Touch ID will let your Apple TV know which family member is watching

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Apple's new improved TV could be coming as early as this fall.
Touch ID could be the Apple TV's killer app.
Photo: Robert S. DonovanFlickr CC

Apple could opt to include a Touch ID fingerprint sensor in its new Apple TV remote, according to a patent application published today.

Unlike the iPhone and iPad, however, this sensor wouldn’t be used for unlocking your device, but rather quickly making it aware of who is watching at any given time — thereby letting Apple’s long-awaited TV configure volume, screen brightness, and suggested channels on a person-by-person basis. Smart, eh?

Apple wants to play you custom ads when you listen to podcasts

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Apple's looking for a way to monetize its podcasting success.
Apple's looking for a way to monetize its podcasting success.
Photo:

The overwhelming majority of mobile podcast listening is done on an iPhone, most of it on Apple’s own Podcasts app, which is why it’s no wonder Apple would be interested in figuring out a way to monetize the service if it can.

In a patent application published today, Apple describes how in the future it could interrupt podcasts with targeted personalized advertisements, by way of Apple’s iAd platform.

Your future iPhone’s Apple logo may be more than just a pretty fruit

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Otter-Box-iPhone-6
That weird, random window on your Otter Box case may one day serve a purpose other than letting that part of your iPhone get scratched up.
Photo: Otterbox

That Apple logo on your iPhone sure is pretty, but it doesn’t do a whole lot other than remind you who made your phone in case you forget. It’s kind of lazy that way, really.

But a recently published patent suggests that Apple might put that shiny bobble to use in future models of its hardware.

Apple’s P2P payment patent has a focus on security

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touchid
Touch ID could be a big part of Apple's supposed personal payment plan.
Photo: Apple

In a few years, “Sorry, I don’t have any cash on me” may no longer be a good enough excuse to give that chronically money-strapped friend when they come around asking to borrow a few bucks.

That’s because a newly released Apple patent suggests that the iPhone maker may be getting into the person-to-person payment game in future versions of its hardware.

Apple means culture: Taylor Swift, hot new patents, and Siri’s response to 9/11

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Taylor powers into Apple like no one else.
Taylor powers into Apple like no one else.
Cover: Stephen Smith

Another week flying by here at Cult of Mac headquarters, and we’ve got a ton of great stories to share with you in the latest issue of Cult of Mac Magazine.

Taylor Swift made waves with her calling out the Cupertino company’s plans to not pay artists for music streamed during upcoming Apple Music free trial period, and we’ve got all the details within. Plus, we take a look at Amazon’s new home hub, the Echo, spend some time trawling the patent office for new Apple gear coming our way, and take a quick tour of the latest iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan betas for developers.

All that and more in this week’s Cult of Mac Magazine. Be sure to download and subscribe to check it all out on your iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Your next Apple Watch could save you from carpal tunnel syndrome

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Your
Your "other" workout had better be cardio.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Apple has been working on the Apple Watch’s heart-rate monitor ever since the wearable launched in April. First, it was taking your pulse every 10 minutes. Then, it was doing it every 10 minutes unless you were moving around because the company said that a resting heart rate is a better health indicator than a “doing whatever” heart rate.

And that’s correct, but a newly released patent hints at some future improvements for the function that could also spare you some wrist pain and warn you about stress.

Apple Watch band is filled with cool tech, patent reveals

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You can swap out bands within 14 days if you regret your choice. Source: Apple
It's not just a hunk of plastic.

Your Apple Watch band contains some cutting-edge fabrication technology that could extend into other fashion accessories, according to a patent filing released today.

The patent describes an ingenious method for molding “woven fibers” into any desired shape and securing them without stitching.

Patent hints at fixing Apple Watch’s heart-rate monitor

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Apple Watch
Writing about patents always gets the blood pumping around here.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

The Apple Watch’s heart-rate monitor is pretty damned cool, but it’s the one piece of the new smartwatch that’s seeing the most updates and tweaks since the hardware launched seven weeks ago.

A new patent suggests that Apple has even more changes in store for the health tech.

How Apple could hide a gaming joystick in future iPhones

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Coming soon to your iPhone Home button? Photo: Duncan C/Flickr CC
Coming soon to your iPhone Home button? Photo: Duncan C/Flickr CC

I’ve written on numerous occasions before about how we’re currently living through a golden age of iOS games, and apparently Apple agrees with me.

According to a new patent application published today, Apple may be investigating the possibility of building in a miniature joystick inside the Home button of future iOS devices.

Read on to find out how it could work.