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20
Sep

iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max Orders Now Shipping After Erroneous ‘Shipment on Hold’ Status


iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and Apple Watch Series 4 orders are now shipping to customers around the world, with the first deliveries set to arrive at doorsteps tomorrow, Friday, September 21.

There were concerns earlier today after some customers noticed their iPhone XS or iPhone XS Max order had been updated with a “Shipment on Hold” status, indicating that “there is an issue with your delivery.” MacRumors has been informed this was in error. Apple has since corrected order statuses.

These customers who saw a “Shipment on Hold” status are now seeing a “shipped” status indicating “your item is on the way,” with initial shipments scheduled to arrive starting this Friday as expected.


As of writing, it’s around 3:00 a.m. in New Zealand, where lucky customers will be among the first to receive their orders in just hours from now. iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and Apple Watch Series 4 will also be available to purchase at Apple Stores and select resellers around the world beginning Friday.

Those planning to line up for the chance to buy one of the new devices at an Apple Store tomorrow should arrive early, as queues can get quite long, and supplies are limited. Most locations are set to open two hours early, at 8:00 a.m. local time, so be sure to check Apple’s store list for details.

As a reminder, customers can click “Track shipment” to track their specific order via Apple.com, or by entering a tracking number on the UPS website in countries where that courier is handling deliveries.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch, watchOS 5, iPhone XSBuyer’s Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
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20
Sep

Apple Maps Now Provides Transit Directions Across New Zealand


Apple Maps now supports transit in New Zealand, enabling users to navigate with public transportation in most populated areas of the country.

In the largest city of Auckland, directions are available for NZ Bus routes, AT Metro trains, or the SkyBus shuttle to the Auckland Airport. In the capital area of Wellington, directions are available for Metlink buses and trains.

Between select destinations in New Zealand, Apple Maps can now provide directions for InterCity buses and Great Journeys trains and ferries.

The feature can be accessed by selecting the Transport tab or button in Apple Maps on iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple Watch.

Apple Maps has supported transit since 2015, with an initial rollout in Baltimore, Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, Los Angeles, Mexico City, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Sydney, Toronto, and China. Since then, Apple has expanded the feature to dozens of additional cities around the world.

Google Maps has supported transit directions for several years now, but Apple Maps is steadily catching up with detailed routing information.

(Thanks, Ram!)

Tags: New Zealand, Apple Maps, transit
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20
Sep

How to Enable iOS 12’s New Do Not Disturb at Bedtime Feature


There’s nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night, glancing over at your iPhone to check the time, and seeing a bunch of notifications that demand your attention and distract you from getting back to sleep.

Apple is aiming to prevent this in iOS 12 with a new Do Not Disturb at bedtime feature that prevents notifications from being displayed on the iPhone’s Lock Screen during your downtime, removing the temptation to start opening up apps in the middle of the night.

Enabling Bedtime Mode

Open up the Settings app.
Scroll to the “Do Not Disturb” section and tap on it.
In the Do Not Disturb section, tap on “Scheduled” to toggle it on.
Select your Do Not Disturb time period, which, for most people, should be from when you go to bed until when you typically wake up.
Tap on Bedtime Mode to toggle it on.
With Bedtime Mode enabled, when you activate the display on your device, the entire screen is dimmed and black, offering up only the time, the current device charge, and a notice that Bedtime Mode is turned on.


In this mode, all incoming calls are silenced as are all incoming notification messages. Your notifications are still listed in the Notification Center, accessible by swiping down from the top of the display, but you won’t see them on the Lock Screen.

Bedtime Mode vs. Do Not Disturb

With Do Not Disturb turned on without Bedtime Mode, all of your incoming calls and notifications are still silenced, but the notification messages themselves will all be visible right on the Lock Screen.

Enabling Calls From Certain People

If you want family members to be able to contact you even with Do Not Disturb and Bedtime Mode turned on in case of emergency, there’s a setting for that.

Open the Settings app.
Tap “Do Not Disturb.”
Scroll down to the Phone section where it says “Allow Calls From.”
Select Everyone, No One, or “Favorites,” which can be set up in the Contacts app.
You can also toggle on “Repeated Calls” in the same section of the Settings app so a second call from the same person within three minutes won’t be silenced. This is an ideal way to screen out unwanted calls while still allowing for potential emergencies as most people will try again if you’re unreachable in a crisis.

