On September 5, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a change in Apple's Spiral Interface Invention that is to replace Cover Flow. We first reported on Apple's Spiral Interface for iTunes back in September 2010 and by December of that year Apple provided us with more detail. In that report we illustrated a working model of that design that was invented by a French Company under the Memory-Life brand. Then in October 2012, Apple was granted a patent for this spiral design. Apple's last patent application on this project was published in June 2013 where Apple reduced their patents claims from 36 down to 1. Today, Apple further refines their patent claims once again.
On June 10, 2013 Apple introduced a peek at iOS 7 and one of the highlighted features was their new iTunes Radio service. Today, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals that they've been seriously working on this project since December 2011 – though there's evidence dating the project back to at least 2010. Revelations found in our report today cover such matters as dynamic playlists, a user feedback system, an easy drag and drop feature to readjust playlists quickly and more including eight detailed patent figures clarifying many of the noted features.
On June 13, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that simplifies one of their inventions relating to a possible new spirals centric interface or element for a future version of iTunes.
On April 18, 2013, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals the nuts and bolts behind Apple's Virtual University known as iTunes U. Apple's invention is about systems, methods, and computer program products for accessing e-learning courses from an online resource. Particular implementations of the e-learning application disclosed, provide one or more of the following advantages: The e-learning application provides simple and intuitive GUIs that allow students to browse, select, enroll and interact with online courses, including facilitating data input by the student, giving the student better manual control to navigate the course and providing the student with better visual feedback for interacting with the course.
During yesterday's special iPhone event, Eddy Cue, Senior VP of Internet Software and Services took to the stage to announce that a new version of iTunes. Cue pointed to dramatically simplifying iTunes across devices, building-in iCloud, redesigning the iTunes Store and more. Interestingly enough, the new iTunes won't ship with iPhone-5 but rather later in October. Is Apple prepping it to debut on a new iMac with the Lightning connector? I don't know. But what I do know is that a revised patent application published today by the US Patent Office clearly points to Voice Recognition coming to Apple's desktop. Translation: Siri is coming to a future iMac and the number one app that its being designed to work with is, you got it, iTunes. We'll point you to that patent application and a few other interesting ones that you may want to further explore on your own.
On May 17, 2012, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals a newly invented hybrid business card and gift card system. For any company principle or representative attending large events and tradeshows, Apple's unique hybrid calling card and promo gift card is something that could make exchanging cards with new contacts a little more inventive, if not interesting. Who wouldn't want to receive a few new tunes or other gift by taking a business card at an event? It's a way to at least ensure that your business card doesn't get chucked in the garbage by day's end. But there's more to the system and our report details it all.
On May 10, 2012 the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that relates to Apple TV. More specifically, Apple's patent is about making Apple TV more accessible to those with disabilities. Additionally, new Nike + iPod patents have surfaced today from both Apple and Nike that claim that they've made improvements to the system while one last entry today briefly touches on new location based technology relating to beacon-based Geofencing.
Apple has been granted a major patent victory for their iTunes Store today. Apple's iTunes Store which originally opened as the "iTunes Music Store" back in April 2003 is now fully protected. Today's patent win nails down the very heart and soul of what makes Apple's iOS devices so desirable. Apple's iTunes Store and related software are what differentiates their mobile devices from the pack. Up until this day, Apple's competitors have yet to successfully find the magic bullet to counter Apple's advantage. Today's victory will only make it harder on them to challenge the iTunes Store going forward. Technically speaking, Apple's invention relates to media purchase and distribution and, more particularly, to media purchase and distribution in a client-server environment.
