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Unlocking the features of iPhone 12...A serious flaw we found is the intuitiveness of widgets

Is It A Worthy Upgrade?

It has been a year since the release of the iPhone 12 and it came with not only one, but three other models in the same year shortly after its release. Although the iPhone 12 is not the best phone compared to specs, design, and features in the series, it has garnered the most sales. 

iPhone 12 is the number 1 best-selling phone not only in North America but also across the globe. It was followed by iPhone 12 Pro Max and iPhone 12 Pro, which placed in the second and third spot respectively. 

It’s not rare for iPhones to take the top sales yearly, but if you’re planning to upgrade to the iPhone 12, we unlocked the features below. 

iPhone 12 Top-level Overview 

Pros 

  • Available in 6 beautiful, trendy colors 
  • Magsafe compatible 
  • Long battery life 

Cons 

  • Significantly more expensive compared to its direct competitors
  • Small base storage, only 64GB 
  • 60 Hz Display refresh rate not up to date with latest flagship phones 
  • Cameras still need improvement

Design and Build Quality

What you’ll like: 

The beautiful Pantone colors of the iPhone 12 is what makes them an absolute eye candy. You can choose from 6 gorgeous colors: white, blue, purple, black, red, and green. 

One of the things that make the iPhone 12 a gorgeous phone is the flat edges- you’ll remember this with older models such as the iPhone 5s, which makes the phone really easy to grip. Moreover, Apple says they have Ceramic Shield on the 12 series, which means these phones are made to have some sort of ‘shatter protection’ in case you drop them- good thing to have especially if you’re a butterfinger. Downside- it might make it more prone to scratches, but you can always add a screen protector. 

It is a little bit thinner and lighter than its predecessors, but it still feels premium to hold thanks to its aluminum sides.

iPhone 12 features, tech specs

What you won’t like: 

If you’re an Android phone user switching for the first time to an iPhone, you’d probably get disappointed with the amount of money you will spend on it. 

Out of the box, the iPhone 12 comes with zero accessories to go with it except for a single USB C cable, not even a wall charger. Their reason? Everyone already has one and that’s why you only get the cable. 

That sounds like a good reason, but it also significantly cuts the costs of each phone. And if you’re a first-time user as we said, you’ll have to buy a compatible wall charger, which could cost you an extra twenty bucks. 

The lack of chargers is a real bummer because the old wall chargers are only 5 watts based on the abilities of older phone models, which is too slow for the newer iPhone models. So in the end, you’ll still end up buying yourself a new iPhone charger.  

Recently, Samsung made the same move with the Samsung Galaxy S21. They didn’t include a compatible wall charger in the accessories as well. This means if you want to take advantage of their fast-charging features, you’ll be forced to spend more.

On the other hand, the 60Hz refresh rate of the iPhone 12 is significantly much lower than that of the Galaxy S21 which has 120Hz refresh rate. This means that when you scroll or play games on the iPhone 12, it is not as clear and as smooth as the S21. 

If you’re a long-time Android or Samsung phone user, you’ll notice a significant difference when it comes to the display. A lot of Android phones have had either a 90 Hz or 120Hz refresh rate even before 2020. 

Tech Features iPhone 11iPhone 12iPhone 12 Pro
Price$599.99$829.99$999.99
Screen size 6.1” Liquid Retina HD 6.1″ Super Retina XDR display6.1″ Super Retina XDR display
RAM4 GB4GB6GB
Storage Options64/128GB 64/128/256GB128/256/512GB
Processor & OSA13 Bionic ChipA14 Bionic chip, iOS 14A14 Bionic chip, iOS 14
DurabilityIP68 Water ResistanceIP68 Water ResistanceIP68 Water Resistance
Battery size10 hours talk time11 hours talk time11 hours talk time
Camera Dual 12MP Ultra Wide & Wide Cameras w/ Night ModeNight Mode, Deep Fusion, Advanced Dual-Camera System4x Optical Zoom Range, Night Mode, Deep Fusion

These features are based on the T-Mobile website, but we know it’s better to have unlocked iPhones or unlock your iPhone because you will not need to rely on a carrier, and travel with your phone worry-free! 

What’s in the box:

what's in the box? iPhone 12, manual, USB C cable

MagSafe: Charging in a snap!

If you’re not new to the Apple ecosystem, you probably have heard of or used MagSafe before. But for the sake of the others who didn’t, we will explain how it works here. 

Easily put, MagSafe is a magnetically attached puck charger that was previously used for Macs. MagSafe offers 15 Watts wireless charging and is designed to safely and quickly wirelessly charge your device, according to the Apple website. 

