Tiny shock absorbers could save you a fortune in iPhone repairs


An avoidable disaster?
Photo: Cult of Mac

iPhones are pretty tough things, but despite all the Gorilla Glass and engineering magic Apple can throw at them, they’re still susceptible to broken screens when dropped.

That could change in future iPhone models, with a newly-published patent application describing an automated mechanism for protecting the iPhone display with a method straight out of James Bond.

Future iMac could project its own virtual keyboard


Typing on your next iMac could get a bit Minority Report, it seems.
Photo: 20th Century Fox

Future Apple devices could boast a smart projector accessory, according to a patent published today.

As one of 46 newly-published patents, the technology described would allow Apple to incorporate features such as a virtual projected keyboard into future iMacs.

Just like the iPhone’s UI, this could make it possible for Apple to feature a slightly different keyboard for each application.

One of Apple’s key iPhone design patents is no longer protected


iPhone design
Did iPhones change the way Samsung handsets looked? Yes. Case closed. Oh wait, there are lawyers involved...
Photo: Apple/USPTO

One of Apple’s key iPhone patents has been given a non-final rejection in the still-dragging-on Apple vs. Samsung lawsuit.

The reason? According to a new report, it should never have been granted in the first place, due to an issue with prior art and apparent “obviousness.”

Touch ID will let your Apple TV know which family member is watching


Apple's new improved TV could be coming as early as this fall.
Touch ID could be the Apple TV's killer app.
Photo: Robert S. DonovanFlickr CC

Apple could opt to include a Touch ID fingerprint sensor in its new Apple TV remote, according to a patent application published today.

Unlike the iPhone and iPad, however, this sensor wouldn’t be used for unlocking your device, but rather quickly making it aware of who is watching at any given time — thereby letting Apple’s long-awaited TV configure volume, screen brightness, and suggested channels on a person-by-person basis. Smart, eh?