Waking Up

When it’s time to wake up, and when Bedtime Mode is scheduled to go off, your iPhone or iPad will display a “Good morning!” message and it will let you tap to reveal all of the notifications that were silenced during the night.

Turning Off Bedtime Mode

If Bedtime Mode isn’t for you, you can turn it off in the Settings app where it was enabled.

Open the Settings app.
Tap on “Do Not Disturb.”
If you want to turn off your scheduled Do Not Disturb session entirely, toggle off “Scheduled.”
If you want to leave Do Not Disturb on but disable Bedtime Mode, tap the Bedtime Mode toggle to turn it off.
Note: To quickly access Do Not Disturb settings, swipe to open up the Control Center and then 3D Touch or long press on the little moon icon.

This will provide you with options to enable Do Not Disturb for an hour, a few hours, until the end of an event, or until you leave a specific location, and it also offers up a “Schedule” option at the bottom that opens straight into the Do Not Disturb toggles in the Settings app.

Related Roundup: iOS 12
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20
Sep

Hulu Updates Website With New Design, Picture-in-Picture Browsing, and More


Hulu today is rolling out a new update for Hulu.com, bringing it in line with the design and user interface that users should be familiar with if they use Hulu on smartphones and TVs, like iOS and tvOS. The company is launching the new update to coincide with fall television premieres, which typically kick off around this time, in mid to late September.

The company says that subscribers can expect all of the usual options they need on Hulu.com, including Playback, Show Details, Add to My Stuff, Recording, and Stop Suggesting all featured in the Home section. When watching a video, navigational controls will allow you to skip ahead to the next episode by clicking an “Up Next” button.

The main change is that Hulu.com no longer has a “Watchlist” and now supports the service’s new “My Stuff” feature, which is where you can add shows to watch later. When in My Stuff, it’s easier to track all of the shows you’re watching, and Hulu will notify you when new episodes of a show are added. On Hulu.com’s new splash screen, the company notes that you can sync all of your existing My Stuff shows to the new Hulu.com using a sync option in account settings.


For sports fans using Hulu with Live TV, you can watch multiple games on multiple windows on Hulu.com, and a basic picture-in-picture feature is also supported for other programs. This way, you can keep watching a show while browsing other parts of Hulu on the web, and the small player can be moved anywhere on the screen while multitasking.

Hulu explains that some Hulu with Live TV subscribers have had these updates on the web for a while, and the company has taken feedback from these users for the public launch:

Some of you may be familiar with the new look and feel of Hulu.com. We launched an early version of the new experience just over a year ago to provide our Hulu with Live TV viewers access to all the big games and live TV coverage from their browsers. Since then, we’ve continued to evolve and refine the new Web experience to incorporate user feedback and new, compelling features, updates and configurations that make the most out of the wide range of motion you have with your mouse and how quickly you’re able to point and click.

Hulu first began rolling out its new experience and updated UI in May 2017, launching first on Apple TV, iOS, Xbox One, Android, and Chromecast. The new Hulu design on these apps — now on Hulu.com — includes large pieces of artwork for each show, a curated home screen of show suggestions, and more.

Tag: Hulu
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20
Sep

Apple Seeds First Beta of iOS 12.1 to Public Beta Testers With Group FaceTime


Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming iOS 12.1 update to its public beta testing group, two days after releasing the beta to developers and three days after the launch of iOS 12, a new major version of the iOS software.

Beta testers who have signed up for Apple’s beta testing program will receive the iOS 12 beta update over-the-air after installing the proper certificate on an iOS device.

Those who want to join the beta testing program can sign up on Apple’s beta testing website, which gives users access to iOS, macOS, and tvOS betas.

The iOS 12.1 update reintroduces Group FaceTime, a major iOS 12 feature that was pulled during the beta testing period because it needed more work. Apple promised to deliver the feature in an upcoming update, which looks like it will be iOS 12.1.

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Group FaceTime is designed to let you audio or video chat with up to 32 people at one time on an iPhone, iPad, or Mac. Calls can also be answered in an audio-only capacity using an Apple Watch or the HomePod.

There are other features that Apple has said are coming in future betas, including eSIM support and the ECG functionality and app, but those do not appear to be present in iOS 12.1, nor do new emojis that have been promised for the fall.

