The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 45 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. today. In this particular report we cover a single patent that makes operations that are designed for users interacting with touch-sensitive surfaces via multitouch gestures accessible to users who can or prefer to just provide single touch inputs.
Granted Patent: Simplifying iPad Multitasking Gestures
Apple's newly granted patent covers their invention relating to methods that make operations that are designed for users interacting with touch-sensitive surfaces via multitouch gestures accessible to users who can or prefer to just provide single touch inputs. Simply put, the patent covers "Multitasking Gestures."
Apple's granted patent provides users working with multitouch displays, methods that enable users who cannot effectively operate multitouch-sensitive surfaces with two or more simultaneous contacts to nevertheless operate electronic devices with touch-based user interfaces configured to receive multitouch gestures.
These devices and methods also enable such users to use single touch inputs to operate other hardware features that require manual dexterity (e.g., shaking or rotating the device or activating a physical button).
You could review a simple "how to" article on using this feature here. For some reason I don't have access to that feature on my iPad Air 2. Did Apple drop this feature or is this feature just not available in iPads sold in Canada?
The methods/benefits of using this feature are described in the granted patent as follows:
Using visual indicators to emulate multiple touches
Using a menu of virtual multitouch contacts in conjunction with a single touch input on a touch-sensitive surface to select the type of multitouch contact being emulated
Using a menu of virtual gestures in conjunction with a single touch input on a touch-sensitive surface to select and emulate multitouch gestures on the touch-sensitive surface
Using two visual indicators (which correspond to two virtual touches) in conjunction with a single touch input on a touch-sensitive surface to emulate pinch/depinch gestures on the touch-sensitive surface
Using a menu of virtual device operations in conjunction with a single touch input on a touch-sensitive surface to select and emulate operations that are normally performed via activation of physical controls on the electronic device (e.g., mute switches, lock switches, volume buttons) or in response to activity detected by an accelerometer (e.g., device shaking or device rotation) and
Using a menu of virtual device orientations in conjunction with a single touch input on a touch-sensitive surface to control the display orientation.
As illustrated in user interface 502-D of FIG. 5D below, a visual indicator #504 moves to a location at a periphery of the device touch screen. FIG. 5D also illustrates that touch gesture #505 (e.g., a tap gesture) is detected at a location that corresponds to visual indicator #504.
Apple's patent FIG. 5E noted above illustrates user interface 502-E, where, in response to detecting touch gesture #505 (of FIG. 5D) at the location that corresponds to visual indicator #504, the visual indicator ceases to be displayed on the touch screen and a menu #508 is displayed as noted in figure above.
Other Related Patent Figures
Apple credits Eric Seymour and Christopher Fleizach as the inventors of granted patent 9,116,611which was originally filed in Q1 2012 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
One More Thing
iCloud - Photo Stream granted a Patent: Apple was granted a patent today covering iCloud delivering content and services related to Photo Stream and beyond. For more on this see Apple patent # 9,118,642 titled "Asset Streaming." Another patent report posted by another Apple blog incorrectly states that Apple is hinting of something new. No, it's already here.
Patently Apple presents only a brief summary of granted patents with associated graphics for journalistic news purposes as each Granted Patent is revealed by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Readers are cautioned that the full text of any Granted Patent should be read in its entirety for full details. About Making Comments on our Site: Patently Apple reserves the right to post, dismiss or edit any comments. Comments are reviewed daily from 5am to 6pm MST and sporadically over the weekend.