Here’s how Apple plans to stop your foldable iPhone from breaking


Folding iPhone 2
Be sure to keep it warm!
Photo: Foldable News

With foldable smartphones becoming the hot new trend for 2019, iPhone fans are wondering when we’ll see something from Apple. It’s likely to be a while before a foldable iPhone hits the market, but there’s no question Apple is looking into it.

The company’s latest patent application details how it might prevent a foldable smartphone from breaking in cold weather.

Biometric AirPods might fit better than ever


We're ready for new AirPods.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Left and right ear versions of AirPods could soon be a relic of the past, based on one of Apple’s most recent patents that envisions a one-size-fits-all version of earbuds.

Apple’s completely redesigned AirPods aren’t expected to arrive until 2020, but if they use some of the tech proposed in the recently disclosed filing, they could be the smartest earbuds we’ve ever seen.

Apple has an idea to make Animoji even more fun


Sound effects could play a bigger role in Animoji.
Image: Apple

Apple is rightly proud of its Animoji and Memoji technology, which uses the front-facing camera on new iPhones to create cartoonish avatars of users — complete with facial expression matching.

But the tech could be about to get even more fun, as described in a recent patent application. Here’s how.

‘Patent troll’ sues Apple over AirDrop technology


AirDrop shortcut
AirDrop lets you send files between devices.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Apple introduced its super useful AirDrop file transfer feature way back in 2011. However, a patent licensing company called Uniloc — sometimes referred to as a “patent troll” by critics — claims that Apple is infringing on its intellectual property.

Uniloc says that Apple’s AirDrop tech infringes on a patent first filed in 2000, a decade before Apple debuted AirDrop. And it wants some sweet Apple cash for its troubles!

Apple Watch could get always-on display mode


watchOS 4 is great and all, but what's coming in watchOS 5?
Apple is fighting OLED burn-in for an always-on display.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple is developing an always-on display mode for Apple Watch, a new patent application reveals.

The feature would give users the ability to see the time — and possibly other information — without having to raise their wrist every time. But Apple wants to make sure OLED burn-in doesn’t become a problem.

Don’t even think about copying Apple’s Steve Jobs Theater


steve jobs theater
The Steve Jobs Theater as it appears today.
Photo: Apple

Apple is rightly proud of its Steve Jobs Theater on the Apple Park campus, and now it’s got the design patent to stop others copying it.

The attractive circular glass building gives way to a 1,000 underground auditorium — complete with hidden walls, high tech projection system, and leather chairs which set Apple back a reported $14,000 apiece.

Apple must pay $145.1 million for infringing on patents


Apple has battled WiLan in court before.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple has been ordered to pay out $145.1 million in damages for infringing on patents held by the Canadian patent licensing company WiLan.

A federal jury in San Diego, California ruled that the iPhone infringed on two WiLan patents. These “8,457,145” and “8,537,757” patents relate to wireless communications tech — specifically bandwidth request protocols in a wireless communication system and adaptive call admission control.

Your Apple device could one day warn you against spending too long in the sun


Apple Watch tan line
There's a difference between a healthy tan and sunburn. Your Apple device might soon know it.
Photo: Jjprojects/Flickr CC

Your iPhone can track your number of steps, and your Apple Watch can advise you if you have an erratic heart rate you might want to get checked out by a doctor. Could your friendly neighborhood Apple device also one day let you know if you need to put on more sunscreen, too?

That’s the basis for a new patent application published today. And rather than just being in response to sunny days on Apple’s Weather app, it’s actually pretty darn smart technology. Here’s how it might operate.