4 features the Apple Watch 2 doesn’t need

After the rumblings and grumblings that we’ll get our first look at the Apple Watch 2 in as soon as three months, the Internet is ablaze with all of the great features the update “should” have. But let’s not go overboard, here, because not all of these suggestions would make the new wearable better. We […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Apple Patents Switch-Less Force Touch Keyboard, Could Lead to Thinner Macs

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday granted Apple a patent for a low-travel keyboard design with Force Touch-like sensors that measure the pressure placed on a key when a user presses or rests a finger on it.

As summarized by AppleInsider, the exhaustive patent filing details how the keyboard would have a switch-less QWERTY input mechanism, rather than mechanical switches, allowing for less key travel and potentially thinner Mac keyboards.

Apple’s current MacBook and Mac accessory lineups employ modified scissor switches, or butterfly switches on the 12-inch Retina MacBook, nestled within hollow key caps. Today’s patent mirrors the aesthetic of existing designs, but deviates from established technology by replacing mechanical switches for a stack of sensors, actuators and supporting circuitry.

Theoretically the system operates akin to Apple’s Force Touch trackpads, but on a much larger scale; one force sensor package for each keyboard key. Force sensors configured to measure downward pressure are integrated beneath the keyboard’s key caps, while integrated actuators — part of the key stack — generate haptic feedback.

The patent filing does not guarantee that Apple will release a Force Touch keyboard, but a pressure-sensitive keyboard is plausible alongside the Magic Trackpad and Force Touch trackpads on MacBooks.

Apple’s new Retina MacBook has been criticized by some over its all-new butterfly mechanism keyboard, which has low key travel, so whether Apple implements this new keyboard design into the rest of its MacBook lineup remains to be seen.

Apple was granted U.S. Patent No. 9,178,509, and credits Jeffrey T. Bernstein as its inventor.

Related Roundups: MacBook Air, MacBook Pro, Retina MacBook
Tags: Force Touch, patents, keyboard, USPTO
Buyer’s Guide: MacBook Air (Caution), Retina MacBook Pro (Caution), MacBook (Neutral)
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The 10 best new updates to iWork

All three of Apple’s productivity apps just came out of beta on iCloud.com, and Apple’s also updated all of them for both iOS 9 and OS X El Capitan. There’s a host of improvements and fixes both large and small for each app on each platform. All the full specifications are over at Apple’s productivity […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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Pixelmator for Mac Updated With El Capitan Split View Feature and Photos Extension

Popular photo editing app Pixelmator for Mac was today updated to version 3.4, adding full support for Apple’s latest operating system, OS X El Capitan. The new version of Pixelmator supports the Split View feature in El Capitan, allowing Pixelmator to be used in full screen mode alongside another app at the same time.

The Pixelmator Photos Extension, which can be used directly within Apple’s own Photos app, introduces Metal-based Distort tools for editing images. With these tools, areas of the image can be reshaped in Photos to retouch them or add artistic effects. The extension was built using Apple’s powerful graphics-processing technology, Metal.

„Pixelmator always takes advantage of the latest Mac and OS X features and technologies, and today we’re thrilled to introduce Pixelmator 3.4 Twist with full support for new OS X El Capitan, the ability to work in Pixelmator and a second app without any distractions via Split View, and a new, Metal-based Pixelmator Photos Extension,“ said Saulius Dailide, one of the founders of the Pixelmator Team. „Pixelmator Photos Extension features a collection of powerful distort tools, which allow users to distort images with stunning quality and incredible speed right inside the Photos app.“

Other improvements added today include Apple’s San Francisco font as the new user interface font and enhanced support for the Force Touch trackpad, which is designed to make painting with the trackpad a smoother experience.

