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Apple's iPhone 12 launch event is today: Here's how to watch it live – CNET

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Apple’s so punny.


Apple

This story is part of Apple Event, our full coverage of the latest news from Apple headquarters.

Ah, October. Leaves turning brown, air getting chillier, pumpkins getting spicier aaaaaand Apple Stores dropping from the internet. It can only mean one thing: Apple’s new iPhone is almost here. That’s right, the company’s next-generation phone, likely called the iPhone 12, is expected during an online-only event at 10 a.m. PT Tuesday. 

We’re expecting to see a new boxier iPad Pro-inspired look, faster processing chips and 5G wireless technology. Here’s what we’ve heard so far about the iPhone 12’s price and release date, and a few features on our iPhone 12 wish list that Apple should steal from Samsung.

The new iPhone is the smartphone that Apple fans and industry watchers alike have been waiting a while to see. It’s the first major revamp of the iPhone’s design since 2017, when Apple introduced its $1,000 iPhone X, with its new face unlocking design and better screen technology. One survey from Decluttr, a device recycler and reseller, found that a “staggering” 53% of respondents plan to buy this year’s iPhone, touching off what analysts call a “supercycle” of phone upgrades.

Read more: Will iPhone 12 have Touch ID so we can unlock our phones with masks on? Probably not


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“We believe iPhone 12 represents the most significant product cycle for Cook & Co. since iPhone 6 in 2014 and will be another defining chapter in the Apple growth story looking ahead despite a softer consumer spending environment,” Wedbush analyst Daniel Ives wrote in an Oct. 6 note to investors. He called this launch a “once in a decade” event for Apple.

All told, Apple’s event promises to be interesting. It’s the third such big product announcements Apple’s made during the coronavirus pandemic, which has infected more than 35.6 million people worldwide and killed more than 1 million

Apple’s event will also overlap with Amazon’s annual Prime Day sales event, which is being held on Oct. 13 and 14. Amazon typically holds its annual shopping holiday during the summer months, but like everything else, the coronavirus appeared to throw off those plans too.

While the iPhone will be a key product we see at Apple’s event this year, and likely what most people focus their attention on, the company’s expected to have other devices to show off. Those include new Apple-branded over-ear headphones called the AirPods Studio, potential updates for the $299 HomePod speaker, a potential “iPhone Mini” that sits somewhere the $399 iPhone SE and $699 iPhone 11 and maybe, potentially, even Apple’s long-rumored AirTags beacons to find your lost keys, among other things.

Apple’s online-only event follows the company’s last announcements in September for its newest iPads, Apple Watches and Apple One subscription service.

When is the Apple event?

Apple’s online-only event will be held on Oct. 13 at 10 a.m. PT, which is 1 p.m. ET, 6 p.m. BST and 4 a.m. AEDT on Oct. 14 (sorry, Australia).

Where can I watch Apple’s livestream?

You’ll be able to stream Apple’s event straight from the company’s website.

What we can expect, besides the iPhone 12 launch?

Apple’s digital events are fast paced and slickly produced. And there’s at least one or two jokes they throw in to keep you entertained. 

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Hollywood North: B.C. film production recovers to top pre-pandemic levels – Vancouver Sun

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Visual effects and animation divisions also moved to remote work setups early on and were able to continue working through the shutdown, keeping the lights on B.C.’s film sector.

While B.C.’s film industry was never subject to an official order to close by health officials, studio heads, local health authorities and unions were in communication throughout the shutdown to ensure a return to filming could be done safely.

“As a collaborative, agile and adaptable business sector, we are in the fortunate position to help restore the productivity and optimism that characterizes our region, as we navigate recovery from an extraordinary global crisis together,” said Peter Leitch, chairperson of the Motion Picture Production Industry Association of B.C. and president of North Shore Studios.

Prior to 2020’s unpredictable storyline, research conducted by the Vancouver Economic Commission also notes that B.C.’s film industry had set a new record last year, with more than $4.1 billion spent in the province (all figures in Canadian dollars).

