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September 2010

Apple Provides us with a Peek at Spirals, a new iTunes UI Feature

1 - Cover - Spirals 
It's no secret that Steve Jobs has had a serious cube fetish over the years. So he's decided to shake things up a bit this year and shift his passion to all things spiral and/or cylindrical. A case in point would be his finger in the design of their latest awe-inspiring Apple Store in Shanghai China which is an incredible forty-foot high glass cylinder structure. The inspiration for all things spiral has evidently spilled over to one of Apple's software teams who have come up with an all new music menu feature that could be coming to a future iteration of the iTunes UI. The new spiral-centric menu option is a radical shift from a textual list-based menu that has been standard on iPods from the very beginning. Then again, Apple appears to have a radical mindset of late.

 

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Apple Wants You to Get Down & P-a-r-t-y with Social iTunes

1 - Cover - PARTY with iTunes SocialApple just finished introducing their new Social Network for Music called Ping on the first of September and we're already seeing in one of Apple's latest patent applications that they're thinking about the next great thing which we'll call Social iTunes for the time being. Apple's thinking of a new kind of music service that could work at your own house party or perhaps at your local community hall, bar, restaurant or pub (Cheers!). The system is unique in that it lets your party guests vote on what music that they want to hear and the system tabulates the votes to generate a playlist. You could vote with your iPod touch, iPad, iPhone or any other Apple computer. It sure sounds like Apple wants you to join Ping and then get down and P-A-R-T-Y the night away!

 

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Apple Working on Zoom Lens Accessory for iOS Devices

1 Cover - Apple Inc, future optical zoom lens for media players

Apple has just introduced their new iPod touch with an HD cam for both video and point and shoot style stills and according to a new patent application published this morning by the US Patent and Trademark Office, they're already working on a new zoom lens accessory. While the patent presents several methods of attaching a zoom lens to a media player like the iPod touch, the main focus is on utilizing an advanced magnet array coupling approach that could actually be personalized to reduce the risk of theft. Other accessories using this technique could include mini speakers or another kind of microphone. Just the mere idea of Apple introducing advanced zoom lenses for their leading world class media players has got to have competing camera OEMs choking on their morning coffee.

 

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Apple Thinks that an LCD TV Should Run in Two Modes

1 - Cover - apple thinks lcd tv's should run in two modes 
Apple TV is just a hobby. Apple TV is just a hobby. Apple TV is just a hobby. Okay, I get it – but these nasty little patents keep popping up that show that Apple has an obsession with display technology which happens to include, well … television. Apple's patent thinks that LCD TVs should run in two modes so that still photos could be better presented. The patent describes the two modes as being CPU mode and Streaming Mode. The patent mentions display technologies like plasma which of course has nothing to do with an iOS display. Yet for now we'll simply archive this patent in our not-TV-file while chuckling, because we all know that Apple TV is just a hobby.

 

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Apple Wins Mystery Patent for Improved Composite Laminate

1 - cover - Apple - composite laminate patent - but for what - sept 2010Every week we get to peek inside a little corner of Apple's R&D labs in some capacity. This week we're privy to seeing one of Apple's R&D teams thinking of of using a new material that could end up in any number of future Apple products. The material is basically regarded as a composite laminate that could consist of a wide range of materials including glass, synthetics, metals (such as aluminum or titanium) – or even epoxy. Apple's patent is as secretive as they are. It provides absolutely no guidance whatsoever as to how they intend on utilizing this new kind of material – though it's commonly used in real-world products today ranging from an iPad cover to all manner of sporting equipment such as golf clubs, baseball bats, canoes, bikes, skate boards and more. Yet all we know for certain at this point in time is that Apple has been granted a patent for supposedly improving the cosmetic surface of this material.

