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3
Aug

How to turn off Suggestions in the Pixel Launcher on Android P


I appreciate the help, but…

how-to-master-android-p-gestures-pixel-2

Google’s made a lot of welcome changes to its Pixel Launcher since we were first introduced to it in 2016, and in Android P, it takes its Suggestions feature to the next level.

Rather than just recommending a few apps it thinks you might want to use at the top of your app drawer, Suggestions now shows these recommendations in the recent apps page, highlights App Actions in the app drawer it thinks you might want to use, and even allows you to copy and paste text while switching apps.

These features are all fine and dandy, but if you don’t want the Pixel Launcher making recommendations based on your usage, it’s rather easy to turn all of these off completely.

Hold down on a blank part of your home screen.
Tap Home settings.
Tap Suggestions.

Tap all three toggles to turn them off.

android-p-suggestions-pixel-launcher-1.jandroid-p-suggestions-pixel-launcher-2.pandroid-p-suggestions-pixel-launcher-3.p

If you decide you’d like to re-enable all of these at any point or just turn on one or two, you can easily do so by following the same instructions listed above.

Keep on keeping on

Have any questions? Just want to chat about Android P / the Pixel Launcher? Feel free to sound off in the comments below!

Android P: Everything you need to know about Android 9

Android P

  • Android P: Everything you need to know
  • Android P Beta hands-on: The best and worst features
  • All the big Android announcements from Google I/O 2018
  • Will my phone get Android P?
  • How to manually update your Pixel to Android P
  • Join the Discussion

3
Aug

Let one of these discounted Bluetooth FM transmitters make your next drive more enjoyable


Amazon UK has limited-time discounts on a range of in-car Bluetooth FM transmitters, with some prices as low as £11 for today only.

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If you’re sick of listening to the radio on your commute but your car stereo system does not support Bluetooth, these devices are for you. Each model powers on by plugging into your cigarette lighter socket. Using it as is as simple as tuning it and your radio to an unused frequency in your area. Connect your phone via Bluetooth and you’re ready to go. All the models feature a USB port (two ports, on some) to keep your device charged and a built-in microphone for hands-free calling. The built-in screen can display song names, incoming caller ID and more.

Check out the range of discounted models on Amazon.

For more UK deals coverage, be sure to keep an eye on Thrifter UK and follow the team on Twitter.

See at Amazon UK

3
Aug

Tim Cook Says Apple’s $1 Trillion Value is a ‘Significant Milestone’ But ‘Not the Most Important Measure of Success’ in Employee Memo


Apple today reached a major milestone and became the first publicly listed U.S. company to reach a $1 trillion market capitalization. Following the news, Apple CEO Tim Cook, who did not comment publicly on the occasion, sent out a memo to employees, which was shared by Buzzfeed.

In the memo, Cook said that while the valuation is a “significant milestone” that the company should be proud of, it’s not the most important measure of Apple’s success. He instead thanked employees and said that it’s their hard work and refusal to settle for less that makes Apple great.

Team,

Today Apple passed a significant milestone. At our closing share price of $207.39, the stock market now values Apple at more than $1 trillion. While we have much to be proud of in this achievement, it’s not the most important measure of our success. Financial returns are simply the result of Apple’s innovation, putting our products and customers first, and always staying true to our values.

It’s you, our team, that makes Apple great and our success is due to your hard work, dedication and passion. I am deeply humbled by what you do, and it’s the privilege of a lifetime to work alongside you. I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all the late hours and extra trips, all the times you refuse to settle for anything less than excellence in our work together.

Let’s take this moment to thank our customers, our suppliers and business partners, the Apple developer community, our coworkers and all those who came before us at this remarkable company.

Steve founded Apple on the belief that the power of human creativity can solve even the biggest challenges — and that the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do. In today’s world, our mission is more important than ever. Our products not only create moments of surprise and delight, they empower people all around the globe to enrich their lives and the lives of others.

Just as Steve always did in moments like this, we should all look forward to Apple’s bright future and the great work we’ll do together.

Tim

With a closing stock price of $207.39 following arecord breaking Q3 earnings report on Tuesday and a total of 4,829,926,000 outstanding shares as of July 20, Apple successfully beat Amazon, Microsoft, and Google parent company Alphabet to a $1 trillion valuation.

Apple is set to have yet another strong quarter with the 2018 iPhones, new iPad Pros, new Apple Watch models, and new Macs on the horizon.