Every once in a while we get a rare treat and get to read about Apple's vision for something new they're working on. Today it's about a new smart kiosk. Although Apple has been kicking this concept around for some time now in regards to an iTunes based Kiosk or even an iCard & Gift kiosk, I think that this time around they may have hit the right market nerve. Apple's latest in-store kiosk may reside in an Apple Store or another retailer like Best Buy. The idea is simple. You have a new iOS device and you want to find the right accessories or apps for it. You wander into a store with an Apple Kiosk and connect your device to the kiosk which uses a new determination server that will check out your device and lists recommendations. If you're searching for something specific you'll be able to narrow down your search for something like speakers or headsets. One could easily see how Apple could sneak Siri into this kind of device one day to simply dazzle the consumer. This could be the perfect way to introduce Siri to the general public and that's why I think Apple's vision for the perfect kiosk may have finally arrived.
Yesterday we mourned with the rest of the world as we learned of Steve Jobs passing on Wednesday evening. Today we move forward with a heavy heart - but remain focused on what we do best: Report on the insanely great inventions inspired by Steve Jobs and his team. During Apple's special event held earlier this week in Cupertino, Tim Cook spent a lot of time talking about how Apple still loved music and the iPod that started the mobile revolution. In a patent published by the USPTO on Thursday, we learned that Apple is working on a fresh new music sharing app that is uniquely designed for those who love the mobile clubbing scene. The app is described as tying in with the iOS notification system as well as with Twitter and Facebook social networking sites. And finally, our report covers the newly released iOS 5 split keyboard patent and more.
On June 24, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next chapters for Apple's iTunes. Apple's revelation pertains to a new elaborate system that will essentially allow users to borrow tunes on a limited time basis before asking them to buy the tune or have it erased from their playlist. When you understand the principles behind Apple's coming Music Match system for iCloud, then you could easily see how Apple could implement this proposed borrowing system. Apple will be able to scan and monitor each tune's time limit on your devices. The music industry needs to get more tunes into more users devices and the old marketing systems of yesteryear aren't delivering as they should. While Apple's proposed borrowing system is definitely a big marketing gamble for both Apple and the music industry, it could also be one of the most ingenious marketing moves in recent times. Report Updated with news of a new shock dampening mount for hard drives.
On June 9, 2011, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals one of the next chapters for playlist creation in iTunes. Instead of playlists being presented in text form, Apple is proposing the organization of your playlists into searchable Mosaic Icons that could be set in various grid arrangements of your choosing. New navigational controls associated with the new iTune playlist icons will allow users to quickly navigate or browse through the items in the list without having to open a new view. To allow for this new form of graphical playlist design, Apple will have to either redesign iTunes or recreate a new Summary iTunes tab within iTunes that could present pages of your new playlists that are in mosaic icon form. Apple's proposed icon system could also be technically applied to folders in a typical computer directory structure containing subfolders.
In January we pointed to a possible HP music cloud service that could debut with their future TouchPad tablet due to their 3par acquisition. Such a service had the potential of upsetting Apple's iTunes kingdom. Then word broke in April that Apple was acquiring iCloud followed by news in May that Apple signed a cloud-music licensing agreement with EMI Music and others. Today, a new Apple patent application dating back to Q4 2009 shows that Apple has been working on a cloud based media service for some time. Apple's patent details a very unique approach to cloud based services using iTunes which they describe as being "seamless and invisible to the user."
Tampering with a winning user interface is a tricky thing. People don't generally like drastic user interface changes and yet, there are times early on in a new device cycle, where reinvention from within is necessary to keep the competition on the run and in a panic. Apple's iPhone user interface led the way in 2007 and the copycats do what they do best: they copied it. Well, Apple appears to be at it again and sending out signals that change is in the wind. Both in September and December of 2010, Apple hinted that they were considering the use of a new UI element called Spirals: An interesting UI that could be used for media, especially photos. Today, Apple introduces us to something they simply refer to as "Segmented Graphical Representations." It's a new Graphical User Interface element that presents one larger graphic, such as album art, and then segments it into a series of smart interactive tiles. The idea may begin with the iTunes Store, but Apple shows us that it could very well spill over to other iOS elements like the address book and beyond. Leaders lead and Apple is likely to take iOS to the next level sometime in the future. Until then, the competition will just have to sweat it out.