Tags Screen

iPhone 6s to have ‘3D Touch’ three-level, next-gen Force Touch interface

One of the cornerstone features of the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus, to be announced next Wednesday, is a screen based on the Force Touch technology from the latest MacBook trackpads and the Apple Watch. However, as we noted in previous articles such as our event expectations roundup from yesterday, the Force Touch feature in the new iPhones will actually be a next-generation version of the technology. According to sources familiar with the new iPhones, the new pressure-sensitive screen will likely be called the “3D Touch Display”…

While the MacBook trackpads and Apple Watch sense two levels of pressure, the differentiation between a tap and a press, the new iPhones will actually sense three levels of pressure: a tap, a press, and a deeper press, according to sources. The 3D Touch name is therefore derived from the new Force Touch sensor’s ability to sense three dimensions of pressure, rather than two. This opens up the door to new user-interface tricks, such as shortcut gestures across the iPhone 6s version of iOS 9.

In an article profiling the new Force Touch feature earlier this year, we shared a few additional examples of how the new iPhone will take advantage of the new screen technology:

  • New to the Force Touch experience, a user can look up a point of interest in the Maps application, and then Force Touch on the destination to immediately begin turn-by-turn directions. Currently, if a user wants to start navigating to a destination, she must search for the point of interest, click the navigation logo on the map view, then click another button to actually start navigating. In this case, the Force Touch gesture will skip two steps.
  • In the Music application, a user can Force Touch on a listed track to be presented with some of the most commonly used actions. For instance, if a user deep presses on the listing for a song, a menu will appear to quickly add the song to a playlist or save it for offline listening. This Force Touch gesture would act as a substitute for clicking the actions button on the right side of each track listing in the Music app.
  • Another feature in testing, according to one source, are shortcuts that appear after Force Touching an app icon on the Home screen. For example, if a user deep presses on the Phone app icon, he could choose to shortcut directly to the Voicemail tab. This could also apply to deep pressing the News app icon and being taken directly to either the Favorites or For You tabs.
  • Some of the Force Touch gestures will come from Apple’s latest MacBooks. For instance, a user can Force Touch a link in Safari to see a preview of that webpage. The gesture also works for deep pressing on an address or contact name to see a preview of a map view or contact card, respectively. Similarly, a user can Force Touch a word to look up its definition.

With three dimensions, developers will likely be able to create new types of games that take advantage of the new technology. The updated Force Touch screen is also set to make its way to the iPad Pro, where it will be leveraged by a non-traditional-looking stylus accessory. The iPad Pro will be announced on Wednesday as well, according to sources.

The new 3D Touch screen is likely to work in tandem with a new Taptic Engine to provide physical feedback to the user. Check out our full roundup of what else to expect from the new iPhones, including support for a new 12 megapixel camera with 4K video recording capabilities, an upgraded FaceTime camera, faster chips, animated wallpapers, and a new Rose Gold color option.


Filed under: AAPL Company Tagged: 3D Touch, Apple, Apple watch, dimensions, force touch, interface, iphone 6s, iphone 6s plus, name, Retina Display, screen

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Mark Gurman

September 5th

Apple

Mac

Another iPhone 6S screen leaks, showing small differences versus iPhone 6 [Gallery]

6sscreen

Following last week’s leak of a substantially complete iPhone 6S display assembly, another screen has slipped out into the wild, where it has been placed alongside and compared against the same part from the iPhone 6 (shown above at left). European part and accessory vendor MacManiack shared this image, the photos in the gallery below, and a YouTube video contrasting the components.

While very few differences between the components are worth noting, the iPhone 6S part again appears to have a place for the much-rumored Force Touch/haptic feedback component introduced in the Apple Watch. MacManiack claims that at least part of the “Touch ID home button is integrated in the LCD and digitizer connector,” and points out that the connectors are different on the parts. Two galleries showing the parts in much greater detail follow…

iPhone 6S screen assembly gallery:

IMG_1997 IMG_2001 IMG_2002 IMG_2029 IMG_2032 IMG_2046 IMG_2050

iPhone 6 versus iPhone 6S screen assembly comparison gallery:

IMG_2009 IMG_2033 IMG_2027 IMG_2022 IMG_2017 IMG_2016 IMG_2013 6sscreen

Hands-on video:


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: Apple watch, Display, force touch, iPhone, iPhone 6, iphone 6s, MacManiack, parts, screen, screen leak

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Photo

Jeremy Horwitz

August 10th

Apple

Mac

PSA: Apple Watch’s sapphire display cracks just like iPhone screens

Apple Watch screen cracked

Yep, that’s a cracked Apple Watch display. Nope, it’s not actually an Edition, just plated, but the $549 and up steel model uses the same sapphire display as Apple’s $10,000 and up watch. And yes, the Apple Watch’s sapphire display reacts to accidental drops against hard surfaces just like iPhones.

