Enlarge / From left to right: the iPhone 8, the iPhone XS, the iPhone XR, and the iPhone XS Max. (credit: Samuel Axon)
Bloomberg reporters Mark Gurman and Debby Wu, who have a track record of accurately reporting major Apple product features before they are announced, published a new report today describing features in 2020’s iPhones and iPad Pros, as well as some new features expected in iOS 13 and new iPhones later this year. They also added to a growing number of reports that claim an updated base iPad and a long-awaited iPad mini follow-up are expected this spring.
Citing several people familiar with Apple’s plans, Bloomberg wrote that Apple plans to add a rear-facing 3D camera to the iPhone and iPad Pro. The 3D camera will scan the environment and create 3D models of it in a similar way to how the front-facing TrueDepth camera on recent iPhones scans a user’s face and tracks their expressions, but it would use a laser scanner instead of the dot-projection technology in current iPhones. This is because the dot-projection tech is not suitable to longer ranges; the new rear-facing 3D cameras would have a range of up to 15 feet.
The camera would add useful depth-sensing data to photos and make augmented reality applications more powerful and more accurate, which Apple has made a major priority internally and in its communications with app developers.