Feeds

Apple patent eyes Mac OS X tablet

Or multiple workspace iOS. Take your pick

Boost IT visibility and business value

A patent application published on Thursday reveals how far Apple has progressed on melding iOS's multi-touch interface with Mac OS X, and hints that the Mac operating system's multiple-workspace feature, Spaces, may find its way onto the iPad.

The application, entitled "Device, Method, and Graphical User Interface for Manipulating Workspace Views", deals with manipulating multiple workspaces through multi-finger touch gestures.

Mac OS X's multi-workspace Spaces feature

Mac OS X's Spaces feature allows you to view and select from multiple concurrent workspaces

Rather than manipulating Spaces using your keyboard or mouse as Mac OS X now requires, however, the filing envisions using multi-touch, multi-finger gestures to summon the Spaces view, move windows from workspace to workspace, and select which one to fill the display.

"Why bother?" you might ask. Well, according to Apple, using a mouse or keyboard to manage Spaces is "cumbersome and inefficient", requiring "selecting an icon or other small graphical user interface object with a cursor," or "remembering unintuitive keyboard shortcuts". Such actions are not only "tedious and create a significant cognitive burden", they also "wast[e] energy" which is "particularly important in battery-operated devices".

Apple multi-touch Spaces patent illustration

Place five fingers on your Mac's multi-touch display or control surface ...

Apple multi-touch Spaces patent illustration

... pinch them together and the workspace will begin to shrink ...

Apple multi-touch Spaces patent illustration

... until all the active workspaces appear in a Spaces view.

The filing goes to great lengths to describe in detail the configuration and capabilities of an iOS device, but when it details – also at great length – multi-touch multiple-workspace interaction, including 33 illustrations, those illustrations are clearly those of a Mac OS X device.

Only after the 63-page filing finishes explaining each and every one of those illustrations in excruciating detail does it say that "although the preceding examples have been given with reference to a touch screen display, in some embodiments the display and the touch-sensitive surface are separate."

That separation of display and multi-touch surface would follow Apple CEO Steve Jobs assertion that traditionally vertical Mac displays are unsuited for multi-touch use. When discussing multi-touch interfaces during his Mac OS X Lion introduction last October, Jobs said: "We've done tons of user testing on this, and it turns out it doesn't work." His conclusion: "touch surfaces want to be horizontal."

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Top Gun display for your CAR: Heads-up fighter pilot tech
Sadly Navdy kit doesn't include Sidewinder missile to blast traffic
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
NVIDIA claims first 64-bit ARMv8 SoC for Androids
Mile-High 'Denver' Tegra K1 successor said to rival PC performance
XBOX One will learn to play media from USB and DLNA sources
Hang on? Aren't those file formats you hardly ever see outside torrents?
Giving your old Tesco Hudl to Auntie June? READ THIS FIRST
You can never wipe supermarket slab clean enough
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.