Leaked ‘iPhone 7’ Display Backlight Shows Moved 3D Touch and Flex Cables

Taiwanese website Apple.club.tw has shared leaked images of the purported backlight assembly for the „iPhone 7“ display. The component draws some similarities to the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus backlight assembly, although the 3D Touch chip and LCD flex cables are relocated on this leaked part.

Leaked backlight assembly purportedly for „iPhone 7“ display

The website speculates the component could also be for Apple’s next-generation 4-inch iPhone, but previous reports have said the much-rumored „iPhone 6c“ will not have 3D Touch. The pictured size of the 3D Touch chip and flex cables also suggests the backlight assembly is designed for larger than a 4-inch display.

iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus backlight assembly for comparison

Apple.club.tw has accurately leaked or republished multiple Apple products in the past, including the iPhone 6 protruding camera lens, iPhone 6 logic board and iPad Air 2 logic board, but its February 2015 rumor about Apple adding Touch ID on the MacBook, Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad has yet to happen.

Apple may remove the 3.5mm headphone jack on the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus in favor of an all-in-one Lightning connector, possibly helping the smartphones achieve between 6.0mm and 6.5mm thinness and a waterproof design. The devices may also have a faster TSMC-built A10 chip and non-metallic casing with hidden antenna bands.

iPhone 7 Plus could have 3GB of RAM, 256GB storage and a larger 3,100 mAh battery.

Related Roundup: iPhone 7
Tags: apple.club.tw, 3D Touch, backlight assembly
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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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Waterfield Debuts New Cases for Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2

San Francisco-based accessory manufacturer Waterfield Designs today unveiled a new line of protective cases for the newly announced Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2. The company promises that the custom-fit cases protect the new Apple accessories from everyday drops and dings, and are thin and light enough to slip into bigger bags.

The Waterfield Magic Keyboard Slip case
The Magic Keyboard has three case options for customers to choose from, the first being the full-featured $59 Magic Keyboard Travel Express, which fits the new keyboard along with power cables, a Magic Mouse and a host of other possibilities in its zippered case. A bit down in price from that is the $29 Magic Keyboard Slip, which takes the housing and look of Waterfield’s MacBook case line and shrinks it down to accommodate the slim new Magic Keyboard. The bare-bones $15 Magic Keyboard Socket promises to protect the new accessory „on a student’s budget.“

“Many laptop and tablet owners use a separate keyboard with their mobile devices to avoid potential Repetitive Strain Injuries (like carpel tunnel syndrome) and other ergonomic problems,” explained founder Gary Waterfield, “But—as too many of us know from experience—one small spill can instantly ruin a Keyboard or TrackPad. We designed the Magic Keyboard and TrackPad 2 cases to protect these devices so that users can take them from workstation to workstation or from work to home with peace of mind.”

The Magic Trackpad 2 is seeing a similar new line of cases from Waterfield today, with a $25 Slip case that provides heavier durability and an extra accessory sleeve and the cheaper $12 Socket option for those wanting protection on the cheaper side. All of the company’s new cases can be ordered from its official website beginning today, with an estimated shipping date of Friday, October 23.



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Apple Updates iWork Mac and iOS Apps With Support for OS X El Capitan and iOS 9

Apple today updated its three iWork apps for the Mac, adding new features and OS X El Capitan support to Keynote, Numbers, and Pages. All three apps now support the new Split View multitasking feature in OS X El Capitan, allowing them to be used side-by-side with another app while in fullscreen mode.

There are also new Force Touch gestures in each of the apps, which work with the new Force Touch Magic Trackpad and the trackpad in the Retina MacBook Pro and the 12-inch MacBook. In all three of the apps, a Force click on an image will allow them to be edited, and this Force gesture has built-in haptic feedback.

Keynote and Pages have gained support for opening presentations and documents from 2006 and 2008 versions of the software, while Numbers is now able to open Numbers ’08 spreadsheets. Shared Pages, Keynote, and Numbers documents can now be previewed on iOS and Android browsers.

Apple has also updated its iWork apps for iOS, notably adding split-screen multitasking support on the iPad and support for 3D Touch on the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus. On the iPad, the three apps have also gained new Multi-Touch gestures for selecting text, a new Shortcut Bar that provides quick access to formatting tools, and new keyboard shortcuts when connected to a wireless keyboard.

Each of the iWork apps has also received a long list of other minor feature improvements and updates that are available in both the iOS and Mac versions of the software. A full list of the improvements can be found on Apple’s dedicated Pages, Numbers, and Keynote website.

Apple’s line of iWork apps are free to users who have recently purchased a new Mac or iOS device. Otherwise, each iWork app for Mac is available for $19.99 while each iWork app for iOS is available for $9.99.

Pages for Mac – [Mac App Store]
Keynote for Mac – [Mac App Store]
Numbers for Mac – [Mac App Store]

Pages for iOS – [App Store]
Keynote for iOS – [App Store]
Numbers for iOS – [App Store]



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Video Review Roundup: Magic Mouse 2, Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2

Apple introduced a trio of new keyboard and mouse accessories in the Magic Mouse 2, Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2 this week, and the first hands-on unboxing videos of the new products are now available.

