Preorders start on $699 iPhone 12 mini

Apple has started to take pre-orders for iPhone 12 mini with deliveries expected to start from November 13.

The iPhone 12 mini is arriving weeks after Apple released its iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro, with preorders on October 16 and shipments from October 23. The smallest model will be arriving approximately three weeks behind the mid-sized models, due to Apple splitting the range into two releases.

The pre-orders for the iPhone 12 mini began at 5am PT on November 6, the same time as the earlier wave for orders, and at the same moment in territories around the world. Customers in the US, UK, Australia, China, Germany, Japan, and more than 30 other countries and regions will be able to make the pre-order on the same day.

At the same time, Apple is also opening preorders for the iPhone 12 Pro Max and the HomePod mini.

Pre-orders for new Apple products regularly sell out shortly after they become available, with initial stock snapped up sometimes within minutes of going live. Customers ordering later may see their shipment times slip towards late November if they decide to wait for the initial rush to pass.

The iPhone 12 mini starts from $699 with 64GB of storage, rising to $749 for 128GB and $849 for 256GB. It is available in blue, green, black, white, and (Product)Red.

Equipped with a 5.4-inch Super Retina XDR OLED display,the iPhone 12 mini has a resolution of 2,340 by 1,080 and a pixel density of 476ppi. Despite its small size and lowest cost, the mini model has the same set of specifications as the larger iPhone 12 model.

This includes the A14 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine, Face ID support with the 12MP TrueDepth Camera array, and support for 5G cellular networks.

On the back are two 12-megapixel cameras for wide-angle and ultra-wide angle photographs, complete with a 2x optical zoom out and a 5x digital zoom. For 2020, the iPhone 12 mini also has HDR video recording with Dolby Vision at up to 30fps, as well as 60fps 4K video, 1080p 240fps slo-mo, and enhanced low-light imaging capabilities.

Pre-order Apple's HomePod mini for $89.99 ($10 off), first come, first served

The first material discount has hit HomePod mini pre-orders, and the best deal is available only at AppleInsider. Pick up the new smart speaker for $89.99 for a limited time only.

New HomePod mini discount

Retailing for $99, Apple’s new HomePod mini makes a great holiday gift with its budget-friendly price tag. But shoppers can save even more on the brand-new smart speaker this week with promo code APINSIDER, which drops the accessory down to $89.99 in your choice of Space Gray or White.

This discount, which is in addition to free shipping within the contiguous U.S., is valid for a limited time only. Considering orders are filled on a first come, first served basis, you’ll want to secure your place in line right away for the best delivery spot.

To activate the coupon, you must shop through this special pricing link and enter the APINSIDER coupon code in the same browsing session. Detailed step-by-step instructions for redeeming the deal can be found below.

HomePod mini discounted to $89.99

(*) How to apply the coupon

  1. Make sure you’re using a browser with cookies enabled that isn’t in private mode.
  2. Click on the price link to the desired configuration from this article or the Adorama price links in our Smart Speaker Price Guide. You MUST click through our links in the same shopping session that you use our coupon. If you try to save a link for late, the coupon WON’T WORK. Once you click through a price link, you’ll see a price that’s higher than advertised (we’ll fix that in a moment).
  3. Add the HomePod mini to your cart anyway, and when you’re done shopping, begin the checkout process.
  4. Look for a link that says “Do you have a gift card or promo code?” next to the gift icon. Click that to bring up a coupon code field.
    Where to find Adorama coupon code field
  5. Enter the coupon code APINSIDER in the field and click apply. The discount should appear under “Promo Savings” above the order total.
  6. That’s it. As always, if you have any issues, you can reach out to us at [email protected] and we’ll try and help.

Apple hardware deals

Best Apple prices

AppleInsider and Apple authorized resellers are also running additional exclusive discounts on hardware that will not only deliver the lowest prices on many of the items, but also throw in bonus deals on protection plans, software and more. Here are some of the offers:

Apple must face lawsuit over Tim Cook's China 2018 sales predictions

Shareholders who claim to have lost billions because Tim Cook failed to warn them of falling demand in China, have been told they can bring a class-action suit against Apple.

