Apple Patents Home Button with Joystick Mode

Imagine a future iPhone centered around mobile gaming. Press the home button down hard enough, and a joystick pops up right out of the device. This is the scenario pictured in the Apple patent application titled "Multi-function input device".

Apple patent joystick home button

The home button would have two modes, button mode (left) and joystick mode. In button mode, the home button would be flush with the surface of the iPhone and act as normal. Joystick mode pushes the home button up, so it rests above the display surface. This converts the button into a full-fledged gaming control stick for the thumb.

Apple Announces Apple Watch Shipping in April

Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed during the company's earnings call on Tuesday that the Apple Watch will begin shipping in April. Cook did not announce a specific release date, but now Apple fans can stop speculating on what "early 2015" really meant. Another important piece of information we still do not know is what the various watch models will cost. We do know that the basic models will start at $349, but it is unknown how much the other collections will sell for. Apple plans to release 18 different "Apple Watch" models, 10 different "Apple Watch Sport" models and 4 high-end "Apple Watch Edition" models. There will also be two sizes available, small (38mm) and large (42mm).

Apple Watch

There will be several bands available for the Apple Watch at launch, and users will have 11 digital faces to choose from. Other features include Apple Pay support, iMessage support, Siri support, a Glance feature and heart rate monitoring. The Apple Watch will need to be paired with an iPhone to work.

iOS 8.1.3 Kills TaiG Jailbreak

The jailbreaking community was spoiled in 2014 with not one, but two jailbreaks for iOS 8. The Pangu Team released the first iOS 8.0 jailbreak tool in October, before the TaiG team shocked everyone by releasing an untethered iOS 8.1.1 jailbreak on Black Friday. The TaiG jailbreak survived one iOS update before Apple finally killed it off today with the release of iOS 8.1.3.

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iOS 8.1.3 is only a basic maintenance release to improve performance and stability. The release did not add any new major features, but it did patch the exploits used by the TaiG jailbreak tool, according to the official support page. This of course means anyone with a jailbroken iPhone or iPad should avoid upgrading to iOS 8.1.3 if they want to keep their device jailbroken.

Five Nights at Freddy's 3: He Will Come Back

Five Night's at Freddy's is not only one of the most popular games on Steam and the App Store, but it is quickly becoming one the best modern horror franchises. And like any good horror franchise it is pumping out the sequels at a rapid pace. Below you can watch the teaser trailer for Five Nights at Freddy's 3, which was released to YouTube on Monday.

The third game in the series takes place thirty years after Freddy Fazbear's Pizza has closed down and has become nothing more than a ghost story. New owners of "Fazbear's Fright: The Horror Attraction" have decided to cash in on the legend by offering an "authentic" Fazbear experience using as many props they could find from the original location. The owners went through great lengths to locate a few items such as a few "empty shells, a hand, a hook and an old paper-plate doll." Then one night a single animatronic mysteriously shows up in the attraction.

iOS 8 Adoption Rate Slows at 69 Percent

The iOS 8 installation rate continues to tick upward ever so slowly. Upgrades have slowed since late last year, with 69 percent of compatible devices currently running iOS 8.0 or later. Two weeks ago the number stood at 68 percent, which points towards a plateau in updates to iOS 8 amongst iPhone, iPad and iPod touch users.

iOS 8 adoption statistics

Apple's App Store Distribution page illustrates current iOS usage in a pie graph, with iOS 7 at 28 percent and previous versions comprising just 3 percent of the total. All of the statistics were collected as of January 19th, 2015.

AAPL Financial News Weekly Roundup: Analysts Bullish About Earnings, D.C. Lobbying Increased and More

Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) shares opened last week on Tuesday morning at $107.84 and made gains for the rest of the week, closing at $112.98 on Friday. Apple will announce its Q1 FY15 earnings tomorrow at 5 PM ET. Most analysts expect very positive numbers from the holiday quarter, and for that success to continue into Q2, as the iPhone 6 is still in very high demand, especially in China.

Apple lobbies in Washington up in 2014.

Ming-Chi Kuo, of KGI Securities, expects record breaking sales of 73 million iPhones over the holiday quarter. He also estimates 61.3 million sales for Q2, which would be up from last year's second quarter. He believes the Apple Watch will launch in March and will sell just under 3 million units before the end of that quarter. He expects a 12-inch MacBook Air with Retina display to hit the shelves sometime before the end of April.

Smash Hit Developer Working on New Strategic Driving Game

Smash Hit was one of our favorite iOS games of 2014, and its developer is back with a new "strategic driving" title. Mediocre Games last week posted a video titled "new project teaser" to YouTube. The official description reads, "a strategic driving game where you are your own worst enemy".

The untitled project doesn't look anything like Smash Hit. The goal of the new game seems to be not to hit yourself. As you can see from the video above, you must avoid the car you previously just drove. Each time you avoid a past version of yourself a new car is added until there are many cars driving the routes you previously took to avoid them. Hopefully, Mediocre plans to give a better explanation soon because they definitely have our attention.

Apple Weekly News Roundup: Study Correlates iPhone Use with Education, Apple Execs' Earnings Revealed and More

Targeted search advertising firm, Chitika, last week released the results of an iPhone usage study that showed a positive correlation between iPhone usage and education level - states with a higher percentage of the population holding a Bachelor's or higher degree had a higher percentage of iPhone users. No geographic correlation was uncovered, but the study also showed a positive correlation with population density.

iPhone usage by state.

Apple last week released its executives' 2014 earnings. Newcomer Angela Ahrendts topped the list with $73.3 million, with the majority of it coming from a $70 million stock award. Tim Cook received a compensation increase and more than doubled his earnings from the previous year, going from $4.2 million to $9.5 million. To be clear, Tim Cook is the better compensated of the two. He received a $70 million stock award in 2013, and when he took over as CEO, he received a $378 million payout package plus $373 million in stock options.

KGI Securities Predicts 73M iPhone Sales for Q4, Apple Watch to Debut in March

The oft-quoted and usually reliable KGI Securities analyst, Ming-Chi Kuo, released a research note in which he forecasts record breaking iPhone sales for Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) during the holiday quarter, a March launch for the Apple Watch and a 12-inch MacBook Air sometime before April.

iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus

Ming-Chi estimates in his note, which was obtained by AppleInsider, that Apple has sold 73 million iPhones in the holiday quarter, including 43 million iPhone 6 handsets and 16 million iPhone 6 Plus models. This would be a record breaking number for Apple and would surpass the average estimate of around 69 million sales. He believes the success will continue into Q2 FY 2015, amounting to another 61.7 million sales.

Will the iPhone 7 Feature an OLED Display?

Imagine an iPhone display that's thinner, looks better, and extends battery life to boot. Reports indicate that Apple supplier Foxconn is partnering with InnoLux on a new manufacturing plant. The facility would be dedicated to producing OLED panels for Apple wearables and smartphones.

Apple Watch OLED iPhone 6s

The Foxconn plant is slated to enter mass production in 2016, which could align smartphone OLED production with an iPhone 7 launch later that year. The Apple Watch is currently the only Apple product known to utilize an OLED display, despite past rumors of the technology heading to the iPhone.

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