Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that generally relates to electronic devices for displaying user interfaces that improve user interaction with virtual desktops on the electronic devices. Apple notes that a desktop computer (iMac or MacBook) with a touch sensitive display surface or via a Trackpad could display a virtual desktop (as shown in our cover graphic) with apps from an iOS device such an iPad Pro. This would allow a custom iOS application on a user's iDevice, be it a productivity app or game, to run on a user's iMac via this next-gen virtual desktop user interface that will include a tabbed system to contain multiple virtual desktops.
Apple's patent FIG. 6 noted in our cover graphic illustrates a virtual desktop (#600 - e.g., a first virtual desktop) including an exemplary application launching interface #601 and a tab control #602. The tab control displayed in the tab display region includes a symbol (e.g., a circle) that represents the application launching interface. Generally, a tab control is displayed in either an activate state or an inactivate state based on whether the virtual desktop represented by the tab control is displayed by the device. .
Apple notes that in some embodiments, the device visually indicates whether a tab control is in an active state or an inactivate state based on the color of the tab control. For example, the inactive state of a tab control is visually represented by a different color than a tab control in an active state such as being displayed in a darker color (e.g., grey). Conversely, an active state of a tab control is visually represented by a different color than a tab control in the inactive state such as being displayed in a lighter color (e.g., white). In FIG. 6, the device displays the tab control in a lighter color indicating that the tab control is in the active state since the virtual desktop is currently displayed on the device.
The devil is definitely in the details in this very detailed patent application and you could take your time to review it all here. Apple patent application 20160162127 was filed in Q2 2015. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
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