On March 20, 2014, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals their ongoing work on bringing a common radial styled menu system to both iOS devices and Macs. Just last week Google filed a patent for an advanced radial menu design for possible use in a future version of Android. At the moment, Samsung is the only one that has successfully launched a radial menu on a portable device.
Apple Advances Radial Menus for iOS and OS X
Apple's first radial menu patent came to light in November 2010 in one of our very detailed reports covering how these new menus would work with both of Apple's operating systems. Patently Apple then posted a second report on this subject matter in June 2012 which was discovered in Korea.
Today, Apple's patent application 20140082557 revisits the radial menu showing that the project is still very much alive. According to Apple's invention abstract, "Some embodiments of the invention provide several novel techniques for manipulating radial menus in graphical user interfaces of an application. In some embodiments, radial menus include multiple selectable items arranged about an internal location (e.g., a center of the radial menu). The novel radial menu techniques of some embodiments include (i) non-uniform spacing of menu items, (ii) the use of shading or highlighting within a region associated with an item to indicate the present selectability of the item, and (iii) the use of radial gestures for opening sub-menus and the subsequent display of the sub-menu."
Illustrated below is Apple's patent FIG. 23 which illustrates a handheld device that is displaying a web browser using the radial menus of some embodiments; patent FIG. 6 (in-part) shown below illustrates the opening and display of a radial menu with selectable items arranged non-uniformly about a central location; and Patent FIG. 15 illustrates a radial menu along with a gestural movement of a cursor starting at the center of the radial menu.
You could read our prior reports noted above that could fill you in on the overview of Apple's vision for radial menus. To review today's patent application specifically, click here.
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