home button Stories May 18, 2016

virtual-home-button Concept image: Martin Hajek for Computer Bild
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virtual-home-button

Concept image: Martin Hajek for Computer Bild

Concept designers have been creating renderings of bezel-free iPhones – where the display extends all the way to the edges of the phone – for years now. One major barrier to realizing this vision has, of course, been the Home button with its embedded Touch ID sensor.

Third-party companies have already developed transparent fingerprint sensors capable of being embedded into a smartphone display, and an Apple patent filed in March of last year but only published yesterday describes the exact same approach …

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home button Stories April 25, 2016

virtual-home-button

The iPhone 7, expected to debut later this year, is not believed to be a major design overhaul from the iPhone 6s, but that doesn’t mean it won’t include some substantial exterior changes, at least according to one sketchy Chinese rumor site. The reports indicate that the iPhone 7 could feature a digital touch-sensitive Home button, essentially making the iPhone front completely flush, replacing the current physical clicky hardware button. This would help make the iPhone 7 completely waterproof and dustproof, via Storm …

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home button Stories March 8, 2016

liquidmetal

When Apple signed an exclusive deal to use the superstrong alloy liquidmetal way back in 2010, there was a lot of speculation about how Apple might use it. The only immediate answer we saw was in the SIM ejection tool supplied with iPhones.

While some had expected Apple to use liquidmetal for product casings, the high cost of the material seemed to rule that out, at least in the short-term. There’s also been no sign of the super long-lasting batteries some had suggested.

But Apple clearly does have a use for it beyond SIM eject tools, last year renewing those exclusive rights – and a patent granted to the company today suggests one possible reason why …

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home button Stories August 13, 2015

antonio-de-rosa-iphone-7-concept-3

As regular readers will know, it took a little while for the Apple Watch to really grow on me. But even back when I wasn’t convinced I needed a smartwatch, I still had to admire the design. And the Digital Crown was a large part of how Apple got the smartwatch right when others hadn’t yet cracked it. A fundamental problem with a small touchscreen is that touching it covers up much of the content. The Digital Crown overcomes that, allowing us to scroll content without our thumb getting in the way.

But while today’s iPhone screens may be larger than they used to be, they are still pretty small in the scheme of things. Scrolling with a thumb still covers up a chunk of the content. Worse, it’s easy to accidentally tap on targets accidentally including ads. There have been numerous occasions since using Apple Watch when my thumb started absent-mindedly reaching for the non-existent Digital Crown on my iPhone …  expand full story

home button Stories July 21, 2015

Touch ID built into iPhone display one step closer as third-party company announces new tech

The possibility of Apple embedding the Home button into the display of a future iPhone model got a step closer today as a third-party company announced technology that allows fingerprints to be read through Gorilla Glass.

TNW reports that Sonavation has developed ultrasonic fingerprint sensors capable of 3D scanning from beneath the Gorilla Glass Apple uses for its iPhone displays.

Though details on how it will work are sparse, Sonovation says its sensors are “capable of capturing fingerprint data into the ridges and valleys.” It also says 3D scanning can take place if a finger is wet, dirty or oily — all without compromising accuracy.

There’s nothing to suggest any link between Apple and Sonavation – this is merely an indication that the type of technology required to replace a physical Home button with an embedded one is already out there. A sketchy report last month suggested that Apple is working on this type of technology.

Don’t look for this in the iPhone 6S, though. While a recent leak confirmed our report that the new iPhone would get Force Touch, it also revealed that the external appearance of the phone will be almost identical to the iPhone 6.

Concept image: Martin Hajek for Computer Bild

home button Stories June 22, 2015

touch-id-screen

Concept image: Martin Hajek for Computer Bild

The idea of replacing the iPhone’s physical Home button with a pure touch one embedded in the display has been around for quite a while now, but a report from the variably reliable DigiTimes claims that Apple is already working on the technology.

Apple is internally developing touch and display driver integration (TDDI) single-chip solutions for its iPhones, according to sources in Taiwan’s IC design industry.

The TDDI single-chip solutions will also come with integrated fingerprint sensors, said the sources. The integrated design would fit into future iPhone designs – models with ultra-thin and ultra-narrow displays, and with a whole plane design eliminating the Home button.

