iPhone 7 rumors: It's all about the camera

The new iPhone doesn't come out until September, but that won't stop the rumor mill from churning at a furious pace.

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We have about seven more months of iPhone 7 rumors to deal with until Apple CEO Tim Cook takes the stage to show off the newest and greatest smartphone. Yes, that is a long time. But there are so many rumors swirling about what Apple is working on that we decided to put them all in one place and assess whether they seem legit or absurd.

What would you want to see in the iPhone 7? (Yes, longer battery life is on our wishlist, too.)

Any differences between the 7 and 7 Plus?

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The iPhone 7 Plus might have the most amazing smartphone camera ever.

The rumor: The iPhone 7 Plus will have a better camera, to the chagrin of small-handed amateur photographers around the world. According to MacRumors, the 7 Plus may have a dual-lens camera with optical zoom, which means this phone will take better photos than many traditional cameras. Instead of pinching to zoom in digitally, which usually results in a terrible grainy photo, the 7 Plus camera will have an optical zoom. That’s where the second camera lens comes in: It’s essentially a zoom lens.

Plausible? Yes. The iPhone 6s and 6s Plus have most of the same features, but the larger phone has a small but key difference: optical image stabilization. That feature uses the Plus’s gyroscope and camera array to steady your photos even if your hand shakes. The 6 and 6s rely on camera software to achieve the same effect, though the resulting images aren’t quite as clear. If the 7 Plus has a dual-lens camera with optical zoom, it would be a huge differentiator—the Plus could become the phone to beat for serious photographers.

Is that unsightly camera lens bulge going away?

The rumor: Apple redesigned the 6 and 6s models to be thinner and lighter than ever before, but there’s one big problem: The rear-facing camera lens juts out of the body, so the phones won’t sit flat on a surface. For a company that’s all about the details, this seemed like a strange design decision. The iPhone 7 is reportedly getting a camera that sits flush against the phone, according to MacRumors, so your eyes won’t be offended any longer.

Plausible? We sure hope so. That camera protrusion had to happen for a reason, but even Apple design chief Jony Ive is not a fan.

Will the iPhone 7 get a redesign?

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So long, antenna bands.

The rumor: Aside from a slimmer case and flat camera lens, the iPhone 7 will reportedly look similar to the 6-series, with rounded edges and an aluminum body. But Apple is expected to make a small change to the back: Begone, antenna bands.

Plausible? Apple is all about sleek design, and the antenna bands that slice across the backs of the iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus, and 6s Plus don’t exactly look the best—though they are necessary. The company is reportedly keeping the top and bottom edge bands, according to MacRumors.

Is Apple really ditching the headphone jack?

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An iPhone without a headphone jack could be on the horizon.

The rumor: The iPhone 7 might ditch one of the few constants in consumer tech: the 3.5mm headphone jack. Why oh why would Apple do such a thing? To make the phone thin. Super thin. The phone will reportedly rely on its Lightning port to connect to wired headphones (and everything else).

Some people love the idea. Others hate it. There’s even a petition to convince Apple that people still love the headphone jack. That petition has close to 300,000 signatures.

Plausible? Time to invest in a high-quality pair of Bluetooth headphones, because all signs point to yes on this one. Reliable Apple intel sites 9to5Mac and MacRumors have published leaks that indicate Cupertino is ready to do the unthinkable, as has Fast Company. Apple is even developing wireless EarPods (under the Beats brand, of course) to debut alongside the iPhone 7, though not with the new phone like it normally does. Those EarPods are rumored to be completely wireless—as in, no wire connecting the two pods to each other. These premium earphones will reportedly support Siri and let you answer phone calls. They’ll ship with a carrying case that doubles as a charger, which is good, because these powerful pods probably won’t last that long on a single charge.

Will the iPhone 7 be waterproof?

The rumor: Making the iPhone thinner than ever and adding a DLSR-quality camera aren’t game-changing enough for Apple, apparently, so the company is reportedly working on ways to waterproof the iPhone 7. Ambitious? Yes. Possible? Definitely. Without a headphone jack to trap water, Apple could coat the iPhone with a waterproof coating and make those third-party rugged, waterproof cases obsolete.

Plausible? Actually, yes. Apple took several steps to waterproof the iPhone 6s without actually calling it waterproof, as detailed here, and word on the street from people who have accidentally submerged a 6s indicates that those techniques worked. All Apple needs is some waterproof buttons (which it’s reportedly working on), and they’re set.

This story, "iPhone 7 rumors: It's all about the camera" was originally published by Macworld.

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