2020 iPhone SE vs. iPhone 8: Time to upgrade?

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It's a big improvement over your iPhone 8.
Image: Cult of Mac

The 2020 iPhone SE is out and, as expected, it looks a whole lot like the iPhone 8 in terms of design. But beneath the recognizable exterior of Apple’s handsome new handset are some nifty new features and internals.

Is it worth the upgrade if you’ve been clinging onto a several-years old iPhone? Here’s our initial (as far as spec details will allow) comparison.

iPhone 8 recovered after 2 months in a river — and it still works

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iPhone
Apple builds impressively waterproof phones.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Skeptical about how water-resistant modern iPhones are? Try telling that to the woman who discovered her iPhone in the Thames river in London two months after she dropped. Still in working order.

Twenty-nine-year-old Thayse Bussolo-Vieira said she was feeding the swans in early February when her brand new iPhone 8 fell out of her pocket and into the river. According to the Mirror newspaper, she was “devastated” because it contained thousands of photos she had not backed up to iCloud.

US deploys 500,000 iPhones for 2020 census

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iPhone 8 is being put to work for the 2020 census.
Photo: Apple

Most Americans are used to celebrating April Fools’ Day on the first day of April, but there’s another hugely important holiday happening today that you probably don’t know about: Census Day.

The decennial holiday kicks off on April 1, which is an important reference date for the census as enumerators attempt to count how many people there are in the country and where they live. This time, census takers are turning to the iPhone 8 instead of pencil and paper to get the job done.

Fixed Wi-Fi chip flaw leaves many Apple devices vulnerable to intrusion

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The iPhone XR uses a Wi-Fi chip that's affected by the vulnerability.
Photo: Apple

Security researchers discovered a critical flaw in Wi-Fi chips made by Broadcom and Cypress Semiconductor that were used in Apple devices.

The discovery was presented at the RSA security conference in San Francisco this morning, revealing that billions of devices could have been affected. Attackers could use the vulnerability to decrypt private data sent over the air. Most manufacturers have already released a patch to fix the issue, but it’s unclear how many of the devices have been updated.

The following Apple devices were affected:

iPhone 9 concept gives a glimpse at what Apple may launch this spring

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Will the iPhone 9 really look like this?
Photo: Mauro Batino

The long wait for the successor to the iPhone SE may nearly be over and thanks to a new concept ad you can already get a good glimpse of what it will probably look like.

Mauro Battino unleashed his gorgeous iPhone 9 concept ad this morning that’s based on all the latest rumors. Armed with an A13 chip, the best LCD Apple’s ever made, Portrait Mode camera and new colors, the iPhone 9 could become a big hit. The best feature of all though might be its price tag.

Take a look at this stunning concept ad:

Latest iOS update gives older iPhones longer battery life, better performance

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iPhone
The iPhone 8 and other Apple handsets see real benefits from iOS 13.3.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

There are sometimes concerns that new iOS versions will cut the battery life of older iPhone models, or slow down performance. Tests on a variety of Apple handsets with the just-released iOS 13.3 show just the opposite — this update not only speeds up these devices, it increases the time between charges.

Innovative antenna might make next year’s cheap iPhone faster

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iPhone SE 2 could cost $399 just like the first-gen iPhone SE
The inexpensive iPhone on Apple’s docket will supposedly look like an iPhone 8 on the outside.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

The sub-$400 iPhone supposedly coming the first quarter of next year will have improved wireless performance thanks to a liquid crystal polymer antenna, according to the well-respected analyst who’s the source of many details about this unannounced handset.

It’s often called the “iPhone SE 2” but allegedly won‘t have much in common with that earlier model aside from an affordable price tag.