Related Roundup: iOS 12
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20
Sep

Apple Seeds First Beta of tvOS 12.1 to Public Beta Testers


Apple today seeded the first beta of an upcoming tvOS 12.1 update to its public beta testing group, two days after providing the beta to developers and three days after releasing the tvOS 12 update.

The tvOS 12.1 public beta can be obtained by going to the Settings app on the Apple TV and navigating to the Software Updates section under “System.” “Get Public Beta Updates” will need to be toggled on, and once it is, the Apple TV will download the beta software.

We don’t yet know what fixes and changes the tvOS 12.1 update might bring, but it likely focuses on bug fixes for issues that have been discovered since the release of tvOS 12.

Apple’s tvOS updates have historically been minor in scale and Apple does not often provide us with detailed notes outlining what’s new. No obvious outward-facing changes were found in the first developer beta.

Related Roundups: Apple TV, tvOS 12Buyer’s Guide: Apple TV (Neutral)
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20
Sep

Voice technology is useful, in demand, and not moving fast enough


A new survey conducted by IT analytics company AppDynamics, in partnership with Wakefield Research, is revealing some insights and challenges in the development of voice technology. The companies surveyed 1,000 American millennials and 1,000 IT decision-makers employed in the retail, financial services, media, technology, and health care markets in early June 2018. The trends it reveals could be useful to companies who are keen to exploit the growing markets fueled by the rise of digital assistants and smart speakers.

The report basically predicts that voice technology innovation will drive changes in consumer behavior in the next three years, or less. Consequently, AppDynamics says enterprise businesses need to closely monitor how trends in this sector are driving awareness and demand for voice-driven functionality.

The report cites a recent ComScore survey that predicts that all web searches will be controlled by voice by 2020. The thinking is that brand experiences, like the custom skills and functionality being pushed hard by companies such as Amazon, Google, and Walmart are pushing voice experiences into everyday activities like shopping and banking that were formerly either web or app-based experiences or even (gasp!) interactions with a real, live person.

The report puts a heavy focus on millennials, the majority of which (84 percent) said they rely on voice assistants to make their lives easier for things like keeping track of their schedule and responsibilities. Seventy-one percent of millennials indicated they use a voice assistant daily, while nearly half (46 percent) report engaging with a voice assistant five times a day or more.

IT decision makers also seem to approve of the utility and value of voice technology. Half of IT leaders say voice technology will lead to quicker response times. Nearly half (48 percent) say voice technology will help save money and lead to better service. Nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of IT leaders say they expect voice commands to completely replace manually typed commands for finding information on the internet. That enthusiasm may not be keeping up with the demands of future customers, however.

Clearly, demand is high and young people are interested. So, what’s the disconnect? Essentially, AppDynamics is saying that enterprise businesses aren’t moving fast enough to keep up with demand. Sixty-nine percent of surveyed IT decision-makers work at companies that plan to invest in voice technology within the next three years. More than half of those key decision-makers, however, believe it will take over three years for their peers to invest in voice technology.

Another big gap between the market and enterprise businesses points to the growing war between smart assistants such as Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri, and Amazon Alexa over who can produce the most accurate results. Of the companies investing in voice technology, 88 percent have a speech error rate over 6 percent, while nearly a third (35 percent) of companies experience an error rate over 20 percent. Over half (57 percent) of survey respondents said that ensuring that voice recognition is accurate is the biggest challenge.

Despite those errors, nearly half (47 percent) of millennials say they don’t review their voice-to-text commands for accuracy, but when they do, they find errors 67 percent of the time. Listed reasons include taking the wrong route via GPS commands, ordering something they didn’t want, and calling an ex-partner.

It’s a big shift, and anyone working with voice technology will discover some key recommendations from AppDynamics for moving forward. But there’s a little silver lining in the report that’s based on some very human desires. The company asked consumers what they wished a voice assistant would do for them. Over a third (33 percent) said to sing them songs or to give them compliments (31 percent). Other responses asked for voice assistants to comfort them when they’re upset, laugh at their joke, or to give them relationship advice.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Adobe survey finds digital assistants, smart speakers are popular with shoppers
  • Alexa makes for a good shopping buddy but Google Assistant may ‘get you’ better
  • Warning: The way your neighbors use Alexa will bore the snot out of you
  • It’s going to get crowded with Alexa, Siri, and Google in your bathroom
  • Companies want to sell you conflict-free phones, but certification isn’t foolproof



20
Sep

88 percent of the $800-plus smartphones sold last quarter were iPhones


It’s no secret that there are far more Android phones out there than iPhones, but it turns out that could have a little more to do with price ranges than previously thought. Why? Well, Apple globally sold a whopping 43 percent of all phones priced $400 or above in the second quarter of 2018. In other words, 43 percent of the people who can afford an iPhone are buying one — which is far more than the 20.45 percent market share that iOS holds overall.

