These Are The Top 7 Features Of The New iPhone XS & iPhone XS Max

top 7 characteristics of the new iphone xs and ipone xs max

Unlike in years past, both the smaller and plus-sized iPhones have feature parity. Everything found one is found in the other, minus the larger display and slightly prolonged battery life.

So let’s dig in to our favorite new features.

Gold finish

We are a bit divided on the traditional yellow-gold, but Apple’s implementation has won us over. It is a subtler hue of gold that looks fantastic, with an off-white glass panel on the back. Even better, it perfectly matches the new stainless steel gold Apple Watch Series 4.

6.5-inch display

This year marks the largest display ever included on an iPhone, with the iPhone XS Max coming in at 6.5-inches. Even though the phone is very nearly the same physical size as any of the older plus-devices ranging back to the iPhone 6 Plus, the display is now completely edge-to-edge. Compared to the 8 Plus and before, the frame is made out of glossy stainless steel instead of aluminum, which has a bit more grip.

Live wallpapers

There are three new Live wallpapers included on the XS and XS Max. You may be familiar with them if you’ve seen any of Apple’s recent advertisements. Each of the three has a slightly different hue. While they look like planets, they are instead mixes of vivid moving swirls of paint.

Faster wireless charging

Instead of upping the wattage supported by wireless charging, Apple has improved the tech they already have implemented. The iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have tighter coils internally that will support quicker and more efficient wireless charging on existing 7.5W chargers. Best yet, you don’t need to upgrade the Qi charger you already have to take advantage of it.

Improved cameras

We aren’t going to delve into everything new with the latest cameras here, so we will just touch on our favorite enhancements.

First, thanks to the new larger pixels with increased depth, there is better low light performance. Second, thanks to the new ISP and Neural Engine, color representation is more accurate, Portrait Mode locks on quicker and looks better than ever. The depth can also be adjusted in the photos, increasing and decreasing the amount of background blur.


Up from the 3GB of RAM found in that iPhone X and XR, the iPhone XS and XS Max both have 4GB of LPDDR4 RAM. This is helpful throughout the OS, but particularly when there are lots of web pages open or you constantly jump between active apps.

Gigabit-class LTE

This feature will entirely depend on your location and carrier, but we noticed significant improvements to our cellular performance.

On the exterior, two new antenna bands —one on the top and one on the bottom —help support this new gigabit-class LTE with 4×4 MIMO. These new devices also support T-Mobile’s Band 71 spectrum which will come into play for users in rural areas.

More to love

These are just our top features. This doesn’t touch on the new speakers, faster A12 Bionic processor, more robust water resistance, stereo recording in video, and the other improvements found on the iPhone XS and XS Max. Go on over to Twitter @AppleInsider to let us know what your favorite new features are.

Where to buy the iPhone XS and XS Max

If you haven’t already ordered Apple’s iPhone XS or XS Max, wireless carriers are incentivizing the purchase with buy one, get one $700 off promotions and more. Want to get your hands on a new iPhone asap? eBay sellers are also shipping units now.

Apple Plans To Open Corporate Office Across From Carnegie Library Store

apple plans to open a corporate office in the carnegie library

Citing a source involved in the deal, Bisnow reports Apple will lease a full floor in 700 K St. NW, currently under development as a high-end office building.

Part of The Meridian Group’s Anthem Row project, 700 K St. is one of four properties in a complex previously known as Techworld. Meridian purchased the site in 2014 and began a $142 million redevelopment in 2016 with plans to split the building into two addresses, 700 K and 800 K. Microsoft’s Innovation and Policy Center is located two blocks away.

The Anthem Row facility overlooks Carnegie Library, which will later this year house a 63,000-square-foot global flagship Apple store. Apple signed a ten-year lease for the historic building in 2016 and was granted permission to renovate the structure last year.

Apple revealed plans for Carnegie Library last May, saying the location will be refitted to retail chief Angela Ahrendts’ specifications. Along with the usual sales floor and Genius Grove amenities, Apple intends to use the space to host free concerts, art exhibits and educational workshops.

