iPhone 6 production disrupted as Apple abandons thinner backlight approach, reports Reuters

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Reuters is reporting that iPhone 6 production was disrupted for part of June and July after Apple was forced to abandon its plans to use a thinner display backlighting system in the new handset.

Suppliers to Apple are scrambling to get enough screens ready for the new iPhone 6 smartphone as the need to redesign a key component disrupted panel production ahead of next month’s expected launch, supply chain sources said …

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Sketchy rumor suggests iWatch will have a curved, flexible display; mass production 2nd half of 2014

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An unconfirmed report in China Times claims that Taiwan-based touch panel manufacturer TPK will be making flexible displays for the iWatch, with mass production expected in the second half of the year.

The report said the iWatch will come equipped with a flexible AMOLED display and 3D protective glass. The rumors also speculated that the iWatch will use silver nanowire touch screen technology developed by TPK in conjunction with Japan-based Nissha Printing.

Both the flexible AMOLED and silver nanowire suggest a curved display, but it should be noted that the China Times does not have the best of track records …  Read more

Review: Mujjo’s leather and double-layered knitted touchscreen gloves for iPhone & iPad

Despite smartphones and tablets being commonplace these days for just about everybody and their grandmother, most non-techies that you run into probably don’t own a pair of touchscreen gloves. That is, winter gloves that don’t require you to take them off to use your iPhone, iPod or iPad. I’ve tried out a couple cheap pairs in recent years from Amazon and elsewhere, but they’ve never really been warm and/or well-made enough to use on a daily basis.

This year I’ve been trying out a few of the more expensive pairs available from one of the original companies making touchscreen gloves, Mujjo. I’ve put a couple different pairs from Mujjo to the test over the past month during a cold Canadian winter to see if they’re really worth the extra cash. Read more

Corning shows off germ fighting antimicrobial Gorilla Glass at CES

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In an effort to combat spreading germs and bacteria through sharing smart phones and touch screen devices, Corning announced today plans to produce a Gorilla Glass variant with an antimicrobial surface for inhibiting bacterial growth. This version of Corning Gorilla Glass is made up of an antibacterial agent and contains levels of ionic silver that sustains the germ fighting capabilities through the life of the surface, according to the company. Read more

High-res photos claim to show iPad 5 front panel

Sonny Dickson has posted decent-sized photos of what is claimed to be the front panel of the iPad 5.

The photos are consistent with what we’re all expecting: essentially a scaled-up iPad Mini, with thinner bezels on the sides. The refresh is also expected to use the same film-based touch panel as the Mini, replacing the glass layer in previous full-size iPads, reducing both thickness and weight. We posted photos of what is believed to be the rear casing back in January and the display panel earlier this month. Read more

Hit indie game ‘Limbo’ arrives for iPhone & iPad for $4.99 in App Store

We already knew critically acclaimed indie game Limbo would be arriving on iOS this week after an announcement from Danish developer Playdead late last month. Today the title has finally arrived in the App Store for all users and comes with a mere $4.99 price tag for one of the best reviewed indie console games in recent years.

Early reviews for the iOS port seem to be positive and, apart from some tweaked controls for the touchscreen, includes the entire game experience from the console versions.

Limbo ($4.99) for iPhone and iPad is available on the App Store now. Read more

Apple researching universal touchscreen remote with adaptable user interface for future TVs

A patent application published by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office earlier today reveals Apple is flirting with the idea of a universal touchscreen controller capable of controlling multiple devices including a “television, a video tape player, a video disk player, a stereo, a home control system, or a computer system.” The patent application is titled “Apparatus and Method to Facilitate Universal Remote Control” and was filed Sept. 30, 2011.

The patent application’s background covers many of the issues with current controllers for televisions and the devices mentioned above. It noted current universal remotes are “complex to operate” and unable to adapt to incorporate every command or control functionality supported by a device or future device. It also mentions the fact that users are often “confronted with multiple” remotes, which is the classic “table full of remotes” scenario described by Steve Jobs when talking about the Apple TV at D8. The patent application explained:

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Apple granted iOS related patents for displays and voicemail

Today the US Patent and Trademark Office posted 20 new patents granted to Apple Inc, two of which are valuable patents related to the iPhone, iPad, and iOS. Patents like these have been becoming more important as mobile device manufacturers take each other to court.

According a report from Patently Apple, the three most noteworthy of the patents include one for integrated touch screen technology that allows the display to be “thinner, brighter and require less power” and require less parts to manufacture, another is related to the “Voicemail Manager” for iPhone, and the last appears to be related to “improved installation, retention and removal of hardware components” in Mac Pro or other tower-like personal computers.

Perhaps the most notable of the three is the “Integrated Touch Screen” patent. Below is a snippet of Apple’s summary from Patently Apple.

Apple’s Summary: The patent relates to touch sensing circuitry integrated into the display pixel stackup (i.e., the stacked material layers forming the display pixels) of a display, such as an LCD display. Circuit elements in the display pixel stackups could be grouped together to form touch sensing circuitry that senses a touch on or near the display. Touch sensing circuitry could include, for example, touch signal lines, such as drive lines and sense lines, grounding regions, and other circuitry.

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