The report comes from Counterpoint Research, which notes that on top of shipping 43 percent of phones above $400, Apple also swept up a massive 62 percent of the profits generated from smartphone sales in the second quarter of 2018. That’s way ahead of the likes of Samsung, which made 17 percent of the profits, as well as Huawei, with 8 percent, Oppo, with 5 percent, and Vivo, with 4 percent.

Perhaps most interesting are the so-called “premium” sales, which are defined as sales of smartphones that cost over $400. As mentioned, Apple held 43 percent of premium sales, beating out Samsung, which came in with 24 percent, and Oppo, which offered 10 percent. In the $400 to $600 range, Apple and Oppo were tied at 22 percent of sales, and in the $600 to $800 range Apple beat out Samsung with 44 percent of sales.

Apple shot ahead in the $800-plus range, selling a whopping 88 percent of phones.

According to Counterpoint, Samsung lagged a little more than expected in the second quarter of 2018. In particular, the company’s share in the $600 to $800 range was on the decline with fewer than expected sales of the Samsung Galaxy S9.

Of course, in general Samsung sells far more smartphones than Apple, but this latest report highlights the fact that those numbers are mostly focused in the sub-$400 range.

The news becomes even more interesting for Apple when we consider the fact that the second quarter of 2018 may well have been its worst quarter of the year. This was the quarter right before it launched a slew of new iPhones — so many customers would have been holding out to see what Apple released at its September 12 event.

So despite the fact that Apple only releases new phones once per year, it still commands a large percentage of the profits — and it’s unlikely that will slow in the near future.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • Huawei just overtook Apple as the second-largest smartphone seller
  • Huawei overtakes Apple as the second-largest smartphone seller
  • The hottest phones of 2018 are still to come. Here’s what’s around the corner
  • Sharp jumps back into the phone market with a trio of midrange devices
  • Here’s our comparison of the most bezel-less designs among smartphones



20
Sep

How to clean your iPhone’s charging port


The charging port on the iPhone tends to be very dependable, even when other things go wrong. But over time, the charging port can get clogged, blocked, or otherwise compromised. To keep it working as it should — or to get it working again — you may need to clean out the port. We’ll go over the three best methods and what you need to know about using them.

Note: These methods obviously work for other mobile Apple products like iPads, although you may want to consider skipping down to option 3 for these larger devices.

Option 1: Use compressed air

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

If possible, you should try cleaning your charging port without touching it or sticking anything inside. The port includes delicate contact points – tiny strips of metal – that the charging cable must dock into. If the contact points are damaged, then the charger won’t work at all, no matter how much you try to clean it. If the anchors on either side get damaged, they won’t be able to lock in your cable, which is another serious problem. The only solution after damage is to have the charging port replaced by a professional, which has costs in both time and money. So the first rule is to be extremely careful.

This also means that one of the best options for unclogging the iPhone port is to use a can of compressed air. Hold it fairly close to the port, but not too close and certainly don’t try to stick the nozzle inside (remember all those delicate parts). Spray the air in very short, light bursts. Resist the urge to blow into the port yourself: Wet, hot air from the human mouth won’t do the port and its contact points any favors. After you’ve blown a careful blast of air at the port, wait a few seconds, then try attaching your charging cable again and see if it is detected. If the air has dislodged dust or debris stuck in the port, then it should be working just fine again.

Option 2: Take your chances with a toothpick

Sometimes, a can of air isn’t going to cut it. There may be grime built up in the port that air can’t take care of, or a particle lodged too firmly inside to be easily removed. In these cases, you can try digging around a little inside the charging port yourself. Again, all the dangers we just discussed still apply, so it’s important to be as careful as possible. A toothpick is actually a suitable tool to use for this, since the wood is softer and more flexible than plastic or wire.