Pixelmator can be downloaded from the Mac App Store for $29.99. [Direct Link]



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Dead-simple Apple Watch app will motivate you to the max

If you have something to count, a new Apple Watch app will let you do so quickly and easily. Clicker comes from developer Craig Hockenberry, and it’s a crazy-simple way to count anything you have that needs counting. And it’s here to motivate you. “One of the things I noticed early on was how a […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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4 watchOS 2 improvements you didn’t know you wanted

Apple’s second major iteration of its wearable firmware, watchOS 2, is finally out today, and it has some extra fun features hiding along with all of the ones the company has been talking about since it first announced the update back in June. Sure, native apps and custom watch faces are cool, but watchOS 2 […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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One Day Sale: $300 Discount on 2015 15" Retina MacBook Pro

Best Buy is offering a substantial one-day sale on Apple’s current generation 15″ Retina MacBook Pro. The $1,999 2.2GHz MacBook Pro has been discounted $300 to $1,699.

The current generation 15″ Retina MacBook Pro was released in May of 2015. It offers the following specs:

– 15.4-inch Retina Display
– 2.2GHz Quad-Core Intel® Core™ i7 processor
– 16GB of 1600MHz DDR3L onboard memory
– 256GB PCIe-based flash storage
– Intel® Iris Pro Graphics
– Force Touch trackpad

The next MacBook Pro is not expected until 2016 with the release of the Skylake processors. $1,699 represents the largest discount on the current generation 15″ MacBook Pro that we’ve seen, and expires at the end of Monday, September 21st.

Best Buy is an affiliate parter of MacRumors.



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Watch Tim Cook take on Yoda in this ridiculous animated news video

It’s time to throw away your old smartphone and get ready for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus that Apple is expected to announce tomorrow. To celebrate Apple’s new gadget, the crazy folks at TomoNews have created a new animated video that shows all of the new features coming to the iPhone 6s, but […]

(via Cult of Mac – Tech and culture through an Apple lens)


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‘iPhone 7’ Thickness Likely to Approach iPod Touch

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a new report that suggests next year’s „iPhone 7“ could be Apple’s thinnest smartphone yet, with a thickness of somewhere between 6.0mm and 6.5mm, which Kuo mentions is a near similar measurement of the current iPod touch’s 6.1mm. As a comparison, the current model of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are 6.9mm and 7.1mm thick, respectively.

The report also states that the company will stick to a similar Force Touch technology in next year’s version of the iPhone, due to the heavy amount of time and investment Apple and its suppliers have put into adapting it for this year’s „iPhone 6s“ and „iPhone 6s Plus.“

Due to this, Kuo believes that Apple is unlikely to switch from in-cell over to glass-on-glass touch panels next year, which a rumor out of Apple’s supply chain in Asia suggested last week. The KGI report says that in-cell panels won’t encounter any harsh production bottleneck issues, and that Apple won’t be looking to create an iPhone display with a resolution of 4k or higher, so it’s more likely for the company to stick with in-cell panels for the time being.

The continued use of in-cell panels would also grant Apple the ability to produce an iPhone as thin as Kuo’s suggested 6.0mm-6.5mm size. Although glass-on-glass panels allow for the possibility of a bezel-free iPhone, it also limits the ability for the company to create smaller and thinner smartphones, so if KGI’s claim of an iPod Touch-size iPhone is true, it would make most sense for the company to keep using in-cell panels.



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KGI Expects New iPhones to Have 5MP Front Camera, Retain 16GB, 64GB and 128GB Capacities

KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo has issued a note to investors that claims the so-called „iPhone 6s“ will be offered in 16GB, 64GB and 128GB storage capacities, the same sizes available for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.

Kuo also claims the iPhone 6s will have an improved front-facing FaceTime camera with a 5-megapixel sensor, and reaffirms three much-rumored features: Force Touch, a new rose gold casing color and an upgraded Touch ID fingerprint scanner.

Kuo’s prediction corroborates multiple rumors that claim Apple will retain 16GB, 64GB and 128GB storage sizes for the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, which are expected to be announced at the company’s September 9th media event in San Francisco.

Kuo says the iPhone 6s entered mass production in mid-August after some manufacturing bottlenecks due to Force Touch, casing and vibration motors.



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