If Apple follows the release cadence that we’re expecting it will announce the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Pro, and iPhone 12 Pro Max this coming September.
Those devices will run iOS 14 out the gate, and 9to5Mac has been diving into snippets of code that it’s been able to get its hands on. The result is the news that the iPhone 12 won’t get the rumored Time-of-Flight sensor. Only the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max will.
We’ve been hearing rumors of a Time-of-Flight (ToF) sensor for years and it now looks like it’s going to come to the iPhone. We’re also expecting it to debut on new iPad Pro models, although that seems less certain at this point.
As part of the iOS 14 code poking, it has been confirmed that the 2020 iPhones are codenamed d5x. And only two models are listed as supporting the ToF sensor – likely meaning the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max.
The addition of a ToF sensor will allow the high-end iPhones to create 3D models of their environment and then feed that data into apps that could use it.
The time-of-flight sensor will feature an infrared projector, similar to the front-facing TrueDepth camera present in iPhone X and newer models. That enables the iPhone to capture point clouds from the environment so it can generate 3D models based on them. One of the purposes of the ToF sensor that we can confirm is related with the Measure app, which will be able to make accurate distance and measurement calculations on these devices.
What the ToF sensor will be used for isn’t 100% clear, but it’s thought that it will be used for improved Portrait Mode results as well as a new augmented reality app that will debut in iOS 14.
(Top image: iPhone 12 concept in Navy Blue finish)
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