Of that total, $3.1 billion was on physical production alone, with the remaining $1 billion on post-production and animation, much of which also takes place in Vancouver.

The $4.1 billion figure nearly triples 2012’s $1.6 billion. In the period between 2012 and 2019, film activity has translated into $22.7 billion for the provincial economy in the areas of hospitality, tourism, material suppliers, transportation and construction, including $12.5 billion alone in wages for British Columbians. It’s estimated that the film industry supports more than 70,000 jobs across B.C.

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MagSafe Charger Only Charges at Full 15W Speeds With Apple's 20W Power Adapter – MacRumors

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Alongside the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro models, Apple introduced a new MagSafe charger that attaches to the magnetic ring in the back of the devices, providing up to 15W of charging power, which is double the speed of the 7.5W Qi-based wireless charging maximum.

Apple does not provide a power adapter with the $39 MagSafe charger, requiring users to supply their own USB-C compatible option. Apple does sell a new 20W power adapter alongside the MagSafe Charger, and as it turns out, that seems to be one of the the only charging options able to provide a full 15W of power to the new MagSafe charger at this time.

YouTuber Aaron Zollo of Zollotech tested several first and third-party power adapter options with the iPhone 12 Pro and a MagSafe charger using a meter to measure actual power output. Paired with the 20W power adapter that Apple offers, the MagSafe Charger successfully hit 15W, but no other chargers that he tested provided the same speeds.

The older 18W power adapter from Apple that was replaced by the 20W version was able to charge the ‌iPhone 12 Pro‌ using the MagSafe Charger at up to 13W, but the 96W Power Adapter and third-party power adapters that provide more than 20W were not able to exceed 10W when used with the MagSafe Charger. Below are the results from Zollo’s tests:

  • Apple’s 20W Power Adapter – 15W
  • Apple’s 18W Power Adapter – 13W
  • Apple’s 96W MacBook Pro Power Adapter – 10W
  • Anker 30W PowerPort Atom PD 1 = 7.5W to 10W
  • Aukey 65W Power Adapter – 8W to 9W
  • Pixel 4/5 Charger – 7.5W to 9W
  • Note 20 Ultra Charger – 6W to 7W

For maximum charging speeds with the MagSafe Charger and an ‌iPhone 12‌ or 12 Pro, Apple’s 20W power adapter is required, and older power adapter options won’t work as well. Third-party companies will need to come out with new chargers that use the particular power profile that Apple is using to provide the optimum amount of power before a third-party charger will be able to provide the full 15W with the MagSafe Charger.

Zollo’s testing also revealed that Apple is using aggressive temperature control, so when the iPhone gets warm, the charging power tends to stay below 10W. The best speeds come from charging using the 20W power adapter without a case on the ‌iPhone‌ to better let heat dissipate.

Older iPhones, such as the 11 Pro Max and 8 Plus, charged at around 5W with the MagSafe Charger and Apple’s 20W power adapter, which is in line with the testing results we saw last week. It’s not worth buying a MagSafe Charger to use with a non ‌iPhone 12‌.

The same goes for Android phones. The MagSafe Charger technically supports Qi-based charging and can work with Android devices, but when paired with an Android smartphone, the MagSafe charger was outputting at 1.5W, which is slow enough that it’s nearly useless.

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iPhone 12 drop test results are in: Ceramic shield is as tough as it sounds – CNET

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Chris Parker/CNET

Apple has covered its new iPhone 12 with a brand-new type of glass called “ceramic shield”, which it says is the toughest glass ever on a smartphone. Every year Apple makes a similar claim about its glass, but this time may be different because this is no ordinary glass. While it may look and feel exactly like glass, the ceramic shield covering the screens is, as the name suggests, a combination of glass and ceramic (which is harder than most metals). It’s a totally new cover material for the iPhone and it’s unlike anything we’ve ever tested before. 

