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What Apple patents say about iPhone 7, iPad Air 3, Apple Watch, new Macs & other future products

Ashleigh Allsopp | Feb. 5, 2015
We examine Apple's patent portfolio to uncover clues to future iPhones, iPads, Macs, the Apple Watch and unreleased products like the Apple Television.

The system can be activated via a button inside the app button which then transforms the interface from the regular background to a live video version.

Apple iOS patents: Battery-saving mode
Several of Apple's competitors have already got a battery-saving mode in their devices, but Apple has yet to introduce such feature in iOS. However, that could soon change if patents published in March 2014 are anything to go by.

Apple appears to be investigating a way to save iPhone battery power by learning the user's behaviour. Its patents describe a system that can learn patterns in behaviour to figure out when the user is less likely to be using their device, during which time it can automatically reduce performance and disable some features, for example.

Apple iOS patents: Age-monitoring
As gadgets age, the performance of those gadgets worsens. Apple has acknowledged this in a patent issued in March that aims to help the aging process of a device happen slower, by monitoring the condition of the device and modifying parameters to maximise its performance, battery efficiency and user experience. The aim is to help the device meet its life expectancy.

Continue to page 3 to find out what Apple patents say about the Apple Watch and future Macs.

What Apple patents say about the Apple Watch
Apple's first smartwatch, the Apple Watch, is expected to arrive in April, and is likely to be the first generation of many. Here, we bring you some smartwatch applicable patents that could hint at future wearables from the company.

Apple Watch patents: Heart ID
A patent filed by Apple in 2009 and published in December reveals that Apple is looking into a new way of confirming that you are who you say you are, and we're not talking about the fingerprint sensor that arrived with the iPhone 5s.

Apple has gone further still, suggesting that a heart rate monitor could be built in to a device to not only provide health and fitness tracking capabilities but also the ability to identify or authenticate the user based on the detected signals.

Apple Watch patents: Liquidmetal
In late November 2013, five new Apple patents were published relating to Liquidmetal, a material that Apple has the exclusive license to. So far, Apple has only used Liquidmetal in the iPhone SIM ejector tool, but the new patents suggest that Apple could be working to use Liquidmetal to build iPhones, iPads and also the smartwatches.

Liquidmetal is extremely strong and durable, and therefore can be used in smaller quantities to get the same level of build quality as aluminium. This could mean lighter, thinner devices are on their way from Apple in the future.


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