Today in Apple history: Early iPad rumor gets Apple fans buzzing

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iPad Pro 2
According to the rumor, Apple was launching a 15-inch tablet.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

April 13: Today in Apple history: Early iPad rumor gets Apple fans buzzing April 13, 2005: The tech world gets excited when a sketchy rumor suggests Apple is building a tablet computer.

The Chinese-language report claims Quanta will build a 15-inch touchscreen tablet PC with detachable keyboard. Apple will supposedly ship the device in the first quarter of 2006. Things don’t turn out quite like that, but the rumor offers the first hint about Apple’s secret iPad project.

Apple making your iPhone safe from your evil twin

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Apple admits that Face ID really is susceptible to being tricked by identical twins.
Apple admits that Face ID really is susceptible to being tricked by identical twins.
Photo: Apple

The Face ID biometric security system is already extremely accurate but Apple wants to make it even more safe. The company has come up with a method for telling the difference between two people who are almost identical because they’re closely related. 

The system would also prevent unlocking iPhone and iPad devices with 3D masks.

Apple’s VR headset could pack motorized headband system

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Apple is definitely designing a head-mounted display like this one, but hopefully less brick-like.
Apple is definitely designing a head-mounted display like this one, but hopefully less brick-like.
Photo: Apple

Engineers are apparently working on an innovative design for the head-mounted display Apple is secretly developing: the company requested a patent for a motorized adjustment system.

Apple doesn’t openly talk about this project but this request, and another the company made recently, leave no room for doubt that the company is researching what will almost certainly be an augmented reality headset.

Future MacBook keyboards could be dust-proof

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Apple is considering a MacBook with a glass keyboard, not a traditional one.
Apple is considering a MacBook with a glass keyboard, not a traditional one.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple developed a design for a MacBook keyboard that’s slim, lightweight, silent and can’t possibly have problems with grit in the keys. That’s because it consists of a sheet of glass with raised keys.

Obviously there are drawbacks, but this proposal shows the company’s efforts to innovate.

HomeKit geofencing may soon gain pinpoint accuracy

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Works with Homekit
HomeKit accessories could know to group themselves together based on exactly where they are.
Photo: Apple

Instead of you having to tell your HomeKit devices that they should work together, Apple wants its home-automation system to know when items are close to each other. The goal is to greatly simplify both setup and daily usage of HomeKit gear.

Even Apple thought combining Touch ID with Face ID was smarter

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iPhone
What do you think of an iPhone with in-screen Touch ID and Face ID? It could have happened.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

An Apple patent filing is basically a white paper on the advantages of using dual biometric security systems. This makes it clear the company nearly made a device that offered facial recognition and a fingerprint scanner.

In the end, though, Apple decided to replace Touch ID with Face ID.

iOS App Dock could migrate to the iPhone’s edges

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Phone side screens.could take the place of physical buttons and switches. And there'll be app icons and notifications on the edges, too.
Phone side screens.could take the place of physical buttons and switches. And there'll be app icons and notifications on the edges, too.
Photo: Apple

Apple is considering bending an iPhone display around the sides of the device, making additional room for buttons and status notifications.

This isn’t a new concept, as rival devices have does something similar for years. But Apple filed a patent for these side-screens just 9 months ago, so it’s clearly still interested in the idea.

Siri may soon recognize different voices

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Siri may soon be able to identify your voice and give personalized responses.
Siri may soon be able to identify your voice and give personalized responses.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

Apple engineers are preparing for the day Siri can reliably recognize voices. They’re working on how this digital assistant will respond to requests from multiple users.

This issue became important with the release of Apple’s HomePod earlier this year, as smartspeaker are used in shared spaces.