A new report from Bloomberg jibes with previous rumors we’ve seen saying the headlining 2019 iPhone lineup will feature a triple-lens rear-facing camera.
The Bloomberg report says the iPhone XS Max successor will feature a triple-lens arrangement, while the iPhone XS and iPhone XR followups will use dual-lens setups. The third camera will allow for a larger field of view, a wider zoom range, and will be able to capture a larger number of pixels.
Apple is said to be planning to use the extra pixel data to “automatically repair a video or photo to fit in a subject that may have been accidentally cut off from the initial shot,” according to the usual “people familiar with the plans.”
An enhanced version of the Live Photos features is also said to be under development, which would expand the length of the Live Photos video to six seconds.
Apple is also said to be testing versions of the 2019 iPhone that would feature a USB-C connector in place of the traditional Lightning port. The new models will also include the expected A-Series CPU upgrade and new Face ID sensor. However, the devices are expected to look similar to the current flagship models.
The 2020 iPhone is expected to show even more advanced camera technology, boasting laser-powered time-of-flight 3D cameras that will result in significant improvements to Augmented Reality experiences on the iPhone.
The rear-facing, longer-range 3-D camera is designed to scan the environment to create three-dimensional reconstructions of the real world. It will work up to about 15 feet from the device, the people said. That’s in contrast with the current iPhone 3-D camera system, which points toward users and operates at distances of 25 to 50 centimeters to power Apple’s Face ID facial-recognition feature.
Apple’s new system uses a laser scanner, rather than the existing dot-projection technology which doesn’t work as well over longer distances, according to the people, who asked not to be identified discussing unreleased features. That’s just one of many new features — including a third, more advanced camera, enhanced photo-capture tools and a more powerful chip — that Apple plans to include in coming generations of iPhones, the people said.
The laser-powered 3-D camera would enhance augmented reality on the iPhone, allowing for more accurate depth perception and placement of virtual objects. It could also help the handset take photos that can better capture depth, the people said. Apple has been in talks with Sony Corp. about testing sensors for the new system, one of the people said.
The first appearance of the 3D camera system could be in an iPad Pro update in spring 2020. The report says Apple will not update the iPad Pro in 2019.