With a toothpick in hand and your iPhone turned off, find a spot with great lighting, such as under a desk lamp. Lightly insert the tip of the toothpick into the charging port, and gently waggle it around. Avoid putting any pressure on the toothpick at first; if no particles or grime are coming free, you can exert the lightest of pressures for a soft scrape. Any more than that, and you risk damaging the port permanently.

Try to stay away from the sides of the port as you work to avoid damaging the anchors. If you notice that your toothpick is picking up some grime or knocking out debris, stop and switch to canned air if possible. Test your charging cable again to make sure it is working and that nothing is amiss.

Option 3: Just take it into a professional

Trevor Mogg / DT

If you’re willing to make a trip and have a nearby Apple Store you can visit, this is the best option. An experienced employee will know how to clean out the charging port safely, and will have professional tools that are best able to do the job (like cute tiny vacuum cleaners). Best of all, an Apple Store should clean your port and get your iPhone working again for free, so there’s no worrying about expenses.

If you don’t have a nearby Apple Store, you can take your phone into any similar type of repair shop or business that specializes in mobile devices or equipment, and they will be able to help you out. Of course, there’s no guarantee someone else will do it for free, but when dealing with delicate components, your iPhone is typically better off in the hands of a professional even if you have to pay a fee for it.

Feeling annoyed at all these charger port issues? You could always switch to wireless charging, although a cable connection is usually necessary for any big data transfers.

Editors’ Recommendations

  • The best wireless phone chargers for your iPhone or Android
  • Save $40 on a laptop backpack that has its own USB charging port
  • The best iPhone 7 battery cases
  • Mophie vs. Belkin vs. Anker vs. iOttie: Finding the best wireless charging pad for iPhones
  • OPINION: Apple’s new iPhones show off its best tech, and also its greed



20
Sep

Which new iPhone is the best? iPhone XS vs. iPhone XS Max vs. iPhone XR


Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

There are three new iPhones to choose from in 2018, making any purchase decision a little harder than previous years, when there have only been two. If you’re looking at the iPhone XS and thinking maybe the iPhone XS Max is the one to go for, or perhaps wondering if waiting a little while for the iPhone XR is sensible, we feel your pain.

Although confusing at first, the differences between the three are clear once you examine them closely, so let’s put Apple’s three super desirable phones up against each other to see which one is the recommended buy.

If you’re the decisive type and are looking for our reviews, then go here for the iPhone XS, here for the iPhone XS Max, and for the iPhone XR head over here.

Specs

iPhone XS

iPhone XS Max
iPhone XR

Size
143.6 x 70.9 x 7.7mm (5.65 x 2.79 x 0.30 inches)
157.5 x 77.4 x 7.7 mm (6.20 x 3.05 x 0.30 inches)
150.9 x 75.7 x 8.3 mm (5.94 x 2.98 x 0.33 inches)

Weight
177 grams (6.24 ounces)
208 grams (7.34 ounces)
194 grams (6.84 ounces)

Screen size
5.8-inch Super Retina HD OLED True Tone display
6.5-inch Super Retina HD OLED True Tone display
6.1-inch Liquid Retina HD True Tone display

Screen resolution
2,436 x 1,125 pixels (458 pixels per inch)
2,688 x 1,242 pixels (458 pixels per inch)
1,792 x 828 pixels (326 pixels per inch)

Operating system
iOS 12
iOS 12
iOS 12

Storage space
64GB, 256GB, 512GB
64GB, 256GB, 512GB
64GB, 128GB, 256GB

MicroSD card slot
No
No
No

Tap-to-pay services
Apple Pay
Apple Pay
Apple Pay

Processor
Apple A12 Bionic
Apple A12 Bionic
Apple A12 Bionic

RAM
4GB
4GB
3GB

Camera
Dual 12MP (with dual OIS) rear, 7MP TrueDepth front camera
Dual 12MP (with dual OIS) rear, 7MP TrueDepth front camera
12MP (with dual OIS) rear, 7MP TrueDepth front camera

Video
4K at 24, 30, or 60fps. 1080p at 30, or 60fps. OIS.
4K at 24, 30, or 60fps. 1080p at 30, or 60fps. OIS.
4K at 24, 30, or 60fps. 1080p at 30, or 60fps. OIS.

