Deep Fusion rises and the 2020 MacBook Pro could get a key new technology

Rumors of next year's iPad Pro and MacBook Pro models are already surfacing.

Lexy Savvides Principal Video Producer
Lexy is an on-air presenter and award-winning producer who covers consumer tech, including the latest smartphones, wearables and emerging trends like assistive robotics. She's won two Gold Telly Awards for her video series Beta Test. Prior to her career at CNET, she was a magazine editor, radio announcer and DJ. Lexy is based in San Francisco.
Expertise Wearables, smartwatches, mobile phones, photography, health tech, assistive robotics Credentials
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Lexy Savvides
3 min read

The dust has barely settled on the iPhone 11 event, but already we have an idea of what to expect from the next Apple keynote, which could be held as soon as this month. In this week's Apple Core roundup, we cover the Deep Fusion feature coming to iOS 13.2 plus reveal rumors about the next generations of iPad Pro and MacBook Pro .

Deep Fusion and iOS 13

The developer beta of iOS 13.2 dropped this week and the most interesting new feature is Deep Fusion, which Apple's marketing chief Phil Schiller talked about at length in the iPhone 11 keynote.

I love the way my colleague Patrick Holland described this new feature: "The best way to think of Deep Fusion is that you're not meant to."

The computational magic to reduce noise and improve image quality all happens behind the scenes. There's no way to tell that Deep Fusion is turned on or any overrides. It's just… there. You can read more on how the feature works in our explainer.

Some developers, such as Tyler Stalman, have got their hands on the beta already and have posted some interesting side-by-side example photos showing Deep Fusion in action.

Will Apple hold an October event?

Apple held an event in October last year, where we got a redesigned iPad Pro (without a home button) and new MacBook Air , as well as a refreshed Mac Mini. Now the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max have a new camera system, maybe the iPad Pro will be the next iDevice to receive the same triple camera treatment? That's what some leaks are pointing towards, such as this image on MacRumors, via Apple leaker Sonny Dickson.


The 2018 iPad Pro.


The other product due for a refresh is the MacBook Pro, complete with Intel 's latest Coffee Lake-H processors. According to 9to5Mac, the new laptop will have a 16-inch screen, except it will have the same overall size as the current 15-inch model. That's because the bezel around the screen will be smaller in order to fit in an extra inch of real estate.

This new MacBook Pro could also address one of the biggest issues users have had about the laptop since 2015 -- the butterfly keyboard. Many owners complained about sticky keys or being unable to type letters properly. Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has reported that the new MacBook Pro would use a scissor switch keyboard.

In May this year, Apple announced it would replace all the problematic butterfly keyboards in MacBook Pros -- including the models that were announced earlier that month. 

Sarah Tew/CNET

Apart from a potential new iPad Pro and MacBook Pro, we may also see Apple finally unveil a small tracker, similar to the Tile Bluetooth tracker, that could help you find your lost items.

The other potential item on the cards could be the third generation of Apple's AirPods with noise cancellation. A glyph image found in the iOS 13.2 beta by 9to5Mac shows what looks like a new in-ear design for the AirPods, which look similar to images leaked last month that supposedly showed an AirPods 3 prototype.

2020 MacBooks and iPad Pros may get new display tech

Put aside this year's hardware rumors for a hot second. We already have some details about the next generation of iPad Pros and MacBooks which may have a totally new screen technology onboard.

Yet another report from Ming Chi-Kuo cited in 9to5Mac says the 2020 or 2021 models will get Mini-LED screens. 

So what is Mini-LED?

First up it's not the same as MicroLED , which is a different display technology we've already seen in concept TVs like The Wall from Samsung . MicroLED displays can be modular and will be very expensive, at least initially, when they go on sale. 

Mini-LED is a different way of backlighting LCD displays and is much cheaper. The technology promises a wide color gamut similar to OLED, good dynamic range and contrast ratios. Plus it doesn't use that much power. It doesn't suffer from burn-in either, which is sometimes a problem with OLEDs.


The first mini-LED TV, the TCL 8-series.

Sarah Tew/CNET

According to Kuo, Apple can source these micro-LED panels from different suppliers. Samsung is one of the primary manufacturers of OLED screens in sizes needed for something like an iPad or a MacBook.

The report also says this mini-LED iPad will come in 10- to 12-inch sizes and the MacBook in 15 and 17 inches.

It's a good time to talk about mini-LED because the first TV with this display technology (the TCL 8-series) is coming out this month.