Didn’t see it: Apple and the retro detail that was really missing

Until this week, the last we knew about straight edges on iPhones was that they were a thing of the past. Actually, all manufacturers of smartphones They decided a few years ago that modernity made cell phone is shaped like rounded edges.

Even Apple had decided to say goodbye to that vertical limit with the iPhone SE in 2016. Well, it was.

As everything returns, the designers of the iPhone 12 presented on Tuesday the four models of this year. Four models whose retro imprint does not remain in that detail: the 5.4 inches of the Mini version of the iPhone 12 also make it the smallest since the old SE.

Another nod to the past is the return for the new iPhones of the MagSafe, the MacBook charging system that until the 2016 version adjusted the end of the cable that goes to the device with a magnet and that Apple discontinued one fine day.

Now a circle of magnets on the back of the new iPhones will help it stay in place on a wireless charger, or hold new accessories. Regarding chargers, as already known, iPhone stops including them with the product, for ecological reasons (reducing the environmental footprint, very good) that lead to economic reasons (if we want a new charger, we will have to buy it, not so well ).

And there is more retro yet. Since the first iPhone X appeared on the market, we have all been dazzled by a shiny and shiny back … which we never see as we seek to protect it. That rear glass, the first thing that shatters when dropped, eventually caused users to miss the old toughness of other materials.

Metal isn’t coming back, but Apple swears it’s making its new phones “tougher” by saying that the current glass, Made by Corning, has a brand new “ceramic shield.”

And while “stronger” in the glass industry means “less brittle,” that strength often conflicts with “toughness,” a quality that makes glass more scratch resistant. We will have to see, but for now Apple says that it achieved a technology to have a harder glass, and that it does not scratch so much.

All very, very nice. Now, if we think about the context of the global economic crisis (yes, also in the United States) to which the pandemic subjected us and we decided to get more accessible models ($ 700 today is a good price for a late-model iPhone), why not we went back to fingerprint for unlocking? Why, Apple?

Apple switched to Face ID on new iPhones in 2017, ditching the Touch ID sensors that quickly and easily unlocked phones. The reason? I needed space to make bigger screens, and the home button with the sensors took up a lot.

Of course, Face ID today is a nuisance, since we are all wearing a chinstrap in public and every time we want to unlock the screen to check the supermarket list we must dial the blessed six-digit password. Of course there is a solution: disable unlocking with a password or Face ID, which is otherwise insecure.

The thing was not to eliminate the Face ID, but to add the possibility of the fingerprint reader. The curious thing, as the first one points out review of the new iPhone 12 published by Washington Post, is that Apple had a good idea on hand: fingerprint sensors on the side of the device instead of the screen.

But those sensors are only available on iPads, not iPhones. It’s a curious decision, considering that the Face ID problem is less important for iPads, which people tend to use more at home, when they are not wearing masks.

Anyway, details that escape even Tim Cook.

TECHNOLOGY

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