Tags: Tim Cook, AAPL
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3
Aug

Motorola Moto Z3 hands-on: Our first glimpse at the 5G future


Some people might take a look at the Moto Z3’s spec sheet and think it’s dead on arrival. A Snapdragon 835? Isn’t this Motorola’s Pixel 2 and Galaxy S9 competitor?

Yes and no.

It is Motorola’s top-tier flagship phone of 2018, so it will be expected to go head to head with the other Android flagships on the market. But the Moto Z3 has a big trick up its sleeve: the promise of being the very first 5G-capable phone. Coupled with Motorola’s new 5G Moto Mod, the Moto Z3 will be able to run on Verizon’s 5G network when it’s rolled out sometime in 2019.

Also read

What is 5G, and what can we expect from it?

You’ve likely heard the term a lot recently, but what is 5G? Good question. Simply put, 5G networking is the next major evolution of mobile wireless technology. It will empower customers with even faster data connections, …

“Sometime in 2019” is important to remember, here. If you decide to purchase the Moto Z3 on August 16 — when it goes on sale exclusively at Verizon — you’ll have to wait to experience all that 5G goodness. The 5G Moto Mod isn’t arriving in the U.S. until early 2019, and we still don’t know how much Motorola will charge for it. Plus, when it comes to market, it’ll only work with Verizon’s network at first. Motorola tells us it will eventually be able to work with other carriers’ networks.

The 5G Moto Mod itself works just like any other Moto Mod — it’s a modular accessory that snaps onto the back of the Z3, and you can take it off whenever you’d like. The Mod has an extra 2,000mAh battery inside to help with the inevitable battery drain from connecting to the high-speed network, too. It makes the phone pretty bulky, and there’s a little antenna that sticks up above the top-right edge of the phone.

Moto Z3 design and specs: What’s new?

Not a whole lot.



The Moto Z3 isn’t so much a followup to the Moto Z2 Force. It doesn’t have that super scratchable plastic display, it doesn’t have the fastest processor on the market, and it doesn’t have an insanely high price tag, either. Think of the Moto Z3 as a higher-end Moto Z3 Play — Motorola’s early 2018 mid-range phone.

It’s essentially the same design — it’s thin, glass, and feels like a high-end phone. It has a big 6.01-inch Full HD+ AMOLED display, the same dual-camera setup as the Z3 Play, 4GB of RAM like the Z3 Play, and a 3,000mAh battery, just like the Z3 Play. The biggest difference under the hood is the Snapdragon 835 chipset — the same SoC that’s found in the Pixel 2, Galaxy S8, and Moto Z2 Force. It’s not a slow processor by any stretch of the imagination (my Pixel 2 still works wonderfully), but it isn’t the fastest, and will surely disappoint customers who were looking forward to a Moto phone with the new Snapdragon 845.

The fingerprint sensor is mounted on the side, just like with Play edition, and the front of the device features the Motorola logo on the chin where fingerprint sensor or home button used to be. Really, the Moto Z3 and Moto Z3 Play are the same phones as far as appearances go.

The Motorola Moto Z3 is a smartphone with a 2018 design filled with 2017 specs.

For a full rundown of the specs, take a look at the official Moto Z3 specs table below:

Display 6.01-inch Super AMOLED
2,160 x 1,080 resolution
18:9 aspect ratio
Corning Gorilla Glass 3
79 percent screen-to-body ratio
SoC Qualcomm Snapdragon 835
2.35GHz, octa-core
GPU Adreno 540
RAM 4GB
Storage 64GB
MicroSD up to 2TB
Cameras Rear cameras
12MP main sensor with f/2.0 aperture, 1.25μm pixels
Phase-detect and laser autofocus, dual-LED flash

Front camera
8MP sensor with f/2.0 aperture, 1.12μm pixels

Audio Front-facing speaker
USB Type-C
No 3.5mm jack
USB-C to 3.5mm adapter included
Battery 3,000mAh battery
Non-removable
15W TurboCharger
USB Type-C
IP rating Splash-resistant p2i
No IP rating
Video Capture 720p (120fps), 1080p, 4K (30fps)
Security Side-mounted fingerprint sensor
Face unlock
Software Android 8.1 Oreo
Dimensions and weight 76.5 x 156.5 x 6.75mm
156g

Pricing, availability, and final thoughts

The best part? Motorola isn’t charging an arm and a leg for this phone.

It’ll be available exclusively on Verizon’s network in the U.S. on August 16, where it will go on sale for $480 full retail or $20 per month with 24 months of payments. That’s actually a fair price for everything you’re getting here — a speedy phone, a high-end design, and decent cameras.

