Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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Jason Snell for Tom's Guide

iPhone 12 and Apple Watch 6: What this week’s OS leaks tell us ↦

So often when we’re talking about tech companies and their products, we become so focused on the shiniest new gadget and the spec sheet that accompanies it that we don’t pay enough attention to the bigger picture. Tech giants aren’t just capable of playing a long game, it’s required — because it can take years for technology to be conceived of and years more for the production lines to be built to manufacture it.

Every smartphone is the sum of dozens of these different technologies, not just the hardware itself but the software that makes it function. Whether it’s a new camera design or a folding screen or a microprocessor or a charging port, it takes time. As Yoda taught us, always in motion the future is — and if you’re a tech CEO or product strategist, you’re making decisions now that will affect your products a year, two years, even five years down the road. There’s a reason those people get paid the big bucks, and it’s not (just) the cost of living in Santa Clara County, California.

As so often happens, this week we got a glimpse at what Apple’s been working on for its next round of software updates, thanks to a series of iOS 14 leaks and Apple Watch 6 disclosures. And if you look at the substance of those leaks closely, you can see the forest for the trees. Apple’s priorities are visible. Just look.

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