And testing it is exactly what we did. To find out how this new material holds up to the elements, we put two brand-new iPhone 12s through a few scratch and drop tests. And as it turns out, this new glass is incredibly durable. (This rival says its screen is three times harder than Apple’s ceramic shield.)

iPhone 12: Breaking down the glass

The ceramic shield only covers the front — the screen — of the iPhone 12. The back is covered with the same glass as last year’s iPhone 11, which Apple says is the toughest in the industry. Both types of glass are made by Corning

img-0356img-0356

The glass on the iPhone 11 (left) curves up, while the glass on iPhone 12 (right) is flush with the frame. 


Vanessa Hand Orellana/CNET

Aside from the glass, the other factor that may play a role in how well this phone holds up to drops is the design. The glass on the iPhone 12 lies flush with the metal frame rather than curved up like in previous models which left more of the glass exposed. Apple says that design choice alone will make the back and front twice as durable as older models. 

All four models of the iPhone 12 (iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Max) have the same ceramic shield on the screen and the same type of glass on the back. The only difference in materials is the frame. The two Pros have a stainless steel frame, while the Mini and the 12 are aluminum. The performance of the frame may vary depending on the material, but the glass should offer the same type of protection across the board. For our tests we used the regular iPhone 12 in blue and green. 

Scratch 1: It survived the pocket/purse tumble 

For the first test, I put the iPhone 12 in a small makeup bag with some of the common culprits that scratch up our phones: a set of keys, a half dozen quarters and a metallic pen. I shook the bag vigorously for about 30 seconds to simulate what happens after a few weeks of bouncing around in a purse or pocket before inspecting it.

After wiping the phone down with a cloth, I couldn’t find a single scratch on the glass or the frame of the iPhone 12.  

Click on the video below to see the results from the scratch and drop tests. 


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Scratch 2: No scratches on the screen after sliding on tile

Next, I wanted to see how the screen would hold up if it came in contact with a hard surface like a marble table, kitchen counter or bathroom floor. I slid the iPhone 12 back and forth 10 times on a textured ceramic tile, first along the screen, then on the back of the phone. 

The screen had a bid of debris from the tile, but after cleaning it off I struggled to find any visible damage to the glass. Testing the back of the phone was trickier. The raised camera module doesn’t allow the phone to lay flat on its back, so I did a few slides with the phone at an angle. This didn’t damage the glass, but it caused some of the metallic paint on the frame around the bottom camera to rub off. It was barely noticeable and the lenses themselves were still in pristine condition. Then I did it again with the camera module hanging off the edge of the tile. After inspecting the back closely, I finally managed to make out two microscopic scratches, one on the silver Apple logo, and another right below it on the blue glass. Both were thinner than a strand of fine hair and about a quarter of an inch long.

scratch2scratch2

The two tiny scratches on the back of the iPhone 12 that resulted from sliding it on floor tile. The screen came out flawless. 


Vanessa Hand Orellana/CNET

Scratch 3: Rubbing it on sandpaper made a mark

Having passed the two scratch tests with flying colors, I decided to conduct one more (extreme) test on this iPhone 12: rubbing with 80-grit sandpaper. This is probably the real-world equivalent of sliding your phone across a driveway or sidewalk, which hopefully won’t happen too often. 

I rubbed the phone back and forth across the sandpaper 10 times on either side, applying light pressure. This time, both sides of the phone were scraped up. The screen had the most damage, with lines running horizontally through the middle of the phone. A few of them were deep enough to feel with my fingernail, but it was still in working condition. The back of the phone has significantly less damage, again because of the protection offered by the raised camera module, but it still had visible scrapes in the center and on the lower edges. The metallic finish on the lens frames had continued to peel off, but the lenses themselves were still scratchless. 

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Vanessa Hand Orellana/CNET

Scratching the phone compromises the glass and makes it a lot more likely to break during a fall, so my colleague, CNET Managing Producer Chris Parker, used another brand-new iPhone 12 for our drop tests onto the sidewalk. 

