TECHNOLOGY

New Apple Patent Hints at the Possibility of an “Underwater Mode” for iPhones


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After the launch of the iPhone 15 lineup, the rumour mill is now buzzing with details about the 2024 iPhone 16 series. Amidst talk about the 2024 iPhones, a new patent filed by the tech giant has emerged, suggesting the possibility of an “underwater mode” for iPhones.

The 78-page patent on the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) outlines a special iPhone interface designed specifically for underwater use. If we go by the details given in the patent, it appears Apple believes the current iOS software is “cumbersome and inefficient” when wet.

They aim to tackle this with a simplified “underwater user interface.” This new interface could make buttons larger, streamline menus, and rely more on hardware buttons like volume controls.

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An illustration in the patent shows an iPhone in a fish tank with a quirky icon indicating the underwater mode. Apps would adapt with larger buttons, catering to wet fingers.

For example, the camera app could use volume rockers for zooming instead of the usual pinch gestures. A similar functionality is expected to reach the iPhone 16, which could come with a new Capture button. Maybe, this could have a role to play in this!

To recall, a patent for the supposed “underwater mode” was filed in 2022, which could allow for easy usage, particularly camera usage, under the water. The new patent seems to be an extension of this only with more capabilities.

This move aligns with Apple’s trend of improving water resistance in its devices. For instance, the Apple Watch Ultra can already handle recreational scuba diving up to 40 metres.

But don’t count on having an underwater-ready iPhone anytime soon. Apple files many patent applications every week, and just because they have a patent doesn’t necessarily mean that the idea will be in a future product. And even if does get executed, there’s no confirmation if this arrives with the iPhone 16!

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