A new patent application from Apple was published yesterday by the US Patent and Trademark Office which covers Apple's intentions of finally bringing radio to the iPhone via AM, FM and Satellite signals. Apple being Apple, we could always expect something different, and in this case they're thinking of introducing us to a unique radio station mapping function that acts as an alternative to a straight scrolling list of radio stations. This could actually be very handy when you're on the road as opposed to being at home where a list is just fine. On the road, instead of using your in-vehicle radio roaming feature to find new stations, the proposed iPhone radio station mapping app would simply layout the stations visually for you to choose from - all at one time. It's a quick and easier solution. Apple's patent also hints of releasing a radio peripheral card for MacBooks.
Apple's Future iPhone Radio App
There's no use in dragging this out. We all know what radio is and unless you're a radio freak, knowing the little extras is all you'll care about. If you need to know every facet of their radio plans you could delve into the patent by following the listed information at the end of this report.
In our opening cover graphic you could see a partial of patent FIG. 5 which covers satellite radio. Apple states that the iPhone's radio will work with XM or Sirius satellite radio stations – beyond the basics of AM and FM.
In Apple's patent FIG. 6 noted below, we see that an FM radio receiver (104) is associated with a future version of the iPhone. The iPhone's smart radio program is capable of presenting you with an FM radio list or a unique map with icons of the primary FM stations (e.g., 204a, 204b, and 204c, collectively referenced as 204) in the neighborhood.
The map (202) may include the station call letters and the genre of the program that is currently being played at each station. The map is also able to show the broadcast signal strength (e.g., 210a, 210b, and 210c) of radio stations. The map is interactive, so you'll be able to tap on the icons representing the radio station in order to tune into the stations.
In Apple' patent FIG. 7 shown above we see an illustrated example of an iPhone tuned into the classical music broadcast from a radio station shown as KQXO. As you could see in the illustration, you'll be able to preset at least your top five radio stations on your touch screen.
Peripheral Card: An FM Radio Card for the MacBook?
According to Apple's patent, the FM radio receiver 104 that is referred to in FIG 6 could "be a device that is attached to a notebook computer through a wired or wireless interface" but could also be "a peripheral card that is configured to be inserted into a peripheral card slot of a notebook computer."
Apple credits Freddy Anzures, Henry Mason and Lucas Newman as the inventors of patent application 20100304702, originally filed in Q2 2009.
Other Noteworthy Patent Applications Published Yesterday
Camera and Photo Related: Some of the other noteworthy patents that were published yesterday include three related to the iPhone/iPod touch cameras and/or iPhoto: the first deals with the facial recognition feature of iPhoto under application 20100302272; the second deals with reducing red-eye under application 20100303345; and the third deals with previewing captured images with a live preview of the image under application 20100302409.
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