By Christian Zibreg on Dec 24, 2013
A pair of patent applications filed with the United States Patent & Trademark Office earlier in the week have hinted that Apple’s iPhone could gain a new sensor letting the smartphone detect your cardiac signal when it’s picked up. The invention would permit your iPhone to identify you by your heartbeat.
Furthermore, the company appears to be researching hover sensing technology like that found on Samsung’s Galaxy S4, which is capable of detecting touch events even when a user’s finger is not really in contact with the touchscreen… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Sep 27, 2013
Although Apple’s iOS is known for its gesture-based interface, the iPhone maker is notoriously hesitant about enhancing the virtual keyboard feature. A patent granted Tuesday reveals the company has been considering adopting multitouch keyboard from the moment the iPhone appeared. The patent filing entitled ‘Swipe gestures for touch screen keyboards’ outlines gestures to handle common keyboard tasks, such as deletion, punctuation and more… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 24, 2013
DigiTimes in January wrote Apple’s fifth-generation iPad could adopt the iPad mini’s thin-film touchscreen technology called GF Ditto, also better known as GF2. NPD DisplaySearch is well-versed in all things concerning mobile screens and yesterday they corroborated the rumor.
Specifically, DisplaySearch notes Apple’s shift toward in-cell display tech for the iPhone 5 and GF2 for the upcoming iPads has resulted in major shifts in the touch-panel industry supply chain. Basically a double-sided ITO film, GF2 has allowed Apple to make the iPad mini much thinner and significantly lighter compared to the bulkier G/G touchscreen tech driving the iPad 3.
As the iPad 5 is widely expected to adopt the iPad mini’s thin and light appearance, obviously a major part of that will be Apple’s adoption of the advanced GF2 technology… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Jun 18, 2013
Among the nearly 40 Apple patents granted today by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) are ones covering multi-touch technology, as well as designs for the iPhone 5 and the Lightning connector. The widest-ranging group of patents involves the multi-touch technology for the iPhone 5 and latest iPads and iPods.
Meanwhile, Apple’s Senior Vice President of Design, Jonathan Ive, is given lead credit for designing the iPhone 5… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Apr 5, 2013
Apple’s online store has over time implemented a bunch of tweaks aimed at improving navigation and browsing product pages on Apple’s mobile devices like the iPhone and iPad.
For instance, I’ve always liked the ability to swipe through teaser images on landing pages for specific products.
Here’s an example: fire up Safari on your iPhone or iPad, visit www.apple.com/iphone and swipe through those big, beautiful product shots at the top. But the company isn’t stopping there.
Having recently hired dozens of engineers, visual designers and web developers, Apple has now introduced a fresh set of tweaks to the online Apple Store, including the touch-friendly navigation bar which appears right below the main product sections (iPod, iPad etc.)… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Mar 26, 2013
Apple Tuesday was granted an intriguing multitouch patent with a wrinkle: no screen display necessary. Instead of glancing down at your iPod during a workout to adjust the volume or skip past an annoying track, you simply touch the screen. The patent, first filed in 2009, opens up a number of potential benefits, including extending battery life.
Rather than your iPod nano’s screen displaying controls such as sliders, Apple envisions devices accepting multitouch user input even when a screen itself is blank. Not only would this open the potential for eliminating hardware controls, but the technology may also become part of everyday devices ranging from your iPhone, iWatch or even iGlasses, should Apple decide to compete with Google… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Mar 10, 2013
In a ‘how low can they go’ moment, both software giant Microsoft and the South Korean conglomerate Samsung have moved to patent the pinch-zoom concept that Apple popularized (and patented) on mobile devices with the introduction of the iPhone six years ago, as if Apple’s technology never existed.
Apple’s late co-founder Steve Jobs reportedly hit the roof after HTC in early 2010 launched a handset with pinch-to-zoom functionality, but the two companies recently settled their patent disputes. On the strength of its iPhone patent portfolio, Apple even forced Google to agree to disabling multitouch on early Android devices sold outside the United States.
Now, Apple claims a specific software implementation that’s different than that Google used in Jelly Bean, Android version 4.2. Be that as it may, it’s funny both Microsoft and Samsung patent filings now suggest pinch zooming was their invention… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Jan 22, 2013
Apple was granted more than two dozen patents today, including technology for multitouch sensors dating back to 2007, when the original iPhone debuted. Also approved by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office: Apple patents covering the iOS magnifying loupe, noise-cancellation and even product packaging.
