| Cult of Mac

iPhone 14 review roundup: Deja vu all over again

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iPhone 14
iPhone 14 could be a good upgrade for those coming from iPhone 11 or older.
Photo: Apple

Early reviews of the new iPhone 14 are rolling in. The consensus? It’s a capable iPhone — basically an iPhone 13 with minimal improvements (and nowhere near as cool as the feature-rich iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max).

So it’s not quite worth an upgrade from an iPhone 13, or maybe even the fairly similar iPhone 12. Only people holding iPhone 11 and older have something to get excited about.

But for some who want the big screen of the iPhone 14 Plus — not yet in the hands of reviewers — an upgrade from a recent handset may be worth it.

iPhone 14 Pro vs. iPhone 13 Pro: Should you upgrade?

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Should you upgrade from iPhone 13 Pro to iPhone 14 Pro?
Should you upgrade from iPhone 13 Pro to iPhone 14 Pro?
Photo: Rajesh/Apple

Apple’s newest iPhone is here. The iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max represent the best of what the company has to offer customers this year.

But if you already own the iPhone 13 Pro, should you upgrade to the iPhone 14 Pro? Or is it better to save your money for next year’s model? Find out in this comparison.

iOS 16 will improve the iPhone 13 camera

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Apple is making a multitude of changes with iOS 16.
You'll be able to record more realistic looking Cinematic videos from iPhone 13 in iOS 16.
Photo: Apple

iOS 16 will improve photos and videos shot with iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 Pro via computational photography tweaks.

The software update will add foreground blur in Portrait photos and improve videos shot in Cinematic mode. However, these enhancements will be exclusive to Apple’s 2021 iPhone lineup due to hardware limitations.

See a stunning afterlife in Park Chan-wook’s ‘Shot on iPhone 13 Pro’ short

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Dead warriors like this one are fierce and playful in Park Chan-wook's short.
Dead warriors like this one are fierce and playful in Park Chan-wook's short.
Photo: Apple

Most people use the awesome filmmaking potential of iPhone 13’s Cinematic Mode to shoot vids of their cats. But not South Korean director Park Chan-wook. In the latest in Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” series, he takes you into afterlife in a short film packed with martial arts wizardry and dream-like sequences. It’s called Life is But a Dream, and it’s shot entirely on an iPhone 13 Pro.

Even if you and your cat had a famous director’s resources — the cast, the sets, the costumes, the rich folklore — you still probably couldn’t come up with anything like this. But thanks to the technology in your iPhone, you can try.

Have some laughs with videos showcasing iPhone 13 Pro camera capabilities

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Have some laughs with videos showcasing iPhone 13 Pro camera capabilities
Video demos don’t have to be dry as dust. One Apple just premiered showing iPhone 13’s Cinematic mode is actually funny.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple proves that demo videos don’t have to be dry and boring. It premiered a trio of short videos Sunday that show off the capabilities of the iPhone 13 Pro camera — and they’re actually fun to watch.

Plus, if you were just gifted Apple’s latest handset, watch all three and you might be inspired to go make a movie with it.

Hollywood at Home video demonstrates filming big scenes with tiny props and iPhone 13

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‘Hollywood at Home’ video demonstrates filming big scenes with tiny props and iPhone 13
Tops for the budding Michael Bay or Steven Spielberg.
Screenshot: Incite/Apple

Anyone dreaming of being a director doesn’t have wait until they have a million-dollar budget to start shooting impressive-looking movies. The new Hollywood at Home video shows how to use everyday objects and an iPhone 13 to film action scenes and create otherworldly landscapes or monster movies.

Watch the amazing video now:

iOS 15.1 adds SharePlay, iPhone 13 Pro camera options and more

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Don’t install the iOS 15.1 beta if you plan to get an iPhone 13 ASAP
Apple released iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 on Monday.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Apple rolled out iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 on Monday with the anticipated inclusion of SharePlay, a feature missing from the recent iOS 15 release. Today’s update also brings camera improvements for iPhone 13 Pro models, enables adding COVID-19 vaccination records to Wallet, and includes a bunch of other features.

If you’re in the upgrading mood, you can download iOS 15.1 and iPadOS 15.1 now. (Note for Mac owners: macOS Monterey is now available as well.)

Alto offers launch discount on new iPhone 13 cases

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Until the end of October you can get a discount on a new Alto iPhone 13 leather case.
Until the end of October you can get a discount on a new Alto iPhone 13 leather case.
Photo: Alto

Alto, which specializes in leather accessories for Apple products, offers a 10% launch discount and extra rewards points for purchases of its new iPhone 13 cases through the end of the month.

The Taiwan-based company launched four leather phone case series for Apple’s latest handsets. Each series offers products fitting iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13, iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max.

Halide camera app improves iPhone 13 Pro macro shots

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Halide 2.5 update improves images from iPhone 13 Pro macro camera
Take better macro images with the iPhone 13 Pro and a new Halide 2.5 update.
Photo: Lux Optics/Cult of Mac

A just-released update to Halide helps iPhone and iPad owners take better close-up images. The iOS application works with the macro camera in the iPhone 13 Pro series, but also offers tools that can help any phone or tablet user with close-in pictures.

This is in addition to Halide Mark II 2.5’s many other features that give more control over the cameras built into iPhone and iPad than are available in Apple’s own application.