Apple plans to help you count calories

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RFID apple watch
RFID tags could communicate nutritional information with your Apple device.
Photo: USPTO/Apple

Future iPhones or Apple Watches may be able to help users with calorie counting, alongside the step-tracking and other information they already help us keep tabs on.

That’s according to a newly-published Apple patent, which describes device-readable RFID tags the company has invented. These could be used to send nutritional information — such as caloric value, fat and sugar content, and more — from food packaging to your NFC-enabled Apple device.

Snapchat pays record $7.7 million for geofilters patent

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The previous record wasn't even half that amount.
The previous record wasn't even half that amount.
Photo: Snapchat

Snap, Inc., the company behind Snapchat, just paid a staggering $7.7 million to acquire a “geofilters” patent and prevent it being snapped up by Facebook.

It is believed to be “by far the highest amount paid” for a single patent in Israel — the previous record was less than half that — and it goes to local firm Mobli.

Here’s how Apple could bring MagSafe to USB-C

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When Apple left off MagSafe connection to its USB-C MacBook, Griffin came up with a solution.
When Apple left off MagSafe connection to its USB-C MacBook, Griffin came up with a solution.
Photo: Griffin

Apple killed its awesome MagSafe power connection feature on the new MacBook Pro, but based on a new patent filing, the beloved port could be ready to make a comeback.

USB-C replaced MagSafe on the MacBook Pro because it can handle both power and data on a single port. It lacks the brilliant safety features of MagSafe. Hwever, it looks like Apple found a workaround similar to Griffin’s magnetic BreakSafe cables.

Apple wants to use lasers to polish future ceramic iPhones

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Ceramic Patent
Apple has created an exciting new industrial process.
Photo: USPTO/Cult of Mac

Apple has invented a method for carrying out a “laser polishing” technique which could be used to help create future ceramic iPhones.

The company’s patent application covers an industrial process designed “for polishing a ceramic component using a laser.” The technique could be used to “produce a polished surface” on a wide range of materials, ranging from the white ceramic used for high-end Apple Watch Series 2 models to glass materials, like the reported casing being used for this year’s iPhone 8.

Put Apple history on your wall with super-nerdy patent posters

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Apple Mac Poster
Pop art for the tech generation.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Kitting out your dream geek-room, but don’t know what to put on the walls? Well, have no fear because Retro Patents are here — and they’ve got some unique Apple posters to sell you.

Giving a new lease of life to the original patent illustrations for devices like the iPhone and Macintosh 128K (both of which celebrated their birthdays this month), each $25 print includes the names of its inventors, U.S. Patent & Trademark Office reference number, product name, and the date of the original patent filing.

Apple sued after driver gets hit by iPhone texter

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Messages iOS 10
Texting while driving caused a car crash.
Photo: Apple

Apple is being sued for something it didn’t do, by a car crash victim who claims Apple has the technology to stop iPhones working while drivers are behind the wheel — but fails to implement it.

The driver in question, Julio Ceja, was rear-ended by another motorist who was distracted while texting on their iPhone.

Future Apple Watch straps could hide extra components

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Apple Watch
Could this concept be the Apple Watch's "killer app"?
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Future Apple Watches could be customized by their users thanks to modular accessories built into their strap links, suggests a newly-published patent.

These add-ons could include everything from extra displays and batteries to blood pressure and sweat sensors, GPS trackers, speakers, and even additional inputs devices such as force sensors.

Someday you might get that round Apple Watch you crave

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10700498_269033999971188_4970410257673245250_o-780x527
You spin me right round, Jony, right round!
Photo: Aicion

Could future Apple Watches ditch the rectangular form factor of current models and opt instead for a round watch design, similar to the Pebble Time Round?

A pair of patent applications filed today suggest this is something Apple is considering. Titled “Electronic device having display with curved edges,” the twin applications make no secret about what they contain.

The question is whether Apple will follow through with them.