 

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Apple Wins a Major Touch Patent + OS X Dashboard & More

1B - APPLE WINS MAJOR TOUCH PATENT +   
The US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 14 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In our second granted patent report of the day, we mainly cover four patents. The first one relates to a pre-iPhone patent that details the usage of a click wheel for text entry. The second patent covers a plug mechanism for devices like the iPod and perhaps more importantly, miniature devices like Apple's latest iPod nano. The third patent topic actually covers two related patents covering Apple's OS X Dashboard feature. The fourth and last patent of the day is perhaps the most important of the lot. This all important patent covers both touch and gesturing on touch based products like Apple's iPhone and iPad. This adds another Power-Arrow for Apple's legal quiver.

 

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Apple Wins Key QuickTime Patent + Never Seen Device Dock

1B - Cover - QuickTime full screen video - Apple patentThe US Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 14 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. The notables within this first of two reports cover two main patents. The first covers a key QuickTime related patent covering "One-Click Full Screen Video" used in QuickTime movie trailers and live news reports online. The second patent of interest today covers a never seen before handheld device tester that incorporates a dock. Whether the latter will ever come to market is unknown at this time.

 

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Apple Files Trademark Extension Covering Online Social Networking

1 - Cover - Apple logo covers online social networking - Apple Inc Sept 2010

An interesting surprise was revealed by the US Patent & Trademark Office over the Labor-Day weekend. They revealed that Apple filed two new major service extensions to their most recognized logos. The filings were originally filed on the day prior to Apple's Special Event under applications 85120231 and 85120250. Both applications were filed under a single International Class which covers "online social networking and introduction services" as well as "security services." The latter is for protecting privacy data collected. The newly extended trademark coverage legally covers Apple's new venture into Ping: A Social Network for Music.

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Apple's New iPod Touch User Guide for Game Center & FaceTime

1 Cover - Apple's iPod Touch User Guide for iOS 4.1 - game center & FaceTime 
For those of you who can't wait to get their hands on Apple's iPod touch User Guide for iOS 4.1 for the new Game Center and FaceTime segments, wait no more. Enclosed are the two most important sections of the new User Guide with easy to see Exploded Graphics. Enjoy.  

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iTunes 9 Patent for arranging iApps on your Desktop Hints at iWatch

1 - Cover - arranging apps in iTunes 9 patent
Every once in awhile an engineer describing a product will in some form or another reveal an application or a new device that the patent is intended to legally cover and in doing so allows us to at least understand what future devices that Apple may have in store for us. Today, a simple patent covering an iTunes 9 feature for arranging and rearranging iApps on your desktop points to this feature applying to a PDA (iPod touch), smartphone (iPhone) and watch. Oh really? And to top off today's report we cover new patents that discuss GarageBand's "loops" feature and advanced syncing which is likely associated with yesterday's release of iTunes 10.  

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LED iPod Touch with Video Cam & FaceTime Fulfills Major Patents

1DD - Cover - Patents fulfilled on iPod Touch - video cam + LED Display 
Apple's Special Music Event presented us with one of the largest caches of new iPod related products in a single event. Apple updated Apple TV with the A4 processor and the click-wheel returned to the iPod Shuffle. The iPod nano was dramatically redesigned and it it's not too difficult to envision the iPod nano one day morphing into a futuristic iWatch. Yet it was the refreshed iPod Touch that came through to fulfill a number of major patents covering video-telephony, a video camera and LED display technologies which this report presents.  

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Apple's All New iPod Nano, One Step Closer to an iWatch

1 Cover - iPod Nano one step closer to the iWatch 
Well, Apple did it again in typical Apple style. One of the big surprises at today's big event was an all new redesigned iPod nano. The redesigned iPod Nano just happens to fit one of the ideas that we presented in our August 14, 2010 report that described a "one sensing touch element." As you could see above, that aspect of the patent came to life. Yet far more important is the fact that Apple is now one step closer to delivering the ultimate consumer product: The iWatch. In fact I'm surprised that they didn't sell a watch strap accessory to hold the new redesigned iPod nano. Perhaps that's in the works.  

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