New AirPods patent reveals exactly how seamless Bluetooth pairing method functions

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 12, 2017

A new patent application for “Wireless audio output devices,” published Thursday by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), describes exactly how Apple’s new W1 chip inside AirPods enables zero-configuration Bluetooth pairing. In a nutshell, the charging case that comes with AirPods doubles as a physical pairing interface.

Aside from a built-in battery, the case features its own microprocessor and communications stack, a motion-detecting lid for starting the seamless pairing process with an Apple device and a physical button for manual Bluetooth pairing with non-Apple hardware, like Android handsets. Read More

 

Apple patents tiny thru-holes in OLED display, HUD windows & more slick tech for full-face iPhone

By Christian Zibreg on Jan 10, 2017

A new patent No. 9,543,364 for “Electronic devices having displays with openings” has been awarded to Apple this morning by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). First filed for in February 2015, this newly granted patent reveals more ways iPhone 8 will outclass Android rivals.

The invention would basically put some common components typically found on the front face of the phone behind the display assembly.

What components are we talking about?

Well, stuff like the earpiece, forward-facing cameras, Touch ID and various sensors. Integrating such parts behind the display assembly would help design a truly edge-to-edge device. Apple is thought to be working on such designs for its upcoming OLED-based iPhone 8 refresh. Read More

 

Apple patent would integrate Siri into Messages to assist with tasks via bot-style commands

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 17, 2016

You’ve been able to ask Siri to send messages on your behalf for a few years now and with iOS 10, Apple’s expanded Siri capabilities to third-party apps like mobile payments. But if a new patent for a “Virtual assistant in a communication session” that the company filed with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) is anything to go by, the virtual assistant could soon be integrated deep into Messages, assisting users with peer-to-peer payments, scheduling dinner and providing other chat bot-style interactions within message threads. Read More

 

New Apple patent would embed light sensors into the display, hints at iPhone 8 technology

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 11, 2016

The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) today awarded Apple a patent describing a process for embedding light-sensing sensors into a mobile display. The invention, titled “Electronic devices with display-integrated light sensors,” potentially paves the way for next year’s iPhone.

Apple’s new patent specifically mentions the ambient light and proximity sensors, which are found on the front face of the device, as being integrated into the display assembly.

According to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and pundits in the know, like Daring Fireball’s John Gruber, the iPhone 8—or whatever a 2017 iPhone (or Tenth Anniversary iPhone) ends up being called—should be a major design departure from prior models as it would supposedly get rid of the chin and forehead bezels by integrating Touch ID and the front-camera along with other sensors directly into the display.
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Apple granted patent for a Touch ID sensor that could work through an iPhone display

By Christian Zibreg on Oct 4, 2016

If you’ve been waiting for the next iconic design since the release of the black-clad iPhone 5, this year’s iPhone 7 probably feels like a slight disappointment. Apple is widely thought to have saved its best innovation and industrial redesign for the Tenth Anniversary iPhone next year which could embed the fingerprint sensor, FaceTime camera and sensors behind the display.

As revealed by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), Apple has now been granted a patent for a fingerprint-sensing technology that could work through the display itself, paving the way for an iPhone with the full-screen face design. Read More

 

Foldable Samsung tablet/smartphone hybrid aka “smartlet” appears in patent filing

By Christian Zibreg on Jul 4, 2016

Last month, Bloomberg ran a high-profile story about Samsung’s alleged initiative, code-named Project Valley, that would bring a pair of fully bendable Galaxy phones to market in early-2017.

Subsequent supply chain reports have since backed the story partially as it became public knowledge that Samsung has allocated north of $7 billion into boosting production of flexible OLED panels.

As Patently Apple noted today, a new patent application sheds more light on the South Korean conglomerate’s interest in creating a technology that would allow a smartphone or tablet to fold in half when not in use. Read More

 

New invention paves the way for iPhones that’d optimize UI for left-handed users

By Christian Zibreg on Jun 28, 2016

The Apple Watch is designed for both left and right-handed use via a switch that prompts it to optimize the watchOS user interface for left-handed users. A similar feature could be headed to future iPhones as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) a few days ago awarded the firm a patent for “Electronic Devices with Hand Detection Circuitry” that might let a future iPhone detect how it’s being held and tweak the Home screen and other aspects of the iOS user interface for left-handed users. Read More

 

Apple patents hybrid wireless/wired earbuds for iPhone that are magnetically detachable

By Christian Zibreg on Mar 1, 2016

The United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) on Tuesday awarded Apple a patent for magnetically detachable earbuds for an iPhone that could work in both wired and wireless mode. The invention is of particular interest in light of the rumor that the next iPhone will ditch the 3.5mm headphone jack in favor of Lightning-enabled and wireless Bluetooth headphones.

The proposed device would use two cables, one to connect the headphones together in wireless mode (like the connecting cable found on the Beats Solo2 wireless headphones) and the other to connect the headphones to a host device in wired mode. Read More

 

Apple patent would use Apple Watch to intelligently adjust iPhone alert volume on the fly

By Christian Zibreg on Feb 11, 2016

Apple has been researching software solutions that would tap into a user’s Apple Watch to intelligently adjust an iPhone’s alert volume on the fly, by monitoring and comparing ambient sound samples.

Filed for with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) back in 2014 and published on Thursday, the patent application titled “Volume control for mobile device using a wireless device” outlines volume control adjustments by having a Watch’s built-in microphone sample an alert generated on an iPhone to “detect a distinct contribution corresponding to the audible alert.” Read More

 

Apple exploring panic mode for Touch ID

By Christian Zibreg on Nov 5, 2015

Apple has submitted a new patent application with the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) Thursday that would make the iPhone more secure by allowing users to place their device in a lock-down mode simply by putting a certain finger on the Touch ID fingerprint sensor.

Titled “fingerprint activation of a panic mode of operation for a mobile device,” it describes unlocking a Touch ID device with a specific finger to activate a special lock-down mode that would make personal data stored on the device inaccessible to the user, or activate different modes of operation based on the particular fingerprints. Read More

 
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