The multitouch patent, which covers the layout of screen sensors in the first iPhone, as well as future touch devices, follows a broad patent granted earlier this year covering a wide range of potential uses for multitouch, including aircraft instruments. For some time, Apple and its chief rival Samsung have fought over patents, culminating in a $1 billion victory for Apple, which charged the South Korean company infringed upon technology owned by the iPhone maker… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Dec 7, 2012
The ultimate smartphone patent which covers the intricacies of the iPhone’s touch screen heuristics has been preliminary invalidated by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), reveals the FOSS Patents blog which covers intellectual property and litigation in the technology industry.
That’s bad news as USPTO in October also invalidated the famous rubber banding patent, Apple’s other prized iPhone invention. Now, all is not lost because many patent claims that are rejected at the early stage do ultimately survive, though the prospect of loosing the iconic multitouch patent is without any doubt a major concern for Apple, even with plenty of other multitouch-related patents the company now holds… Read More
By Ed Sutherland on Nov 15, 2012
Apple has applied to patent new technology designed to solve two annoying problems. One filing addresses that “silent” iPhone which you set to “vibrate” but instead noisily dances across tables and other hard surfaces. The other patent application could come in handy for iPhone and iPad mini owners constantly resizing their screens for a better view. However, the most intriguing invention Apple seeks to patent measures the distance of an iDevice owner’s face from a screen, using a combination of the camera or other proximity sensor. Differing modes would then automatically adjust the size of content being viewed… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 24, 2012
A court in The Netherlands let Samsung off the hook, ruling that some of the South Korean conglomerate’s many Galaxy smartphones and tablets did not infringe upon Apple’s prized patents related to multitouch gestures on iPhones and iPads. As you know, Apple took Samsung and other handset makers to court, arguing they copied the zoom to pinch feature and other multi-finger gestures on iOS devices.
This ruling alone won’t help Samsung evade the $1+ billion payout from a massive loss in the Apple vs. Samsung mega-suit in the United States. The U.S International Trade Commission is set to determine on Thursday whether Samsung really infringed on Apple’s patents… Read More
By Jeff Benjamin on Oct 23, 2012
It’s always good to think two or three steps ahead to prepare for any situation, and that’s obviously what Apple’s been doing when it comes to the iPad mini, and iOS 6.
As we told you about earlier, improvements needed to be added to iOS’ Multi-Touch in order to accommodate the smaller bezel of the iPad mini. With the mini, you no longer have the luxury of a half-inch bezel wrapping around the screen like the bigger iPad models.
That means that fingers and thumbs will now rest on the actual screen of the device instead of the bezel, and this would in turn result in a litany of false positive finger inputs. If the iPad mini shipped with iOS 5, such an issue would be a major problem.
Fortunately, as iPhoneinCanada points out, Apple planned well ahead in advance for such a scenario. As it turns out, the iPhone and iPod touch versions of iOS 6 shipped with improved Multi-Touch out of the gate. Take a look inside as we compare iOS 5′s Multi-Touch detection, with the improved and iPad mini ready iOS 6. Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Oct 23, 2012
The iPad mini’s 7.9-inch display is packed inside what The Verge’s Joshua Topolsky deemed “an incredibly thin and light design”. Part of that design: the skinnier side bezels that we first caught a glimpse of in early mockups. The problem is, there’s no way your thumb could rest on the side bezels without touching the display.
Enter Apple’s multitouch expertise. When Steve Jobs was unveiling the iPhone in January 2007, he praised its multitouch user interface for being able to detect and ignore unintended taps and swipes. “It’s super smart”, he quipped.
It’s all done in iOS and Apple had to refine its multitouch software so the iPad mini can automatically figure out when your thumb is simply resting on the display instead of interacting with the gizmo… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Sep 7, 2012
The Apple v. Samsung mega-suit may be behind us, but the legal spat between the two frenemies is far from over. Both companies are embroiled in complicated litigation spread across ten countries the world over. In a Hague, Netherlands court, for example, Samsung locked horns with Apple over who copied who concerning multitouch technology.
Samsung resorted to some interesting tactics there, claiming that its multitouch implementation is less capable than Apple’s in an effort to prove it didn’t breach any of Apple’s many patents related to multitouch… Read More
By Christian Zibreg on Jul 20, 2012
Google is feeling lots of heat lately as Apple, Microsoft and Oracle show some notable progress with Android lawsuits. Apple in particular holds a number of patents that cover trademark features the iPhone popularized, like slide to unlock and other multitouch gestures.
The Internet giant should also beware of the latest Apple patent grant which covers virtually all of the iPhone’s user interface innovations. Perhaps in realization of its defensiveness, Google has changed tactics.
The company is now arguing that because the iPhone has become so popular, Apple’s proprietary and patented inventions should really become industry essential patents. Seriously? Read More