The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Thursday published Apple’s patent application for an “Electronic accessory device” acting as a dock that would turn your iPhone or iPad into a touchscreen-enabled Mac notebook, something many people have been craving for. The patent application outlines an ultra-portable MacBook of sorts with a special dock into which an iOS device could be inserted to provide compute power, software, storage and other features.
As with many other Apple patents, there’s no telling when this particular invention might see the light of day, if ever.
A third-generation Apple Watch is expected to adopt a different display technology based on glass-film panels versus touch-on-lens panels utilized on Apple Watch Series 2 and glass-on-glass (two pieces of glass) ones on the original Apple Watch. Shipments of the tentatively named Apple Watch Series 3 are expected to start in the second half of 2017, as per sources cited in a Tuesday report from DigiTimes.
You’ll soon be able to give your MacBook Air a touchscreen display, courtesy of AirBar. Neonode on Tuesday unveiled a Mac version of its laptop dongle at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas that will allow you to navigate macOS via touch.
The AirBar magnetically attaches to the bottom of your 13.3-inch MacBook Air display and connects via USB. It uses Neonode’s patented zForce AIR technology to emit an invisible light field that can sense touches from fingers, gloves, and even a paintbrush.
As first reviews of the new MacBook Pro hit the web this morning, Apple’s marketing boss Phil Schiller took to Backchannel to dispel some of the myths saying his company has been stubbornly dismissive of the idea of a touchscreen Mac for no apparent reason. Schiller reveals that Apple has actually spent years testing if touchscreens made sense on the Mac before realizing that touching things on a 27-inch screen quickly becomes “absurd”.
The MacBook Pro controversy isn’t dying down yet so Apple dispatched Craig Federighi, its Senior Vice President of Software Engineering, who discussed the new Pro and thinking behind the Touch Bar feature in a short video interview with CNET in which he also defends no-touchscreen Mac stance.
He goes on to reveal that Apple had in fact built several touchscreen prototypes that however didn’t impress Apple executives enough to greenlight the project.
Jony Ive, Apple’s Chief Design Officer, sat for a Q&A with CNET’s News Editor in Chief Connie Guglielmo following last week’s “Hello again” Mac event. Ive talked about various topics, including design considerations behind the creation of the Touch Bar, a marquee new feature of the new notebook, saying it’s “just the beginning of a very interesting direction”. He explained why Apple’d rejected a touchscreen iMac “many, many years ago” and more.
It’s been only three days since Microsoft’s advertising department unleashed a new ad salvo at Apple’s direction in the form of a commercial for its Surface Pro 4 tablet/laptop hybrid and now it’s posted yet another video to conveniently reiterate its message ahead of iPhone 7’s launch tomorrow. Titled “Power of Touch”, the 30-second commercial doubles down on the ”the Mac lacks a touchscreen” theme.
Not only does Microsoft poke fun of the fact that Macs are long overdue for a refresh (yours supposedly “ain’t fast enough” lately), but also disses the Mac for not shipping with a detachable keyboard or a stylus.
Microsoft over the weekend fired another ad salvo at Apple’s tablet/computer strategy with a new (somewhat) amusing commercial. Simple titled “Get the Surface Pro,” the 30-second ad highlights Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 hybrid device which includes a stylus and comes with a detachable keyboard and an Intel chip allowing it to be transformed into a computer that runs Windows, Office and other real desktop applications.
Using the same singer from the previous commercial, the new video informs us that “If you try to write on a plain old Mac, the difference can be seen. It doesn’t work.”
Taiwanese trade publication DigiTimes is reporting that TPK Holding is gearing up to product nanowire-based flexible touchscreens. TPK is on Apple’s supplier list so there’s a high likelihood that future iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices could switch to these flexible screens based on nano silver ink. Originally developed by 3M, silver nanowire films are flexible and transparent to the eye, making them feasible for wearable devices particular.
Unhappy with the in-cell screen process used in production of iPhone displays which is plagued with lower touch sensitivity on screen edges, Apple is reportedly considering a return to glass-on-glass (G/G) touchscreen panels for an ‘iPhone 7,’ a technology it ditched with the release of the iPhone 5 in the fall of 2012.
According to a somewhat sketchy report published Wednesday by DigiTimes, Apple is currently sampling glass-on-glass touch samples for 2016 iPhones.
If true, the iPhone 7—or whatever a 2016 iPhone ends up being named—will feature better touch accuracy, improved Multi-Touch performance and better touch detection on screen edges. In addition, glass-on-glass technology would permit the company to develop a bezel-free iPhone and support 4K resolutions.