However, it’s hard to be excited about the price when we don’t know how much the 5G Moto Mod will cost. If the new Mod is only a $50 add-on, that might be a great value. If Moto plans on charging over $200 for it, that brings the Z3 right up into Pixel 2 and Galaxy S9 territory — not a great look for a phone with older specs and Verizon exclusivity.

Next: Motorola Moto G6 and Moto G6 Play review

We’ll be sure to tell you even more in our full review, which is coming soon. For now, I really want to know your thoughts on this phone — does the promise of 5G have you interested in the Moto Z3, or are you passing on this one?

3
Aug

A series of solar flares disrupted hurricane relief efforts in 2017


Last year’s hurricane season was one for the record books. In late August, Hurricane Harvey dropped more than 40 inches of rain on eastern Texas, making it the wettest and one of the costliest tropical cyclones on record. In late September, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, devastating the island and causing the worst electrical blackout in United States history. A few weeks earlier, Hurricane Irma became the strongest storm ever recorded in the Atlantic region. Satellite views depicted Irma as shrouding Florida from coast to coast.

As if these hurricanes weren’t bad enough, residents in the Caribbean were threatened by another storm nearly 93 million miles away. Just as Hurricane Irma battered the Caribbean in early September, a series of solar flares erupted from the sun and caused emergency radio communications to go offline for hours, according to a new study published in the journal Space Weather. In the paper, the researchers note that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) reported an eight-hour loss of high-frequency radio used by ham radio operators and other emergency bands.

“Space weather and Earth weather aligned to heighten an already tense situation in the Caribbean,” Rob Redmon, a space scientist with NOAA and lead author of the new study, said in a statement. “If I head on over to my amateur radio operator, and they have been transmitting messages for me, whether it be for moving equipment or finding people or just saying I’m okay to somebody else, suddenly I can’t do that on this day, and that would be pretty stressful.”

A few days later, on September 10, another large solar flare hit Earth and compromised radio communication for another three hours — around the same time that Caribbean islands like the Bahamas were recovering from and bracing for two consecutive storms.

Solar flares are strong eruptions of radiation, carrying electronics, ions, and atoms from the sun into space. Though flares occur often, they usually don’t impact our planet.

This isn’t the first time a solar flare may have meddled in affairs on Earth. According to a study published in Space Weather two years ago, a solar flare in 1967 nearly sparked World War III, jamming radars at the North American Aerospace Defense Command Post, and leaving U.S. Air Force officers to suspect Soviet interference.

Astrophysicists are looking into ways to shield the planet from solar flares, including using a massive magnet.

It’s unclear what indirect impact last year’s solar flares had on emergency and relief efforts, but the study may draw more attention to the real risks of these difficult-to-predict events.

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3
Aug

Moto Z3 hands-on review



Research Center:

Moto Z3

The Motorola Moto Z3 is not exactly a new phone. It’s almost identical to the recently-released Moto Z3 Play, except with a slightly better processor and an evolved dual-lens camera system. But there’s a much more consequential difference lurking beneath its skin: The Moto Z3 will be the “first upgradeable 5G phone” in the world.

That’s possible thanks to Motorola’s Moto Mod program, which lets you snap unique components to the back of the phone. So far we’ve seen more pedestrian mods like a 360-degree camera, or a tiny snap-on projector. The new 5G Moto Mod will up the stakes with exponentially faster data speeds. That means you can perform traditional tasks much faster — downloading a 4K movie, for example, in a minute and a half. Here’s how it all works.

5G Moto Mod

The 5G Moto Mod is a little thick, and it has a unique shape. Like all Moto Mods, it magnetically attaches to the back of the Moto Z3. Four millimeter-wave antennas implanted in the device ensure you consistently get a 5G signal without interference.

Let’s get things straight — you’re not going to access 5G as soon as you slap the mod on. You need to be in somewhere with 5G Verizon service, which means only three cities right now: Sacramento, Los Angeles, and Houston. It will take a long time before 5G is as ubiquitous as 4G LTE.

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The Moto Z3 is a Verizon-exclusive device, and so is the 5G Moto Mod. So if you want to access these faster data speeds, you’ll need to be on Verizon. Motorola told Digital Trends it will decide which previous Moto Z devices will be able to support the 5G Moto Mod at a later date (through a software update) — but you’ll need to be on the Verizon network no matter what.