The iPhone 12 series is the first set of iPhones to have fast-charging MagSafe compatibility. It snaps onto the back of the iPhone 12 like a magnet on a refrigerator. You may still be able to use MagSafe on older models using Qi wireless charging technology, but they’re a lot slower due to a significant difference in wattages.

On the other hand, MagSafe charging is still significantly lower than a USB C fast charging based on tests done by Macrumors.com. 

Cameras.

The iPhone 12 cameras don’t have a lot of drastic changes, advantages, or new features over the previous iPhones. If you want to see the real camera upgrade, you’ll have to check out iPhone 12 Pro as it is the real deal when it comes to iPhone cameras nowadays. 

The iPhone 12 has two cameras in the back, the same as the camera placement back in 2019, but they can shoot videos in Dolby HDR, one of the best video-shooting standards. It also has a better, much larger ƒ/1.6 aperture which makes photos taken in low-light crisper and better than the other iPhones. 

Good aesthetics but lacks functionality

You’re probably wanting the iPhone 12 because of the amazing Pinterest boards you see about its app customization, but there’s still a serious flaw that you might want to consider: the floating apps on the screen are not interactive. 

What do we mean by this? 

Yes, you’re able to customize the widgets that you want to prioritize or see first, however, you still have to open the app in order for you to be able to use them. A few examples for this would be, (1) you need to start/stop music directly from the Spotify widget, (2) you can’t scroll on your calendar widget, etc.

Is the iPhone 12 worth buying? 

The iPhone 12, being the latest series, definitely has a lot of newer, cooler, better features compared to the iPhone 11. Compared to the other models that came out in this series, the iPhone 12 is not so bad. 

The iPhone 12 and the 12 Pro have the same size, although the Pro has some more serious camera upgrades. The Pro has a third camera in the back, with a price difference of $100+ it is worth considering.

unlock phone

Apple released 4 flagship phones last year in the same series- iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, iPhone 12 Mini, and the iPhone 12 Pro Max. The iPhone 12 models are the first ever series to have 5G connectivity from all Apple devices, and it’s the only one that supports the fastest 5G technology available in the world. Whatever extra speed means for you, these are the phones that allow you to experience the fastest 5G networks. 

When it comes to the prices, the iPhone 12 Mini is the most affordable among the four, but for the features, a lot of people are inclined to believe it is the iPhone 12 Pro. 

But is it worth buying? 

iPhone 12 Pro Top-level Overview

Pros 

  • Sturdy, beautiful build 
  • Gorgeous colors in matte finish 
  • Faster chipset
  • Long battery life

Cons 

  • Very expensive 
  • Heavier 
  • Stainless steel sides is fingerprint magnet 
  • No significant upgrades, the camera is so-so

Design and Build Quality 

What you’ll like: 

The iPhone 12 Pro comes with superior, gorgeous metallic colors with matte finish and it has a glossy camera bump. The iPhone 12 has a glossy finish and a matte camera finish on the back. The iPhone 12 Pro and the Pro Max were designed to look like the iPad Pro with flat edges. 

Moreover, the sizes of the phones are not the primary determining factor for the price in this series. 

The iPhone 12 and the iPhone 12 Pro are of the same size as both are 6.1 inches in length, but the price of the Pro is significantly higher. When it comes to comfortable hold, it is the perfect fit for the hand and is not awkward to hold such as the gigantic Pro Max, which is 6.7 inches tall, and the Mini which is 5.4 inches. 

What you won’t like: 

The stainless steel sides give the phone that shiny flagship-only luster, but it does come with downsides. One, it is prone to gathering fingerprints, and second it makes the phone substantially heavier than its predecessors or the ones it came with in this series. 

One would expect that Apple will adapt to the market and upgrade the display in this new series, but unfortunately, there’s no improvement at all from the iPhone 11. The refresh rate is still the same and is definitely inferior to the standard Android high-end phone displays that have a 120Hz refresh rate. If you’re gaming a lot, you will definitely see the significant difference between the iPhone 12 display versus the latest flagship Android phones.

Tech Features iPhone 12iPhone 12 ProiPhone 12 Pro Max 
Price$829.99$999.99$1099.99
Screen size 6.1″ Super Retina XDR display6.1″ Super Retina XDR display6.7″ Super Retina XDR display
RAM4GB6GB6GB
Storage64/128/256GB128/256/512GB128/256/512GB
Processor & OSA14 Bionic chip, iOS 14A14 Bionic chip, iOS 14A14 Bionic chip, iOS 14
DurabilityIP68 Water ResistanceIP68 Water ResistanceIP68 Water Resistance
Battery size11 Hours talk time11 Hours talk time11 Hours talk time
Camera Night Mode, Deep Fusion, Advanced Dual-Camera System4x Optical Zoom Range, Night Mode, Deep Fusion5x Optical Zoom Range, Night Mode, Deep Fusion
Based on the T-Mobile model.