While Apple’s intentions for 700 K are unknown, the lease reportedly covers about 23,000 square feet, a relatively small area for the tech giant. Apple typically seeks larger offerings, into the hundreds of thousands of square feet, making the D.C. deal an outlier.

The company in 2012 leased a 215,000-square-foot, four-building complex in Cupertino before building its AC3 campus a stone’s throw away. Apple expanded its presence in the area with the lease of a 260,000-square-foot property near Apple Park in 2015. That same year, the company’s footprint swelled in San Jose with leases for a 300,000-square-foot multi-use space and a 202,000-square-foot office building.

Also in 2015, Apple inked a deal for its first major office space in San Francisco, a 76,000-square-foot facility in the city’s SoMa neighborhood estimated to accommodate 400 to 500 workers.

Expansions in California continue, with a pair of Santa Clara office locations leased in 2017 and earlier this year.

More recently, the iPhone maker reportedly leased more than 185,000 square feet of space in the heart of Los Angeles’ film scene, as well as an 85,000-square-foot production facility, as part of efforts to build out an original video content business.



Supreme Court Ruling On Apple App Store Fee Case Not Expected Until Mid-2019

supreme court ruling on apple store fee case won’t come until mid-2019

As the world turns its eyes Thursday to the hearings in Washington of U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, one analyst is looking ahead to one of the cases the Court will be considering this fall.

The report authored by Schachter notes that the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments in Apple v. Pepper, a case concerning the antitrust implications of Apple’s App Store fees, as early as the last week of November. However, the analyst notes that the arguments could be pushed back to early 2019.

“In the scenario that Pepper wins (if court rules that consumers are “direct purchasers” with grounds to sue), the case will continue back in the lower courts,” the note said. “If Apple wins, it is likely that a similar lawsuit will be filed on behalf of developers, not consumers. We believe that under either scenario, this case will call heightened attention to the issue of App Store economics to investors’ analysis, although the Supreme Court decision will not directly impact the model.”

The note says that the case could hurt Apple’s performance if the decision results in lower rates, although that is several steps away. Macquarie, in the note, did not adjust its price target for Apple, keeping it at $235.

A decision is likely to arrive in the spring or summer of 2019.

The Pepper case was first filed in 2011. The case concerns a group of app developers who believe Apple’s App Store fee regime violates antitrust laws. The plaintiffs allege that Apple has engaged in anti-competitive behaviors in taking a cut from developers’ sale proceeds. Also at issue in the case is whether companies like Apple can be sued under antitrust law over App Stores, with the plaintiffs potentially awarded treble damages because of the behavior. Google, which has its own version of the App Store, would also be affected by any ruling.

In May, The Department of Justice filed a brief taking Apple’s side in the Pepper case. Apple appealed to the Supreme Court after the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals sided with the plaintiffs, and the court agreed in June to hear the case during its next term.

Hands-On With The New Depth Control Feature In iPhone XS And XS Max

 the new depth control feature with iphpne xs and xs max

Depth Control, which we’ve featured in the video below, lets you adjust the amount of blurring in the background of your Portrait Mode images, giving you more control over how your images come out.

Depth Control can be accessed after you take a Portrait Mode image by tapping on the “Edit” button of a Portrait Mode photo in the Photos app. At the bottom of the editing interface, you’ll see a new Depth slider, which is what you use to adjust the blurring or depth of field of the image.

In a traditional camera, a larger aperture means more background blur and a shallower depth of field, while a smaller aperture results in less background blurring. This system is what Apple is mimicking with Depth Control.

If you’re new to photography, it’s a bit confusing, but a larger aperture is represented by a smaller number, while a smaller aperture is represented by a larger number. So in the Depth Control slider, which ranges from f/1.4 to f/16, f/1.4 is the maximum amount of blur while f/16 essentially eliminates all background blur for an image that’s sharp throughout.

