The worse damage you could possibly do to your iPhone is cracking its screen. While minor scuffs (“micro abrasions”), may be ignored on the casing of your device, a cracked screen is much harder to ignore.
However, Apple may be looking for ways to make their screens more resistant to cracks. Explained in a new Apple patent, the company could automatically detect a cracked screen and then prompt the user to send diagnostics and data in order for Apple to figure out the cause of the crack. Potentially creating more durable screens in the future.
Various types of sensors can be used to accomplish the described embodiments. For example, a touch sensor can be utilized for detection and characterization purposes. Alternatively, a crack detection specific sensor or sensors can be added to a device. In some embodiments, when formation of a crack is detected, a device having a sensor that detects a crack can adjust its behavior depending upon how the crack is characterized. For example, the device can be configured to notify a user of the device of any or all systems of the device that will be affected by the detected crack. In some embodiments, crack characterization data can be sent to a device manufacturer to improve subsequent device models.
While Apple is probably not going to be making its own glass any time soon, the iPhone maker could pass the information along to its suppliers.
A separate Apple patent is a tad more interesting. The patent describes a method of recharging your Apple Watch battery by way of turning the Digital Crown.
Apple refers to it as a ‘connector-free magnetic charger/winder,’ and says that you could apply some sort of rotary device to the Digital Crown in order to generate power to the battery. The external device would magnetically connect to the crown.
It doesn’t appear to charge your battery any substantial amount. Rather it sounds like it’s meant to be used to keep the Watch alive while on the go.