In 2019, Apple took the unusual step of revising its revenue guidance prediction down because of lower iPhone sales in China. However, a group of shareholders, led by the UK’s Norfolk County Council, now say that this was too late. They argue that CEO Tim Cook should have foreseen the issue and said so during Apple’s late 2018 financial earnings call.

During that November 2018 earnings call, Cook said that Apple was seeing what he described as sales pressure in some markets. However, he then stated that, “I would not put China in that category.”

According to Reuters, US District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers now says that the shareholders’ group, may bring a proposed class-action suit accusing Cook of concealing falling sales demand. Rogers said that Cook may not have known specifics, but it “strains credulity” that he would have been unaware of trade tensions and possible impact on sales.

According to Judge Rogers, the shareholders’ argument presented a “cogent and compelling inference that Cook did not act innocently or with mere negligence.”

Reuters reports that Apple has not responded to the ruling, but has previously said there is no proof that it defrauded the shareholders, or intended to.

The plaintiffs reportedly also filed unknown claims regarding sales of the iPhone XS, and iPhone XS Max. However, Judge Rogers dismissed both.

'iPhone 13' same size as iPhone 12, gets improved ultra wide cameras says Ming-Chi Kuo

Typically reliable analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claims that the “iPhone 13” range will consist of the same four sizes as the iPhone 12, but it and 2022’s models will see significant upgrades to the Ultra Wide cameras on the higher end phones.

As the pre-orders start for the iPhone 12 mini, and iPhone 12 Pro Max, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is predicting a return to the regular launch schedule for “iPhone 13,” plus some first specifics about what to expect in 2021 and 2022’s iPhones.

In a note to investors seen by AppleInsider Kuo notes that “iPhone 13” range will again see four models. Each of the four is expected to be same sizes as in the current iPhone 12 range.

However, where each of the iPhone 12 models have the same Ultra Wide camera, the “iPhone 13 Pro” and “iPhone 13 Pro Max” will see an improvement. Currently the iPhone 12 Ultra Wide camera is a f/2.4, 5P lens.

If Kuo is correct, the two higher-end “iPhone 13” models will instead feature an Ultra Wide lens that is f/1.8, and 6P. Instead of the current fixed 13mm focal length, this would include variable autofocus.

According to Kuo, that improvement is to be retained for 2022’s “iPhone 14” range, too. What may change is the mix of suppliers providing components for these cameras, with Kuo predicting that Largan will manufacture the needed voice coil motors that move the lenses.

Even as the iPhone 12 range pre-orders were reportedly greater than those for the iPhone 11 models, Kup expects more for next year’s phones. He predicts that a return to the regular September unveiling of new models will be contribute to increased sales.

Plus Kuo believes that 5G will be more established by September 2021. While Apple introduced 5G with all models of the iPhone 12, the cell companies’ infrastructure for the faster service is lagging behind expectations.

How Steve Jobs saved Apple with the online Apple Store

Alongside the return of Steve Jobs and the advent of the iMac and iPod, Apple’s first online store played a crucial role in the company’s survival and resurgence. It officially opened for business on November 10, 1997 and has been online ever since — except when Apple takes it offline to promote the launch of new products.

It wasn’t enough that Steve Jobs came back to Apple and stripped its messy range down to a few core products. The iMac wasn’t enough to turn the company around either — not by itself. While it may not have seemed it at the time, the launch of the online Apple Store on November 10, 1997 turned out to be crucial component of the company’s survival.

There’s an argument that it was born of irritation rather than anyone seeing how useful it would be. But while there is truth in that, the full story is that Apple badly needed its own online store.

Back in the 1990s, there were no bricks-and-mortar Apple Stores. You had to buy Macs through specialist dealers or through big chain stores. The chains famously employed whatever the opposite of Geniuses is, and they all pushed whichever box they got the most commission on.

Given that Apple was rarely, if ever, the most profitable sale for someone in a store, what Macs were there tended to be ignored. And you don’t run a retail store by taking up space with inventory that isn’t selling, so Apple was being stocked by fewer places.

Shortly before the launch of its own online store, Apple announced a deal with CompUSA to create what it called a store-within-a-store. It meant a higher profile for Apple than before, but it was still under someone else’s control.

