Apple Wants to Add Force Touch to Your iPhone’s Volume Buttons

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The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office recently published a string of new Apple patent applications. The latest patent covers the company’s invention of new “force sensitive” buttons, including rocker switches, designed for a future generation of mobile devices like iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch and more. Apple patent No. 20180083620 covers the company’s invention of a […]
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PUBG Mobile Controller DIY Hack Adds Shoulder Buttons To Phone For Easier Shooting

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This PUBG Mobile controller DIY hack adds shoulder buttons to your phone for easier aiming and shooting in the game. Try it out!

[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

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How to Take an iPhone Screenshot Without Home or Power Buttons

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Taking a screenshot on your iPhone is one of the important shortcuts that most people know: press the Home and Power buttons together, and you can capture anything that’s on your screen.

But what happens if you have an issue with one of your iPhone’s buttons? If your Power button gets stuck or your Home button is unreliable, you might not be able to take screenshots. Thankfully, an accessibility feature known as AssistiveTouch can help.

iPhone Screenshot Without Buttons

How to Take an iPhone Screenshot Without Buttons

  1. Navigate to Settings > General > Accessibility.
  2. Find the AssistiveTouch entry and enable its slider. Doing so will add an overlay button to your screen consisting of a white dot.
  3. Whenever you tap the AssistiveTouch icon, you’ll see a menu that provides quick access to various functions. To easily add screenshot functionality to this menu, select Customize Top Level Menu.
  4. Here, tap an icon you’d like to replace and choose Screenshot. If you’d rather, you can add an icon by tapping the Plus button and creating a new shortcut to Screenshot.
  5. Alternatively, select the Double-Tap, Long Press, or 3D Touch options and set them to Screenshot for even more convenience.
  6. Now, whenever you select Screenshot from the quick menu or perform your assigned shortcut, your iPhone will take a screenshot as normal.

Note that when you take a screenshot with this method, the AssistiveTouch button won’t appear in the shot. You can drag the button to any corner of the screen you like. This feature is designed for users who have difficulty touching the screen, but it works just as well for anyone who has issues with their phone’s buttons.

If you’re feeling up to it, check out how to fix your own broken iPhone. Then you won’t have to deal with that problematic button.

Image Credit: jovannig/Depositphotos

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Wave is another MIDI controller ring, but this one has buttons

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I’ve been bitten by the music production bug recently. The gear is so good these days, how could I fail to make something amazing? All I need is a $ 699 Roland TR-8S, a $ 1,349 Elektron Octatrack MKII, and maybe a $ 119 Arturia KeyStep, and then just a guitar and…

Well, now I’m poor.

For someone who has a setup they like but wants a novel way to tweak parameters with hand motions and maybe trigger a drum pad or two, the Wave wearable MIDI controller from Genki Instruments is an interesting option.

Wave’s built-in motion sensing gives you a few different control axes, which can be mapped to any property in your software setup you wish to tweak. There are three main motions: pan, tilt, and roll. Additionally, there are buttons on the ring…

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Android P feature spotlight: The text selection popup gets a slight redesign, including no more all-caps and more buttons

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We’ve had a solid day of almost nothing but Android P feature spotlights, but they’re still not finished. We legitimately weren’t expecting this many new things in this developer preview. On top of all of the features already discussed, Android P introduces a revised text selection popup, though it’s nothing groundbreaking.

left: Android 8.1 Oreo. right: Android P.

There are a couple of changes to this popup, the most noticeable of which is the fact that the buttons are no longer all capitalized.

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Android P feature spotlight: The text selection popup gets a slight redesign, including no more all-caps and more buttons was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Android P feature spotlight: Volume buttons change media volume by default instead of the ringer

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Android’s separate volumes for media, calls, and alarms can be great in some situations and terrible in others. I’m sure many of you have tried to preemptively turn down the volume as a YouTube video is loading, only to set your phone to vibrate and have the video play at full volume anyways. Nine years after Android was first released, this problem has finally been solved.

