Someday you might get that round Apple Watch you crave

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You spin me right round, Jony, right round!
Photo: Aicion

Could future Apple Watches ditch the rectangular form factor of current models and opt instead for a round watch design, similar to the Pebble Time Round?

A pair of patent applications filed today suggest this is something Apple is considering. Titled “Electronic device having display with curved edges,” the twin applications make no secret about what they contain.

The question is whether Apple will follow through with them.

Campaigners want Apple to block your iPhone while you’re driving

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Feature could save lives, campaigners claim.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Relatives of four U.K. citizens who were killed by the driver of a truck as he used his phone while driving are campaigning for Apple to introduce a feature disabling drivers’ iPhones from working in the car.

“There is an epidemic of people using their phone at the wheel,” said Doug Houghton, who lost two of his sons in the incident. “And what do you do with epidemics? You cure them.”

Find My iPhone might soon work when your device is dead

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iPhone 7 back
Apple is making it harder to steal iPhones.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac.

Recovering your lost iPhone may get a lot easier soon, based on a patent Apple was recently awarded by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The new patent describes a method for determining an iPhone’s location after shutdown that would make Find My iPhone work even if a thief turns your device off.

Apple Watch could use heart rate sensor to ID you

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The Apple Watch will monitor your pulse, speed and pace; but there's no sensor to measure how much weight you can lift.
Your pulse may one day unlock your Apple Watch.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Future versions of the Apple Watch may be able to identify owners just by taking their pulse.

Apple was awarded a patent this week that details the use of biometrics on a smartwatch that can identify the user based on their heart rate and other variables. All without the users having to make any input.

More proof Apple wants to embed Touch ID sensors in iPhone display

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Apple's fingerprint scanner is experiencing a Touch of bother. Photo: Apple
No more of this, apparently.
Photo: Apple

After switching to a Taptic Touch ID sensor for the iPhone 7, Apple is strongly rumored to be eliminating a physical “Home” button altogether for next year’s iPhone 8 — and instead integrating Touch ID fingerprint sensors into the main display.

Now a newly-published patent appears to back up that rumor, with the stated goal of expanding screen real estate by avoiding, “assigning valuable surface space exclusively to a component that may only be used briefly during the process of identifying the user.”

Apple invents laser-mapping tech for controlling your Mac

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An officer worker flips through screens on his computer with Reemo gesture technology. Photo; Reemo/YouTube
How gesture-tracking tech could work.
Photo: Reemo/YouTube

Future Apple devices could be controlled using gaze tracking or point gestures, claims a newly-published patent, describing Apple’s investigations into 3D depth-mapping technology.

The technology would build on the kind of 3D depth-mapping tech being used in the new dual lens iPhone 7, but would apply this to new ways for users to interface with their iMac or, possibly, Apple TV by using in-air gestures or eye-tracking to navigate on-screen menus and content.

Touch ID could record prints to catch iPhone thieves

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Sorry, crooks!
Photo: Apple

Everyone points and laughs when dimwitted thieves got caught after taking identifying selfies with stolen iPhones or iPads.

However, in its quest to help crack down on Apple-related crime, Apple may go even further by using its Touch ID fingerprint sensor to record the fingerprints of would-be iOS thieves — at least according to a newly-published patent application update.

Apple Car may not be an articulated tank after all

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Maintenance personnel from the 5055th Range Squadron drive an M-973 small unit support vehicle through the snow.
Tank different.
Photo: Wikipedia CC

You can breath a sigh of relief: Apple’s forthcoming Project Titan apparently isn’t going to be an articulated tank, after all!

As it turns out, the patent which circulated yesterday — showing how Apple had acquired a patent for allowing an articulated vehicle to survive gunfire or harsh weather situations — should never have been signed over to Cupertino in the first place.