All the things Apple didn’t announce at its ‘By innovation only’ event

There can be no denying that Apple’s “By innovation only” event on September 10 was packed full of rapid-fire announcements. We got a new 10.2-inch iPad, Apple Watch Series 5, iPhone 11, and iPhone 11 Pro (in two sizes), along with pricing and release details for Apple Arcade and Apple TV+.

That’s a busy morning! But we didn’t get everything we expected or hoped for. The rumor mill was abuzz with lots of leaks leading up to the event, and it painted a picture that, as usual, didn’t quite match reality. Here are some of the things we heard about and hoped to see, but didn’t.

Apple Tags

The most obvious omission (if you can call it that) was Apple’s Tile-like trackers, which most have taken to calling “Apple Tags.” There were multiple rumors—from reliable sources, no less—of their existence prior to the event, with some even claiming references to them in internal iOS 13 software builds.

The tags would supposedly use Bluetooth and/or Ultra WideBand technology to allow you to find objects in the Find My app, including an AR mode.

We still think these are coming, maybe even this year, and they just weren’t ready to be revealed yet. If Apple has an event in October, we could see them there. Otherwise, we might see them in a spring event (typically held in March).

Photo re-framing

As expected, all iPhone 11 models come with a new super wide-angle rear camera. Prior to the event, it was rumored that a feature called “Smart Frame” would use that camera to capture some additional imagery around regular-angle shots, which we could then use to re-frame our photos after they were taken.

We didn’t hear a single word about a feature like this on stage, and it’s nowhere to be found on Apple’s iPhone 11 promo sites.

Bi-direcitonal wireless charging

Part of the Qi wireless charging standard is support for an option “bi-directional” wireless charging feature. So not only could your phone be charged wireless, but it could serve as a wireless charger for other devices.