By default, all Portrait Mode images on iPhone XS and XS Max start at f/4.5, and from there, you can move the slider along the bottom to the left or the right to add more or less background blur. Being able to adjust the depth of field is useful because you can tweak exactly what you want blurred, and it can save some photos that otherwise would have had key details (like the edges of hair or fur) blurred out by Apple’s Portrait Mode software.

Depth Control is limited to Portrait Mode images taken with the front or rear-facing cameras because there needs to be blur to adjust in the image. Right now, editing the depth of a photo is limited to images that have already been captured, but starting in iOS 12.1, it will work in real time too.

In the iOS 12.1 beta, when capturing a Portrait Mode image with the front or rear facing camera, you can tap on the little “F” in the upper right hand corner of the display to access the Depth Control slider to see how more or less background blur looks in real time before taking an image. The camera app will also remember your preferred Depth Control settings from photo to photo, so you can always set it at the depth of field that you like best.

Live Depth Control lets you get the perfect angle and the perfect amount of depth for the portrait that you want to capture so you can make all of your real-time adjustments before snapping the photo.

What do you think of the Depth Control feature in the iPhone XS and XS Max? Let us know in the comments.

15 Things I always Do When Setting Up A New iPhone

15 things you should do when setting up a new iphone

How I set up a new iPhone

This list is pretty much in the same order a do things after setting up my iPhone or iPad as new.

  1. Install 1Password.
  2. Turn off keyboard clicks in Settings > Sounds & Haptics. They drive me nuts so this is always a priority.
  3. Turn off Lock sound.
  4. Change time to 24 hours format in Settings > General > Date & Time. I’m French and grew up on what the US calls military time.
  5. Delete stock apps I never use (Contacts, GarageBand, Keynote, Clips, iMovie, iTunes U, Tips). Doing so doesn’t only help keep things clean, but it also saves tons of storage space on my device.
  6. Create a “Crapple” folder with all Apple apps I seldom use.
  7. Add French keyboard in Settings > General > Keyboard > Keyboards.
  8. Add French dictionary, and French-English dictionary in Settings > General > Dictionary. Typing often in both English and French, these two steps are essential.
  9. Enable dictation in Settings > General > Keyboard. I am not entirely sure why but this isn’t on by default. It probably has something to do with privacy.
  10. Set up text message forwarding to my iPad and MacBook so I can also receive SMS (not just iMessages) on these devices. You can do so in Settings > Messages > Text Message Forwarding.
  11. Set my default iMessage email address at Settings > Messages > Send & Receive.
  12. Set iMessage history to one year. After one year, messages will automatically be deleted, which doesn’t really matter since I will have a new iPhone by then. This is done in Settings > Messages > Keep Messages.
  13. Enable Wi-Fi calling in Settings > Phone > Wi-Fi Calling. This is a great feature that most carriers now support.
  14. Turn off call forwarding to other devices to prevent having all my Apple devices ring when I get a phone call. This is taken care of in Settings > Phone > Calls on Other Devices.
  15. Change the FaceTime default email address in Settings > FaceTime. I make sure the default email address used to place FaceTime calls is the same as the one used as default iMessage email address. I do this for all my Apple devices to make sure all my iMessages and FaceTime calls come from the same email address.

Now that you know my entire process, tell me how you go about it. Do you set up your iOS devices as new like I do, or do you set them up from a backup? Do you have a set up process too? Any question about my set up? Share in the comments below.

Consumer Reports: Biggest Changes For iPhone XS and XS Max Are Faster A12 Chip And Camera Improvements

biggest differences for iphone xs and xs max are faster a12 chip and camera improvements

Up front, Consumer Reports highlights the incremental nature of this year’s iPhone updates. It gives a recommendation that the new iPhones will be most appealing to those with older smartphones.

If you already own the X, there may not be enough upside here to entice you to upgrade. But if you own an older smartphone and are willing to part with a grand or more, you might want to think about picking up one of the new Apple phones.

As for size, CR notes a few differences between the XS Max and Samsung’s Galaxy Note 9, giving the new 6.5-inch iPhone better marks for reachability/usability.