What’s in the box:

Cameras.

The 12 pro and 12 have the same primary sensor and ultra wide sensor but it has an additional 2x telephoto zoom camera – not Space Zoom which is in android flagships like Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G. The iPhone 12 Pro Max on the other hand, offers 4X Optical Zoom, which is also one reason why it’s more expensive. 

The camera zoom captures crisp photos only if there’s enough light source. When the lighting is bad or when you’re taking pictures at night, the phone detects that your main camera can take better pictures than the telephoto zoom camera lens. 

The iPhone 12 Pro has dual optical image stabilization but all the bigger, much more significant camera upgrades are on the iPhone 12 Pro Max. 

The Pro Max contains Sensor Shift Image Stabilization which means the stabilization is on the sensor and not on the lens itself. This technology has been previously used only in DSLRs, but with iPhone 12 Pro Max has better than ever camera stabilization. 

AR 

Augmented Reality in the iPhone 12 models are definitely more immersive and accurate compared to their predecessors because they have LiDar scanners. These scanners also help you measure the height of anything, even people, accurately. 

The LiDar camera can also be used for AR games and also helps with camera enhancements, which made Night Mode possible in this series. 

Should you buy the iPhone 12 Pro? 

The iPhone 12 Pro is a great phone overall, but if you’re willing to spend $100 more, you can have the Pro Max, which is undeniably the best in this series. Although, the large size of the Pro Max would make you think it is going to be a bit challenging to hold, it can be a good phablet, and who knows, the future Apple OS might allow multi-tasking and with its big screen, you will not need to upgrade. 

Between iPhone 12 and the 12 Pro, there’s not much of a difference. The display, design, notch, haptics, except for the slight camera features are very much the same for these two devices. Their price difference is $170- and we think a slight compromise in the camera also makes the iPhone 12 a good buy in this series. 

AI is now the main technology ingredient behind Apple’s iPhone range

In September this year, when Apple unveiled the latest iPhones, Tim Cook introduced Artificial Intelligence (AI) as a game-changing roadmap component behind almost every aspect of the device. Apple manufacture 15.6% of the world’s phones, but capture more than half of the industry’s revenue. Their strategic focus on AI is a worthwhile reminder of the importance of the opportunity that AI represents.

It’s not just Apple, however, who stand to benefit from this new, ubiquitous technology. With AI continuing to be the technology offering the most potential of our time, and mobile now a key part of every digital customer interface, there is no industry which can expect to be free from the need to find a way to garner AI’s benefits.

The evolution of AI.

AI as a concept has been around since the idea was first generated by John McCarthy in the late 1950s. Today, well beyond claims of ‘hype’ it is fundamentally redefining every industry, starting with mobile.  Source: Medium

It’s no exaggeration to suggest that AI in Smartphones will redefine the field of mobile technology.

According to Gartner, 80% of Smartphones will have AI capabilities by 2022. AI is paving new ways to meet both specified an unspecified customer expectation and turbo charge the use of mobile technology in research.

AI’s success is derived, most fundamentally, from 3 things.

  • First, it can be applied, in various forms to any industry, something we haven’t seen in many years– since air conditioning, indoor plumbing, the jet engine and other innovations of the 20th Century were rolled out.
  • Second, it thrives on computing power and big data sets, two things which we now have in quantities never before seen.
  • Finally, AI automates the most important aspect of the cutting edge of computing interfaces, personalization. Here are some examples of how those important AI principals are being applied to mobile.

AI and the IoT (Internet Of Things) – A match made in heaven

The internet of things (IoT) is the name given to the concept of cheap sensors and computing capabilities being embedded in to everyday aspects of our lives – everything from smartwatches, to smart buildings, rubbish bins and even children’s backpacks. Information from those now connected products is delivered through mobile phone (cellular) networks connected to the internet with increasingly cheap data plans.

In some senses, the Internet of Things is just at its beginning. Forbes suggest that 45% of business are aiming to implement IoT sensors in the machinery in their organizations. This is the first tranche of the rollout – since these sort of industrial implementations offer the fastest payback for an IoT investment.

We take it for granted that our desktops and selves are connected to the internet with laptops and smartphones respectively. Over the next decade, every other physical asset worth more than $50 will also be added to the mix. Just like our computers and phones, these artifacts will start to generate huge quantities of information about their status and environments.

IoT growth by sector. Early implementations will be where there are the fastest paybacks.

