XTouch turns any surface into touch-enabled controls for iOS apps

XTouch, an SDK created by a group at the University of Toronto’s Mobile Applications Lab and funded by JOLT, turns any surface into a touch-sensitive controller for iOS apps with no additional hardware. Since XTouch uses acoustics and vibrations to recognize taps on a surrounding surface, the only requirement is that your iPhone or iPad is placed on the same surface you want to use as a touchpad. An SDK is coming soon that will allow developers to think up many interesting implementations, but for now the company has released two apps that show off what XTouch is capable of. Read more

Apple and Yahoo in active discussions regarding increased partnership for Siri data, search

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Yahoo’s Mayer and Apple’s Ive at dinner

Apple and Yahoo are in active discussions regarding increasing their partnership, according to The Wall Street Journal. While the report does not provide any true specifics regarding what an increased partnership could entail, the report notes that discussions have surrounded increased Yahoo integration into Siri. Additionally, Yahoo is reportedly exploring ways to reduce Apple’s reliance on Google for web search functions.

Data from Yahoo Finance and its weather site already come preloaded onto iPhones and Yahoo data like sports stats help power Apple’s voice-activated “assistant” Siri. But the companies continue to discuss new arrangements, including possible deals to get more content from Yahoo Sports and Yahoo News, among other Yahoo Web properties, preloaded onto Apple devices or available through an expanded partnership with Siri, one of these people said.

Apple and Yahoo have had a lengthy history in terms of iPhone/iOS-related partnerships. Yahoo was the first third-party email service to be integrated into the iPhone Mail app with free push email technology. In fact, one of Yahoo’s founders joined Apple co-founder Steve on stage at the Macworld 2007 iPhone announcement to discuss the partnership (video). Yahoo is also a Safari web search option and a data source for weather, stocks, sports data for iOS applications and Siri…

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‘iPhone 5S’, cheaper iPhone to come in multiple new colors, July announcement?

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According to Macotakara, new colors will be one of the more visible features of Apple’s next-generation iPhone models. According to a new report from the Japanese website, Apple’s iPhone 5 successor, already dubbed by some as the “iPhone 5S,” will come in three additional colors on top of the already existing black/slate and white/silver designs found on the iPhone 5.

It seems that it will have gossiped if the 5-color lineup of low-priced edition iPhone is carried out until now, but iPhone 5S may be 3 colors added to 2 colors of iPhone 5 1 color somehow. However, the informed sources did not tell about the kind of detailed color.

The site also claims that Apple’s already-rumored cheaper iPhone will come in five colors, but the report does not specify if this is five colors in addition to the black and white models or including the black and white options. Multiple analyst reports have previously claimed that Apple’s next iPhones will likely come in new colors.

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Apple patents detail quick app access on lockscreen, touch sensitive home button & unlikely tablet/notebook hybrid

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We all know Apple, like most big tech companies, files a lot of patent applications for inventions that will likely never see the light of day. Today we get a look at a couple of its latest patent applications via documents published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and detailed by PatentlyApple.

On the more believable side, we get one that includes a new animated lock screen that would provide quick access to frequently used apps via a new animated feature accessible through a home button that could also recognize touch and pressure input (pictured above). Redesigning the lockscreen with new features has been a big request from many users, so this one isn’t entirely out of the realm of possibility for future iOS releases: Read more