In describing the craftsmanship of the Apple Watch, Apple calls sapphire “the second-hardest transparent substance after diamond,” adding that “that’s why we chose it to cover the Apple Watch and Apple Watch Edition faces,” but it still sells a $79 AppleCare+ warranty to cover accidental damage because sapphire is clearly not invincible.

Here’s what to expect if you accidentally break your Apple Watch display and what I learned about how easily it can happen…

As I mentioned during this week’s 9to5Mac Happy Hour podcast, the damage to the display happened during the tail end of my travels last week, adding an unfortunate surprise to an otherwise relaxing trip.

My wife took her Apple Watch off in the evening to charge before she washed her face, but decided to wear it just a little longer to get credit for standing and reach her activity goal. When she removed it at the sink to wash her face, it slipped from her grip and hit the sink’s countertop. Not the floor a few feet below, but the sink, a drop only inches down.

The watch landed face down and the surface of the countertop was just hard enough that the extremely short drop caused an impact substantial enough to shock the screen. As you can see, the result isn’t exactly like iPhone screen cracks which usually vary from a single hairline crack to a spiderweb of damage. The Apple Watch Sport appears to crack in a similar way, but the sapphire display found on stainless steel and gold Apple Watches tends to crack where it seems to be weakest: around the curved outline of the display.

Apple Watch cracked

Like many cracked iPhones I’ve encountered over the years, the Apple Watch still functionally works, although the reliance on Force Touch, or firmly pressing the flexible display, means we’re hesitant to really test how long that remains the case. The damage to the display also means that watch isn’t going anywhere near water for obvious reasons.

For my own stainless steel Apple Watch, I’m being about 10,000 times more careful than I’d been since it arrived. I’ve been hitting door knobs around the house and bumping car doors outside without much concern since the sapphire display means added durability over the Apple Watch Sport’s X-Ion glass.

It’s a lesson in durability learned the hard way, though, and hopefully a precautionary tale to readers. Accidentally drop the Apple Watch like an iPhone, and it just might shatter on impact like an iPhone. As a side note, this had me thinking that perhaps a sapphire display might not be ideal for 4.7- and 5.5-inch iPhones as the added weight and reduced visibility in outdoor lighting may not be worth the expense if the durability isn’t markedly better.

So what should you expect if you do happen to accidentally crack your Apple Watch screen (and not in the way that Steve Jobs cracked TV) First off, virtually all Apple Watch-related servicing at the Apple Store’s Genius Bar that can’t be fixed with easy troubleshooting  gets shipped off to an external service center called depot.

Apple Watch sapphire

Apple brings out the fancy mat before safely boxing up your band-less watch (it makes you remove the strap before servicing) and sealing it shut in front of you. Even software related issues like downgrading from watchOS 2 beta to the stable version of the Apple Watch software goes through this external service center. You’re quoted a price for servicing or repair, which may change depending on what gets discovered at depot, and promised roughly 5 business days before your Apple Watch returns to the store.

Covered under the $79 AppleCare+ for stainless steel Apple Watches, the watch service fee for accidental damage is another $79. You’re in for roughly $180 at this point, and you get one more instance of those $79 accident replacements within 2 years from buying the device. Circumstances may vary, but repairable watch damage outside of the added AppleCare+ warranty for the stainless steel watch will cost your $329 every time.

The unfortunate twist is in a case like mine where there’s a modification to the hardware introduced despite having AppleCare+ coverage. Despite welcome optimism from the Genius Bar crew, Apple’s offsite depot determined that the plating modification, although unrelated to the damage present, meant I would have to pay $500 for a replacement Apple Watch unit. The model with a Sport band and fresh warranty plus accessories only costs $549, so this choice obviously didn’t make sense.

Apple Watch cracked

That’s the price though for applying a really great looking gold plating as it wasn’t unexpected and the plating had a solid run before the accident. Based on the positive feedback of the plating job, I’d continue to recommend it as an affordable option for classing up the Apple Watch while emphasizing the already known effect it has on the warranty.

The real lesson for me is that while it’s reputation tends to be that it’s indestructible, the Apple Watch’s sapphire display is hardly immune to the common slip and impact that leads to shattered screens we’ve seen plague other iOS devices for years.

If you’re on the fence about AppleCare+ for your Apple Watch and plan to keep it around for a while, I’d lean toward buying it. And if you’re using your Apple Watch during any extreme activity so you can capture your fitness data, investing in a cheap Apple Watch case that you only use for specific occasions may save you a lot of money in the event of an accident.