The 5G Mod has its own SIM card inside it, and two modems: Qualcomm’s X24 for 4G, and Qualcomm’s X50 for 5G. In a 5G-supported area, it will be capable of hitting 5Gbps speeds. In 4G areas, the X24 modem should still be able to hit speeds up to 2Gbps speeds — a marked improvement of what you would get from the X16 modem built into the phone.

Downloading a 4K movie, for example, will take less than a minute.

What will these dramatically faster data speeds enable? Well, it will drastically change the way we use our smartphones. Think about this: It will currently take around a minute and 20 seconds to download 90 songs from Spotify on an iPhone X — that’s with peak download speeds. With the 5G Moto Mod on the Moto Z3, Motorola said you will be able to do the same thing in 10 seconds. Downloading 200 pictures from Google Drive will take 30 seconds; downloading four episode of Game of Thrones will take a minute; downloading one 4K movie from Netflix will take around a minute and a half. Motorola showed us a demo of the Z3 hitting 3Gbps per second, but promised the final unit would achieve the full 5Gbps in areas with 5G coverage.

5G will affect everything from cars to the Internet of Things, but for our purposes here with the 5G Moto Mod, expect your smartphone experience to dramatically improve.

There’s a 2,000mAh battery inside the 5G Moto Mod, and the battery will deplete alongside the phone — so you’ll never end up with a dead Moto Mod first.

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

The real kicker here is that the 5G Moto Mod won’t be available until early 2019 from Verizon, and we don’t know what it will cost. Even then, while you will be able to access 2Gbps speeds, we’re not sure exactly when you’ll be able to truly access those 5Gbps 5G speeds.

So why didn’t Motorola just build this 5G technology into a new phone? It’s because the technology isn’t really there yet. Motorola said the requirements would severely constrain the design and display of the smartphone — it would look like a “low-tier device.” By putting it all into a Moto Mod first, people can still get a modern smartphone experience, and the benefits of 5G data speeds. The company said doing this also helps it fast-track development on a 5G smartphone.

Moto Z3 Compared To

Moto Z3 Play

LG G7 ThinQ

Moto E5 Plus

Nokia 7 Plus

Porsche Design Huawei Mate RS

Alcatel 3V

Motorola Moto G6

Sony Xperia XA2 Ultra

ZTE Blade Z Max

ZTE Max XL

Meizu M3 Max

ZTE ZMax Pro

Huawei Mate 8

ZTE Grand X Max+

LG G Flex

Why’s the phone and mod restricted to Verizon? Motorola said it believes Big Red is on track to lead in the 5G space, and there has already been a strong partnership between the two companies (such as with the Droid-branded smartphones). Motorola is exploring opportunities with other carriers, though it wouldn’t say much else.

The Moto Z3

With the Moto Z3 only costing $480, you may be wondering if it’s truly a “flagship phone” that can compete with the likes of the more expensive iPhone X and Galaxy S9. Motorola’s message is that you can still get an edge-to-edge design, an 800-series Snapdragon processor, a solid dual-lens camera, and great battery life for almost half the price of most of these high-end phones. The 5G Moto Mod is icing on the cake, offering speeds you won’t be able to access on any other phone (for now).

The Moto Z3 is a Verizon-exclusive device, and so is the 5G Moto Mod.

The Z3 may seem very similar to the Z3 Play announced a few months ago, but it has a different flash storage system that’s quicker, making it more conducive to 5G downloads. It also has an improved Snapdragon 835 processor (though most 2018 Android phones use the Snapdragon 845 processor), and the dual-lens camera system is different. Instead of the 12-megapixel and 5-megapixel depth-sensing lens system on the Z3 Play, the Moto Z3 has two 12-megapixel sensors on the black. There’s an exclusive black and white mode available as well.

The rest is more or less the same. There’s a 6-inch screen with a Super AMOLED display with a 2,160 x 1,080 pixel resolution, a 3,000mAh battery, 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of storage with support for a MicroSD card slot. The front camera packs 8 megapixels, and the software is Android 8.1 Oreo. We recommend checking out our Moto Z3 Play review, since it’s very similar to the Moto Z3.

Julian Chokkattu/Digital Trends

We asked Motorola’s President, Sergio Buniac, whether the 5G mod will be the last Moto Mod. When the company announced Moto Mods three years ago, Motorola committed to maintaining the same modular design for three generations. His answer? “No.”

Buniac said Motorola has been able to change the Moto Z3’s design quite a bit while still adhering to Moto Mod design standards, and considering it’s putting one of its biggest technological advancements in a Moto Mod, it doesn’t see it dropping support for them soon.