Bluetooth version
Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth 5.0
Bluetooth 5.0

Ports
Lightning connector
Lightning connector
Lightning connector

Fingerprint sensor
No
No
No

Water resistance
IP68
IP68
IP67

Battery
2,658mAh

Fast charge capable (Additional charger needed)

Qi wireless charging

3,174mAh

Fast charge capable (Additional charger needed)

Qi wireless charging

2,942mAh

Fast charge capable (Additional charger needed)

Qi wireless charging

App marketplace
Apple App Store
Apple App Store
Apple App Store

Network support
T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint
T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint
T-Mobile, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint

Colors
Silver, space gray, gold
Silver, space gray, gold
White, black, blue, yellow, coral, (Product) Red

Price
$1,000+
$1,100+
$750+

Buy from
Apple
Apple
Apple

Review score
Hands-on review
Hands-on review
Hands-on review

Performance, battery life, and charging

If you’re expecting to split the iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, and iPhone XR on performance, it’s not going to happen. All three 2018 models use the same A12 Bionic processor, and the iPhone XS versions have the same internal storage options of 64GB, 256GB, or 512GB. The iPhone XR comes with either 64GB, 128GB, or 256GB. There is a slight difference in the RAM — both the XS and XS Max have 4GB, while the XR makes do with 3GB. That means the more expensive iPhones should be a touch better at juggling multiple apps and games, but you’ll have to be a heavy multitasker to benefit and we don’t expect much of a noticeable difference.

If you’re upgrading from an older iPhone, then you should know the A12 Bionic is a real powerhouse. It’s the first mobile processor built using a 7nm process to go on sale (sorry, Huawei), and contains six cores which split the workload depending on power requirements, and is claimed to be 15 percent faster than the previous generation while using 40 percent less energy. You won’t be left wanting more power using any of the new iPhone models.

There’s not one clear winner in the battery department either, as Apple’s quoted use times vary. Let’s look at talk time first. The iPhone XS should last for 20 hours, the iPhone XS Max for 25 hours, as should the iPhone XR. Internet use is 15 hours for the XR, 13 hours for the iPhone XS Max, and 12 hours for the iPhone XS. Apple also quotes how much longer each battery lasts over the iPhone X, which may be due to the A12 Bionic chip and iOS 12 more than extra capacity. You’ll get 30 minutes more out of the iPhone XS, and 90 minutes more out of the iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR.

All three have wireless charging using the Qi standard, and fast charging, too, provided you buy Apple’s fast charger. Only a standard slow charger comes in the box. With the fast charger, a flat battery will zip to 50-percent capacity in 30 minutes. While none of these phones will last much longer than a day, or a day and a half if you’re careful, the iPhone XR comes out with the best results.

There isn’t enough difference here to pick a winner, so we’re calling this category a tie.

Winner: Tie

Design and durability

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

Here’s where the differences between the three start to show. The 5.8-inch 2017 iPhone X, and therefore the iPhone XS, is considered to be just about the right size for most hands — big or small. However, if you have been used to an iPhone Plus model, it may seem a little small, and if you’re coming from an even larger Android phone, it’ll feel positively cramped at first. The iPhone XS Max is much bigger, and we note in our review it’s ideal for watching video and playing games. However, if you’ve got small hands, you may want to hold one before buying just to make sure. It’s also heavy at 208 grams, compared to the 177-gram iPhone XS.

The two XS phones look the same, with a glass body, an IP68 water-resistance rating, a metal chassis, a notch above the screen, and a dual-lens vertically mounted camera on the back. It’s only the size that separates them. The iPhone XR fits in the middle. It’s 194 grams, has an IP67 water-resistance rating, a colorful glass back, and slightly thicker bezels around the screen. The notch stays though. None of the phones have a headphone jack or a fingerprint sensor. Apple’s Face ID is used on all three.

Which wins? The iPhone XS is the best mix here, although if you’ve used the iPhone X and felt it was too small, the XS Max is the same deal just bigger. While the iPhone XR is impressive, and we love the new colors, it doesn’t quite match the class of the XS and XS Max.

Winner: iPhone XS

Display

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The iPhone XS is the smallest of the three with a 5.8-inch Super Retina HD OLED panel with a 2,436 x 1,125 pixel resolution. The iPhone XS Max has a whopping 6.5-inch version of the same panel, this time with a 2,688 x 1,242 pixel resolution. The iPhone XR sits in-between with a 6.1-inch screen, but here it’s an LCD panel Apple calls a Liquid Retina HD display. The resolution is 1,792 x 828 pixels, which we consider a little low for a modern smartphone. The contrast level is also different on the iPhone XR due to the use of LCD rather than OLED. The iPhone XR also misses out on the 3D Touch feature, and although it does use a shortcut system that uses haptic feedback, it won’t be quite the same as the full version on the XS models.