Drop 1: 3 feet, screen side down

One of the more common times you might drop your phone is when you’re putting it in and out of your pocket. While dropping a phone from hip height can be harmless, if it lands on the street or sidewalk, you’re likely to end up with a broken screen.

When dropped from hip height, the top of the iPhone 12 hit the ground first, then the bottom. Then it bounced in the air once more before landing flat on the sidewalk, screen side down as intended.  

The aluminum frame had a few dents around the edges of the phone, but nothing serious. 

Drop test 2: 3 feet, back side down 

Next, Chris did the same drop, but this time with the back of the phone facing the ground. 

The iPhone 12 seems to be top heavy: It landed almost in the exact same way as it did before, with the top (where the camera module is) hitting first, then the bottom. Finally it landed back side down on the sidewalk. 

The main difference on this drop was the sound when it landed, a louder thud than before. Sure enough, once we turned it over, we noticed the bottom half of the phone was broken. The edge felt a bit rough to the touch, mainly from the dents on the frame, but there weren’t any shards falling off the back of the phone, and it still felt smooth despite the cracks. 

With the back cracked, we narrowed our drops to the screen only. 

srop2backsrop2back

The second drop from hip height broke the back glass of our iPhone 12. 


Chris Parker/CNET

Drop 3: 6 feet, 6 inches, screen side down

This is about as high as Chris could drop the phone without needing a ladder.

The top left hand corner of the screen, opposite the camera module, hit first, then the right side, then the left until it flipped on its back, landing screen side up. The most noticeable dent was on the top where it hit first and it almost looked like it had caused  a crack in the screen right where it met the metal frame. But after rubbing it off we realized it was just metallic residue from the frame and the glass was still in perfect shape. 

drop3drop3

The aluminum frame on the iPhone 12 absorbed the brunt of the fall from six feet. 


Chris Parker/CNET

Drop 4, 5 and 6: 9 feet drop, screen side down

With the screen still holding strong, we decided to go even higher, using a step ladder to reach nine feet. Again this is not a realistic drop unless you happen to slide your phone off a second floor balcony, but we wanted to see how far we could take it.

At nine feet it became even harder to control the landing. While Chris was aiming to drop it flat on the screen, the iPhone 12 had a mind of its own and landed in almost the exact same way as the previous six-foot drop. With the top right-hand corner of the screen hitting the ground first, then bouncing off the left side and landing screen side up. 

The dent on the top right-hand side of the frame got deeper, but the screen survived yet again. 

We repeated this drop two more times hoping it would at some point land flat on its face, but the weight of the camera made it hard for it to land at that angle, especially at that height. The iPhone 12 finally landed with the screen down on the last drop, but only because it bounced off the side of the porch step. The frame had a few more bumps and bruises, but the screen still looked like new after three back-to-back drops from nine feet. The only way up from there would’ve been to climb up on the roof or rent a scissor lift, which we weren’t exactly prepared to do. 

droplastdroplast

The screen of our iPhone 12 survived without a crack after we dropped it on the sidewalk six times.


Chris Parker/CNET

Let’s break it down

Because our tests aren’t scientific, we can’t say for a fact that the screen is stronger than any other phone in the market, but we can definitely say that our iPhone 12 was incredibly tough to crack (and scratch) even on tile and sidewalk.

The back of the iPhone 12, however, doesn’t seem to have the same drop resistance superpower as the screen. And while you may feel comfortable using this phone without a screen protector, we — and Apple — recommend using the iPhone 12 or iPhone 12 Pro with a case, as getting the screen or back replaced without AppleCare Plus coverage costs anywhere from $279 to $549 depending on the repair. 

In a statement to CNET, Apple said, “iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro represent the biggest jump in durability ever on iPhone … iPhone 12 models have gone through rigorous real-world testing and are designed to be durable, but not indestructible. If anyone is concerned about dropping their iPhone and damaging it, we suggest using one of the many beautiful cases available to protect iPhone.” 

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