As the old saying goes, sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees. Today, Apple was granted design patents for the iPad and iPhone 4. In total, there were 18 patents to report on today and we didn't initially see that Apple's US granted patent graphics actually confirm that there's an extra landscape docking connector in the design. Is this feature coming to the iPad-2 in 2011? We certainly hope so.
This week the European Trademarks and Designs Registration Office confirmed that one of Apple's new iPad designs is displaying an extra left side 30 pin connector to allow it to dock in landscape mode under application001222905-0001. The first sighting of this design was noted on September 25, 2010. This time around, we see that Steve Jobs and Jonathan Ive have signed off on the design. That's always a good sign for things to come, wouldn't you agree?
The US Patent and Trademark Office has published a handful of Apple's patent applications today that mainly consists of continuation patents. Interestingly, within this group, we see that Apple has resubmitted and/or expanded upon their "Visual Expander" patent. The reason that this is interesting is that while the patent was resubmitted back in late June, Apple had actually been granted a patent for it in July. This advanced multi-touch feature which has yet to surface on any portable device, may in fact be one of the advances coming to a future iPad and/or iMac Touch. This report revisits Apple's "Visual Expander" patent in respect to multi-touch features for anyone who missed out on it on the first go-around while touching on Apple's "Back to the Mac" event scheduled for next week.
On October 7, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a continuation patent application from Apple that may reveal their intention of integrating the MagSafe power connector into future portables such as the iPhone or iPad. Apple put the pedal to the metal on this continuation patent filing which was only filed in June of this year. Is someone in a rush or something?
There was a little secret divulged by Apple's CEO Steve Jobs at this year's Wall Street Journal D8 conference, hosted andproduced byWalt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. It was that Apple had actually designed and created a tablet device first and then shelved it in favor of going to market with the iPhone first. Well, today the US Patent and Trademark Office officially published one of Apple's classic tablet and handheld patents first filed in 2005. It didn't look like much at the time and the naysayers said that Apple would never ever bring a tablet of any kind to market because of the failed Newton and Tablet PC. Today we celebrate Apple's vision and courage of conviction for bringing us the Revolutionary iPhone.
Today, in a newly published patent application from Apple Inc., we get to see a glimpse behind one of the many processes behind their new powerhouse A4 processor. Apple's patent reveals systems and methods for providing a system-on-a-substrate. In particular, this patent relates to systems and methods for reducing the total size of a system's circuitry by providing all of the components of the system on the same microchip. A microchip that the patent reveals is behind the iPad, iPhone and likely to be used in other future Apple products such as Apple TV.
Just prior to Apple's debut of the iPad in January, they were granted a major patent for a Proximity Detector for Tablets. Today, history appears to want to repeat itself by granting Apple major patents just five days prior to the official iPad launch. This patent is a whopper being that it covers accelerometers specifically in tune with multiple applications relating to games, maps, 3D Surround Sound speakers and more. Apple's second major win is for utilizing multiple broadband antennas for the iPhone and iPad 3G. Someone in Cupertino is smiling this morning – that's for sure.
On March 18, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published 17 patent applications from Apple Inc. The notables within this group include one that we covered earlier this morning titled "iGroups: Apple's New iPhone Social App in Development," in addition to another relating to an "up-to-date commute time" application for Apple's iPhone. This wild and crazy app will help you with your commute to work on time by notifying you of traffic problems and new routes to consider while automatically rescheduling your meetings that are in your iPhone calendar and even reset the clock on your coffee maker. Sorry it doesn't make breakfast. Other patents today include a look at Apple's iWork Pages template feature that even applies to their upcoming iPad. And lastly, there are two more patents that build on a January patent about new features that may be coming to Apple's Magic Mouse in the future.
On March 11, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published 28 patent applications from Apple and in this report we point to one of the patents behind Apple's iPad display technology, a new patent revealing a new audio plug for the iPhone and iPod touch that is positioned on the right side of the unit which may suggest that the audio had to be moved to make way for a new component such as a video calling camera perhaps? And lastly, Apple reveals their secret sauce behind the iPod Touch assembly – which I can't wait to try at home – ha!
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 7 newly granted patents and 5 design related patents for Apple Inc. today. The two notables within this group include one relating to Apple's iChat feature known as "Take Video Snapshot," and the other relating to a major granted patent for a multipoint screen. That patent is specifically focused on a larger two handed Tablet or as the patent defines as a Tablet PC. It almost appears that Apple held back their tablet, known as the iPad, until certain key patents came to light. Apple's IPS patent came to light on January 7 and was highlighted in our special report titled Apple's iPad: Welcome to the Revolution – and on January 26, Apple was granted a major multi-touch tablet patent covering such things as a larger virtual keyboard which debuted on the iPad in connection with their word processor called "Pages" and Apple's Mail. Todays granted patent represents Apple's third patent in this quarter thus far – and further protects Apple's multi-touch technologies against challengers and would-be competitors such as Google.