A Sears store selling a Macintosh Performa back in the day. Are those washing machines behind them?

A Sears store selling a Macintosh Performa back in the day. Those are washing machines behind them.

“All that the salesman cared about was a $50 spiff,” Steve Jobs later told Walter Isaacson. “Unless we could find ways to get our message to customers at the store, we were screwed.”

There were few online stores for computers in the late 1990s, but what there was proved to drive Apple down this road though a combination of irritation and insight.

Dell

There was really only one significant online store for computers at the time, and that was Dell’s. The company didn’t design computers in the sense that Apple did, it really just packaged them, but at the time, it packaged them extremely successfully.

Dell had also circumvented the need for resellers and chain stores, by chiefly selling over the phone. Not only did it cut out the need and the cost of these other companies, it meant Dell could ask customers what they wanted and then give it to them.

Just as Apple was starting to do, Dell had got its stock of completed computers down to a minimum. “If I’ve got 11 days of inventory and my competitor has 80,” said Michael Dell at the time, “and Intel comes out with a new 450 megahertz chip, that means I’m going to get to market 69 days sooner.”

While few or no other sellers were doing much online, in 1995 Dell began to create its web store. It launched in July 1996 and by that December was earning $1 million per day.

Apple had to be aware of this success and had to see that it was a way that it too could go around resellers and get Macs in front of people. However, this was also Dell. This was the company whose owner Michael Dell famously wrote off Apple’s chances. “I’d shut [Apple] down and give the money back to the shareholders,” he said in October 1997.

And it is also the company who originally built this extremely successful online store using WebObjects — software tools created by Steve Jobs’s NeXT firm.

How Dell's hugely successful online store looked around the time Apple launched its own

How Dell’s hugely successful online store looked around the time Apple launched its own

So Apple, having bought NeXT and brought back Steve Jobs, had the talent to make a store but it also had the need if it were to make its machines as easy to buy as they were intended to use. Michael Dell’s comment came after Apple had started to develop its online store, but it definitely smarted — as you can see in video of Steve Jobs launching the Apple online store.

What Jobs says in it, though, is directed both at potential buyers — and at Michael Dell.

“In 1996, Dell pioneered the online store and Dell’s online store has become, up till now, the standard of ecommerce sites,” said Jobs. “We’re basically setting a new standard for online ecommerce with this store. [And] I guess what we want to tell you, Michael, is that with our new products and our new store and our new build-to-order manufacturing, we’re coming after you, buddy.”

Instant success

The new online Apple Store brought in $12 million of revenue in its first 30 days, for an average of $730,000 per day. That’s three-quarters of where Dell’s daily revenue had reached after its first six months.

It’s not possible to compare Apple’s online sales then with how the online store does today. Apple doesn’t release figures that would help, and the company itself is radically different today. Back in 1997, there were no services, for instance, it was all hardware sales. And while there were physical stores you could Macs in — in October 1998, Apple announced a deal with Best Buy — there were no Apple Stores.

However, there surely wouldn’t be physical Apple Stores today if the online one hadn’t succeeded and if it hadn’t helped Apple survive. Similarly, resellers were declining, so even if Apple had managed to get through the 1990s, it’s likely that there would be few physical places to buy Apple gear.

Back in the day, this was considered high resolution. A typical opening screen from the online Apple Store in its earliest days.

Back in the day, this was considered high resolution. A typical opening screen from the online Apple Store in its earliest days.

Even if it can only give a taste of how Apple has changed, though, it is possible to pick out certain figures from the company’s finances and gain at least a slight basis for comparison.

Taking Apple’s Q4 2019 earnings — the last before all of its newest services had launched and been running for at least an entire quarter — you can deduce that Apple sold $570 million worth of hardware devices every day in that period.

This means that every day, Apple typically earned 781 times what it got from the Apple Store’s initial daily revenue. And if it’s impossible to calculate what percentage of that came from the physical stores and what from online, it’s now also impossible to imagine how crucial online sales became as stores closed during the coronavirus.

Changing fortunes

The online Apple Store was key to getting Apple back up on its feet, but it’s also proved to be instrumental since the company became a born-again success.

