In an Apple Discussions forum on Spaces for iPad, Robb Manning stating back in 2010 that having "the ability to touch one button and switch spaces to where I have safari up to do some research would be awesome." Well, today we move closer to that reality. The USPTO has revealed a patent that shows that Apple is bringing Spaces to the iPad. In fact, if you look closely in one patent graphic, you may actually be getting a sneak peek of OS X Lion on iPad. This spices things up a bit wouldn't you agree?
What Touch Displays Lack
The use of touch-sensitive surfaces as input devices for computers and other electronic computing devices has increased significantly in recent years. Exemplary touch-sensitive surfaces include touch pads and touch screen displays. Such surfaces are widely used to manipulate virtual objects in user interfaces for multifunction devices.
While using an operating system or other application with a plurality of open applications and/or application windows, a user may need to move from one workspace view (i.e., a first "virtual desktop") to a different workspace view (i.e., a second "virtual desktop"), move one or more windows from a first workspace view to another workspace view, or see several workspace views simultaneously.
But existing methods for performing these manipulations of workspace views are cumbersome and inefficient. For example, moving between one workspace view and another workspace view may require selecting an icon or other small graphical user interface object with a cursor, and/or remembering unintuitive keyboard shortcuts or other navigation commands. Such manipulations are tedious and create a significant cognitive burden on a user. In addition, existing methods take longer than necessary, thereby wasting energy. This latter consideration is particularly important in battery-operated devices.
Accordingly, there is a need for electronic devices with faster, more efficient methods and interfaces for manipulating workspace views. Such methods and interfaces may complement or replace existing methods for manipulating workspace views. Such methods and interfaces reduce the cognitive burden on a user and produce a more efficient human-machine interface. For battery-operated electronic devices, such methods and interfaces conserve power and increase the time between battery charges.
Apple's Solution: Bring Spaces to the iPad and other Touch Devices
The above deficiencies and other problems associated with user interfaces for electronic devices with touch-sensitive surfaces are reduced or eliminated by the disclosed devices. In some embodiments, the device is a desktop computer. In some embodiments, the device is portable (e.g., a notebook computer, a tablet, or a handheld device). In some embodiments, the device has a touchpad. In some embodiments, the device has a "touch screen" or "touch screen display." In some embodiments, the device has a graphical user interface (GUI), one or more processors, memory and one or more modules, programs or sets of instructions stored in the memory for performing multiple functions.
In some embodiments, the user interacts with the GUI primarily through finger contacts and gestures on the touch-sensitive surface. In some embodiments, in addition to manipulating workspace views, the functions include one or more of: image editing, drawing, presenting, word processing, website creating, disk authoring, spreadsheet making, game playing, telephoning, video conferencing, e-mailing, instant messaging, workout support, digital photographing, digital videoing, web browsing, digital music playing and/or digital video playing. Executable instructions for performing these functions may be included in a computer readable storage medium or other computer program product configured for execution by one or more processors.
Multifunctional Device Displays
In accordance with some embodiments, a computer-implemented method is performed at a multifunction device with a display and a touch-sensitive surface. The method includes creating a plurality of workspace views. A respective workspace view is configured to contain content assigned by a user to the respective workspace view. The content includes application windows. The method further includes displaying a first workspace view in the plurality of workspace views on the display, without displaying other workspace views in the plurality of workspace views. The method also includes detecting a first multifinger gesture on the touch-sensitive surface. In response to detecting the first multifinger gesture on the touch-sensitive surface, the method includes replacing display of the first workspace view with concurrent display of the plurality of workspace views.
In accordance with some embodiments, a graphical user interface on a multifunction device with a display and a touch-sensitive surface includes a plurality of workspace views. The respective workspace view is configured to contain content assigned by a user to the respective workspace view. The content includes application windows. A first workspace view in the plurality of workspace views on the display is displayed without displaying other workspace views in the plurality of workspace views. A first multifinger gesture is detected on the touch-sensitive surface. In response to detecting the first multifinger gesture on the touch-sensitive surface, display of the first workspace view is replaced with concurrent display of the plurality of workspace views.
Exemplary User Interfaces Manipulating Workspace Views in Spaces
Apple's patent FIG. 5GG illustrates the device detecting a two-finger pinching gesture at a location on a touch-sensitive surface that corresponds to a corner of the display, where the touch-sensitive surface is distinct from the display. Patent FIGS. 5Z illustrates moving windows between a plurality of workspace views while concurrently displaying the plurality of workspace views.
Apple's patent FIGS. 5U and 5T illustrate replacing a display of a first single workspace view with a display of a second single workspace view in response to detecting a swipe gesture. Considering that the context of 5U is a multifunctional device, as in an iPad, it's interesting that the dock for the iPad is showing us the Mac OS icon. What is that telling us?
Flowchart of "Spaces" Working on iPad +
Apple credits Duncan Kerr, Julian Missig, Jonathan Koch, Avi Cieplinski, Michael Victor, Jeff Bernstein and Myra Haggerty as the inventors of patent application 20110078624, originally filed in Q3 2009. Other related patents that surfaced today include 20110078560 (re: Keynote for iPad) and 20110078622 (re: iCal for iPad). Both of which are now patent fulfilled.
Notice: Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of patents with associated graphic(s) for journalistic news purposes as each such patent application is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trade Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any patent application should be read in its entirety for further details. Patents shouldn't be digested as rumors or fast-tracked according to rumor time tables. Apple patents represent true research that could lead to future products and should be understood in that light. About Comments: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit comments.
Here are Some Great Community Sites that are Covering our Original Report
MacSurfer, Apple Investor News, Google Reader, UpgradeOSX, iPhone World Canada, CBS MarketWatch, MacTech, moconews, The News List, Buzzup, Fast Company,TechWatching, Zmarter, Business Insider, Techmeme, TUAW, AppAdvice, iPhoneHellas, MacStories, Mac Life Germany, iPadguide Denmark, ModMyi, Macerkopf Germany, AppleWeblog Spanish, OS X Daily, MacPlus France, Macnotes Germany, Melablog Italy, iPadd France, Tengo un Mac Spain, MacRumors, 9 to 5 Mac, iClarified, KnowYourMobile India & UK, MacKozer Poland, ziPad Blog, CNET, BGR, iDevice Romania, The APPera, Macgasm, iPad aanbieding Netherlands, iPhone Help India, iPaderos Spain, Mac Pastorale Japan, The iPad Guide, VIPad France, intomobile, iPhone Club Hungary, ZDNet UK, SlashGear UK, GigaOM, TechRadar UK, The New York Times, PC World, CNET Japan, CIO and more.
Note: The sites that are linked above offer Apple community members an avenue to make comments about this report in many original languages. Additionally, many of these sites provide our guests with different takes on any given patent or concept presented in our reports to make it more fun, interesting and/or personal. If you have the time, join in!