Apple’s beloved MagSafe connector could make a comeback

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Here's how to hack the new MacBook's power chime onto the Aiir and Pro. Photo: Apple
MagSafe is gone but not forgotten. Not at Apple, anyway.
Photo: Apple

Apple is exploring charging cables that attach to its devices with magnets. This is highly reminiscent of its discontinued MagSafe system.

Previously, this was a great way to keep MacBooks from being accidentally damaged but Apple stopped using it during the company’s transition to USB-C.

Future iPhones could merge multiple selfies into a group shot

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Group selfies can be be awkward. Apple has a possible solution.
Group selfies can be be awkward. Apple has a possible solution.
Photo: 20th Century Fox

Crowding a group of people into a selfie can be challenging. Seems someone always ends up halfway out of the picture. Apple has a solution: it’s developing a way to automatically combine multiple images into a group selfie.

This could become a part of iOS 13 this fall, perhaps as a new feature in the iPhone XI.

Apple wants you to be able to use your iPhone when it’s wet

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iPhone XS Max vs. iPhone XS size: Sometimes bigger really is better.
This wouldn't be a problem any more.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has done a great job of making the iPhone more water-resistant over the years, but one thing you still can’t do particularly well is to use your iPhone when it’s wet.

That’s something that Apple wants to change, based on a pair of patent applications published today. They describe technology to allow finger tracking in wet environments, letting users continue swiping and tapping away even if they’re out in the rain.

Apple’s AR tech lets users add and remove objects in the virtual world

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Augmented reality (or AR) could be the next big thing for Apple.
Augmented reality could be the next big thing for Apple.
Photo: USPTO

Tim Cook has made no secret about Apple’s interest in augmented reality tech — and a newly published patent application reveals just how seriously the company takes the technology.

The patent application describes techniques for inserting virtual objects into a real environment, or removing real objects from a virtual one, all in real time.

Future Apple Watch may call for help if it detects a medical emergency

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The Apple Watch turns a wearer's heartbeat into something very vivid and visual.
"Now dialing 911..."
Photo: Apple

One of the most positive pieces of publicity the Apple Watch has yet received came when its in-built heart monitor revealed that a teenager was suffering from a potentially fatal condition, which could have resulted in his untimely death if left unchecked.

A future feature for Apple devices might take this life-saving concept even further by not just notifying users of possible medical emergencies — but actually alerting doctors or family members on their behalf if required.

Apple patent hints at the amazing future of Force Touch

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Apple Watch-style Force Touch is coming to both iPhone models this September.
Apple Watch's Force Touch tech could be about to get a whole lot better. Photo: Apple
Photo: Apple

The Force Touch technology seen in the Apple Watch and new MacBook is pretty great and all, but imagine being able to go further than the relatively simple haptic feedback Apple currently offers — by having your future Mac trackpad actually simulate different textures when you run your hand over it.

That’s the aim of a new patent application published today, which describes a new diamond-layered touch surface capable of using a variety of vibrations and temperatures to recreate a range of textures.

Apple steps up fight against Google Maps with indoor directions

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It might not quite be Harry Potter's Marauder's Map, but it's getting there. Photo: The Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando
It might not quite be Harry Potter's Marauder's Map, but it's getting there. Photo: Universal Studios Orlando

Apple is attempting to push its Apple Maps software to the next level, courtesy of indoor mapping capabilities, according to a new patent application uncovered by Cult of Mac today.

Filed in April this year, the application describes a method of seamlessly transitioning from a map displaying exterior elements like roads and buildings to one that shows indoor elements, like stores and restaurants.

This technology is designed to work with iBeacons, Apple’s Bluetooth Low Energy emitters designed to make iDevices location aware indoors.

Future iPhones will warn you when you’re going to be late

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Photo: CC Wikipedia
Photo: CC Wikipedia

Apple has been steadily working to improve its Apple Maps service since its disastrous debut a couple of years ago, and a new patent application published Thursday further cements that.

According to the application, filed in March last year, future iOS devices may scour through your data to warn you of traffic congestion on routes you are predicted to be likely to travel.

These journeys could be learned by your iPhone or Apple Watch by way of a smart artificial intelligence “machine-learning engine,” based on the frequency of previous destinations (say, regular appointments), location of events in a user’s calendar, location of events which users hold electronic tickets for, and addresses gathered by analyzing messages in the form of texts or emails.

Siri could be on its way to your Mac desktop

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Siri will answer your questions, but that doesn't mean he/she has to like them.
Siri will answer your questions, but that doesn't mean he/she has to like them.
Photo: Apple

I use OS X’s Dictation feature all the time while I’m working, but a new patent application published Thursday suggests that Apple’s looking to go much further when it comes to having users talk to their Macs.

The Intelligent Digital Assistant In A Virtual Environment application was filed February 4 this year, and describes a Mac-based Siri every bit as smart as its mobile iOS counterpart.

The patent application depicts a future OS X dock featuring an icon for Siri, which could be available to use for dictation or commands from inside various different programs.

How Apple’s smart music tech could push you harder in workouts

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iwatch_perspective-jpg-640x480
Apple's new smart music patent application would fit perfectly within a fitness-tracking device like the iWatch.

If you’re a runner or a gym user, chances are that at some point you’ve put together a workout playlist of some sort, full of the kind of Rocky-esque power ballads you want entering your ears and coursing through your veins as you strive toward physical perfection.

According to a patent application published Thursday, Apple could be looking to take a lot of the pain out of that kind of gain. The application in question deals with a handheld or wearable device capable of controlling the tempo of music so as to affect the mood and behavior of users during exercise.