For me, the cost of repair isn’t economical versus paying for a new Apple Watch altogether, which feels like a shame considering for now only Apple seems to be offering screen replacements. So for now, our gorgeous-but-damaged Apple Watch will stay unused, while serving as a costly experiment for testing just how durable that sapphire screen really is in a real-life scenario.


Filed under: Apple Watch Tagged: Apple Store, Apple watch, broken, cracked, depot, Display, how to, repair, replacement, Sapphire, screen

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Photo

Zac Hall

July 17th

Apple

How to

Mac

What the Apple Watch Retina Display looks like when magnified to the pixel level

Apple-Watch-pixels-with-capacitive-screen Apple-Watch-White-Display

Bryan Jones has taken close up images of the Apple Watch screen, magnified such it is possible to discern the individual pixels and sub-pixels. The images show the arrangements of red, green and blue light that make up the images users see on the Apple Watch Retina Display.

Jones compares the screen technology with that of iPhone screens (shown below). They look quite different likely due to the fact that Apple Watch uses an AMOLED display rather than a LCD. iPhone pixels are tightly packed together with the red, green and blue aligned vertically. With the Apple Watch, the blue sub-pixels act as spacers for the stacked red and green sub-pixels. Jones also notes that the imaging specs are a lot smaller than compared with an iPhone which seems to be in aid of maximising battery life. When zoomed in to this level, it means you can see a lot more black space. Jones says this contributes to the Apple Watch’s excellent contrast ratios.

iPhone 6 pixels.

iPhone 6 pixels.

In one of the images, you can also see part of the Force Touch pressure sensitivity system. By shining a bright fibre optic light at the display, Jones could photograph the contact elements (visible in the image as orange specs). However, Jones cannot explain how these elements work in detecting force. For reference, here’s how Apple describes the Force Touch technology in the Apple Watch on its ‘Technology’ marketing page:

In addition to recognizing touch, Apple Watch senses force, adding a new dimension to the user interface. Force Touch uses tiny electrodes around the flexible Retina display to distinguish between a light tap and a deep press, and trigger instant access to a range of contextually specific controls

Force Touch is expected to arrive on the ‘iPhone 6S’, as well as the next-generation of iPads, as part of Apple’s fall announcements.


Filed under: AAPL Company, Apple Watch, General, iOS, iOS Devices, Opinion, Tech Industry Tagged: Apple watch, Display, magnified, pixels, screen, zoomed

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Photo

Benjamin Mayo

July 7th

Apple

Mac

What the Apple Watch Retina Display looks like when magnified to the pixel level

Apple-Watch-pixels-with-capacitive-screen Apple-Watch-White-Display

Bryan Jones has taken close up images of the Apple Watch screen, magnified such it is possible to discern the individual pixels and sub-pixels. The images show the arrangements of red, green and blue light that make up the images users see on the Apple Watch Retina Display.

Jones compares the screen technology with that of iPhone screens (shown below). They look quite different likely due to the fact that Apple Watch uses an AMOLED display rather than a LCD. iPhone pixels are tightly packed together with the red, green and blue aligned vertically. With the Apple Watch, the blue sub-pixels act as spacers for the stacked red and green sub-pixels. Jones also notes that the imaging specs are a lot smaller than compared with an iPhone which seems to be in aid of maximising battery life. When zoomed in to this level, it means you can see a lot more black space. Jones says this contributes to the Apple Watch’s excellent contrast ratios.

iPhone 6 pixels.

iPhone 6 pixels.

In one of the images, you can also see part of the Force Touch pressure sensitivity system. By shining a bright fibre optic light at the display, Jones could photograph the contact elements (visible in the image as orange specs). However, Jones cannot explain how these elements work in detecting force. For reference, here’s how Apple describes the Force Touch technology in the Apple Watch on its ‘Technology’ marketing page:

In addition to recognizing touch, Apple Watch senses force, adding a new dimension to the user interface. Force Touch uses tiny electrodes around the flexible Retina display to distinguish between a light tap and a deep press, and trigger instant access to a range of contextually specific controls

Force Touch is expected to arrive on the ‘iPhone 6S’, as well as the next-generation of iPads, as part of Apple’s fall announcements.


Filed under: AAPL Company, Apple Watch, General, iOS, iOS Devices, Opinion, Tech Industry Tagged: Apple watch, Display, magnified, pixels, screen, zoomed

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Photo

Benjamin Mayo

July 7th

Apple

Mac

Apple Watch propels LG to over 90% of the smartwatch display market

Apple Watch Sport

According to market research firm DisplaySearch, LG Display—the sole company currently making displays for the Apple Watch—brought in over $186 million during the first quarter of 2015, a number more than 90% of the overall market estimated to be worth a total of $240 million (via Business Korea). Other players in the market have tiny shares in comparison, with Samsung Display in second place with a 3.1% share, followed by Japan Display at 2.1%…

When it comes to shipment volume, LG held 66.8% of the total display shipments with 8 million units in the first quarter of 2015. This number is almost 8 times as many as the 1.1 million units that the company shipped in Q4 2014, likely thanks to the shipment of Apple Watch screens—and also significantly higher than the total shipments of other companies providing displays. Japan Display shipped 1.48 million units, Futaba shipped 1.12 million units, and Sharp pushed 900,000 units.

