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iPhone 7 release date rumours & new features

David Price | June 23, 2016
Apple to ditch usual upgrade cycle, save features for iPhone 8 | iPhone 7 headphone jack 'safe for now' according to reports.

The artist Yasser Farahi, whose work appears lower down in the images and videos section, has come up with a mocked-up advert for this feature:

iPhone 7 concept illustration by Yasser Farahi: wireless charging

iPhone 7 new features: Anti-overheating tech

Some iPhone 6s users have been complaining that their Touch ID fingerprint sensors have been overheating, causing the home button to become "burning hot," but that should soon be a thing of the past if Apple's latest patent is anything to go by.

On 13 October, a new Apple patent was published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office that describes a method of automatically capping its power usage in order to cool down. It would use a built-in temperature sensor that would monitor the heat of the iPhone and adjust its power usage accordingly.

This tech could well make its way into the iPhone 7 in order to address the overheating issues.

iPhone 7 new features: Gesture passcode

There was a small amount of mild irritation when iOS 9 launched and Apple started to ask us to set up 6-digit passcodes on new iPhones (instead of 4-digit ones) by default. Our tutorial explaining how to go back to 4 digits has been quite popular, but we should probably point out that improved device security isn't an entirely terrible thing.

Meanwhile, the next iPhone - or one a few generations down the line, since we're talking patents again - could entirely transform the way we unlock our devices. Apple has been granted a patent for a gesture-based passcode system.

iPhone 7 release date rumours: Gesture passcodes

The patent - number 9,147,058 - is labelled "Gesture entry techniques", and describes its claims thus:

"The present embodiments relate to the use of security measures based on non-alphanumeric inputs that are user configurable (as opposed to purely biometric inputs) to control access to restricted information or functions. For example, access to confidential information may be based on a gesture input via a touch sensitive input device, such as a touch sensitive display or touchpad. A gesture may be used to invoke one or more authentication screens, such as, a gesture entry screen, a gesture replay screen, and a gesture re-entry verification screen, for accessing confidential information or functions that may be otherwise unavailable."

We've seen this before in Android world, but it would be a nice option for iOS users. Apple's been on the case with this since 2012, but has finally been granted the patent, so we're hopeful that it could make an appearance at some point in the near future - whether touted as a feature of the iPhone 7, or as a software update as part of iOS 10, or as a feature that relies on both.

 

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