iOS 14 Beta Hints Smaller iPhones Are Back on the Menu

By Victoria Song on at

Good news for people who hate big phones: Yesterday, Apple released the third developer beta of iOS 14, and hidden in the code of the Display Zoom feature is a hint that the iPhone 12 lineup will include a 5.4-inch iPhone.

What does Display Zoom have to do with a tiny phone? Well, according to 9to5Mac, the iOS feature, which has been around since the iPhone 6, lets you make details like buttons, icons, and texts larger. It essentially makes a larger phone think it has the display of a smaller one. So if you have a phone with say, a 5.5-inch screen, Display Zoom will make it look like you’re using a 4.7-inch screen.

Apple just added this feature for the iPhone X, XS, and 11 Pro. After futzing around with various screen resolution sizes in a simulator, 9to5Mac discovered that Apple has adapted iOS to run at 960 x 2079 pixels – or basically a 5.4-inch screen.

This tracks with previous rumours we’ve heard about the iPhone 12. Last year, Apple prophet Ming-Chi Kuo said that a 5.4-inch 5G iPhone with an OLED display was in the cards for 2020. In January, leaks indicated Apple planned to release four iPhones this autumn, including a 5.4-inch model. In April, another rumour hinted that the new iPhones would riff on the iPhone 5's design.

This isn’t the only iPhone 12 rumour floating around today, though. On Twitter, leaker @L0vetodream posted photos of a braided Lightning-to-USB-C cable that will supposedly ship with the new iPhones. The photos seem to show both black and white colour options and add fuel to theories that Apple might potentially go all-in on USB-C with the iPhone 12. Braided cables, if true, would be nice because we all know how easily Apple’s lightning cables fray. That said, it doesn’t really make up for the other rumour that Apple will sell earbuds and iPhone 12 chargers separately.

As for when we’ll actually see the iPhone 12? Rumour has it that it won't be launched until late October, with a 5G version coming in November. That’s up for debate as Apple prognosticators go back and forth on whether they’re delayed, slightly delayed, or very delayed due to the global pandemic. Whatever the case, we’ll find out which rumours hold water sometime in September, when Apple holds its usual iPhone launch event.

Featured image: Caitlin McGarry/Gizmodo