It’s now a promotional tool as well, as Apple makes a big deal of taking down the entire store for hours when it is about to announce a new product.

While any other company would long for the world to notice when its online store is down, Apple has also used it to pull off something that surely no other company would dream of.

We no longer see the huge lines around the block as people queue up and camp out to be first to buy a new device. You can question why anyone would ever do that — though trust us, it is remarkably fun — but the optics were fantastic. News coverage never seemed to tire of showing us these lines of people, and that was free advertising that kept reminding the world that Apple was this popular.

Maybe the company saw that the furore was dying down by itself, but Apple took steps to instead have us waiting in front of our computers or iOS devices for the launches.

It’s done that by opening pre-orders ahead of the release date, and opening them at a specific time.

Nobody else gets worldwide headlines for taking their web store offline.

Nobody else gets worldwide headlines for taking their web store offline.

Now instead of the lines around the block, the news is always that devices have sold out in a very short time.

Apple’s online store is an incredible operation that usually manages to look simple. It’s hard to grasp just how many transactions go through it. But what’s easy to comprehend is that Apple owns and runs the whole process without any retailer or big chain reseller in the middle.

As it does with its hardware and software, Apple owns the whole stack in its online store and it absolutely maximises every benefit that brings.

Online Apple Store down ahead of iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro Max and HomePod mini preorders

Apple late Thursday took its online storefront down as it prepares for what is expected to be a crush of preorders for iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro Max and HomePod mini.

Following Apple’s typical preorder schedule, the new devices will be made available alongside other products like as-yet-unreleased iPhone 12 series leather cases on Friday at 5 a.m. Pacific, 8 a.m. Eastern. Apple this week said leather sleeves and the MagSafe Duo charger will ship at a later date.

This year’s iPhone lineup represents a significant update to Apple’s most recent handsets. A new iPhone 5-inspired design is applied across the range, while internal upgrades present improvements in key areas like processing, photographic capabilities and connectivity. On the latter, iPhone 12 marks Apple’s foray into 5G, with all models supporting the speedy protocol.

Apple’s new A14 Bionic system-on-chip powers the smartphone line, while each handset sports an OLED Super Retina XDR display. MagSafe is another tentpole feature, enabling fast 15W wireless charging, new case options and more.

The soon to be available iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max stretch Apple’s smartphone offerings to new limits.

The iPhone 12 mini boasts a 5.4-inch display seated in an aluminum chassis, includes ultra-wide and wide 12 megapixel cameras, and delivers a pocketable form factor. Like the iPhone 12, iPhone 12 mini supports Dolby Vision HDR video recording at up to 30 frames per second, while Apple claims battery life hits 15 hours.

Prices for the iPhone 12 mini start at $699 for a 64GB model and move to $749 for 128GB and $849 for 256GB. The iPhone 12 mini is offered in white, black, blue, green and Product(RED), with sales of the latter going toward the Global Fund to combat COVID-19.

Apple’s largest model, the iPhone 12 Pro Max, bumps up screen real estate to 6.7 inches and adds a telephoto camera into the mix. Further, the 12 Pro Max is the only iPhone 12 to benefit from a larger sensor on the wide angle camera, which also boasts sensor shift stabilization. A LiDAR Scanner assists in augmented reality applications and camera functions, while Dolby Vision HDR recording can reach 60 frames per second. Battery life is rated at up to 20 hours of video playback.

The stainless steel iPhone 12 Pro Max is priced at $1,099 for 128GB of storage, $1,199 for 256GB and $1,399 for 512GB. Finishes include graphite, silver, gold and a new Pacific Blue.

Also up for sale is HomePod mini. A more affordable sibling to Apple’s HomePod, the new device packs a backlit touch panel, full-range dynamic driver and two passive radiators into a spherical, fabric-covered body. An acoustic waveguide situated at the speaker’s base is designed to provide clear, 360-degree audio playback.

Inside, an S5 system-on-chip powers advanced “computational audio” features to ensure high-fidelity sound reproduction. The silicon, along with a U1 Ultra Wideband chip, provides the smarts necessary for Siri, accurate audio Handoff, HomeKit control and a new Intercom feature.

HomePod mini is priced at $99 and comes in Space Gray or white.

