The iPhone 13 was rumored to be a more significant upgrade than it was.
Wondering about iPhone 13 missing features? The new iPhone 13, iPhone 13 mini, iPhone 13 Pro, and iPhone 13 Pro Max are now available for order. The new iPhone 13 series features larger storage sizes, new color options, and major camera enhancements on the Pro models.
And it’s true to say the iPhone 13 series are the best iPhones Apple has ever made. It’s just that it had long been rumored that some models of the iPhone 13 were going to have more significant features than they did.
Of course, rumors should always be taken with a grain of salt – especially iPhone rumors. But it is worth rounding up what rumors were off the mark as it could hint at features coming up in the iPhone 14 next year. It should also be noted that the iPhone 13 is a fantastic upgrade for anyone who has an iPhone XS, iPhone XR, or older (basically, if your iPhone is from 2018 or earlier, the iPhone 13 is going to feel like a MASSIVE upgrade for you and buying it is a no-brainer).
As for the rumored features that didn’t make it into the iPhone 13 series, here they are:
In-screen Touch ID
A long-rumored feature that didn’t pan out was the return of Touch ID. No, not the physical round home button, but in-screen Touch ID. Apple is known to be working on it, but the technology likely just wasn’t ready in time for the 13. Or, Apple could be waiting to make it a headline feature of the iPhone 14 next year.
And for those wondering, if Apple does indeed bring in-screen Touch ID to the iPhone 14 series (or at least some of the models), it would likely be in addition to Face ID and would not replace it.
This was another glaring missing feature. The iPhone 13 does not include a USB-C port, instead offering the age-old Lightning port. USB-C on the iPhone 13 makes a lot of sense as that’s the port all Macs ship with now (and most PCs) as well as that they port all iPads but the 2021 entry-level iPad ships with.
In other words, USB-C on the iPhone would bring it in line with the latest connectivity technology. The good news? USB-C is likely to be featured on the iPhone 14 series next year. Really.
The iPhone 13 Pro series got a big display update this year with a 120 Hz refresh rate. However, it had long been rumored that the iPhone 13 series would also feature an always-on display, much like the Apple Watch Series 5 and later.
This rumored always-on display would allow users to see the time and notifications without waking their screen. As with the other unrealized features, it’s possible we could still see an always-on display on iPhones in the future.
A rumor that broke shortly before the iPhone 13 launch was that some models of the phones would feature some kind of satellite connectivity. Such connectivity would allow for emergency calls to be made even when there was no cellular signal.
This feature did not pan out, but it’s likely it will come to the lineup sometime down the road.
An astrophotography mode was long rumored for the iPhone 13’s camera systems. And the renaming of some color options like Starlight and Midnight suggests that perhaps Apple did have this feature originally planned for the iPhone 13 Pro lineup.
The rumored astrophotography feature would have let people easily capture shots of stars at night, with the iPhone’s camera system automatically ending astrophotography mode when the user pointed the iPhone at the sky at night.
It sounded like a killer feature for astrophotography enthusiasts, but perhaps Apple just decided to hold off on it for another year to perfect the system.
The Phones We Recommend Most Right Now
The Best “All-Rounder” – If you want something simple and reliable that has a great camera, a beautiful design, won’t break the bank, and will run for years and years and years, then you really cannot go wrong with Apple’s iPhone 13.
The Best Android Flagship – When it comes to Android phones, there is but one king in the flagship area of the market. And that phone is the Galaxy S21 Ultra. This phone looks amazing, has a best-in-class camera and display, and its battery life is beyond good. The Galaxy S21 Ultra is the phone to get if you want the best possible Android phone.
The Best “Affordable” Option – If you want a cheap, reliable phone that will take great photos, run apps and games, and look great doing it, the Samsung Galaxy A52s 5G is all you need. It has 5G, it has a Super AMOLED display, and it looks like an £800 phone. The Galaxy A52s 5G serves up incredible value for money.
The “Wildcard” Option – Do you want something different? Something unlike anything else? If so, and you have deep enough pockets, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 is just about as unique as it gets. This foldable phone is packed to the hilt with next-gen technology and, because it’s foldable, it basically doubles as a tablet too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Does iPhone 13 have Touch ID?
No, no version of the iPhone 13 has Touch ID. All models of the iPhone 13 feature Face ID.
Q: Does iPhone 13 Pro come in white?
Yes, but Apple doesn’t call it that. The iPhone 13 Pro offers of white version with a silver stainless steel frame. However, Apple refers to this version as the “silver” model.
Q: When did iPhone 13 come out?
The iPhone 13 series was announced in early September 2021 and hit stores on September 24, 2021.
Apple expert and novelist, Michael Grothaus has been covering tech on KnowYourMobile for the best part of 10 years. Prior to this, he worked at Apple. And before that, he was a film journalist. Michael is a published author; his book Epiphany Jones was voted as one of the best novels about Hollywood by Entertainment Weekly. Michael is also a writer at other publications including VICE and Fast Company.