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iPhone Users May Be Able to Type in the Rain, Underwater, New Apple Patent Suggests

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Apple has secured a patent that suggests the iPhone would become relevant to use in the rain. Although all the recent iPhone models have a water-resistant build, using the iPhone in the rain is not that easy. The water droplets on the display makes it difficult for users to type or access different areas on the screen. Apple seems to be in plans to address these issues by bringing features including a wet mode. The Cupertino company may also enable its future iPhone models to detect changes in the environment to adjust their touch sensitivity.

Granted by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), the patent suggests that Apple is planning to modify the iPhone with the ability to work during “a moisture exposure event”, such as rain. It would use the inbuilt pressure and moisture sensors to detect water and accordingly adjust the software.

The software could change the on-screen buttons in case of a little rain to reduce chances of getting accidental touch inputs. Apple could also enable the iPhone to adjust pressure sensitivity of its display and register only touch inputs where a certain amount of force is applied. This would help avoid false inputs that could be registered from rain drops.

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“The electronic device can include a moisture detector capable of detecting an amount of moisture present at the protective cover, where when the amount of moisture is greater than a threshold amount, the processor determines a position of the touch event based on detection signals provided by the capacitance detector and the applied force detector,” the patent filing describes.

The document also suggests that there could be different modes to configure touch responses, called wet, dry, and underwater.

In case of the wet and dry modes, the iPhone could change the force input detection to accept touch inputs — depending on whether the user’s finger is dry or wet. The underwater mode, however, can enable the iPhone to modify the interface and make it simpler to be used underwater, per the patent description.

The underwater mode could essentially be used for capturing photos and recording videos when the iPhone is submerged underwater. It could also adjust specifics including white balance settings, ISO sensitivity, and clarity of the camera unit as well as its display brightness, as suggested by the patent filing.

In addition to the detailed description of the patented updates, the listing on the USPTO website includes some images to suggest how the modifications would work.

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apple iphone rain patent image uspto iPhone

iPhone may get a wet mode to work with water droplets on the screen
Photo Credit: USPTO

 

Apple has so far not officially marketed its iPhone models for underwater photography. Liquid damage has also not yet been covered under warranty. However, there could be certain changes on all these fronts if we believe the details of the patent filing.

The iPhone 13 and iPhone 12 models in the lineup have an IP68-rated build that is meant to resist water to some extent. On the previous models including the iPhone 8 and iPhone 7, Apple offered an IP67-certified body.

Apple filed the patent for developing the iPhone to work in the rain in March 2021. The authority, though, granted the application in June this year.

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Gadgets 360 has reached out to Apple for a comment on the patent and will update this article when the company responds.

Companies normally file patents for a list of technologies that they want to use in their future devices. However, there are some instances in which the patented technologies are just meant for prototyping. It is, thus, safe to consider the speculation on the basis of the patent filing with a healthy dose of scepticism.


Missed Apple’s WWDC 2022? We discuss every major announcement on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.

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iPhone 14 Pro Models Said to Offer 128GB Storage, Same as iPhone 13 Series

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iPhone 14 series has been part of several leaks and rumours for the past few months. The upcoming Apple iPhone lineup could include four models — iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro, iPhone 14 Max, and iPhone 14 Pro Max — and they are expected to be launched on September 13. The iPhone 14 Pro models were earlier speculated to come with increased storage capacity over the previous models. They were claimed to start with 256GB of storage, compared to 128GB of the iPhone 13 Pro models. Now, in a new development, a market research analyst suggests that upcoming Pro models will continue to offer 128GB of storage.

Earlier, research firm TrendForce reportedly suggested that the iPhone 14 Pro models will start with 256GB storage. Now, a new report by MacRumors, quoting Haitong International Securities Tech Research Analyst Jeff Pu, said that the upcoming iPhone 14 Pro models will continue to offer 128GB of storage as its predecessors, the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro.

The analyst has reportedly mentioned that the iPhone 14 Pro models will be available in the same storage capacities — 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, and 1TB — as the iPhone 13 Pro models.

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Earlier this week, analyst Ming-Chi Kuo claimed that iPhone 14 Pro models could be launched at a higher price than their predecessors. The ASP of the iPhone 14 Pro series is estimated to climb by about 15 percent to $1,000 – $1,050 (roughly Rs. 79,000 – Rs. 83,000) for the upcoming iPhone 14 series, compared to the iPhone 13 series ASP. The iPhone 13 Pro was unveiled in India last year with a price tag of Rs. 1,19,900 for the base 128GB storage model.