Preorders for iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro Max and HomePod mini are set to go live at 5 a.m. Pacific, 8 a.m. Eastern. The first orders are slated to arrive on Nov. 13.

Safari translations in iOS 14 rolling out to more countries

Apple is reportedly expanding access to a new iOS 14 feature that enables users to translate webpages in Safari.

Introduced with iOS 14 in September, the feature lets users translate foreign language webpages natively in Safari by tapping on the “aA” icon in the address bar. The button, initially implemented to control page font size, has now become a catchall menu for native Safari functions including website settings and privacy reports.

The Safari capability was restricted to U.S. users at launch, but has since expanded to other countries the release of iOS 14.2 on Thursday. According to 9to5Mac, the feature is now live in Brazil and Germany. Other countries might also see the translation function roll out in the coming days.

Safari translations should not be confused with the Translate app. Apple with iOS 14 also introduced a standalone Translate app that integrates text and voice translations into a clean user interface. The system is capable of translating between Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Both Safari translations and the Translation app support the above eleven languages.

First iPhone 12 mini, iPhone 12 Pro Max hands-on videos illustrate vast size difference

Apple this week invited press outlets to take a first look at iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max before launch on Friday, loosing a deluge of photos, comparisons and initial analysis.

For the most part, the first batch of reports fail to provide much in the way of new information, though The Verge came equipped with older iPhone models for a few handy comparisons.

The publication pits the iPhone 12 mini against the iPhone 5S and iPhone 7. With its 5.4-inch screen, the mini is Apple’s smallest flagship handset in years and many are looking forward to returning to a more pocketable form factor.

“And that smaller size is really nice to hold. iOS scales well to the 5.4-inch display, and the iPhone 12 design looks and feels just as nice on the slightly more compact version as it does on the full-sized model,” The Verge reports. “If you liked the size of the the old 5 / 5S / SE, though, the 12 mini feels like the closest Apple has come to that style of device in a long time.”

The report also takes a first pass at iPhone 12 Pro Max, offering side-by-side comparisons with the iPhone 12 and iPhone 6 Plus.

In its hands-on look, CNET calls the iPhone 12 mini the most interesting of Apple’s new lineup, saying it “feels like a return to the idea of packing the most features into the smallest body.”

TechCrunch was also provided access to the handsets, as well as the forthcoming MagSafe Duo charger that juices up both an iPhone and Apple Watch. The publication does not present much in the way of analysis and its comparison photos don’t offer any revelations that haven’t already been seen in Apple’s own press materials.

Likewise, Engadget published a cursory overview of the smartphones that goes over basic information first announced in October. A pair of videos offer a look at the phones in action.

Apple is set to initiate preorders for iPhone 12 mini and iPhone 12 Pro Max on on Friday, Nov. 6, at 5 a.m. Pacific, 8 a.m. Eastern.

App privacy 'nutrition labels' coming to App Store on Dec. 8

Apple on Thursday told app developers that it would be requiring them to provide new publicly viewable information about their app privacy and data policies starting Dec. 8.

The detailed privacy information will be displayed on an app’s App Store page, and Apple likens it to a nutrition label. Apple first announced the new privacy feature at its WWDC 2020 event.

In an update to its developer webpage, Apple said that app privacy information can be added via App Store Connect app as of Thursday, Nov. 5. It will become a requirement for all iOS 14 apps on Dec. 8.

According to the new guidelines, developers will need to provide information about all of the data that they or a third party collects through an app. That includes names, email addresses, physical addresses, payment information, health data, and other types of information.

Additionally, the App Store labels will need to let users know what happens to that data, whether it’s linked to a user, and whether it’s used to track users across other apps and platforms. Some categories for disclosure include third-party advertising, analytics, or product personalization.

Some types of data don’t need to be disclosed, however. Data that isn’t used for tracking purposes or advertising doesn’t have to be included. The same goes for data collection that’s infrequent and not part of an app’s “primary functionality,” and data that’s provided by the user in a clear interface.

The new “nutrition labels” are just part of a broader suite of privacy features that Apple is introducing in iOS 14. Other protections include a new prompt that will let users easily opt out of cross-platform tracking, and a feature that randomizes a device’s MAC address.