Price and availability

The Moto Z3 is exclusive to Verizon and will cost $480. It will be available on August 16. The 5G Moto Mod will arrive early in 2019, and we don’t know pricing just yet.

Stay tuned for a full review of the Moto Z3 soon, and we’ll be adding more to this story as we learn about the 5G Moto Mod.

3
Aug

Scientists complete the first successful transplant of lab-grown lungs


For the first time ever, lungs grown in a lab have been successfully transplanted into pigs, allowing them to breathe normally with no medical complications. The breakthrough achievement opens up the possibility of using similarly bioengineered lungs for humans in need of a lung transplant.

“This is the first time someone has transplanted a whole bioengineered organ,” Joan Nichols, associate director of the Galveston National Laboratory at University of Texas Medical Branch, told Digital Trends. “We also demonstrate amazing tissue growth and development of the vascular system. There was no infection, no rejection of tissues, and animals tolerated the bioengineered lung transplant very well.”

To make the lab-grown lungs, the researchers first created a scaffold which came from an unrelated donor pig. They achieved this using a process in which all cells and blood are removed from the organ, leaving just a skeleton. Next, the researchers removed a single lung from a pig as the cell source to produce a bioengineered tissue-matched lung for transfer. This was treated with growth factor-filled hydrogels and nanoparticles to prepare the scaffold for the addition of cells, which came from a single lung taken from each of the “patient” pigs 30 days before the operation. The finished bioengineered lung — featuring cells from the patient — was then transplanted into the pigs.

Six bioengineered lungs were created in total, although only four animals were capable of receiving them due to surgical issues.

“The lungs continued to grow and develop in each animal’s body,” Nichols said. “The growth factors help the cells to survive, and also help us make sure that when we add each type of cell — vascular or blood vessel or lung-specific cell — onto the scaffold that the cells stay where we need them to be.”

Previous work by the team has shown that it is possible to produce a pediatric-sized lung which could be used in human patients. To get to the point of clinical trials, Nichols estimated an additional five to eight years of preclinical testing is needed. Once this is complete, however, the results could be a game-changer in terms of ending organ transplant waiting lists.

A paper describing the work was recently published in the journal Science Translational Medicine.

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3
Aug

A serenade you can’t refuse: Ukulele-playing robot plays ‘The Godfather’ theme


When the machines do finally gain sentience, turn against their masters, and either enslave us or destroy us, we hope they at least have the decency to send UkuRobot as an emissary to break the bad news. A compact ukulele-plucking robot, UkuRobot is one of the zaniest, most brilliant bots we’ve seen in ages — and we can simply think of no better way to be deposed as the most dominant intelligence on Earth than by having it serenade/eulogize us with the theme from The Godfather or, perhaps more appropriately, Green Day’s “Boulevard of Broken Dreams.” Heck, it’s enough to make you cheerful about the Singularity!

“What we’ve created is a robot that plays ukulele,” the UkuRobot team member known only as Jakub told Digital Trends. “It’s controlled via Bluetooth by software of our own design, that allows us to compose and play any song we want. The user is also able to play separate notes and chords — so it’s like playing the instrument traditionally, but using only your computer mouse. Excellent choice for fans of live music.”

UkuRobot started out as a semester project at AGH University of Science and Technology in Krakow, Poland. Jakub said the team was aiming for something “cool and creative,” and, obviously, nothing says cool and creative quite like an Arduino-powered robot playing a Hawaiian stringed instrument. Since then, the team has continued to hone new versions of UkuRobot, transforming it into the lean, mean, plucking machine that it is today. Oh, and if you think you’ve seen it all … well, there’s a lot more plucking where that came from.

“I would say that our plans for the future are quite ambitious,” Jakub saied. “We are planning to gradually rebuild the entire robot — give it a smoother design, better motors that won’t generate so much noise, and to further improve our software. We are also planning to add some new functionalities, but those will remain top secret until they are finished.”

For now, you’ll just to have to sit back, enjoy a robot reinterpreting some memorable tunes, and think about ways to be nicer to the machines in your life for when the inevitable revolution happens.

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3
Aug

This high-tech water gun makes your old Super Soaker look like a fossil


Socks, sliced bread, Pez dispensers, water guns. There are some things that seem destined to never change. But fed up with an apparent lack of evolution in the water gun department, a team of German innovators quit their day jobs and set out to redesign the nostalgic, summertime toy for the 21st century. Three years later, they’ve taken to Kickstarter to fund the Spyra One, a next-generation water gun that will get you soaking wet.