The skinnier construction on the Note9 makes it easier to hold, but it’s also harder to reach the top of the screen with your thumb. With the Max, you might have a little more trouble wrapping your fingers around the body—especially if you put the phone in a case—but you won’t have to stretch as much to reach the icons on the top row.

However, it does also warn users with small hands that it will be worth trying one out in person before buying one. When it comes to improvements with the XS and XS Max, CR says that the upgraded bokeh effect capabilities and Depth Control feature are notable changes.

Our testers spent a considerable amount of time playing around with the feature in our labs, even comparing it with the bokeh performance of a good-quality DSLR camera.

However, overall image quality is notably improved with the new Smart HDR feature and more. Check out our comparison between the iPhone X and XS Max. The other standout upgrade CR notes is the new A12 Bionic processor.

When we put the phones’ processing and graphics capabilities to the test, the XS beat them all. But the performance of the other contenders wasn’t significantly worse, especially considering the kinds of tasks consumers typically perform with their phones.

As for the new and improved OLED displays, Consumer Reports head of TV testing program, Caludio Ciacci says there’s not much of a difference between the X and XS, but the 6.5-inch display of the XS Max offers more detail than ever.

Ciacci confirmed that the new iPhones have deep black levels and supersharp displays—but he didn’t see differences between them and the other models. Because the XS Max has such a large display, though, it has significantly more pixels than the older iPhones. And, Ciacci says, that gives it the ability to show more detail than phones with similar specs.

Consumer reports plans to dive into battery life and durability with its full review coming soon.

Apple Watch Series 4: Should You Upgrade?

get the new apple watch series 4

If you are considering the latest Apple Watch, you most likely fall in to one of three camps. You either own the previous generation Apple Watch Series 3, an earlier model Apple Watch, or you don’t own an Apple Watch at all. Let’s take a look at each of those scenarios.

This is the easiest call to make. If you have been holding out for an Apple Watch, this is the time to make the leap. The early reviews have been glowing, and Apple seems to have finally nailed down what the Apple Watch is best at.

The hardware has never been better, with all ceramic backs, physical haptic feedback to the Digital Crown, finally larger edge-to-edge displays, and some of the most impressive health features ever packed into a wearable.

To go with is watchOS 5 — by far the most impressive OS yet. It helps performance, introduces new watch faces, goes a long way towards improving Siri, and so much more.

At this point, if you have been debating on getting an Apple Watch, not much should be holding back. Possibly other than the price.

What should you do? If you are ok with the prices, go with the Series 4. Otherwise, there has never been a time to pick up the Series 3 which are still just as fast and nearly as capable but at a new lower price.

I own one of the early Apple Waches

If you were an early adopter to the Apple Watch, you know some of the imperfections that are present. The devices were slow, with somewhat cramped screens, and didn’t exactly know their purpose.

Series 4 has finally figured that out. Health and information are the two biggest selling points of the Apple Watch and Series 4 doubles down on both of those.

The large, edge-to-edge screens look great while not drastically increasing the size of the case. More information can be shared, photos look better, and complications can show much more.

Health-wise — fall detection, heart rate monitoring, ECG, and new workouts included on the Series 3 or with watchOS 5 are all improvements.

Simply put, the Series 4 Apple Watch goes miles beyond the Series 0, 1, or 2.

What should you do? Upgrade! Early Apple Watches were very slow devices, and the earliest don’t even support watchOS 5. Jumping on the Series 4 will be a major upgrade.

I own the Series 3 Apple Watch

One of the most difficult positions to be in is that of just picked up the previous generation. Apple Watches aren’t cheap, so it can be a tough decision on whether to upgrade merely a year later.

There are, however, two good cases for upgrading.

First, this is the first redesign to the Apple Watch. Larger display, better speaker, health improvements, new Digital Crown, all are tantalizing reasons to trade up. This isn’t a minor spec bump that is incrementally faster, but an overall reworking of the hardware.

Second, the third generation Apple Watch is still an excellent device. It has held its value well and will be easier to flip on the second hand market to upgrade to that new, shiny, Apple Watch Series 4

This also happens to be the boat that I’m in. I can tell you why I’m upgrading, which is primarily that new display and the improved cellular connection. For something I use every day, and rely on more and more, I want to be able to get the most out of it.

