A patent application filed by Apple in August 2008 shows some novel ways to interact with the iPhone. Swiping over the camera lens and a series of taps on the back of the iPhone are described as a way to control voicemail playback while the iPhone is against the head.
Holding the iPhone in the hand would make the camera lens react differently, controlling calling options or scrolling through contacts lists or web pages. Taps would be detected through an accelerometer inside the device.
Next Wednesday Apple will announce several new products at its special media event in San Francisco. Pictured is the invitation the company sent out to selected media outlets today.
Sources inside Apple have reportedly confirmed that iPhone OS version 4.0 will be announced along with a new touch screen tablet computing device. In addition, Apple will be announcing iLife 2010 software that will support multi-touch.
The mobile version of Microsoft's Bing search engine has been revamped and now supports touch screen devices such as the iPhone. The touch-optimized interface (m.bing.com) is currently only available to users in the US.
Mobile phones that don't support the touch interface are forwarded to a simpler version of the site. Microsoft has also added additional features to the mobile search engine including a visual search movie finder and a real-time data search. Examples of real-time information available include airline flight delays and NFL scores and stats.
More information has surfaced about the Apple media pad, a touch-screen device larger than an iPhone with the functionality of a netbook. Barron's reports on an unnamed "veteran analyst" who claims to have held the prototype device in his own hands.
The source describes a slate-style computer only six weeks away from the final design stages that would be announced in September and hit shelves in November. Manufacturers of key components have already been described in industry publications.
Parts suppliers and manufacturers have already been selected for a rumored Apple media pad, a touch-screen device larger than an iPhone with the functionality of a netbook. The tablet could hit shelves as early as September.
Foxconn, manufacturer of the iPhone and Apple's notebook computers, will make the new device. Wintek is providing a 9.7-inch multi-touch panel, and Dynapack International Technology is supplying the battery.
If news from Chinese manufacturers means anything, Apple is clearly planning on an iPhone-like device that would fill the gap between the iPod Touch and the MacBook. The latest reports and rumors are interesting, to say the least, and point towards a possible 2010 release of the product.
It sounds like elements of the iPhone OS have already been adapted for a larger touch screen with similar multi-touch capabilities. The new Apple media pad would simultaneously compete with netbooks and portable gaming systems such as the Sony PSP and Nintendo DS.
We've already reported in this forum about the patent awarded to Apple for a "Touch screen device, method, and graphical user interface for determining commands by applying heuristics." Well it seems they've already flexed their muscle with Google during the development of Android.