“Spyra One turns your water fights into more than just soaking,” Sebastian Walter, company co-founder, told Digital Trends. “It shoots individual water bullets that clearly hit your opponents up to 30 feet away. With the integrated pump, the tank display, and 100 percent pressure from the first to the last shot, you will have epic water battles like never before — just with water and completely safe.”

Anyone who has ever fired a conventional water gun knows how unsatisfying they can be. The first few shots feel like a rocket launcher but, as the ammo decreases, rounds feel more like they’re shot through a straw.

Spyra One

Walter and his team wanted to change that. In order to fire such precise, single rounds over a relatively long distance, the Spyra One takes advantage of a physical phenomenon called laminar flow (the same one behind “jumping jet” water fountains).

“A specially engineered nozzle-valve combination reduces turbulence in the water and enables clearly visible — and clearly felt — hits,” he said.

Reloading is designed to be a cinch. Simply dip the nozzle in water, press a button, and it automatically refills. The minimalist design of the Spyra One is impressive in its own right, looking like a colorful version of the clean-lined assault rifles wielded by Halo’s Master Chief himself. There is even a digital display to let you know how much ammo is left.

Before you whip out your credit card, be warned that the Spyra One costs a pretty penny. Almost $135! But the campaign has already been hugely successful; at last check, it raised more than $263,000 in funding.

Spyra One

And be warned again — no Kickstarter campaign is a sure thing. Too often, we see backers get burned, scammed, or otherwise let down by shoddy projects. (Read our guide on how to avoid crowdfunding flop.)

For their part, the Spyra One team said they recognize their responsibility to backers.

“In the 12 months after the campaign, there is a lot to do from manufacturing to certifications and logistics, but we approach our fun product as a very serious business,” company co-founder Marius Rudolf told us. “Besides our strong team, we have confirmed this shipping date with our production partners.”

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3
Aug

Apple patents a trio of ideas to fix its MacBook keyboard


While adding a membrane to keep out debris from damaging its third-generation keyboard design with butterfly switches on the 2018 MacBook Pro was a good first step in helping to address keyboard woes on Apple’s early MacBook and MacBook Pro models, recently published patent filings suggest that the Mac-maker may have grander plans to fix the keyboard. While one of Apple’s ideas calls for a redesigned membrane to keep debris out, Apple’s other keyboard inventions are based on a dual-screen laptop design.

Though Apple’s innovation with adding a secondary touchscreen isn’t entirely novel — Microsoft and Apple’s rivals in the PC spaces have been rumored to be working on dual-screen laptops — Apple is adding its own twist to this form factor. Like dual-screen concepts that were leaked in recent past, Apple would eschew the keyboard in favor of a secondary screen that could be made from glass or plastic.

The benefit here is that the keys could be reconfigured, and users can use their own custom key layouts with software. This could be useful for gaming, video editing, and other applications. Having a screen here and a software keyboard would eliminate some of weaknesses of a mechanical key design, including problems like debris getting trapped under the keys or damaged key switches. Users can also add dials, sliders, and other options to the software keyboard.

In essence, this keyboard would serve like an expanded version of the Touch Bar on the MacBook Pro, which already offers sliders, customizable keys, and keys that change depending on the application used. Moreover, Apple could also add haptic feedback to provide the illusion of mechanical key presses when typing, which could help mitigate some of the pain points — like fatigue and lack of responsiveness — when trying to type on a glass surface for extended duration.

For users who need a physical keyboard to type, Apple’s second innovation is to have a keyboard overlay covering the bottom display. The idea isn’t dissimilar to the snap-on keyboard cover accessory that Samsung sells for its Galaxy phones, essentially transforming the touchscreen-keyboard to a BlackBerry-like experience with physical keys. In Apple’s case, the surface surrounding the keyboard would also be touch-sensitive, and users could add place other peripherals, like a joystick, on this area.

And Apple’s last innovation calls for a flexible membrane that is waterproof to cover the keyboard mechanism. “The material would be flexible enough for the key mechanism to actuate the key, without requiring a hole to be made in the membrane at all,” AppleInsider noted. “The 2018 MacBook Pro models have an added membrane which seems to have been made with reducing debris buildup in mind, but its holes to allow for key actuation means it is not infallible.”

The design would be different from Apple’s keyboard cover for the iPad Pro, which has a flexible fabric membrane covering the top of the actual keyboard keys. The MacBook Pro’s membrane would cover just the key mechanism and would be placed between the mechanism and the keycaps.

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