Early implementation of IoT will affect industry, where paybacks are fastest. However, B2C – Business to Consumer applications will also occur in the next decade. Source: Statista

In this IoT world, AI assists in picking the signal from the noise of data which are generated by newly connected devices. Combined, of AI and the IoT helps means that the information obtained from such a broad array of sensors, can be filtered and put to good use.

The results will improve efficiency where, currently, we don’t have information to realize how we could optimize.

As usual, Google are ahead of the curve, and have applied AI algorithms to their data centers, optimizing them with invisible AI algorithms to cut the power used by an incredible 40%.

 AI and Digital Conversation – An altogether different experience

We take for granted that our current interface with mobile technology is the common touchscreen, introduced most famously, again, in the original iPhone back in 2007. This may not be the case for much longer, however, and AI is, again, the tool which is bringing these new interaction methodologies to the fore.

Now, people are getting used to ‘talking’ (or having real time Instant Messaging ‘chats’) with chatbots which answer their queries in much the same way a human would.

Most people have interfaced with one type of ‘bot’ even now. If you’ve talked to Siri or said ‘OK Google’ to perform a search with your voice – you’ve been dealing with a ‘personal assistant’ – a specific type of Chatbot.

Now, the same technology is being rolled out by banks, phone companies and even government departments to manage the huge volume of calls and chat requests they receive from people every day.

The beauty of chatbot is the ability to communicate with a large number of people at the same time – importantly – at a zero marginal cost. Over time, these bots are much, much cheaper than employing people to do the same thing.

Chatbots have started to become a crucial aspect of customer relationship management, learning from mistakes, providing more accurate answers to the most common questions and getting better at the root of the problem from a computing / AI perspective – establishing a user’s intent from what they say ( ‘utterances’ in techno-speak.)

Chatbots are AI software which can simulate a conversation with a user in a natural language through websites, mobile apps or messaging.

History of Chatbots. Source: SmartSheet

Does using chatbots work? More than 95% smartphone users feel that customer service has seen improvement since the inception of AI fueled chatbots.

AI and mobile technology – A lethal weapon for research

AI-powered tech may well be the key component driving the future of every form of mobile research.

80% of research is spent compiling and analyzing the information required. A great deal of the most useful research undertaken starts with a deep understanding of human needs and behaviors. The data available from mobile devices, aligned with AI to sort the wheat from the chaff, has now made that information easier to collate.

Consider the amount of information a smartphones gathers. Simply studying people’s movements using the GPS feature on a phone can be useful for research purpose. Other device sensors (most phones contain accelerometers, GPS, microphones, RF antennae and so on) can be used to gather information on people and cross reference that with other variables, either established through the phone data or derived from another source, to reach a research objective.  

One specific, work undertaken at Dartmouth University, used data collected from students’ smartphones, to determine their levels of depression, stress and loneliness. Their movements, audio signals and position information were correlated with survey questions asked directly of the students using one of those targeted apps. The results could be used to predict psychological wellbeing on other students phones (those who had not answered the questionnaire.)

Further, the strict mathematical models behind AI can also be used to practically remove human bias from the research process, something hard for humans to do but which can materially and negatively impact the value of any research undertaken.

AI and smartphone security – Two sides of the same coin

Finally, AI is catering to the biggest concern of the mobile economy – security.

Security is a difficult subject to contend with for those developing any consumer product, especially when it’s used to address the needs of mobile users.

The nature of security solutions is that they offer an uncomfortable trade off – between the safety of and the convenience of access to information. It’s an important balance to get right, given the quantity of personal information that the average smartphone now contains.

AI ‘fuzzy’ pattern matching is allowing developers can predict vulnerability levels and app security. The technology will keep a eye on ‘suspicious’ (note how vague that term is) activities, identifying them from the coalescence of similar patterns in the past – and raise an alert when ‘unusual’ behavior (of the sort which might indicate a ‘hacker’ is working) is encountered.

AI has the potential to find the loopholes and reduce the risk of intruders attacking the smartphone of the customer through their apps.

Bringing it all together

Most fundamentally, AI helps computers behave in a more human manner, delivering more personalized experiences in an automated way. When your phone recommends a song playlist you love, containing tunes you’ve never heard before, when your mobile interface to Netflix guesses a show you’ll enjoy or when Amazon show you products that you might like to consider – AI is behind those suggestions and transforming the experience you have with your mobile technology.

Artificial intelligence is slowly revamping the entire economy, including its mobile component with its immense power to connect the facilities we’ve listed above. The IoT means more data is collected, often in real time for analysis. AI makes collecting and analyzing it more secure. It offers better ways of interfacing with technology than our current screen technology, in the form of chatbots and voice agents ‘why’ act on our behalf.

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