Now that the iPhone 15 series has been released, people are already talking about what’s next: the iPhone 16 series in 2024. Among the rumours about these upcoming iPhones, there’s news of a patent filed by Apple hinting at a feature called “underwater mode” for iPhones.
The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has described a unique iPhone interface for underwater use. According to the details in the patent, Apple thinks the current iOS software isn’t very easy to use when wet and believes it’s “cumbersome and inefficient.“
They’re trying to solve this problem by creating a simpler “underwater user interface.” This new setup might have bigger buttons, and simpler menus, and use more physical buttons like the ones for adjusting volume.
The patent suggests that Apple might introduce a separate tough iPhone model, similar to the Watch Ultra, targeting outdoor enthusiasts who enjoy activities like hiking and deep-sea diving. The sketch also reveals the iPhone featuring a large notch, reminiscent of the one seen in the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro models.
To jog your memory, a patent was filed back in 2022 for what’s rumoured to be an “underwater mode.” This mode could make using the camera underwater easier. The latest patent appears to expand on this concept with more features.
This fits with Apple’s ongoing effort to enhance water resistance in its devices. Take the Apple Watch Ultra, for example; it’s already capable of handling recreational scuba diving up to 40 meters deep.
However, don’t get too excited about the idea of having an underwater-ready iPhone just yet. Apple files numerous patent applications each week, and just because they have a patent doesn’t guarantee that the idea will make it into a future product. Even if it does, there’s no confirmation whether this feature will debut with the iPhone 16!