Every Apple Car on the road will make the others smarter

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Apple car
Apple's Lexus has been upgraded with lots of new sensors.
Photo: Idiggapple/Twitter

Apple is investigating new ways to make self-driving care systems drive more like humans, based on a recent patent filing from the iPhone-maker.

The USPTO finally published Apple’s first patent application related to autonomous vehicle systems today, giving some insight into the strategies Apple might use to make its mark in the emerging self-driving car market.

Siri could soon whisper back when you need quiet

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whisper pic
"Psssst, Siri!"
Photo: Evan Long/Flickr CC

Apple is exploring new ways to make Siri smarter — and one of them involves letting Siri know when you want to keep the noise level low by whispering.

According to a patent application published this week, Apple is interested in, “a digital assistant that is capable of detecting a whispered speech input and providing a whispered speech response.” That could be useful in scenarios such as protecting your privacy, while still letting you use its speech capabilities, or settings where high volume levels are prohibited.

Apple’s not giving up on button-free Touch ID just yet

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Touch ID
Apple's new patent involves acoustic-based Touch ID.
Photo: Apple

Apple may have ditched plans to embed Touch ID sensors in iPhone displays in favor of facial recognition, but that doesn’t mean it’s no longer interested in improving its fingerprint sensing capabilities.

In a newly-granted patent, Apple describes a type of acoustic-based fingerprint imaging technology that could replace the current Touch ID Home button with special ultrasonic transducers under the display of its devices.

Apple paid Nokia $2 billion in cash to settle patent battle

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Nokia
Keeping Nokia at bay isn't cheap.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple paid $2 billion in cash to settle its most recent patent battle with Nokia.

Neither party revealed the sum when they put their differences aside and entered into a new licensing and business cooperation agreement back in May. But Nokia’s earnings reveal that the Finnish firm received a massive payout to drop its patent lawsuit.

Apple stops giving Nokia the stink eye

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Nokia devices have returned to the Apple store.
Nokia devices have returned to the Apple store.
Photo: Apple

Apple is again selling Nokia devices after settling a legal battle over patent infringement.

Nokia health accessories, which are compatible with iPhone and iPad, returned to the Apple online store on Wednesday almost two months after the two companies reached an agreement.

The magic behind HomePod gets revealed in new patent

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Apple's new HomePod smart speaker is ready to rock your house.
Apple's smart tech will let the HomePod smart speaker perfectly rock your house.
Photo: Apple

According to Apple, its upcoming HomePod smart speaker will “reinvent the way we enjoy music” thanks to its seven-tweeter array, 4-inch woofer, and smart “spatial awareness” technology that lets it “read” its environment.

If you want to find out more about how Apple’s smart speaker works, check out this new patent application. It describes an Apple speaker that uses digital signal processing, microphones and algorithms to play perfectly equalized music.

Apple asks court to block Qualcomm double-dipping

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iPhone 7 red
Apple doesn't want to pay twice for Qualcomm chips.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple’s ongoing legal battle with Qualcomm just got even more interesting after the iPhone-maker branded its partner’s license agreements invalid.

Cupertino is fighting to prevent Qualcomm from taking a cut of every iPhone sold, and to prevent the chipmaker’s alleged double-dipping to maximize revenue it earns from its modem chips.

Apple and Nokia join forces after settling patent dispute

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Nokia
Keeping Nokia at bay isn't cheap.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple and Nokia have settled their ongoing patent dispute and entered a new licensing and business cooperation agreement.

Apple will resume selling Nokia digital health products, formerly sold under the Withings brand, while Nokia will provide Apple with network infrastructure products and services.

Apple Park originally looked like a penis and 5 other wild facts

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Apple hQ
Steve's original vision was a bit different than this.
Photo: Apple

Apple pulled back the curtain of its new spaceship campus in a new interview that highlights all sorts of crazy facts about what went into the new campus, including how it Steve Jobs originally wanted it to look like a penis.

Obviously, Penis Park got scraped in favor of Apple’s perfect circle. But the perfect campus might not have been a disaster if Steve Jobs’ hadn’t shown some early drawings to his son, according to Wired’s deep look into the campus that also reveals how Apple went out of its way to invent an all-new pizza box that keeps crusts fresh.