What should you do? How important is the new screen? If the screen isn’t a big deal to you, go ahead and hold off for another year.


Apple’s Walkie-Talkie App In WatchOS 5 Will Let You Talk To Your Friends In An Instant

apple’s walkie-talkie app in watchos 5 enables you talk to your friends in a minute

With the Walkie-Talkie app, all Apple Watch owners, except for those with first-generation “Series 0” devices, will be able to communicate with each other simply by selecting a contact name and pressing a button.

Opening the app, users are greeted by a splash screen reading, “Walkie-Talkie, a fun way to talk to other Apple Watch users.” Below the message is a list of your contacts. To add someone to Walkie-Talkie, just tap their name to send them an authorization request. Likewise, when someone adds you to their Walkie-Talkie app, you’ll get an automatic request asking if you want to pair.

Users can add anyone, even friends who don’t own an Apple Watch. It would be nice to limit contacts to those who have compatible equipment. To remove a contact, just swipe their name card and press the “X” icon.

Once you have a contact added, the app is enabled by default and a shortcut icon shows up at the top of every watch face. If you don’t want to be interrupted by an audio message, you can disable Walkie-Talkie by swiping down and toggling the “Available” switch to “off,” an action that also removes the shortcut. All watch faces supporting complications will be able to use the new shortcut icon for the Walkie-Talkie app.

Starting a session is straightforward. Select a contact from the list and, once connected, hold down the large “Talk” button while speaking and release when done. If your contact is available they will hear a notification sound and feel a haptic feedback vibration before your voice message is played.

The system works in real time with virtually no delay. Just like real walkie-talkies, only one person can speak at a time and if the other person is sending audio, your “Talk” button turns into a dynamic circular waveform. Spinning the digital crown will lower and raise the volume.

If you try to talk to a contact that has Walkie-Talkie disabled, the app will let you record your message and will try to connect. After about about five seconds, you will get a message saying they aren’t available. If someone tries to contact you while you are not available, you will get a notification that they tried to reach you. Watch will then give you the option to talk to them, open walkie talkie, or dismiss the notification.

We would love to have contacts turn gray in the app if they are not available to talk. That way we wouldn’t have to send a message and wait for the connection to fail before finding out that they are logged off, and they wouldn’t get a notification as a result.

Walkie-Talkie is based on FaceTime audio technology and works over both Wi-Fi and cellular. When you select a contact, a connection is established that stays open for up to five minutes before timing out. By using a live call, nothing needs to be recorded, sent or downloaded, which makes the feature much faster and more private than previous push-to-talk solutions.

First Reviews Call iPhone XS & Max Awesome But Wait For iPhone XR To Decide

 first review call iphone xs and max grest but wait for iphone xr to decide

The early iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max reviews are now being posted online. Not surprisingly, most focus on the subtle differences between the two handsets and the 2017 iPhone X.

Here are excerpts from some of the first iPhone XS/XS Max reviews:

The Verge‘s Nilay Patel explains that “both iPhone XS models are fundamentally just spec-bumped updates to the iPhone X.” He suggests no one with the 2017 handset needs to upgrade, “but if you’re already deep into a preorder, don’t worry: you will love the iPhone XS.”

For everyone else, he explains that “it’s worth waiting to see how the iPhone XR turns out before rushing in — it has the same processor and the same main camera for $750. The only major question is how good its 6.1-inch LCD will look in comparison to the OLED on the XS.”

The Wall Street Journal’s Joanna Stern had similar thoughts. Though she was impressed with both the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, she suggests waiting until the iPhone XR launches in October to make a decision.

Imagine Goldilocks only tested the cold and hot porridges and never found the one that was “just right.” Her life might have been entirely different. That’s how I feel about testing the iPhone XS and XS Max—without the iPhone XR—for the past week.

