iPhone 12 launch event live blog: All the big news as its announced

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iPhone time! Cook is going over the usual talking points about how amazing Apple’s phones are before finally taking the wraps off of what’s next. 

Looks like we’re starting with HomePod mini! Just like the leaks suggested, Apple’s new smart speaker is a miniature sphere that comes in gray and white with a big indicator up top for Siri.

Apple is promising “amazing sound,” robust Siri support and strong security. We’re getting a look at the speaker’s internals, which include a custom driver as well as an Apple S5 chip built to deliver rich sound with minimal distortion. The HomePod mini uses software to control things such as dynamic range, giving you the best audio output possible from this tiny little ball.

Homepod Mini

(Image credit: Apple)

Multiple HomePod mini devices can be paired together, allowing you to enjoy audio from throughout the home. And you can use two of them in stereo mode, making it easy to get a more immersive left-right experience when jamming out.

HomePod mini will support Apple Music and Podcasts, as well as third party services such as Pandora and Amazon (where’s Spotify though?). Apple’s also discussing how much smarter Siri has gotten, with better accuracy and speech recognition. You’ll be able to ask Siri “what’s my update?” which will prompt the assistant to go over your major calendar appointments, messages and more. 

The HomePod mini is also built to be a smart home device, allowing you to control your HomeKit devices (such as lights and thermometers) with your voice alone. Now this is cool: there’s also an Intercom feature that will let you use HomePod to send voice messages to family members. There’s no more excuse for junior missing your text about taking the chicken out of the freezer. 

HomePod mini comes in white and space gray, and will sell for just $99 when it releases November 16. That’s a pretty sweet deal, though we’re eager to see how it stacks up to the excellent Nest Audio speaker and the upcoming new Amazon Echo, both of which are the same price.

This is now our third digital Apple event that starts with a series of dramatic pans around Apple Park, and honestly, I’m still here for it. We’re seeing the sun rise on the Steve Jobs theater, and triumphant music is playing in the background. New iPhones are upon us! 

Apple’s usual serene club music has started playing, accompanied by a color changing version of the event invite logo we saw last week. I think we’re going to see several circular objects at this show! 

(Image credit: Apple)

Less than 30 minutes to go until showtime! Here are some last minute hopes and predictions from around the Tom’s Guide office.

Henry T. Casey, editor: “[I hope] today’s leaks didn’t show us all the colorways.”

Mike Prospero, managing editor: “I hope that Siri can set more than one timer.”

Kate Kozuch, staff writer: “I hope Jon Prosser has to shave his eyebrows.”

Personally, I’m also hoping for a few additional iPhone colors. I’d also love to see a significant update on Apple Arcade in terms of big new games coming to the service. There have been murmurs about an “Apple Arcade Plus” in the past, and I’d be curious to see what that looks like.

The iPhone 12 won’t be the only Apple gadget to drop the charger in the box. According to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, Apple will remove EarPods and charging adapters from the iPhone SE as well as other recent iPhones.

It looks like Apple once again has a custom “like” animation on Twitter for #AppleEvent tweets, this time mimicking the various circles on the iPhone 12 event invite. You can check it out for yourself below: 

Jon Prosser is at it again, claiming he’ll shave his eyebrows off if the AirTags or AirPods Studio get announced today. He was able to avoid this fate during last month’s show, but will good luck strike twice?

We’ve got less than 3 hours to go until showtime, and Tim Cook just shared his event day playlist. Sure sounds like Apple is ready to talk about audio products!

New iPhone 12 colors aren’t the only thing leaking left and right. Blass also just gave us our first look at the HomePod mini, which sports a slick spherical design and comes in both white and gray options. It also looks suspiciously like the new Amazon Echo. I guess smart sphere speakers are the future?

(Image credit: Evan Blass/Voice)

Ready for another massive last-minute leak? Evan Blass just revealed the full iPhone 12 color lineup, confirming many of the rumors we’ve heard previously.

The iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 will come in black, blue, green, red and white, while the Pro and Pro Max will be available in blue, gold, graphite and silver. I’ve got my eyes on that blue iPhone 12, but the iPad Air-esque light green is also a standout.

(Image credit: Evan Blass/Voice)

We’ve got 5 hours to go until the big show, and there are already more than 10,000 eager fans waiting on Apple’s YouTube page. Meanwhile, Amazon Prime Day is in full swing. It’s a good day to have multiple monitors! 

(Image credit: Tom’s Guide)

As per usual on Apple Event days, the Apple Store is officially down to make way for the new products we’ll see today.

(Image credit: Apple)

While the iPhone 12 might steal the headlines later on, it’s Amazon Prime Day, which means you can get some rather nice discounts on the iPhone SE — great if you need a backup Apple phone — and the iPad Air also has some money off it. It’s rare that Apple produces get discounted, so we suggest you check these deals out. 

Apple oracle and analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has forecasted that the 6.1-inch iPhone 12 will be the most popular of the upcoming quartet of Apple phones. According to MacRumors, Kuo reckons that the ‘standard’ iPhone 12 will outsell the 5.4-inch iPhone 12 mini, which we’re forecasting will be rather popular, especially for people with smaller hands. Overall, Kuo expects the iPhone 12 range to sell 80 to 85 million units altogether, and thus prove Apple’s smartphones are as popular as ever. 

It looks like rumors of magnetic wireless charging for the iPhone 12 might very well be true, as Macotakara has found images of a wireless charger for the iPhone 12 from Japanese accessory manufacturer MPOW. The circular pad seems to sit in the spot where other leaks and rumors have claimed the iPhone 12 will have a ring of magnets beneath its chassis. It looks like this wireless charger, if the image is legit, will snap-on to the back of the iPhone 12 and thus avoid problems of the phone not charging if it’s not placed correctly on a wireless charging pad. 

iPhone 12 magnetic wireless charger leak

(Image credit: Macotakara and MPOW)

Speaking of the Apple TV, 9to5Mac found reference to what appears to be a new Apple TV in a leaked build of iOS 14. If a new Apple TV is on its way, then it’s likely to look the same as the current one, as an icon added to the Apple server is also the same one as the current Apple TV 4K. However, we’re not expecting Apple to reveal a new streaming box at today’s event, but we’re happy to be pleasantly surprised. 

Prosser also suggests that the HomePod mini and the next Apple TV could use Ultra Wideband technology to track you as you move around your home. Why would you want it to do this? Well, with UWB built in, the HomePod mini can sync up with other U1-powered Apple devices to help you find your lost gadgets, use AR applications, and effectively turn your old hardware into smart HomeKit-enabled tech.  

According to regular leaker Jon Prosser, Apple may release the iPhone 12 and iPad Air 4 at the same time. His theory? Apple doesn’t want people to try out the new A14 processor before the new iPhone is out.  

The iPhone 12 could be getting a huge camera upgrade, if recent leaks are to be believed. Leaker @PineLeaks claims that digital and optical zoom will be getting a “massive boost” this year, and that night mode will be extended to the iPhone 12’s telephoto camera. With the Google Pixel 5 about to release, we’re not surprised to see Apple step up its photo game, especially in the software department.

One of the most interesting last-minute iPhone 12 leaks could be a big one for old-school Apple fans. The upcoming flagship will reportedly bring back Apple’s MagSafe technology, which was that handy, trip-safe magnetic charging port from your old MacBooks. The tech will allegedly be revived to deliver a new kind of wireless charging for the iPhone 12 — we’re eager to see how that shakes out in real world use.

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