Sharing photos with the people who are in them is about to get easier. Apple has applied for a patent titled Systems and methods for sending digital images, which uses facial recognition to identify individuals in a photo. The iOS camera already uses facial recognition to improve its focus on subjects. By taking the next step and figuring out who's pictured, iOS can tap associated contact information already stored on the iPhone.
Proximity sensors on future iPhones may be more sophisticated than current components. According to the patent titled Proximity sensors with smudge detection capabilities, malfunctions due to dirt on the display can be prevented. Sometimes a smudge on the glass will prevent the proximity sensor from switching the display on. The problem is the sensor believes the iPhone is against the user's head.
It wasn't too long ago that music fans were trading cassette tapes of their favorite tracks. The days of manually dubbing songs and writing artist information on the tiny insert of a cassette case may be long gone. Despite this, the concept of gifting a custom album could return with a vengance if Apple implements their patent titled Digital Mixed Tapes.
Judging from a recently awarded patent, Apple may have its sights set on a flexible version of the Lightning dock. Titled "Dock connector with compliance mechanism", the patent features a docking station for iOS devices that would allow the unit to pivot when plugged in.
Think of it as MagSafe for the Lightning dock. Not only would pushing on a connected device simply roll, slide or pivot the mechanism to avoid damage, but the dock could be configured to return the connector to an upright position. Current dock-based Lightning connectors aren't known for their flexibility. Much like the previous 30-pin connector, male Lightning connectors are generally in a fixed position.
Apple is continually improving the iPhone camera, and it comes as no surprise the company has been awarded another patent in this area. The latest, simply titled Digital Camera with Light Splitter illustrates a possible camera upgrade for future iPhones.
According to AppleInsider, the design would further improve low-light performance and color accuracy. The camera works by splitting incoming light into red, green and blue wavelengths. This would allow three independent imaging sensors to capture the scene.