What just happened? Just like with the iPhone XR and XS, Apple isn’t making a big deal out of releasing smart battery cases for the newest iPhones. They’ll cost you the same $130 regardless of model and include a camera button you can use as a shortcut to access the camera, similar to a design that was quite popular on Nokia’s old Lumia Windows phones.
The battery life on the new iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro is already slightly better than the previous generation, but for those of you who need more time away from an outlet there are now official smart battery cases available from Apple.
Just like the smart battery case for the iPhone XR and iPhone XS, the design isn’t that different from the utilitarian aesthetic of the first model that was released for the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus in 2015. Inside there’s a battery that Apple says will add 50 percent more battery life on top of the estimated 12 to 14 hours already possible thanks to the company’s decision to sacrifice 3D Touch and make the new iPhones a little thicker.
There’s also a new feature in the new Smart Battery Case: a camera button that you will open the Camera app even if the phone is locked. While the app is open, you can press it to take a photo or long-press it to take a video, which is somewhat similar to the dedicated two-stage button that people like me loved in phones like the Nokia Lumia 930 from the distant past.
Apple has kept Qi wireless charging capability, but with no AirPower in sight, you’ll have to use something like the Mophie’s knock-off which Apple ironically sells on its website. People seem to be interested in Apple’s official battery cases mostly for the sake of simplicity and the integration with iOS, which allows you to see the battery level on the lock screen or inside a widget.
There are three colors available: white, pink, and black. If you’re looking to get your hands on one for your iPhone 11 or iPhone 11 Pro, it’ll set you back $130 and will start shipping on November 25.