The U.S. Patent Office granted on Tuesday to Apple a patent for a system that implements multi-touch in a mobile device even if the display is not actively displaying any images, Tech Crunch reported. At the same time it helps save battery life.
People walk past the Apple logo near an Apple Store at a shopping area in central Beijing February 19, 2013. (Credit: Reuters)
For the no-look command to work¸ the screen does not have to be turned off. When a display is active, all that a phone owner has to do is swipe a finer in circle to change volume or tracks.
In effect, it will add new control options which would make it possible to remove external buttons if a design would benefit from that or if it would make the gadget easier to use when inside the pocked or clipped to an armband or waist while in a workout.
According to the patent, if the display is inactive, it could use gestures that mimic the button press actions on the iPod and iPhone headphone remotes. Single clicks play or pause and double clicks would skip tracks, while long presses could call Siri.
In case of accidental gestures, the patent said Apple would implement a special mode that permits it to keep both the screen dark and receive touch inputs.
Meanwhile, Apple software faults shocked Australian iPhone users, prompting phone carriers to advice Aussie iPhone 5 users to update their software via the iOS 6.1.3 software update which Apple released last week.
Vodafone, Optus and Telstra, the three major carriers confirmed on Tuesday that they had received several complaints and bill shocks over excessive data downloads by some iPhone email users. The original fault affected only some iOS 6 iPhone users which caused unexpected heavy mobile data use as it seemed the phone owners were using wi-fi connection even if they were not.
Optus urged users with billing inconsistencies to contact them to negotiate the charges, while Vodafone said it introduced usage warnings to prevent similar problems in the future. Vodafone monitors is network closely and contacts customers whenever unusual data usage is noted to ensure the subscribers are aware and understand the cause of their high phone bills.
However, the software update caused some iPhone 5 users to report battery problems.