Over my 20 years of writing about mobile technology, phones have changed dramatically in capability, form factor, and more. Except for new foldable phones, the form factor, basic design, and capability are similar across the board. The focus lately has been on smartphone cameras and AI algorithms associated with the camera hardware.
It’s awesome to see smartphone camera technology continuing to improve, but when I look through years of my own photos — and thousands of photos shared by family, friends, and others online — it’s clear to me that most people don’t care as much about the slight differences in resolution, white balance, and other features discussed in smartphone reviews. The latest Apple, Samsung, and Google commercials I see all promote the camera capabilities, and I’m frankly tired of it.
The new Apple iPhone 13 Pro increased optical zoom from 2x to 3x, added five photographic style filters, provided Cinematic Mode for better movie capture, improved low-light performance, and more. The phone works just about the same as the iPhone 12 Pro, so is it worth more than $1,000 to turn out photos and videos that few will be able to discern a difference?
Google’s strength is found in its algorithms and software, not in the same two-year old hardware it continues to include in its Pixel phones. The Pixel 6 devices may have some new hardware, but you probably won’t be able to tell the difference between photos captured with a $450 Pixel 5A or a Pixel 6 Pro — likely priced close to $1,000.
Smartphone makers want you to spend a lot of money replacing your current phone with the latest, helping you take slightly better photos. When you then share these photos on social media and the quality is compressed, I’m sure you’ll be very excited that you spent over $1,000 to capture a photo no one really cares about.
As Apple iPhone sales indicate, most people simply want a smartphone camera where they can point, shoot, and share. If you want to get a bit creative, then there are many affordable and capable Android phones with accessible modes to enhance your creativity. Don’t get sucked into the marketing hype and think you will challenge professional reviewers or photographers with your expensive smartphone. Good photos and videos are a result of skills — not just the hardware.
Smartphones are the primary mobile computing device for most of us, and that means they are tools designed to help us get work done. It has become crystal clear to me over the past couple of years that the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold series, especially this year’s Z Fold 3, is my dream phone for productivity. It has a quickly-accessible, large mini tablet display, S Pen support, water resistance, advanced multi-screen support, Flex Modes, Samsung DeX capability for it to serve as the hub for mobile computing, and more. It’s a workhorse that proves more capable daily as I continue to explore its full potential.
The upcoming Microsoft Surface Duo 2 is a major improvement over its first attempt. For people who need to work on two screens at once, there’s no other mobile phone that can challenge the Surface Duo 2 for productivity. Microsoft also recognized people like their cameras, so it has very capable triple rear cameras, but the device is built and optimized for working on the go.
If you want a smartphone to get work done, don’t be swayed by the commercials, advertising, and hype around a new device that sells you on a need to have the most amazing camera. A friend just visited who took stunning photos on hikes around three national parks in Washington State, and all of those photos were taken by a five-year-old LG V20. Take an honest look at what you need in your hand to fit your work processes, and then go pick up a Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 or Microsoft Surface Duo 2.
I would like to hear about your smartphone camera experiences, too. Do you find you need to take stunning photos and your camera is inadequate? Or do you find you don’t take as many as you might think and your phone is perfectly capable?
Apple Shares New 'Movie Magic' Shot on iPhone 13 Pro Video – MacRumors
The “Movie Magic” video features Dong Hoon Jun and visual artist James Thornton explaining how they shot a short sci-fi film. The video highlights various effects that can be captured with the iPhone 13 Pro and a set of props like hyperspeed, an outer space look, anti-gravity, a cloudscape, and more.
Apple today shared another video in its ongoing Shot on iPhone series, with the new ad focusing on filming techniques to demonstrate how easy it can be to make a movie on an iPhone.
The video walks through using the Ultra Wide camera for unique perspectives and it demonstrates different lighting effects that can be used to make a cinematic feel.
There’s a technique on a DIY crane shot…
iPhone 13 Pro models feature an upgraded Ultra Wide camera with autofocus that enables macro photography, allowing users to take close-up photos of flowers, insects, and other objects that are as close as 2cm to the camera lens.
