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Tactus Technology is a startup that has developed an accessory that can create transparent keyboard buttons on top of a touchscreen display. The company is working with Taiwan-based Wistron, Business Insider reports, to manufacture such a keyboard case accessory for the iPad, which should start shipping later this year.
The cases, which will cost between $80 and $100, will work with help of a liquid that forms the physical buttons when such a feature is needed. The cases have two components, including a thin display layer that looks like a screen protector, but allows fluid to pass through it, and a hard-shell backing which will supposedly store the liquid in addition to protecting the device. With a push of a button, the liquid can fill the areas of the screen where the virtual keyboard is located, creating transparent buttons on top of them.
The technology would allow the companies to come up with accessories for other devices including Android tablets and smartphones. Moreover, Wistron could pack the tech into future devices by replacing the Gorilla Glass screen with a Tactus display that allows micro fluids to flow through it. Such devices could arrive next year.
“[Craig] Ciesla and his co-founder Micah Yairi came up with the idea for Tactus in 2008 when Yairi was working with a company making micro-fluids for medical devices,” the publication wrote. “Ciesla, who had always used a BlackBerry, had troubling typing with the recently released iPhone’s touch-screen and longed for his keyboard back. The pair decided to try to see if they could use micro-fluids to create a dynamic keyboard. Six years later, they’re ready to ship their first product.”
A GIF image and a video showing how the technology would work on various devices, follow below.
Apple's FaceTime appears to be malfunctioning for iPhone and iPad users with devices running iOS 6, according to multiple tips received by MacRumors as well as a MacRumors forum post and a thread on the Apple Support Communities.
It appears that users who are running iOS 6 are unable to place or receive FaceTime calls, with reports of problems dating back to yesterday. Devices running iOS 7 appear to be functioning as normal, and Apple's System Status page is not reporting any outages.
One user mentioned being able to FaceTime with a device running iOS 6.1.6, while a device with iOS 6.0.1 was not able to access the service. Another has reported that Mac users running OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion may also be experiencing problems with FaceTime.
Users who have had issues have contacted Apple Support and several Apple representatives have recommended an update to iOS 7 to fix the problem. It is likely the iOS 6 FaceTime outage is only temporary, however, and will presumably not necessitate an update to iOS 7.
Apple will be celebrating Earth Day on April 22nd in its retail stores and on its Cupertino, California campus, according to multiple Apple employees. Earth Day is an annual day of focus on environmental protection and initiatives that has taken place in several countries since 1970…
Each year, the Earth Day organization focuses the April 22nd celebrations on certain environmental topics. 2014′s topic is known as “Green Cities,” and this is a focus on more environmentally efficient buildings, transportation, and cities. The above video explains the 2014 Earth Day theme in more detail.
Apple will be honoring Earth Day in its retail stores across the world by covering the Apple Store logos with green. This is similar to Apple changing its logo to a red color in honor of World AIDS day. There have also been indications that employees of some stores will be given new Earth Day shirts to wear on April 22nd. As for Apple’s main campus, employees say that a large-scale internal event will be held in the afternoon of April 22nd and the likely focus is Earth Day.
Apple last publicly recognized Earth Day nearly a decade ago with the announcement of a computer take-back program the day before Earth Day 2006.
Unsurprisingly, Apple appears to be readying a bug fix update to iOS 7.1 called iOS 7.1.1. Numerous visits to 9to5Mac from areas surrounding Apple’s campus on devices running iOS 7.1.1 have appeared in our analytics. The increase in views likely indicates that the bug fix update will come over-the-air to iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches in the near future. iOS 7.1 was released in March with user-interface tweaks, a new calendar view, and CarPlay support.
In similar news, it appears, based on our analytics, that iOS 8 testing inside Apple has increased:
New documents unearthed on Wednesday show Apple was toying with a gesture-based unlock function for its mobile devices some four years after the idea was introduced in the Android operating system. Cupertino's version, however, is arguably far more advanced than even the latest designs from Google.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Wednesday published two Apple patent applications (1, 2), both titled "Gesture entry techniques," that together form the basis of a device unlocking feature in which a user draws a pattern on screen with the help of illuminated discs. One patent filing deals with the system as a whole, while the other focuses on entering and setting gestures on a mobile device.
As noted in the documents, a gesture or sequence of gestures may be more effective in securing a mobile device than the usual PIN code or password. To that end, Apple proposes users input a shape or shapes on an interface with selectable graphical elements.
In 2008, Google introduced pattern unlocking in its Android operating system, which accepts gesture input on a grid of dots to unlock a device. The feature has been adapted with so-called "picture passwords" (both on Android and Microsoft's Windows 8) that accept various gestures arranged on a photo, but the basic idea still involves entering a series of shapes onto an onscreen image.
Apple's take is very similar, however there are a few key differences in its approach. According to the patent application, users have the ability to rearrange the lock screen's graphical elements and can change their size to produce higher or lower tolerance gestures. For example, larger discs or dots are associated with higher tolerance gestures as it would be easier to move from one hit point to the next.
To make things more difficult for would-be attackers, the system can implement invisible dots or hit areas in the unlock path. Without prior knowledge of the dots' locations, or that they exist at all, it would be prohibitively difficult to guess a correct unlock gesture.
Additionally, graphical assets may be only one of many factors in gesture entry. Apple notes timing, such as acceleration and deceleration of a finger during entry, can be made part of the functional unlock sequence. Pauses are also recognized.
Further, users can add in one or more additional fingers at any point in a tracing sequence to increase code complexity. Circles, shapes and other inputs are also accepted on a limited basis.
In a unique dynamic addition to the process, hidden lines are proposed that can be enabled (registered as part of the gesture) or disabled depending on an estimation of where the system