Well folks, it’s that time of week again. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has made a new round of patents available to the public, one of which shows that Apple is still working on a future iPhone that could do away with the notch. The company is also working on ceramic iPhone housings, and on ways to better serve up information based on where the device thinks you’ll be.
Here’s a roundup of Apple’s latest patents.
An OLED iPhone without the notch
The first, and perhaps most interesting, patent seems to relate to the development of an iPhone without a notch — lining up with other rumors that have come out this week suggesting that the 2019 iPhone will do away with the notch altogether. Even the patent application notes that sometimes designers may be “forced to make aesthetically unappealing design choices” to accommodate for the sensors needed in the front of a phone.
To be clear, this patent is a refinement of previous patents, which were published with the same name and date as far back as 2011. The patent specifically relates to displays that have openings in between pixels for sensors, which could help do away with the somewhat unsightly notch at the top of the phone. As other reports indicate, these openings would be too small to actually see, meaning that the sensors would be embedded in the display itself.
Somewhere along the line, it was theorized that the tech could show up in the iPhone X. Now that we know that didn’t happen, it’s possible the patent could be used for the tech in the rumored 2019 iPhone, which may do away with the notch.
Search filtering based on expected location
This patent relates to Apple serving information based to the user based on where it thinks the user will be at any given time. A device could glean this information based on user habits, or based on things like where a user is driving to in Apple Maps.
This patent is also an update to a previous patent, which was published in 2009. In general, it seems like it could be most useful as a way to point out locations that might be of interest as you head to a future location.
Multicolored ceramic housings
The final patent is a new one, and it may relate to the overall look of a future iPhone. Specifically, the patent describes a way to manufacture ceramic iPhone bodies that are multiple colors.
The patent specifically shows a device that might have colored bars at the top and bottom of the back of the device, or with the Apple logo being a different color than the rest of the phone.