On Tuesday, a very insightful granted patent of Apple's came to light describing an intelligent bezel. Today, that very same theme continues and goes much further this time around to include what Apple describes as intelligent "sense lines." Sense lines could surround the display of a media player unseen under the multi-touch display glass as an alternative to a physical bezel which was described in Tuesday's granted patent in context with a tablet.In covering Tuesday's patent report, Paul Boutin of VentureBeat wondered if Apple's technology would apply to an iPhone. "The clickwheel makes the iPod simple and relaxing to use, rather than fumbling through menus and pressing buttons. I can operate an iPod while jogging. Wish I could say that for my iPhone." Well, apparently Apple is thinking of doing just that. Though instead of using a virtual click wheel, Apple is proposing touch based sense lines that could control the devices functions like sound or any other menu items that you would traditionally find on a click wheel based menu system. The difference is that you'd be able to find your most valued menu items without scrolling and in one lightning quick click.
Today, the US Patent and Trademark Office officially published two major granted patents of Apple's covering tablets and advanced touch technologies. The first patent may provide us with a glimpse of a future implementation of an intelligent tablet bezel. The bezel could have invisible or visible touch areas that could be programmed to control such things as music volume, simple zooming functions for maps or even gaming controls. Considering that Apple's new iPad has a considerable sized bezel, you have to wonder if this is what they have in mind for that bezel in the future. Apple has also gained a second advanced virtual keyboard and touch based patent in the last 90 days that actually plays into the strengths of the intelligent bezel.
On January 18, 2010, Patently Apple began a miniseries titled "Apple: The Tablet Prophecies" that primarily focused on presenting Apple's known tablet-centric patents to the public prior to the tablet's debut.Yesterday, many of Apple's patents leapt off their dusty pages right into the heart of the iPad, Apple's revolutionary ebook and productivity device. It was a thrilling ride for most who witnessed the features of Apple's iPad unfold before their eyes: Especially those who have faithfully followed Apple's weekly published patents over the years. Some of the patents fulfilled dated back to 2005, while others only weeks ago. This report takes a quick look back at some of the patents that are no doubt directly linked to Apple's iPad while pointing out the fact that Apple's iPad marks the beginning of something much bigger. In my view, we were all witnesses to the birth of the NC Revolution.
In part one of Apple: The Tablet Prophecies – we began with the question: What is it about tablets that gets the masses all worked up? By the end of that chapter, I think most were able to see why the excitement surrounding Apple's new tablet has been justified. By drilling down into Apple's patents, we were able to demonstrate the depth of engineering that has gone into crafting this unique tablet. Apple is, afterall, reinventing the tablet and not simply regurgitating the same old desktop experience into a tablet form factor like their competitors have done unsuccessfully. Just saying that they have a tablet means little, considering that they introduced the tablet a decade ago. How embarrassing it will be to have Apple, yes - little Apple, actually sell more tablets in a single year than they could pull off in a decade: S-L-A-P.The difference is that Apple actually T-H-I-N-K-S things through. They go down the rabbit hole for us - and grok over the tiniest of details so that they could actually give us a unique experience with each and every device they design. Apple's obsessive design team leader, Jonathan Ive, is relentless – and it shows in every product they ship. The same is true for Apple's software, under the watch of Bertrand Serlet. In part one of this special report, you read about Morphing Controls, next generation Floating Controls, Touch Zone back panels, Virtual Keyboards and more. Today the adventure continues as you'll learn about yet more details regarding Apple's forthcoming tablet that will pump you up for next week's announcements. Get ready: here's part two.
What is it about tablets that gets the masses all worked up? I don't know. Yet what I do know is that with Apple's forthcoming tablet sporting high-end accelerometers, GPS and Google Maps, I don't think that any of us will be going around in circles in the desert for 40 years trying to find the Promised Land. "Apple - Reinvents the Tablet," the headlines will read the day after Steve Jobs holds up the tablet to the shouting masses who will be pleased with the sacrifice Apple has made. Others will begin to smelt golden copies of the anointed tablet – but none shall prevail. Yet until that day arrives, the masses are starving for some real news about the coming tablet. What will it offer, pray tell. In part one of this short two part series titled The Tablet Prophecies, we'll first take a look back at some rather interesting tablet-specific applications that Apple has been working on to make their first tablet unique. Then in part two we'll take a look back at some great tablet-specific hardware features that Apple has revealed to us in various patents over the years. Who knows, perhaps some of the coolest applications and hardware features you'll read about this week will actually debut on Apple's' first iteration of the tablet next week. For now, let's dig right into Apple's Tablet Prophecies and find out what we could be in store for.