LG Display’s strength can be attributed to several factors, but the company’s current place as the main provider of Apple Watch displays is definitely its biggest advantage. The company has also had much success developing various low-power OLED displays for smartwatches as well, being the first company to create circular OLED displays as seen on the LG G Watch R and the LG Watch Urbane—two of the hottest-selling Android Wear smartwatches on the market.

The second-place company in terms of overall market share, Samsung Display, will reportedly begin supplying displays for the Apple Watch come the launch of the next-generation device, according to reports.


Filed under: Apple Watch Tagged: Apple watch, Display, displays, Google, lg, LG Display, Samsung, screen, Watch

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Stephen Hall

May 12th

Apple

Mac

Why Don’t We All Just Stop Staring At Each Other’s Screens?

One of the more annoying things about public transportation is that you can rarely maintain any sense of privacy when using your gadgets. It can be maddening when you have to work or communicate and someone keeps looking at your notebook's screen.

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Attila Nagy

March 18th

Uncategorized

How Not to Be Wrong When You’re Talking About Smartphone Displays

How Not to Be Wrong When You're Talking About Smartphone Displays

A lot of amazing engineering and design goes into making your smartphone. And smartphone displays are one of the most important parts — they're your window onto the internet, and the world. But the technical terms we use to describe them can be pretty confusing. Here's how to sound like you know what you're talking about when it comes to displays.

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Photo

Darren Orf

January 27th

Mobile

While You Weren’t Looking, Dell Announced a Crazy Futuristic Tablet

While You Weren't Looking, Dell Announced a Crazy Futuristic Tablet

Apple! Apple! Apple! Yesterday , you were probably too busy gawking at Cupertino's precious new watch and giant smartphones to notice anything else that happened in the world of technology. There's no shame in that. But if you were paying attention to the 2014 Intel Developers Conference in San Francisco, you might have gotten a glimpse of a pretty intriguing tablet. Michael Dell himself walked out on stage to announce the device. Here's the scoop:

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Sean Hollister

September 11th

Uncategorized

WSJ: iWatch, iPhone 6 to link via NFC, watch coming in two sizes with curved OLED screens

iWatch-Concept-future-05

A new report from The Wall Street Journal today is corroborating many previous rumors about Apple’s upcoming wearable, including that the device will include some form of NFC technology and will be shipping in multiple sizes. Furthermore, the report notes that Apple will also be bringing NFC to its next iPhone as seen in previous leaks, making it easier for the two devices to pair and signifying that the watch will be more than just a fitness gadget:

The gadget’s use of near-field communication, or NFC, reflects Apple’s broader ambitions for the so-called iWatch beyond health and fitness tracking, the most commonly cited use. Apple also is expected to add the wireless technology to the next versions of its iPhone, people familiar with the device said, potentially simplifying the process of connecting, or pairing, the two devices.

Furthermore, the device will supposedly feature a curved OLED screen and ship in two sizes, notably aligning with reports this morning from KGI. And as has been very well-reported, Apple will reportedly be giving the device a health-focused bent with the inclusion of a variety of sensors for tracking fitness data:

The smartwatch would be offered in two sizes, both featuring a curved organic light-emitting diode screen, those people familiar with the device said. It will include sensors to track and monitor health and fitness data, the people said.

Finally, the WSJ has reiterated the most recently rumored timetable that Apple has set out for this device, mentioning that while the device will be announced at the company’s September 9th event next week, it likely won’t be hitting store shelves until 2015. Apple apparently targeted a November release for the device, but as recent reports suggest, it doesn’t appear the company met that goal.

Apple is expected to unveil the new phones and smartwatches at an event next week, the people familiar with the matter said. But it wasn’t clear when the new smartwatch would go on sale.

People familiar with Apple’s plans said it is unlikely that Apple will release the smartwatch this year, because the Cupertino, Calif., company is still working out engineering kinks in production. Earlier in the year, Apple had targeted a November release, these people said.

Unsurprisingly, sources for WSJ are saying that Apple will be opening pre-orders for the iWatch at some point. As for its price point, recent reports from Re/code are suggesting that the device could cost as much as $400.


Filed under: iOS Devices Tagged: iPhone 6, iWatch, NFC, OLED, screen, WSJ

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Photo

Stephen Hall

September 4th

Apple

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