Apple considering swappable iPhone camera lenses, patent suggests

iPhone 4 cameraThe astonishing competitiveness of the still young smartphone market forces tech companies to constantly innovate in a bid to keep ahead of the game and tempt consumers to reach for their wallet.

Patent filings give us a good idea, well ahead of time, of the kinds of areas and ideas handset makers are looking at, with the latest application from Apple indicating the possibility of interchangeable lenses for the iPhone’s camera.

The application, picked up on by Apple Insider, was published by the US Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday, although it was actually filed at the end of 2010.

Called “Back Panel for a Portable Electronic Device with Different Camera Lens Options”, the application throws up the idea of an iPhone with a removable back panel, allowing the user to attach other panels incorporating a variety of different lenses. There’s also a diagram showing a back panel with two lenses at opposite corners, the idea being that you’d flip it around to swap lenses.apple considering swappable iphone camera lenses patent suggests lens

With Apple well known for its clean product designs, underscored recently by the company’s head designer Jony Ive talking of his quest for simplicity — “We’re trying to bring simplicity and clarity, we’re trying to order the products….Our goal is to try to bring a calm and simplicity to what are incredibly complex problems” — it’s a bit of a stretch to think that a future iPhone will incorporate any of the designs suggested in the patent, but hey, you never know. Perhaps by having the patent the Cupertino company just wants to ensure no other phone maker takes the idea, even if they don’t use it themselves.

If you’re an advocate of the iPhone’s camera, has there ever been a moment where you wished you had a different lens at your disposal, or is the camera’s point-and-shoot simplicity its beauty — and the precise reason why you use it to take most of your pics? And anyway, if you really must have some different glass in front of your iPhone’s camera lens, there are plenty of third-party products already on the market.

[Image via engadget]

Computing

Nose cam no more. How Dell avoided a notch and fixed the XPS 13’s biggest flaw

The new Dell XPS 13 moves the webcam from the below the screen to the top, finally vanquishing the one obstacle facing thin, sleek laptop displays. We have the exclusive story on how it was done.
Mobile

C you soon? Rumors swirl of a USB-C port on 2019 iPhones

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.
Mobile

The most expensive Galaxy S10 could be the priciest Galaxy phone we've seen

Not long now; with 2019 underway, the Samsung Galaxy S10 is almost here. Before it arrives, here's absolutely everything you need to know about all three of Samsung's next flagships.
Mobile

We tried all the latest and greatest smartphones to find the best of 2019

Smartphones are perhaps the most important and personal piece of tech on the planet. That’s why it’s important to pick the best phone for your individual needs. Here are the best smartphones you can buy.
Computing

Beam up the videos: AirPlay support is coming to VLC player

At CES 2019, the developers of VLC player announced they are adding support for Apple's Airplay feature, allowing consumers to beam video and other content from their iPhone and Android devices to an Apple TV. 
Mobile

If you're looking for a good laugh, here are 70 questions to ask Siri

Siri has come a long way since her first appearance on the iPhone 4S in 2011. We know she can make appointments and give directions, did you know she can make you laugh too? If you want proof, here are lots of funny questions to ask Siri.
Deals

Save over $350 on the Refurbished iPad 4 for a limited time

Looking to buy an iPad without having to pay that iPad price? For a limited time, you can pick up a refurbished iPad 4 for as low as $137. That's $363 less than you would pay for something brand new.
Movies & TV

Apple’s first original feature film reunites Bill Murray, Sofia Coppola

The Lost in Translation team of Sofia Coppola and Bill Murray will reunite with their A Very Murray Christmas collaborator Rashida Jones for On the Rocks, Apple and studio A24's first official feature together.
Mobile

On a budget? We found the best affordable smartphones you can buy

Here are the best cheap phones for anyone working with a tight budget, whether you're a fan of stock Android or marathon battery life. Find out what you can get for under $500 or far, far less as we round up the best budget smartphones.
Mobile

Apple’s iPhone battery offer was reportedly way more popular than expected

As many as 11 million iPhone owners reportedly made use of Apple's cheaper battery replacement offer that launched in 2018 in response to the iPhone throttling debacle — some 10 times more than the company had apparently expected.
Mobile

Unleash your inner artist with the best drawing apps for the iPad Pro

The best drawing apps for the iPad Pro turn Apple's robust tablet into a canvas worthy of a true artist. Here are 20 of our current favorites, whether you're looking to keep things simple or take your art to the next level.
Computing

Should you buy the affordable MacBook Air, or is the MacBook Pro worth the price?

Though they both share Retina Displays and similar keyboards, there are still some specs differences and other changes that differentiate the new 2018 MacBook Air and MacBook Pro. In this guide, we stack the two up against each other.
Mobile

Biometric phone unlocks can’t be forced by feds, says U.S. judge

Fingerprint and face unlocks used to not be protected by the Fifth Amendment, but that may soon change. A judge in California has ruled biometric unlocking methods of all kinds are protected in the same way as passcodes.
Apple

Apple may be developing a new iPod Touch to woo younger users

Apple may be developing its first new iPod touch model since 2015 as it aims to capture younger users who are not yet ready for their own smartphone, and expand its overall listening base in the future.