Apple has been granted 26 new patents this week, including patents for a future Magic Mouse, a walkie-talkie feature for future iPhones, and the iPad's Smart Cover.

Magic(er) Mouse

Among the patents published by the US Patent and Trademark Office this week is an Apple patent covering a new force sensor for a future version of the Magic Mouse, reports Patently Apple.

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This patent describes a force sensor that could be built in to a future Magic Mouse (which Patently Apple suggests could be a 'Magic Mouse Pro') to bring new gaming and interaction features to the Mac.

The force sensor could enable users to bring new gestures to the Magic Mouse, including "nudge", "scoop", and "tilt and tap."

In addition to the force sensor patent, a second Magic Mouse-related patent granted to Apple this week covers touch detection on the surface of the Magic Mouse or other similar touch surface. It describes a method of determining the difference between a palm touch and finger touch.

Walkie-talkie iPhone?

Apple has been granted a patent for a 'Push-to-Talk' (PTT) feature for the iPhone this week too. The feature could be built in to future iPhones to enable users to contact other iPhone owners via a wireless packet data network, effectively turning the iPhone into a walkie-talkie.

There are already PTT apps available to download from the iOS App Store, but Apple has yet to launch its own PTT offering.

Design patents

Apple was also granted four design patents this week, two for the iPad's Smart Cover, another for the Voice Memos app, and the final one covering some of Apple's packaging.

Patently Apple provides the full list of all 26 newly granted Apple patents.

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