This Week’s Apple Rumors, Ranked From Dumbest to Most Plausible
- 11:30 am |
Each week, there are dozens of Apple rumors, reports, and patent filings that hint at what’s coming out of Cupertino next. Some are legit, but many are totally bogus. As always, we’ve parsed the week’s rumors, ranking them in order from “utterly ridiculous” to “duh, of course.” First up…
DON’T COUNT ON IT: Concept Shows iPhone 6 Looking Very iPod Nano-esque
While not exactly a rumor, artist Martin Hajek posted a bunch of iPhone 6 illustrations this week. His design is super slender, featuring the larger display rumored to be on the next-gen phone. Hajek based his designs off rumors, and of course, his own imagination. Even if they end up bearing no resemblance to the real iPhone, they’re certainly fun to look at. You can check out a bunch of images of his iPhone 6 rendering at Dutch site iPhone Club.
ASK AGAIN LATER: Split Camera Technology Could Make iPhones Even Thinner
If Apple could split its camera sensors into two separate units, it might be able to make iDevices even thinner than they are now. At least, that’s what a patent application published Thursday proposes. “Electronic device with two image sensors” explains how the camera unit could be split in two, with one part housing a sensor for detecting brightness (luma) and the other for detecting color (chroma). Information from each sensor would be combined into a final image. The camera lens and sensors are often some of the chunkiest parts of a mobile device, so this method could, in theory, help make some of Hajek’s super-skinny renderings a reality.
ASK AGAIN LATER: Apple Investigating Location-Based Privacy Settings
When you’re at home, sitting around with your family, you probably don’t need impermeable security settings on your iPhone. But if you’re traveling, walking through a busy city, or on the train, you may want to amp up these settings. A patent application describes how your iDevice could use your location to enable or disable different security settings. You could define privacy profiles for different types of apps (increasing the privacy settings on your SMS messages or email, for example), or turn off TouchID when you’re at home. This is one of those “sounds like a great idea, but who knows if Apple will ever implement it”-type patents.
ASK AGAIN LATER: Robots Are Going to Make Your iPhone
Apple is obsessive in its quest to streamline its production processes. So it’s not too surprising to hear that the company may start automating iPhone battery production in the future. Apple already automated production of its iMac and Mac Pro lines. Humans are apparently only needed for materials and final assembly. With automated production, Apple is free to move production just about anywhere it likes, while saving money on labor costs. Most Apple products are still manufactured in China, for now.
SIGNS POINT TO YES: More Diverse Emoji Coming
The people emoji in iOS are decidedly… homogenous. Perhaps not for long. Apple representative Katie Cotton said that Apple is working with the Unicode Consortium to bring some diversity to the illustrated icons. Apple’s added emojis to its library in the past, including family icons and same-sex couple icons in iOS 6, so it’s not too surprising to expect Apple would add some more in the next update of its mobile OS.
SIGNS POINT TO YES: New MacBook Air Is on the Way
Please let this be true: A post on a Chinese forum and a Digitimes report say that we’ll be getting a Retina MacBook Air later this year. The device will supposedly be fan-less, and even thinner than the current MacBook Air design. The new notebook is expected in the second half of the year, likely October, which is exactly when we’d expect it to land, too. The challenge here will be battery life. If Apple can’t keep it at least the same (9-12 hours) in a Retina version, it may not happen.
SIGNS POINT TO YES: Apple Talking to Comcast About Streaming TV
Apple and Comcast are reportedly in the early stages of chatting about a deal that would let Apple streaming television traffic bypass traditional Internet congestion. Apple has reportedly been in talks with all sorts of different Internet and cable providers about its rumored television set or streaming TV service, which we’ve been hearing about since 2011. Apple is definitely working on some sort of television project, but it’s still unclear how and if it will ever manifest itself. One thing’s for sure: Apple’s taking its sweet time making sure it gets it right.