In the second half of 2007 Apple had successfully integrated Cover Flow into their iPhone and iPod touch handhelds. That provided users with the ability to view and flip through their collection of iTunes album covers in a quick and easy way using a very unique 3D-like user interface. Of course that was the original intent for the app that was originally developed by Steel Skies - prior to Apple's acquisition. With a year's worth of experience with Cover Flow on handhelds under their belt, it appears that Apple's R&D went right to work on expanding the utilization of such a feature into other types of applications. Apple's exemplary example displayed in today's patent once again points to a social networking application. However, it's currently unclear whether Apple is planning to add this methodology to their iGroups project or simply make this technology available to third party iPhone developers in general. Time will tell.