Apple wants to use lasers to polish future ceramic iPhones

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Ceramic Patent
Apple has created an exciting new industrial process.
Photo: USPTO/Cult of Mac

Apple has invented a method for carrying out a “laser polishing” technique which could be used to help create future ceramic iPhones.

The company’s patent application covers an industrial process designed “for polishing a ceramic component using a laser.” The technique could be used to “produce a polished surface” on a wide range of materials, ranging from the white ceramic used for high-end Apple Watch Series 2 models to glass materials, like the reported casing being used for this year’s iPhone 8.

Put Apple history on your wall with super-nerdy patent posters

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Apple Mac Poster
Pop art for the tech generation.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Kitting out your dream geek-room, but don’t know what to put on the walls? Well, have no fear because Retro Patents are here — and they’ve got some unique Apple posters to sell you.

Giving a new lease of life to the original patent illustrations for devices like the iPhone and Macintosh 128K (both of which celebrated their birthdays this month), each $25 print includes the names of its inventors, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office reference number, product name, and the date of the original patent filing.

Apple sued after driver gets hit by iPhone texter

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Messages iOS 10
Texting while driving caused a car crash.
Photo: Apple

Apple is being sued for something it didn’t do, by a car crash victim who claims Apple has the technology to stop iPhones working while drivers are behind the wheel — but fails to implement it.

The driver in question, Julio Ceja, was rear-ended by another motorist who was distracted while texting on their iPhone.

Future Apple Watch straps could hide extra components

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Could this concept be the Apple Watch's "killer app"?
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Future Apple Watches could be customized by their users thanks to modular accessories built into their strap links, suggests a newly-published patent.

These add-ons could include everything from extra displays and batteries to blood pressure and sweat sensors, GPS trackers, speakers, and even additional inputs devices such as force sensors.

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.