Apple’s Macro Mode is limited to iPhone 13 Pro models, but those with older iPhones can now get in on the action, as Halide today announced that it has updated its…
An iPhone 13 feature “will innovate patient eye care and telemedicine,” according to a San Diego-based doctor who has found an unexpected use for one of the device’s new abilities.
Detailed in a post on LinkedIn, opthalmologist and digital health specialist Dr. Tommy Korn explained that he has been using the iPhone 13 Pro Max to take high-quality macro images of patients’ eyes.
The iPhone …
Apple today published a seven minute video positioned as a tour of the iPhone 13 and 13 Pro, with the walkthrough coinciding with the pre-orders that are now live.
Filmed at the Tower Theater Apple Store in Los Angeles, the tour highlights the four available sizes, camera technology like Cinematic Mode and improved low-light performance, the Ceramic Shield display and IP68 water resistance,…
Apple today released the third beta of iOS 15.1 to developers for testing purposes, and the update introduces some new camera features for iPhone 13 Pro users.
Today’s beta adds support for ProRes video capture with the standard iPhone camera app. It can be toggled on by opening up the Settings app and selecting the “Camera” section. From there, tap on “Formats” and toggle on…
The new iPhone 13 Pro models support 4K ProRes video recording, but there’s a catch if you want to capture video at the highest quality – you need an iPhone 13 Pro or Pro Max with at least 256GB of storage space.
On Apple’s tech specs page for the new devices and in the press release announcing the new iPhone 13 Pro models, Apple says that if you have an iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max…
Users considering purchasing the iPhone 13 Pro or iPhone 13 Pro Max with the base level 128GB of storage should be aware that it misses out on functionality that comes with higher storage configurations.
One of the main new features to come to the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro Max this year is ProRes video recording capability. Aimed at professional videographers, the ProRes codec offers…
It’s iPhone 13 launch day, and customers around the world are receiving their iPhone 13, 13 mini, 13 Pro, and 13 Pro Max orders, plus the new devices are also in Apple retail locations. We picked up one of the new iPhone 13 models and both of the iPhone 13 Pro models for a quick unboxing and an honest overview of the feature set.
Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. …
AirPods 3 make it easier to skip songs. Here's how to use the force sensor – CNET
Apple unveiled theon Monday at its ( ). The latest wireless earbuds sport a new design, spatial audio for a more immersive listening experience, faster charging and better battery life, as well as sweat and water resistance.
Apple’s force sensor, featured on the AirPod Pro stem, is also now available on the AirPods 3, which means it’s easier to play or pause music, skip songs (or audiobooks and podcasts) and answer and end calls.
Here’s how it works.
Control audio with force sensor on AirPods 3 earbud
- Play or pause audio: Press the force sensor on the stem of one of your AirPods once.
- Skip forward: Double-press the stem.
- Skip backward: Triple-press the stem.
Phone calls with force sensor on AirPods 3 earbud
- Answer a call: Press the force sensor on the stem.
- Decline a call or send it to voicemail: Double-press the sensor on the stem.
For more, check outand .
Correction, Oct. 20: A previous version of this article mistakenly said that the new AirPods case contained a force sensor. The force sensor is only found in the new AirPods 3.
U.S. lawmakers urge speedy action on U.S semiconductor chips funding
A bipartisan group of 38 U.S. House lawmakers on Thursday urged leaders in Congress to immediately set a path to advance legislation providing $52 billion for U.S. semiconductor production including $2 billion in support for chips used by the automotive industry.
The U.S. Senate voted 68-32 in June to approve a sweeping package of legislation intended to boost the country’s ability to compete with Chinese technology, including providing $52 billion for chips, but the measure has stalled in the House.
The House lawmakers in a letter warned of the “dire consequences the automotive industry as a whole—and the nation—faces if we fail to advance legislation soon.”
(Reporting by David Shepardson)
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