Apple has been granted a patent that could make it easier to use iPhones in the rain or underwater, according to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
With their IP68 ratings, Apple's iPhone 12 and iPhone 13 lineups are water-resistant and can withstand water immersion for up to 30 minutes up to a depth of six meters.
The iPhone's water resistance feature has come under fire, with a proposed class-action lawsuit accusing Apple of misleading consumers about its water resistance. However, the case was dismissed earlier this year by a federal judge.
It is expected that Apple will unveil the iPhone 14 later this year with a new design language, faster hardware, and new features, following the launch of the iPhone 13 late last year.
As part of its next-generation iPhone lineup, Apple plans to launch four models: the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max. According to reports, the two 'Pro' models are high-end models and will have an all-new A16 processor.
Apple is expected to retain the notched design of the iPhone 13 and iPhone 14 Max while using components from the previous model.
The Apple Company secured a patent late last month that could potentially allow users to use their iPhones in the rain without any problems.
A USPTO document says the patent allows iPhones to run smoothly even when exposed to moisture, such as underwater or in the rain. It would accomplish this by detecting water using the inbuilt pressure and moisture sensors and adjusting the software accordingly.
The new feature may make it much easier to use the phone, even in the rain, even though water droplets usually reduce touch sensitivity and make it difficult to recognize taps or swipes.
Additionally, the new system can reduce the chances of accidental touch inputs from raindrops by changing the sensitivity of the on-screen buttons.
The iPhone could also be programmed to detect touch inputs only when a certain amount of pressure is applied to its display. A possible future version of the iPhone could even include an underwater mode that offers a simpler interface and would make it easier to use underwater.
Underwater mode even seems to be able to record videos and take photos even when completely submerged in water, according to a new patent.
Whether or not these features will ever appear on an Apple iPhone will be interesting to see, but if they do, smartphones will forever change photography.
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