2019 iPhone clue hidden in iOS 13 beta and the future of 3D Touch

Will the next iPhone switch from Lightning to USB-C? Or will it include a fast charger in the box? The iOS 13 developer's beta hints at one of these becoming a reality and why 3D Touch could be left out of the iPhone 11 line-up.

Vanessa Hand Orellana CNET Senior Editor
As head of wearables at CNET, Vanessa reviews and writes about the latest smartwatches and fitness trackers. She joined the team seven years ago as an on-camera reporter for CNET's Spanish-language site and then moved on to the English side to host and produce some of CNET's videos and YouTube series. When she's not testing out smartwatches or dropping phones, you can catch her on a hike or trail run with her family.
Vanessa Hand Orellana
4 min read

The iOS 13 developer's beta may have revealed a major clue about a new feature coming to the 2019 iPhones, and another longtime iPhone feature could be on the chopping block. In this week's Apple Core roundup, we're looking at what the latest rumors are speculating about the next iPhone and Apple's slip-up with the MacPro release date on its website.

Watch this: iOS 13 beta hints at USB-C iPhone in 2019

2019 iPhone lineup may switch to USB-C

WWDC 2019 may be over, but it's left behind a trail of clues that hint at what Apple is planning for its next batch of product announcements. The latest clue could suggest a USB-C on the 2019 iPhones. This week Apple user Raphaël Mouton published a picture on his Twitter account of the recovery screen on an iPhone running the developer's beta of iOS 13. At first glance it just looks like an image of a Mac and the top end of a cable -- but that's no Lightning cable.

The existing iPhone recovery mode image clearly shows a Lightning cable tip, while the one in the beta looks more like a USB-C tip as pointed out by Forbes. This could be a sign that Apple is planning to swap out the Lightning port for the more widely used USB-C port in its 2019 iPhone lineup, a rumor that's been making the rounds since before the 2018 iPhone launch cycle. Also, it wouldn't come as too much of a shock considering Apple has already made the change from Lightning to USB-C on its 2018 iPad Pros and MacBooks .  

The more likely possibility is that the image refers to the USB-C end of a USB-C-to-Llightning cable going in to the Mac. Which hopefully means Apple is planning to include this type of cable as well as a 18W fast-charging USB‑C Power Adapter in the box with its new phones .

3D Touch may get the ax

The new features on the next batch of iPhones could come at a price though, as rumors about Apple eliminating 3D Touch continue to gain steam. After a visit with Apple suppliers in Asia, Barclay analysts, cited in MacRumors, seemed certain that Apple will eliminate this feature in the 2019 iPhone lineup.

This pressure-sensitive technology allows users to access more control options by pressing harder on the phone's screen. Apple first debuted 3D Touch in its iPhone 6S . It was meant to help with navigation once Apple decided to get rid of the home button with the iPhone X , but it hasn't proven to be critical. Apple replaced 3D Touch in last year's iPhone XR with Haptic Touch (its fancy term for a long-press with a slight vibration) to make room for a larger, nearly bezel-less LCD display. And though it doesn't have as much functionality as 3D Touch, it's proved to be a good compromise for users.  

Watch this: 5 best uses of 3D Touch on the iPhone

We won't know for certain whether Apple will eliminate 3D Touch until the iPhone 11 launch in September, but we can rest assured that the functionality will remain, at least to some degree (whether via Haptic Touch or otherwise). The developer's beta of iOS 13 includes even more use-cases for it, and it's unlikely Apple would add more ways to use a defunct feature in iOS .

By the way, here are five more iOS 13 features that Apple could be holding back for the iPhone 11.

Did Apple leak the Mac Pro launch date?

Apple isn't just leaving clues in its software betas -- this week it published what seemed to be a pretty big slip up about the Mac Pro launch date on its website.

At WWDC, the company said the new MacPro and 6K display would be available this fall, but didn't specify when. Then for a brief moment, if you clicked on the "Notify me" link above the Mac Pro on the Apple.com homepage, the pop-up read "Coming in September." But then if you clicked on the product page and did the same, it read "Coming this fall".

Justin Jaffe/CNET

By the time Apple noticed and corrected the slip, it has already been published on 9to5Mac and MacRumors, and made its way around the internet. It has since been corrected to match the other notifications, and Apple has not responded to a query about when the new products will ship.

That said, I'd definitely put my money on a September release date for the Mac Pro, maybe even the day of the iPhone reveal.

More Apple news this week