YouTube reviewer Michael Kukielka has uploaded an unboxing and video review of the Magic Mouse 2, $79, providing a closer look at the mouse’s new bottom-facing Lightning port for charging, minor design changes, what’s included in the box, Bluetooth and Lightning to USB pairing processes and more.

Magic Mouse 2 has improved tracking and moves across surfaces with less resistance, as the mouse’s weight was reduced from 3.9 ounces to 3.5 ounces, and because it has an optimized foot design and fewer moving parts.

Kukielka concludes that the Magic Mouse 2 looks and functions similarly to the original Magic Mouse, with the inclusion of a rechargeable lithium-ion battery that gains 9 hours of usage from a 2-minute fast charge, and lasts approximately one month on a full two-hour charge.

YouTube reviewer Dave Cryer shared an unboxing and mini review of the Magic Keyboard, $99, and Magic Trackpad 2, $129, in addition to a quick comparison with the existing Apple Wireless Keyboard and original Magic Trackpad.

The video provides a closer look at the Magic Keyboard’s slimmer wedge-like design, rear-facing Lightning port for charging, power on-off switch and slightly larger keys with a reengineered scissor mechanism. Cryer found typing to be more precise, but said the slightly shorter key travel will take getting used to.

Cryer also went hands-on with the Magic Trackpad 2, showing off its matching wedge-like side profile, rear-facing Lightning port for charging and power on-off switch. The new Magic Trackpad 2 features Force Touch and has a larger edge-to-edge glass design with 29% more surface area, which is noticeable in the side-by-side comparison.

The video also shows what’s in the Magic Keyboard and Magic Trackpad 2 boxes, including a Lightning to USB cable, quick start guide and regulatory information.



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Apple introduces new Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic Trackpad 2

Alongside stunning new 21.5- and 27-inch Retina iMacs, Apple’s other big announcement of the day relates to the release of an all-new Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2, and Magic Trackpad 2. These gorgeous new devices have been completely redesigned to feel more comfortable than ever, while also featuring fully rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, giving them around one […]

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


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Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 References Found in OS X 10.11.1 Beta

The third OS X El Capitan 10.11.1 beta seeded to developers yesterday contains references to a Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2, as spotted by French website Consomac. Apple could ship the next-generation keyboard and mouse accessories alongside the new 4K 21.5-inch Retina iMac expected to launch next week, although the exact release date remains uncertain.

Apple’s current-generation Wireless Keyboard and Magic Mouse
A new Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Mouse 2, each featuring Bluetooth 4.2 and rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, first appeared in FCC filings in August. Apple also registered several new web domains related to the term „Magic Keyboard“ in September, including applemagickeyboard.com, applemagickeyboard.net, and applemagickeyboards.com.

Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 references in OS X 10.11.1
Apple currently sells an Apple Wireless Keyboard, Magic Mouse and Magic Trackpad, each powered by two AA batteries, so these newly uncovered accessories are in all likelihood next-generation versions. The new Magic Keyboard, Magic Mouse 2 and Magic Trackpad 2 could have Force Touch, which is built into new MacBooks, while the inclusion of Touch ID is a more unlikely possibility.



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3D Touch is killer UI; here’s how to best use it

If you’re trying your best to resist an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, do not walk into an Apple Store and try 3D Touch. Once you’ve had a taste of it, your smartphone simply won’t feel complete without it. Here are four ways in which 3D Touch makes life a lot sweeter. Diving right […]

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


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Apple Registers Web Domains Related to ‘Magic Keyboard’

Alongside its slew of product announcements yesterday, Apple registered several new web domains related to the term „Magic Keyboard“, including applemagickeyboard.com, applemagickeyboard.net, and applemagickeyboards.com.

Apple’s Smart Keyboard for iPad Pro
While Apple did announce a new keyboard cover for the upcoming iPad Pro at yesterday’s event, the product is called Smart Keyboard. It is possible Apple is simply looking to secure domains similar to the Smart Keyboard name, but perhaps a more likely possibility is that it is the name for Apple’s upcoming wireless keyboard revealed in regulatory filings last month.

Apple already offers a Magic Mouse and a Magic Trackpad, and last month’s FCC filings revealed a „Magic Mouse 2“ name for the upgraded accessory, so it seems reasonable Apple could be looking to introduce a „Magic Keyboard.“ The publicly released portion of the filing for the keyboard did not, however, reveal any new „magical“ features as it only showed a bottom view of the accessory for the purpose of illustrating where regulatory labels would be displayed.

Image from Apple’s FCC filing for new wireless keyboard
Aside from the newly registered domains, we’ve been unable to find any other references linking Apple to the „Magic Keyboard“ name. Searches of trademark databases for many countries did not reveal any such filings that could be plausibly linked to Apple.

It remains to be seen when Apple will introduce its new keyboard and mouse revealed in the FCC filings, but it could possibly come alongside new 21.5-inch Retina 4K iMacs that are just going into production ahead of a release later this year.



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