TechCrunch’s Matthew Panzarino says some might not be happy with this year’s “S” models because they aren’t all that different than the iPhone X. Still, he says that “weakness, however, is only really present if you view it through the eyes of the year-over-year upgrader.” He suggests those iPhone X users will only be happy if you “love what they’ve done with the camera to want to make the jump.” Nonetheless, “As a move from any other device, it’s a huge win.”

Finally, there’s Mashable’s Raymond Wong who actually goes in a different direction. He believes both models offer much more than subtle changes — if you look inside the devices.

He explains:

The time has come for us to look beyond the surface of the iPhone — they’re all gonna look like the iPhone X from here on out. Maybe the notch and the bezels shrink over the next couple of years, but the real game-changing innovations are all happening inside. So start paying more attention to them, because they’re “boring” but will increasingly matter more.

As someone who purchased an iPhone XS Max to replace my iPhone X, I don’t have a beef with anything that was said in these reviews. Nonetheless, I also agree that for the average iPhone owners, it’s a wise choice to wait until the iPhone XR arrives on Oct. 26 to decide which one is best.

As a reminder, you can pre-order the iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max now. Both models officially launch in stores this Friday, Sept. 21. Pre-orders for the iPhone XR will be accepted beginning on Friday, Oct. 19.

Did you already order a new iPhone or are you waiting? Let us know below.

Kuo: High Preorder Demand For Apple Watch Series 4, low Expectations For 5.8-inch iPhone XS

 high pre-orders for the apple watch series 4 and low expectations for the 5.8-inch iphone x

In a research note seen by AppleInsider, Kuo says average shipping times for Apple’s flagship iPhone XS Max suggest demand for the premium handset is in line with expectations.

With launch shipments already pushed back one to two weeks, depending on model, the company’s “high price strategy” appears to be paying off. Chinese demand is expectedly strong as the XS Max ticks off that demographic’s most-wanted features with a new gold color option, dual-SIM support and an oversized 6.5-inch display.

Apple’s new dual-SIM solution relies on eSIM technology already in use in Apple Watch and iPad, but the company is unable to market the technology in China due to carrier restrictions. Instead, Apple took the extra step of building a special model for Chinese consumers that supports two physical SIM cards, one on each side of the SIM tray.

Kuo notes average shipping times for XS Max are shorter than the two to three week ship-by dates seen during last year’s iPhone X release, but believes the improvements have more to do with the supply chain than relaxed demand. As such, the analyst is forecasting XS Max to account for 25 to 30 percent of new iPhone shipments.

Demand for the 5.8-inch iPhone XS is lower than anticipated, Kuo says, pointing out most models of the iPhone X successor will deliver to customers on launch day. Considering the numbers, the analyst believes more users are interested in iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR, the latter being a new mid-tier iPhone with 6.1-inch LCD screen set to go on sale in October.

On the back “lackluster demand,” Kuo decreased iPhone XS allocation estimates from 15 to 20 percent of all new iPhone model shipments down to 10 to 15 percent.

Picking up the slack is iPhone XR, which moves from 50 to 55 percent up to 55 to 60 percent of new model shipments. More affordable pricing starting at $749 in the U.S. and dual-SIM support in the Chinese market are likely to fuel demand for the aluminum clad iPhone.

“We estimate the shipment peak of XS Max and XS will be in October and XR will start shipping and benefiting supply chain momentum in October,” Kuo says. “We estimate the shipments of the 2H18 new iPhone models will grow slightly year-over-year to 75 to 80 million units.”

Finally, Apple Watch Series 4 is performing better than expected with Apple showing multiple model stockouts in participating launch countries. Kuo attributes increased interest to new functions like advanced heart monitoring and electrocardiogram capabilities.

Currently, Apple Watch ECG support is limited to the U.S., where the company secured FDA clearance for over-the-counter sales, and is not scheduled to roll out until later this year. During its unveiling, Apple COO Jeff Williams said the company is working to bring ECG capabilities to other countries, but failed to offer a timeline on release.

Kuo predicts Apple Watch shipments will reach 18 million units in 2018, with Series 4 accounting for 50 to 55 percent of the whole.