Playstation 5 versus Xbox Series X – which is the best gaming console for the Apple user

The Playstation 5 and Xbox Series X are almost here. While there isn’t a clear choice of which to buy if you’re an Apple user, there are some pros and cons to each platform, if you own an iPhone, iPad, or Mac.

Apple doesn’t deal with Sony or Microsoft’s console divisions directly, but both products play an important role in console gamer’s lives. Both gaming companies utilize mobile apps to manage game libraries, purchases, in-game chat, and even second-screen experiences.

The Playstation 4 and Xbox One entered the market when tying apps to gaming experiences was a new concept. Both Sony and Microsoft had to feel out design and feature sets over the years to find exactly what the gamers wanted.

Everything they have learned has been baked into the latest-generation consoles from the start. How each company handles these features and what an Apple user can do with them is now more similar than ever across platforms.

Xbox Series X

Microsoft is releasing two new consoles with different capabilities— the Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S.

The Xbox Series X is the flagship model capable of 8K HDR gaming, 2160p at 120Hz, and has a disk drive. The Xbox Series S supports 1440p up to 120Hz and is an all-digital console. The distinction between the Xbox models doesn’t affect how they will work with your Apple devices.

Microsoft Xbox Apps available

The Xbox app design aligns with iOS design language

The Xbox app design aligns with iOS design language

There are apps available on iOS and iPadOS made officially by Microsoft for managing and controlling your Xbox.

The Xbox app is the gateway to social and remote management of your Xbox console. From here you can find games to buy and download, manage your download cue, and create party chats with your friends.

The app will also help you set up a console for the first time by pairing with it on your local network. Already set up consoles can be paired in a similar process. Once paired you can view media captured while playing or even play the games remotely.

Remote play is a recent feature which allows users to mirror their Xbox onto their iPhone or iPad and play games over the network. Playing like this can lead to a lot of lag and loss of quality, but its doable. You can even pair an Xbox controller to your device and play that way.

Viewing your screenshots and in-game video recordings on your mobile device is nice too, and not available on Playstation’s app. You can easily see your recent media and share it directly to social media from the Xbox app.

Xbox Game Pass

The Xbox Game Pass app exists to allow users to browse and download games to their Xbox console. This can already be done from the Xbox app, but the Game Pass app is built for the purpose of browsing the service’s content.

Xbox Game Pass

Xbox Game Pass

The Game Pass includes games that exist on iOS as well, and could one day allow users to download or stream versions of these games directly to their Apple devices. Apple makes this complicated, however, and will not let a single app contain an entire streaming library for games.

Xbox lead Phil Spencer said they remain committed to bringing the game pass to iPhone. In its current ruleset, Apple will let developers bring gaming subscription services to iOS under two specific conditions:

  1. The app must be downloadable from the App Store
  2. The streaming service app acts only as a catalog and doesn’t directly launch games

This means that games in the Xbox Game Pass would become downloadable in the iOS App Store for no additional fee. Xbox has not announced a timeline for such a feature.

Xbox Family Settings

The third and final app offered by Xbox is called Xbox Family Settings. It is an app meant to give parents the ability to manage their child’s Xbox remotely.

It functions similar to Apple’s Screen Time feature by enabling time limits and requests for access. Parents can see activity reports, choose how long a game can be played, and who their child can communicate with.

Controller Support

Xbox Controller for Xbox Series X

The Xbox Controller for Xbox Series X

The Xbox controller was added to Apple’s supported controller list for iOS 13. Only Xbox controllers with Bluetooth were required previously, as Xbox had their own proprietary pairing system in older controllers.

The Xbox Series X controller has a new design and Bluetooth included, so they will be able to pair with devices easily. The Microsoft website says iOS support is “coming in the future.” To get there, Apple will need to issue an update to add compatibility.

iOS 14 added compatibility with the Adaptive Controller too, so users who have accessibility needs can use the controller across all their devices.

PlayStation 5

Sony is launching two Playstation 5 models, but there is no distinction in performance capabilities, unlike Xbox. The standard console comes with a disk drive for backwards compatibility with PS4 disk titles. The Digital Edition has no disk drive, making it slightly lighter and thinner, but does not affect its performance.

