APPLE is keeping its rumoured iPhone 11 under tight wraps – but we can still guess at the fancy features it might boast.
We’ve tracked down some of the wackiest features that could make it into the 2019 iPhone – although we wouldn’t count on it.
Foldable screen design
Apple has filed several patent applications for foldable phone designs.
More interestingly, one expert analyst recently told The Sun that Apple had likely been “experimenting” with flexible screens in secret labs for years.
This year has seen a sudden flood of foldable phones from top brands like Samsung and Huawei, along with lesser known rivals TCL and Royole.
Even Motorola looks poised to re-release the classic Motorola Razr as a foldable smartphone device – but we’ve heard nothing from Apple ahead of its rumoured iPhone 11 launch later in the year.
However, one top industry watcher thinks Apple has been testing bendy screens behind closed doors, and could one day launch a foldable iPhone.
“It is inconceivable that Apple has not been experimenting with flexible displays in it design labs for years,” Ben Wood, an expert analyst at CCS Insight, told The Sun.
However, Ben pointed out that Apple is “rarely the first to embrace cutting-edge technologies like this” – and instead prefers to wait, and get the tech right.
“You can be sure Apple will be scrutinising the new products from Samsung, Huawei and others with a forensic level of detail trying to figure out how Apple can best deliver a foldable iPhone,” he explained.
The jury is still out on whether foldable phones are actually going to catch on.
The idea is that you can carry a large tablet-sized screen around with you, which then folds down into a pocket-able smartphone.
However, getting high-quality screens to bend is difficult, which makes producing foldable phones extremely costly.
For instance, Samsung’s Galaxy Fold will set you back about £1,800 in the UK, while Huawei’s Mate X will cost upwards of £2,000.
That makes Apple’s most expensive smartphone to date – the £1,449 iPhone XS Maxtop model – look positively cheap.
And early impressions of the Royole FlexPai foldable phone suggest it’s a bit clunky to use.
Will Apple follow suit? Sadly, it’s too soon to say.
Built-in fart sensor
One Apple patent reveals a specialised sensor that would turn the gadget into a poisonous gas detector – which could potentially even sniff out pongy farts.
However, it’s more likely to be used for safety, protecting users against deadly gases.
A powerful sensor loaded into the handset would set off an alarm if carbon monoxide or other gases in a room reach dangerous levels.
Apple gained a patent for the bizarre system last year, and says the technology could end up in both the latest iPhone and Apple Watch.
It aims to pick up harmful, poisonous gases that are otherwise invisible or odourless, such as carbon monoxide or methane.
The sensor may even be capable of picking up a nasty smelling fart.
Over the years, a number of people who own noxious gas detectors have reported their trumps set off methane alarms on the devices.
The Apple patent shows diagrams of a “miniature gas sensing device encased in an enclosure”.
An Apple Watch is used in the patent demonstration as an example of an “enclosure”.
There’s no guarantee that Apple will fit the noxious gas detectors into its future devices – like the rumoured iPhone 11.
Patents show that a company is merely interested in a technology, which it may never build.
Hidden selfie camera
All tech companies are scrambling to fill your phone with more screen.
Apple mostly managed the job with 2017’s iPhone X, but was forced to include a small “notch” cut-out to house the selfie camera.
But one Apple patent reveals a way of boosting screen space on your smartphones even more.
The patent, first spotted by Let’s Go Digital, was published in the US in November 2018, and describes an “integrated camera window” in the display.
That’s a fancy way of describing a hole in the display, which would be used to house a camera lens.
The camera would likely be designed in a way that photographs could be taken through the screen without distorting the photo you’re snapping.
Details on exactly how this would be achieved are light, and would probably require another patent to pin down.
But it’s proof that Apple has at least considered embedding cameras underneath smartphone displays.
By doing so, it would be possible to fill the entire front of a smartphone with screen.
Apple didn’t manage to achieve the feat with the iPhone XR, iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max – last year’s trio of smartphones.
But there’s hope that in 2019 or 2020, Apple will find a way to do it.
Triple camera on the back
Apple’s iPhone 11 has been widely rumoured to feature a triple camera on the back.
Better still, a 3D concept render of the device has turned up online, and could potentially show off the final design of the long-awaited iPhone 11.
Apple won’t officially unveil the new iPhone until September, but plenty of possible information about the phone has already been leaked.
That’s allowed popular YouTube Channel Concept Creator to make a 3D computer model of the phone.
Of course, it’s entirely possible that this concept looks nothing like Apple’s final iPhone.
But there’s every chance it’s correct – and could be our best early glimpse of the 2019 iPhone.
The most obvious change is on the back of the phone, which hosts the iPhone’s main camera.
This concept shows Apple adding a triple-camera module on the back of the handset – which would be a first for the iPhone.
It’s not as farfetched as it sounds, either.
The Sun recently spoke to mobile expert Dan Ives, a top industry watcher who believes we’ll see three cameras on the back of the new iPhone.
“This next phone will all be about triple rear-camera capabilities, with enhanced optical lens capabilities a major selling point,” said Dan, a Managing Director at Wedbush Securities.
“There could also be significantly enhanced face recognition technology and some other hardware/design enhancements to catalyse upgrades.”
While a triple-camera system might sound wacky, it can actually bring major benefits to photography – and your Instagram game.
For instance, having two cameras on the new iPhone XS lets the handset sense depth more accurately.
This allows Apple to offer augmented reality features – like realistic Snapchat filters, and better versions of games like Pokémon Go.
This also makes professional-grade Portrait Mode selfies possible, where the subject is in focus but the background is blurred.
Adding a third camera makes it even easier to sense depth, potentially improving all of these features.
But you can also have a different range of lenses, like wide-angle, telephoto, zoom, or even macro – for shooting objects up close.
Sadly, we’re lacking specific details about how Apple may use its triple-camera set up.
In any case, Apple hasn’t even confirmed that the iPhone will boast three cameras, so take all rumours with a pinch of salt for now.
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Find out the latest news and rumours about Apple’s long-awaited iPad mini 5.
It’s also possible that Apple may soon unveil a brand new MacBook Pro for 2019.
And die-hard Apple fans will want to read all about the rumoured iPhone 11.
What new features would you like to see from the iPhone 11? Let us know in the comments!
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