While the report doesn’t specifically reference embedding the home button into the display itself, referring only to ‘a whole plane design,’ this would seem to be what the report hints at … expand full story

home button Stories October 24, 2014

iPad-mini-3-teardown-01

Following a teardown of the new iPad Air 2 earlier this week, our friends over at iFixit have now opened up Apple’s other new tablet: the iPad mini 3 …  expand full story

home button Stories April 25, 2014

UkranianiPhone.com has posted images of what it claims are iPhone 6 renders aimed at helping manufacturers produce accessories for the upcoming device.

The images appear to be better quality versions of the schematics leaked a few weeks ago. They depict the full-metal backplate with inlets at the top and bottom, assumedly related to the antenna structure. The cutouts for these lines match the image from the previous leaks. Interestingly, the renders also give specific measurements saying that the phone is 138mm in height, 67 mm in width, and 6 mm in depth.

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home button Stories November 6, 2013

iPhone 5s Teardown via iFixit

iPhone 5s Teardown via <a href="http://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/iPhone+5s+Teardown/17383">iFixit</a>

Apple is gearing up to soon begin hardware repairs for the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c in its chain of retail stores, according to sources with knowledge of the upcoming initiative. These sources say that Apple Stores will be able to replace several parts of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c on-site, meaning that Apple will no-longer need to fully replace iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c units with damage or other problems…

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home button Stories September 18, 2013

Report: Apple could use sapphire crystal for home button on new iPads, cover glass on 2014 iPhones

With Apple utilizing a new laser cut sapphire crystal in its redesigned home button that now includes a capacitive fingerprint touch sensor on the iPhone 5s, it’s not that surprising that rumors of a sapphire home button on future iPads are starting to pop up. We’re certainly not taking this one as fact, as it comes to us from the not-so-reliable DigiTimes, but a new report from the publication says new models of Apple’s full-sized iPad and iPad mini will also utilize the hard sapphire crystal material. The rumor apparently comes from “Taiwan-based sapphire makers.”

The report adds that Apple could also be looking to utilize the material for entire touch screen covers for new iPhones coming in 2014, but that price could be a factor, as sapphire crystal is reportedly still around 5 times more expensive than alternative materials.

In it’s latest promotional video for the new iPhone 5s home button and TouchID feature (below), Apple says the Sapphire crystal button protects the the new touch sensor and also “acts as a lens to precisely focus it on your finger.”

home button Stories September 6, 2013

iPhone 5S

Update: C Technology has provided higher quality versions of the images above, which can be seen in the gallery at the bottom.

Only days away from Apple’s September 10th iPhone event, new photos have come out  which claim to show the box for the upcoming iPhone 5S. The same site has also leaked alleged photos of iPhone 5C packaging in the past. Notable here is the tweaked home button design, which appears to ditch the iconic inset square in favor of a ring around the edge.

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home button Stories August 11, 2013

iPhone 5S/5C physical mockups

<a href="http://9to5mac.com/2013/08/10/new-mockups-claim-to-show-iphone-5s-and-iphone-5c-designs-gallery/">iPhone 5S/5C physical mockups</a>

Apple’s next two iPhone models will be named iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C, according to a report from Japan-based Macotakara. With repeated reports and rumors of the next-generation iPhone retaining the same design as the iPhone 5, the “iPhone 5S” name has long been claimed and regarded as the name of the new flagship iPhone. Apple’s iPhone 4S and iPhone 3GS retained the designs of the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3G, respectively.

However, because of Apple’s surprise naming scheme for the third-generation iPad (The new iPad), an outright claim of the name “iPhone 5S” may be important to some interested in the upcoming device.

As for the “iPhone 5C,” this name gained attention when purported packaging materials for the upcoming, lower-cost, plastic iPhone surfaced in photos online. It is unclear what the “C” in “5C” could stand for, but speculation and logic points to the “C” standing for “color.” Like recent iPod touch models, this plastic iPhone is rumored to come in a series of colors…

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home button Stories April 4, 2013

Patent-quick-access-lockscreen

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: expand full story

home button Stories April 23, 2012

More mockups make the case for a 4-inch iPhone

We know our readers have a love/hate relationship with mockups, but we think these are worth sharing due to all the rumors of a 4-inch iPhone coming this October, It does not seem like a ton of math went into these mockups to ensure an easy transition of existing iOS apps to a larger screen iPhone, but they certainly help us picture what a 4-inch iPhone could look like.

The first three images above come from 9to5Mac reader and design student Daniel Bautista. Like our own 4-inch iPhone mockup, these were inspired by Photo Stream leaks from last summer. The image on the far-right above (and the image below) is another mockup from apfelpage.de that shows a slimmed down next-gen iPhone with a touch-sensitive home button running a widget-enabled iOS 6.

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