By default, pressing the volume buttons on Android Oreo (and below) will change the ringer volume.

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Android P feature spotlight: Volume buttons change media volume by default instead of the ringer was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Is a New iPhone with Digital ‘Force Touch’ Side Buttons in the Works?

Back in August of 2016, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) published an Apple patent titled “Electronic devices with sidewall displays” which described the company’s vision of an iPhone boasting side-mounted display panels. These panels, according to the original patent, “may alternately function as virtual buttons, virtual switches, or informational displays” which are supplemental […]
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Are you ready to say goodbye to physical buttons?

Huawei P20 prototype

Smartphone manufacturers want to take advantage of all the space they can get. As technology improves, it means that utilizing the space in our smartphones gets a little easier, but also means some elements need to get cut. Like the headphone jack. It’ll be gone completely soon enough.

For some companies, it’s an excuse to make devices thinner. One can hope we’ve seen the culmination of that effort from Apple at this point, even if there are some companies out there that offer even thinner products. Apple, Samsung, and other companies seem to have given up on the idea of making our devices paper thin, thankfully, instead capitalizing on thinner bezels to maximize screen real estate.

Say what you will about the “notch” on the iPhone X, it at least makes the new flagship smartphone stand out in a crowd of devices that are starting to look the same all over again from the front. Just big slabs with big displays and small bezels. There isn’t anything wrong with that, of course, because the minimized bezels have given us some pretty great devices.

I can’t help but think that threat of ever-shrinking smartphones is still around, though. And Huawei has helped bring that fear back to the fore.

There is a prototype of the Huawei-branded P20 slinking around out there right now. For the most part there isn’t anything huge revealed. No massive surprises. Other than the fact that the rumor mill says the Huawei P20 Plus is going to have three rear cameras, that is.

That prototype does have something interesting going on with the volume keys, though. Specifically, there aren’t any there. Of course, this is a prototype and that could mean that they just aren’t there, but when the public unit arrives later in March, they’ll be right where we expect them to be.

Or, we could be seeing the introduction of “virtual volume keys”. That means we’d have to swipe up and down to change the volume on our phone, which, honestly, at face value doesn’t seem that awful. But at the same time, I can’t help but wonder if this is something that anyone was asking for.

When you’ve got the P20 in your hand and you’re looking at it, using that virtual volume key might not be an issue. But what if it’s in your pocket and you want to turn down the volume of the music you’re listening to? Physical buttons means I don’t have to put my hand in my pocket, or take the phone out.

Okay, so maybe some other people might be asking for more virtual buttons, but I can safely say I’m not one of them.

This is just one company maybe going this route, and that of course doesn’t mean this is some imminent threat by any means. But I wanted to ask: Do you want to adopt virtual buttons across your phone? Are you ready to say goodbye to the physical buttons we’ve been using for so long? Let me know!

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HTC U12 allegedly shown at 5G industry event with minimal obscuring, revealing on-screen buttons and 18:9 display

The HTC U11 is a good phone, but it’s getting dated thanks to its 16:9 display ratio, large bezels, hardware navigation keys, and odd-looking fingerprint sensor. Luckily, HTC seems to be sorting all that with the U12, which was apparently displayed at a 5G industry event with just a bit of covering-up.

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HTC U12 allegedly shown at 5G industry event with minimal obscuring, revealing on-screen buttons and 18:9 display was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Pebble is dead and hardware buttons are going with it

This week, word broke of the final, ultimate demise of the Pebble smartwatch, with current owner Fitbit announcing that it would be ending support for the scrappy crowdfunded smartwatches this coming June.

And while that moment will go down as the death of an era of Kickstarter successes and a dream of a true third-party smartwatch alternative to Apple and Google’s own smartwatch platforms, the end of the Pebble era will hold a different sort of significance to me: the death of hardware buttons.

Because unlike an Apple Watch or Android Wear device, Pebble watches worked completely with physical buttons. The whole point of a smartwatch was supposed to be that you can use it instead…

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