The Playstation 5 is capable of 4K gaming at 120Hz or output up to 8K. The capabilities do not affect how the Playstation will interact with your Apple devices.

Apps available

The Playstation app takes on a unique design style

The Playstation app takes on a unique design style

There are apps available on iOS and iPadOS made by Playstation to manage and control your console.

Playstation App

The Playstation app is a little more hands-off than the Xbox app. Users can text and voice chat, create parties, and join games, but thats about it for social functionality. There is no way to view or share images or video saved on the Playstation.

You can view your trophy list and see what games you’ve been playing. You can see which friends are online and view what game they are playing and their trophy list.

The Playstation Store integration is the best feature of the updated Playstation app. Browsing the store is seamless and allows you to buy a game and send it to your download cue right away.

The Playstation 5 can be turned on and launch a specific game via the app. You can also view and manage your PS5 storage remotely.

PS Remote Play

Remote play lets you play your Playstation on your iPhone

Remote play lets you play your Playstation on your iPhone

Unlike Xbox, Playstation has a separate app dedicated to remote gaming on iOS. The PS Remote Play app is a single purpose app optimized for gaming on your Playstation when on the same network.

The on-screen touch controls are optimized for the display, though connecting a controller will improve the experience greatly. Depending on network connection speeds, the gameplay can be quite seamless despite being over a network.

The Playstation 5 will be able to stream a full 1080p signal in HDR to your iOS device.

Controller Support

The Dualsense controller for PS5

The Dualsense controller for PS5

The Sony Dualshock 4 for PS4 is compatible with iOS 13 and up. Sony has not announced any official compatibility with the Dualsense controller for PS5, though that could come in a future update.

When gaming on iOS you can pair your Playstation controller for a good experience. The PS Remote app is programmed to work best with the Dualshock 4, so when connected buttons will function as expected.

Game Streaming

Xbox has its project X-cloud and Xbox Game Pass, both of which Microsoft is working to make compatible with iOS. Sony has made no such announcement for iOS.

Playstation Now

Playstation Now

Sony does have a service called Playstation Now, which gives users access to a large library of games which includes Playstation 2 titles. Sony could make some of these games and the service available on iOS given Apple’s current rules, but it has not been announced. Playstation Now content can only be accessed via Remote Play on Apple devices.

Apple TV app

Both Xbox and Playstation will have the Apple TV app at launch and previous generations will get it too. Any movies or TV shows purchased in iTunes, Apple TV+ content, and Apple TV Channels will show up in the app.

The app experience is the same on both platforms, as Apple designed it to look and function similar to the Apple TV app everywhere else.

Playstation 5 or Xbox Series X – Which is best for Apple users?

Sony notoriously does not play well with others. The company’s consoles have been resistant to outside influence or interaction, the Playstation Network has several lock-in effects, and even Playstation exclusive titles cannot be played anywhere else. The same approach has been taken for iOS compatibility with features, meeting the bare minimum of what is expected by gamers.

That being said, the Playstation app experience is not a bad one. While more limited than Xbox, the crucial features are there like remote gaming, game library management, and voice chat in-app. For most gamers this will be enough, but Xbox does have an edge.

Xbox has more family friendly features and an app dedicated to family screen time management. It has better social features with access to the screenshots and video recordings on the console in-app, and its system management is more comprehensive.

Xbox also has a few additional perks due to being owned by Microsoft. The Xbox Game Pass can be used on Windows 10 and has been announced for future iOS capabilities. Sony has not made any such promise for the future of Playstation Now, but they have announced an initiative to bring Playstation exclusives to PC for the first time.

Regardless of which console you choose or the reasons behind it, you’ll have a tightly integrated experience with your Apple devices. Remote console management, remote gaming, and chat tools are available for both app ecosystems. Xbox has a slight lead in terms of family management and future plans for Apple compatibility.

Pricing and availability

The Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S launch on November 10 for $499 and $299 respectively. The Playstation 5 consoles launch on November 12 at $499 or $399 for the Digital Edition. Pre-orders for the consoles sold out quickly, but some inventory will be available on launch day for order or pickup at select retailers.