Take, for example, the new computational photography feature "Deep Fusion" that Phil Schiller described as "very cool." It is an image processing system that drops the A13 Bionic nerve motor and uses machine learning. According to Apple, this system will "do pixel-by-pixel processing of photos, optimizing for texture, detail and noise in all parts of the photo." Deep Fusion will be available later this fall, so we still don't know how effective it can be. Apple showed sample images of its Night Mode tool that will improve low-light photography and these results looked impressive.
The latter feature is the most obvious example of Apple's attempt to outdo its competitors. If you remember, Google's Night Sight launched last November and made it possible to take relatively clear photos in almost total darkness. And Google wasn't even the first to test it, it was just the most effective. Huawei, LG and Samsung have all offered their own hold on the feature of previous flagship phones to varying degrees of success. Apple's night mode promises to do about the same, but how good it works remains to be seen.
However, this was not always the case. In the middle of the megapixel race, when smartphone manufacturers focused on squeezing sharper sensors on their phones, Apple did something really different and thought provoking. It stopped at 1
When Apple was able to install, it was possible to use a dual camera with Apple. Along with the new version. with a telephoto lens as a secondary camera rather than a monochrome one for details like the Huawei P9 or the wide-angle option of the LG G5. Apple's strategy soon became the most popular pairing in the industry. But nowadays Apple is seen hanging behind Samsung, Huawei and even LG when choosing trends, not to mention setting them.
On the hardware front, Apple jumped delayed with the ultra-wide-angle trend this year. It adds cameras with 120 degree field of view to all three new iPhones. LG was one of the earliest to test this concept when it loaded a super-wide lens to the G5 2016.
It seemed gimmicky at first, but when people (myself included) started to see the versatility it brought to smartphone photography, LG's rivals followed suit. Now the Galaxy S10, S10 + and Note 10, as well as the Huawei P30 Pro all have extremely wide options. Apple is just the latest on board. (It's worth noting that the pixels still don't have extremely wide-angle lenses for all the praise Google has received for their photo editing skills.)
It's not just the smartphone industry from which Apple borrows ideas. With the Apple Watch Series 5, the company o introduced a new Always On Display which means the laptop will tell you all the time, yes, all the time. Yes, almost every other smartwatch with color touch screens has had this for a while now. Apple's new women's health tracking feature also follows in the footsteps of Fitbit and Garmin. Sure, Samsung and Google have yet to integrate this, so Apple isn't the slowest in this race, but it's really not breaking new ground.
Innovation comes with a measure of risk, and it's understandable that Apple wants to play safe. The company's wait-and-see attitude is not news – plenty have called for how far behind it is compared to its rivals. And frankly, it's been a long time since Apple surprised the industry with a new idea that got us all going "Wow, why didn't anyone think of this before?" Sometimes you almost forget that iPhone was once the leader of the package, rather than just a member of it.