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Apple Smart Battery Case for iPhone 11 and 11 Pro adds a new camera button

The button that should be added to the iPhones.

Scott Stein Editor at Large
I started with CNET reviewing laptops in 2009. Now I explore wearable tech, VR/AR, tablets, gaming and future/emerging trends in our changing world. Other obsessions include magic, immersive theater, puzzles, board games, cooking, improv and the New York Jets. My background includes an MFA in theater which I apply to thinking about immersive experiences of the future.
Expertise VR and AR, gaming, metaverse technologies, wearable tech, tablets Credentials
  • Nearly 20 years writing about tech, and over a decade reviewing wearable tech, VR, and AR products and apps
Scott Stein

The new Smart Battery Case still has that bump.


Even though this year's iPhones have much-improved battery life overall, Apple has released a series of new Smart Battery Cases for the iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max just before the holidays. Much like previous Apple-made battery cases, they have a hump on the back, connect directly to Lightning inside, can be wirelessly charged, come in black or white, and this time promise up to 50% more battery life.

The interesting part is a new dedicated camera button on the side. Per Apple, it launches the Camera app even when the iPhone is asleep, and will take quick videos when pressed and held.

At $129, these are expensive. And frankly, so far, I haven't felt the need for an extra battery with the newest iPhones. But that camera button sure is interesting. It should be added as a permanent feature to future iPhones.

More thoughts to come when we try one in person.