About that Apple phone (?) patent
Apple files lots of patents these days, many for products that haven’t yet and may never find their way to market. But most of them relate to two things: computers and iPods. This morning, Macnn’s Apple patent patrol came up with a few that were filed months ago by the company, yet only published today - they all appear to be for post-iPod devices that are as much about input as output, blending three or more different devices (cell phone, iPod, and remote control) into a single chassis with a unified touchscreen interface. Apple envisions devices that either have multiple touch-sensitive surfaces, or a single surface with multiple touch-sensitive positions; some of the patent language continues to suggest that the screens will detect light (scrolling) or heavy (clicking) presses differently. In these ways, the screens could be used just like today’s iPod Click Wheels, or like keyboards, or like any other computer interface, without needing a mouse or separate track pad.
Of course, the new patents sound suspiciously like what YourMacLife suggested was about to be released as the iPod phone. The concept can be summed up simply as a touchscreen-based phone with the ability to switch interfaces - one could be a phone screen, another could be an iPod screen, and yet more could be for any sort of other function imaginable - video playback, game playing, GPS, and so on. All on a single-screened phone. Will any or all of these features be included in an iPod phone? Does Apple envision this as being the next-generation iPod, or a separate device? And will third-party developers be able to create applications for the platform?
So many questions. Hopefully next week will bring answers.
If you have a comment, news tip, advertising inquiry, or coverage request, a question about iPods or accessories, or if you sell or market products, read iLounge's Comments + Questions policies before posting, and fully identify yourself if you do. We will delete comments containing advertising, astroturfing, trolling, personal attacks, offensive language, or other objectionable content, then ban and/or publicly identify violators. Wondering why we're talking about something other than iPods? Check the Archives: Backstage has been here and kicking it since 2004.
- Apple reaches deal with UnionPay to bring Apple Pay to China
- DisneyLife subscription-based app launches in the U.K.
- Apple buys motion capture company Faceshift
- Apple CarPlay included in 2017 Mitsubishi Mirage
- Apple aims to launch Apple Pay in China by February
- MasterCard giving Apple Pay users free trips on London’s public transit system
- Apple wins DRM patent case against ContentGuard
- Apple working on app to diagnose problems with iOS devices?
- Apple Music: Iovine apologizes for remarks about women; Adele won’t stream new album
- Apple expands personal pickup to Apple Stores in the UK
- Parrot Hydrofoil Drone
- Apple Pencil for iPad Pro
- IK Multimedia iRig Pro DUO
- CableJive HeroDock
- Phiaton BT 330 NC Headphones
- Ecoxgear EcoPebble Powerbank + Speaker
- Lunatik Taktik 360 for iPhone 6/6s
- Belkin Charge Dock for Apple Watch + iPhone
- SwitchEasy Aero, N+, Nude, Play for iPhone 6s/iPhone 6s Plus
- Netatmo Welcome Smart Home Camera
- Under the Radar: 10 ‘hidden’ details about the new Apple TV
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 9.0
- Under the Radar: A closer look at smaller iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus changes
- A First Look at iOS 9’s Transit in Apple Maps (Updated for watchOS 2)
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iTunes 12.2
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 8.4 + Apple Music
- CE Week 2015: IK Multimedia, Monowear’s Apple Watch bands + More
- Live From CE Week 2015: Brand New iPad, iPhone + Mac Accessories!
- Opinion: The ‘Grand Experiment’ of shifting to Google Photos
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?