do won’t see much of a speed boost, unless they’re very close to a mast. Unlike 3G and 4G technologies, 5G is available in multiple versions based on a number of factors. One limitation in 5G implementation is that to get the blisteringly fast speeds that Apple touted in the presentation, a person needs to be able to connect to the fastest of three various kinds of cell towers, those using millimeter waves. But mmWave 5G includes a very limited range, and requires that cells be very close together, which means this speed will only be available in dense, urban areas. For the time being, most 5G access that users may have is comparable to 4G, and, in some instances, may even be slower; hence the ability of the iPhone 12 to fall back on 4G when that is more effective.

What users will see, however, is a redesigned iPhone that harkens to the apple iphone 4, the very first model without rounded sides. The sleek new design is available in five colors for that standard iPhone 12 and also the new iPhone mini, with 6.1" and 5.4" displays respectively. Think of the larger iPhone 12 as similar to the iPhone 11; as the screen is the same size, because if its reduced bezels, the overall device is a bit smaller. The iPhone 12 mini is substantially small compared to the current iPhone SE , yet having a bigger display, in part due to the elimination of the Touch ID button.

The iPhone 12 Pro and Pro Max, with 6.1" and 6.7" displays, have classy "surgical grade" metallic sides, comes in four colors , as well as features an additional camera. Along with different hardware, the Pro models will allow users to consider photos with a new format called Apple ProRaw. Raw image files record the unprocessed image data that a camera sensor captures, allowing photographers to create their own edits, instead of rely on the look imposed through the camera manufacturer. Apple’s new format provides both a raw file together a file containing the information used by the iPhone’s computational photography to permit photographers to make edits using some of Apple’s look, and tweak its adjustments as desired. These phones may also film in Dolby Vision, and have LiDAR cameras , permitting better night photos.

All the iPhone 12 models feature new Ceramic Shield glass, which Apple says will offer better defense against damage, along with a new MagSafe system to permit magnetic induction Qi charging with Apple and third-party accessories. There will also be MagSafe cases and a leather charge card wallet that snap onto an apple iphone. This new system open doors to innovative cases and charging products.

Prices have hiked this season, in 2 ways. Last year’s base iPhone 11 model started at $699, which year’s iPhone 12 starts at $799. In addition, Apple has, for environmental reason, removed the charger and earbuds; which cost $19 each if you buy them as accessories. Which means you pay more and get less. The iPhone 12 mini starts at $699, and also the Pro and Pro Max can be found from $999 and $1099. Orders for that iPhone 12 and also the iPhone 12 Pro begin on Friday, October 16, and the phones ship on October 23; iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 mini orders will begin on November 6, using the devices shipping on November 13.

It’s worth noting that the base model of the iPhone 11 is now available starting at $599, and the iPhone SE is still a bargain at $399.

HomePod mini

Apple’s HomePod is not very successful; the organization tried to combine quality audio with the features which have proven popular in smart speakers, notably those run by Amazon’s Alexa. Although it offers better sound than most smart speakers, it is overpriced, and hasn’t found its devote the market. Yet, you can do a great deal with the HomePod.

Apple has announced the HomePod mini, which, at $99, is an attractive price for a much smaller device. The HomePod mini is really a tiny device – 3.9" wide, 3.3" tall – also it offers both voice and touch controls. The target this time is less people who want to pay attention to music, but instead people, especially families, who want to leverage Siri. Most of the presentation from the device focused on the Siri features, showing how it works with multiple voices, and highlighting its role as a HomeKit hub to control a good home.

It’s the smart home feature that may result in the HomePod mini a compelling device. Currently, to fully leverage HomeKit smart home devices, you need either a HomePod, Apple TV, or iPad which provides a HomeKit hub. Introducing a $99 device to do this implies that more and more people may start to determine the interest in smart home devices.

One interesting feature is Intercom, where anyone can send voice messages to other users enrolled in their house group, which can be routed with other HomePods, but also to iPhones, iPads, Apple Watches, AirPods, as well as CarPlay. This is a practical way to communicate with people elsewhere in your house, or even outdoors, and also the feature will unveil to any or all Apple devices soon.

As with the original HomePod, you are able to combine two to create a stereo pair , and connect them to an Apple TV for audio.

What was missing

So far, this fall, we’ve seen announcements for the Apple Watch, iPad Air, and also the AppleOne services bundle, the iPhone and HomePod mini, but we haven’t heard anything about new Macs, or a release date for macOS Big Sur. Absent also was anything concerning the Apple TV, if it's indeed to be updated this year . With Apple due to release new Macs using their own processors before the end of the season, perhaps Apple will introduce these units and macOS Big Sur next month.