UPDATED 15:34 EST / MARCH 10 2020

APPS

Leak claims Apple is readying triple-camera iPad Pro, AR assistant for iOS

The latest Apple inc. leak has brought new details to light about the new iPhone and iPad models that are expected to launch this year, as well as information about an iOS augmented reality assistant app the company is said to be readying.

The leak comes today by way of 9to5Mac, which obtained a sample of code from the yet-unreleased iOS 14. The code reportedly contains clues not just about the operating system itself but also the devices it will ship with.

Apple has long been rumored to be preparing a low-cost iPhone, alternately referred to in reports as the iPhone 9 and iPhone SE 2, that would serve as a successor to the popular iPhone SE budget model the company launched four years ago. The leaked code reportedly reveals that the new handset will pack the Touch ID biometric login sensor found in Apple’s higher-end devices. It’s also said to sport Express Transit, a feature that allows users to pay for public transit using their phone without having to unlock it.

Changes are coming to the iPhone Pro as well. The tablet, which Apple last refreshed in 2018, is reportedly getting an upgraded camera system consisting of a wide-angle lens, an ultra-wide lens for group and landscape photos and a telephoto lens with better zoom.

There’s reportedly also a rear time-of-flight sensor that will collect depth data about objects in front of the camera. Time-of-flight sensors are used to improve phones’ photo quality and can also help enhance the visual fidelity of augmented reality content, a use case Apple Inc. is reportedly actively exploring. 

Today’s leak also revealed the existence of an upcoming AR app for iOS 14 that will provide information about places the user visits. Inside Apple’s stores, for instance, the app will enable consumers to scan the shelves with their phone camera and see details about the products on display. Apple is reportedly working on an application programming  interface that will allow other companies to create similar experiences for their own retail locations.

The next three quarters may present new opportunities for the iPhone maker. Gartner Inc. forecasted in January that global shipments of smartphones, tablets and personal computers will grow 0.9% this year after declining 4% in 2019. The budget iPhone model and iPad Pro refresh Apple is said to be planning for 2020 could enable the company to capitalize any potential increase in consumer demand.

Photo: Apple

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