Apple invents texture-sensing stylus for future iPads

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Screen Shot 2015-07-30 at 14.35.16
This stylus would add new meaning to the word touchscreen.
Photo: USPTO/Apple

Steve Jobs was famously opposed to including a stylus with the iPad, but even he might have changed his mind had he caught a glimpse of the futuristic texture-sensing input device Apple just patented.

According to a pair of patent applications published today, Apple is working on stylus with in-built camera which would allow it to detect the surface over which it is passed and reproduce these textures for the user — even down to replicating the feel of different fabrics.

iPad still has biggest slice of the (crumbling) tablet pie

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The tablet pie's not what it used to be.
Photo: Universal Pictures

The tablet market continues to plummet worldwide, but Apple’s still leading the pack, thanks to the iPad.

According to new figures released by the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly Tablet Tracker, tablet shipments fell 7 percent year-over-year in the second quarter of 2015 to a total of 44.7 million units.

This fiction app will scare the Dickens out of you

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Gently move the iPad and watch the frightened  Charles Dickens character  pull the covers tighter.
Gently move the iPad and watch the frightened Charles Dickens character pull the covers tighter.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

It is one thing to read about a madman. But what if you could feel like those were your hands around the victim’s throat, eyeballs bulging, his gasping breath brushing against your face?

Charles Dickens’ A Madman’s Manuscript feels all the more creepy when you experience the book in interactive form with the new iPhone and iPad app by iClassics.

If digital media is tearing us away from analog books, then the growing collection of illustrated works reimagined by iClassics ensures classic tails not only stay alive but get a new life with illustrations that move with the touch of your screen.

How to get rid of old iCloud backups on your iPhone

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Clean up iCloud to make room for bigger backups.
Clean up iCloud to make room for bigger backups.
Photo: Rob LeFebvre/Cult of Mac

If you’ve been using iCloud to back up your iOS devices for a while like I have, chances are you’ve got a few older backup files crufting up your iCloud storage space.

If you want to maximize the space on your iCloud account, you might want to delete some of these older iCloud backups to make room for more.

Here’s how to do that.

Everything you need to know about Apple earnings for Q3 2015

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Good news for Apple investors today.
Record sales for Q3 2015.
Photo: Ken Teegarden/FlickrCC

We didn’t get Apple Watch numbers, but Tim Cook and Luca Maestri delivered plenty of good news about Apple’s current financials and future prospects during Tuesday’s earnings call. Amid all the canned statements and bewildering biz speak, they dropped some tantalizing tidbits.

Cook and Maestri teased us with plenty of bullishness — and a little debunking — about impressive Apple Watch sales and consumer responses to the new device. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg: Apple hit record numbers again this quarter, with massive sales of both iPhone 6 and Macs across the globe.

Here are the highlights from today’s third-quarter 2015 Apple earnings call.