While Apple says the LCD on the iPhone XR is one of the very best, and we call it “excellent” in our review; rarely do LCD panels surpass OLED panels when it comes to the viewing experience, whether it’s navigating the operating system or watching videos. The contrast, black levels, and bright colors will make the iPhone XS and XS Max the ones to go for if viewing pleasure is high on your list of requirements. We’ll choose an OLED screen over LCD each time, especially with the higher resolution. The only decision then is about the size.

Winner: iPhone XS/XS Max

Camera

The dual-lens camera on the iPhone XS and XS Max is exactly the same. Whichever you choose, you get a dual 12-megapixel f/1.8 aperture wide-angle, and f/2.4 aperture telephoto lenses, which provide a 2x optical zoom and portrait mode bokeh shots. Apple has improved the bokeh mode and the HDR feature on the iPhone XS models over the previous versions. Video can be shot in 4K at up to 60fps. Around the front is a 7-megapixel, f/2.2 aperture TrueDepth camera for selfies, complete with portrait mode, and support for creating Animoji and Memoji. It also includes the necessary hardware for Face ID.

The iPhone XR has the same front camera, but a single lens 12-megapixel camera on the back, with an f/1.8 aperture and no optical zoom. It does have a software-driven portrait mode though, and optical image stabilization, plus the new Smart HDR feature. Think of the iPhone XR like the iPhone 8 as it compares to the old iPhone 8 Plus. Still a good camera; but keen photographers will lust after the dual-lens iPhone XS models.

Winner: iPhone XS/XS Max

Software and updates

Brenda Stolyar/Digital Trends

All three new iPhone models use iOS 12, and will be eligible for a free upgrade to future versions for several years. Because all three use the same processor, we doubt there will be much difference in performance, although the bigger the screen the more suited it will be for gaming. We mentioned earlier the iPhone XR does not have 3D Touch, and instead uses a simpler alternative, but otherwise things will be the same across the range.

Winner: Tie

Special features

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

There are no real surprises in this department. All three iPhones have the same TrueDepth camera for FaceID and Animoji fun. The only obvious difference that you might consider a special feature is the absence of 3D Touch in the iPhone XR. The XS and XS Max will also be better at capturing photos with bokeh, thanks to that dual lens setup in the camera.

Winner: iPhone XS/XS Max

Price

Here’s where things really change. The cheapest new iPhone is the iPhone XR, which starts at $750, and the most you’ll pay is $900 for the 256GB model. The iPhone XS is the next up and starts at $1,000, while the 512GB version costs $1,350. The iPhone XS Max is the most expensive at $1,100, but you could spend $1,450 if you splash out on the 512GB version.

It’s hard to justify the iPhone XS Max’s massive price tag, and you’ll have to be truly committed to owning a large screen iPhone to buy one. The iPhone XR is probably more than enough for most people, is the cheapest, and comes in some great new colors. However, we’d spend just that little more on the iPhone XS, which despite being $100 more than the iPhone X last year, comes with the better dual-lens camera. We’d pay for the 256GB model at a minimum, too, as the 64GB version will soon fill up if you take plenty of pictures.

Like any iPhone purchase, you know you’re going to have to pay a little more. Interestingly, this year, provided you aren’t that concerned about the camera, the cost-effective 256GB iPhone XR comes across as a shrewd purchase.

Overall winner: Apple iPhone XS

Which one should you buy? We’re going to settle on the iPhone XS, and recommend the 256GB version, which will cost you $1,150.

Yes, the iPhone XR is cheaper; but it lacks the dual-lens camera, OLED screen, and complete 3D Touch experience of the XS. The 5.8-inch iPhone XS is also just the right size for most people, unlike the much larger iPhone XS Max.

If you can stomach the price, the 512GB iPhone XS will last the longest, but the 256GB will likely be enough for most. Don’t buy the 64GB version of any 2018 iPhone, you’ll end up regretting it, and will likely be forced to pay out for Apple’s iCloud online storage plan.

Enjoy your new iPhone.

Editors’ Recommendations

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  • Apple iPhone XR: Everything you need to know



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