Apple is expected to launch the iPhone 14 series on September 13. The iPhone 14 Pro models could be powered by the new A16 Bionic chip. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Max, on the other hand, are expected to pack the A15 Bionic chip that is available on the current iPhone 13 devices.


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OnePlus Co-Founder Pete Lau Hints at Upcoming Foldable Phone

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OnePlus is reportedly gearing up to launch its first foldable smartphone sometime soon. In a new update, OnePlus co-founder Pete Lau shared pictures of a hinge on Twitter on Friday to offer hints about the development of a foldable smartphone without confirming the name and other details. Samsung currently has an early lead in the foldable smartphone category. Xiaomi recently introduced Xiaomi Mix Fold 2. Moto Razr 2022 has also arrived in China. OnePlus’s sister firm Oppo also marked its presence in the foldable smartphone market by unveiling the Find N foldable at the end of last year.

Pete Lau on Twitter posted pictures with the tagline “What do you think this is?”. This could be possibly the folding screen hinge mechanism of the upcoming OnePlus phone. Although the company has not confirmed anything, it is largely speculated that the OnePlus Fold may break cover soon. It is rumoured to come with Android 13.

OnePlus hasn’t yet revealed any details about the foldable so far. But it could offer some similarities to Oppo’s Find N which was launched in December 2021.

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The Oppo Find N sports a 7.1-inch inward folding display with a 120Hz refresh rate and a 5.49-inch cover OLED display. It is powered by a Qualcomm Snapdragon 888 SoC, coupled with up to 12GB of RAM and up to 512GB of storage. For optics, the Oppo Find N has a triple rear camera setup with a 50-megapixel Sony IMX766 primary sensor, a 16-megapixel ultra-wide angle lens, and a 13-megapixel telephoto lens. A 32-megapixel camera on the outer screen, a 32-megapixel camera on the inner screen, 4,500mAh battery with 33W SuperVOOC wired charging support are the other key highlights of the phone.

Samsung currently dominates the foldable smartphone market as per a report by Display Supply Chain Consultants (DSCC). The company recently unveiled its latest foldable smartphones, the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 . Huawei, Motorola and Xiaomi are also introducing new foldable models. Huawei with its Mate X and Mate X2 foldable smartphones marked its presence in the space, while      the Xiaomi Mix Fold 2 and Moto Razr 2022 debuted in China recently.


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Samsung to Charge Less for Galaxy Z Fold 4, Galaxy Z Flip 4 Screen Repair for Care+ Subscribers: Report

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 were launched globally at the company’s Unpacked event this week. To encourage users to buy the new foldable devices, the South Korean smartphone company is reportedly lowering the repair cost significantly under the Samsung Care+ subscription plan this year. The Samsung Care+ plan comes with coverage for drops, spills and cracked screens. Eligible subscribers could change their damaged screen of new foldable phones by paying $29 (roughly Rs. 2,300).

The foldable phones by Samsung come with one year of Samsung Care+ accidental damage protection. As mentioned, this covers the devices from accidental damage, including screen replacement, water damage and back cover replacement. However, after the warranty period, users have to pay the full price for a foldable screen replacement.

As reported by The Verge, the repair costs for the new Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 now start at $29 for fixing a broken screen. The screen repair for the previous generation Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3 costs $249 (roughly Rs. 19,800) out of the standard warranty for people with the $11 (roughly Rs. 800) per month Samsung Care+ plan. As per the Samsung Support page, the out-of-warranty screen repairs without the Samsung Care+ costs up to $480 (roughly Rs. 38,200) for these models.

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The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Galaxy Z Flip 4 are set to hit stores in the coming weeks with minor upgrades over their predecessors — the Galaxy Z Fold 3 and Galaxy Z Flip 3. Pre-booking for the devices in India will start on August 16 at 12pm (noon). Both the new phones are powered by Qualcomm’s Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 SoC and support a variable refresh rate. They have Corning Gorilla Glass Victus Plus protection on the display and rear glass and are IPX8 rated for dust and water resistance.

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 comes at a starting price of $1,799.99 (roughly Rs. 1,42,700), while the price of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 4 starts at $999 (roughly Rs. 79,000). 


What should you make of Realme’s three new offerings? We discuss them on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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