2019 iPhone to bring tougher glass, even better Face ID

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iPhone 11 R and 11 Max on fence post
These iPhone 11 dummies should be a lot like the real thing.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

This year’s iPhone refresh will introduce new “shatter-resistance technology” and even better Face ID, according to a new report.

It is claimed users will be able to unlock Apple’s next-generation handsets from multiple angles — like when they’re lying flat on a table — thanks to a new Face ID sensor with a wider field of view.

We weren’t expecting much from the 2019 iPhone lineup. The rumors led us to believe they would be very similar to existing models, but with faster chips and improved cameras.

But as their September unveiling draws closer, new details have emerged that suggest the iPhone 11 series could be well worth the pricey upgrade fee after all.

2019 iPhone to bring upgraded Face ID

Reliable Bloomberg reporter Mark Gurman today reveals that we can also look forward to a more robust design for high-end models that uses unspecified “shatter-resistance technology.”

This will allow the new handsets to better withstand drops. Apple is also expected to deliver “dramatically enhanced” water-resistance, and upgraded Face ID sensors that work at multiple angles.

Face ID
Face ID is due an upgrade.

Gurman explains that this will allow the next iPhone to be unlocked more easily. You’ll be able to get into it while it’s lying flat on a table, for example — without having to stare directly at it.

New cameras, faster chips

Gurman also corroborates claims that “Pro” models will have a third camera lens with a wider field of view for capturing ultra-wide-angle photos — and for improved low-light performance.

We can expect “significantly upgraded video recording capabilities,” too. “The new system will also take higher resolution pictures rivaling some traditional cameras,” the report adds.

Close up or iPhone 11 dummy model camera setup
Apple will catch up with rivals in camera capabilities.
Photo: Ian Fuchs/Cult of Mac

The 2019 iPhone lineup will pack a faster A13 processor, codenamed “AMX” or “matrix” internally. It will also allow for reversed wireless charging — like Samsung’s latest Galaxy devices.

Some (but not all) units are expected to have a matte finish on their rear glass panels. Gurman does not comment on rumors that the next iPhone will be compatible with a new Apple Pencil.

Gurman says the next-generation iPhone XR will offer a second rear-facing camera, and a new green color option. He warns we won’t see 5G in any model until 2020.

What about iPad Pro and Apple Watch?

Both the 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro will also be refreshed this fall, the report says. The changes are likely to be less dramatic, with improved cameras and faster processors the big selling points.

2018 iPad Pro
The 2019 iPad Pro won’t be vastly different to existing models.
Photo: Apple

Gurman backs rumors of a new 10.2-inch iPad coming later this year. It is expected to replace the 9.7-inch model, which will eliminate this size option after almost a decade.

We can also expect “more muted” improvements to Apple Watch. No significant changes are anticipated — but fans can look forward to new finishes, such as ceramic and titanium models.

16-inch MacBook Pro on the way

Moving onto the Mac, Gurman says the hotly-anticipated 16-inch MacBook Pro with slimmer bezels will arrive in 2019. It will be the largest since the 17-inch model, but will feel like a 15-inch.

This machine is “part of an effort by Apple to retain and woo professional computer users.”

Finally, the report says Apple is working on new AirPods with noise-cancellation and a water-resistant design, which are likely to be more expensive than the current $159 models when they launch in 2020. A more affordable HomePod is also on the way.