Apple Granted Crucial Touch Screen Display Patent

  • September 25, 2012

4A and 4B illustrate exemplary user interfaces for a menu of applications on a portable multifunction device

8,274,536

Smart keyboard management for a multifunction device with a touch screen display

The USPTO has granted the Cupertino company a significant touch screen patent that deals with the displaying of a text entry interface with a soft keyboard in a first area and a viewing area with a first size to display scrollable information. The Patent  is titled –  Smart keyboard management for a multifunction device with a touch screen display. Based on the description of this patent, I’m of the view that Apple competitors need to find a prior art case and find it fast.

 

Apple Patent Background

 

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Multifunction devices with touch screen displays may utilize a soft keyboard on the display to facilitate text entry. A typical soft keyboard is an image on the display showing letters or other symbols, and may be arranged like the keys of an ordinary keyboard or typewriter. A user may use a finger to “press” the buttons on a soft keyboard, thus entering text or performing other actions.

One difficulty with a soft keyboard is that it occupies space on the display. This is particularly problematic when the touch screen is small, such as the screen on some portable handheld devices. The space occupied by the soft keyboard is not available for other objects or applications, such as information content, graphics, or interactive controls (e.g., buttons).

When a touch screen display has scrollable information, the presence of a soft keyboard can increase the time it takes to scroll to desired information. For example, each swipe to scroll the information is smaller, thus requiring more swipes to scroll the necessary amount.

Accordingly, there is a need for multifunction devices that optimize a touch screen display by displaying or hiding a soft keyboard based on user actions. Such methods and interfaces may complement or replace conventional methods for displaying or hiding a soft keyboard. Such methods and interfaces reduce the cognitive burden on a user and produce a more efficient human-machine interface. For battery-operated multifunction devices, such methods and interfaces conserve power and increase the time between battery charges.

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5G illustrate scrolling search results, demonstrating smart keyboard management on a touch screen display

Apple’s Patent Summary

 

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The above deficiencies and other problems associated with user interfaces for multifunction devices with touch screen displays are reduced or eliminated by the disclosed devices. In some embodiments, the device is a desktop computer. In some embodiments, the device is portable (e.g., a notebook computer or handheld device). In some embodiments, the device has a touchpad. In some embodiments, the device has a graphical user interface (GUI), one or more processors, memory and one or more modules, programs or sets of instructions stored in the memory for performing multiple functions. In some embodiments, the user interacts with the GUI primarily through finger contacts and gestures on the touch screen display. In some embodiments, the functions may include image editing, drawing, presenting, word processing, website creating, disk authoring, spreadsheet making, game playing, telephoning, video conferencing, e-mailing, instant messaging, workout support, digital photographing, digital videoing, web browsing, digital music playing, and/or digital video playing. Executable instructions for performing these functions may be included in a computer readable storage medium or other computer program product configured for execution by one or more processors.

In accordance with some embodiments, a computer-implemented method is performed at a multifunction device with a touch screen display. The computer-implemented method includes displaying a text entry interface on the touch screen display. The text entry interface includes a soft keyboard in a first area on the touch screen display, and a viewing area configured to display scrollable information. The viewing area has a first size when the soft keyboard is displayed. The computer-implemented method further includes detecting a finger gesture on the viewing area. In response to detecting the finger gesture on the viewing area, the computer-implemented method further includes ceasing to display the soft keyboard and expanding the viewing area to a second size. The expanded viewing area includes at least some of the first area. The computer-implemented method further includes scrolling information in the expanded viewing area.

In accordance with some embodiments, a multifunction device includes a touch screen display, one or more processors, memory, and one or more programs. The one or more programs are stored in the memory and configured to be executed by the one or more processors. The one or more programs include instructions for displaying a text entry interface on the touch screen display. The text entry interface includes a soft keyboard in a first area on the touch screen display, and a viewing area configured to display scrollable information. The viewing area has a first size when the soft keyboard is displayed. The one or more programs further include instructions for detecting a finger gesture on the viewing area. In response to detecting the finger gesture on the viewing area, the one or more programs further include instructions for ceasing to display the soft keyboard and for expanding the viewing area to a second size. The expanded viewing area includes at least some of the first area. The one or more programs further include instructions for scrolling information in the expanded viewing area.

In accordance with some embodiments, a computer readable storage medium has stored therein instructions which when executed by a multifunction device with a touch screen display, cause the device to display a text entry interface on the touch screen display. The text entry interface includes a soft keyboard in a first area on the touch screen display, and a viewing area configured to display scrollable information. The viewing area has a first size when the soft keyboard is displayed. The computer readable storage medium further has stored instructions which when executed by a multifunction device cause the device to detect a finger gesture on the viewing area. In response to detecting the finger gesture on the viewing area, the computer readable storage medium further has stored instructions which when executed by a multifunction device cause the device to cease to display the soft keyboard and to expand the viewing area to a second size. The expanded viewing area includes at least some of the first area. The computer readable storage medium further has stored instructions which when executed by a multifunction device cause the device to scroll information in the expanded viewing area.

In accordance with some embodiments, a multifunction device includes a touch screen display and a means for displaying a text entry interface on the touch screen display. The text entry interface includes a soft keyboard in a first area on the touch screen display, and a viewing area configured to display scrollable information. The viewing area has a first size when the soft keyboard is displayed. The multifunction device further includes a means for detecting a finger gesture on the viewing area. In response to detecting the finger gesture on the viewing area, the multifunction device further includes a means for ceasing to display the soft keyboard and a means for expanding the viewing area to a second size. The expanded viewing area includes at least some of the first area. The multifunction device further includes a means for scrolling information in the expanded viewing area.

In accordance with some embodiments, a graphical user interface on a multifunction device with a touch screen display includes displaying a text entry interface on the touch screen display. The text entry interface includes a soft keyboard in a first area on the touch screen display, and a viewing area configured to display scrollable information. The viewing area has a first size when the soft keyboard is displayed. The graphical user interface further includes detecting a finger gesture on the viewing area. In response to detecting the finger gesture on the viewing area, the graphical user interface further includes ceasing to display the soft keyboard and expanding the viewing area to a second size. The expanded viewing area includes at least some of the first area. The graphical user interface further includes scrolling information in the expanded viewing area.

In accordance with some embodiments, a computer-implemented method is performed at a multifunction device with a touch screen display. The computer-implemented method includes displaying a text entry interface on the touch screen display. The text entry interface includes a soft keyboard in a first area on the touch screen display, and a viewing area configured to display scrollable information. The viewing area has a first size when the soft keyboard is displayed. The computer-implemented method further includes detecting a finger gesture on the viewing area. When the viewing area with the first size displays only a portion of the scrollable information, in response to detecting the finger gesture on the viewing area the computer-implemented method includes: (1) ceasing to display the soft keyboard, (2) expanding the viewing area to a second size, where the expanded viewing area includes at least some of the first area, and (3) scrolling the scrollable information in the expanded viewing area. When the viewing area with the first size displays all of the scrollable information, in response to detecting the finger gesture on the viewing area the computer-implemented method includes: (1) maintaining display of the soft keyboard, (2) keeping the viewing area at the first size, and (3) translating the scrollable information in the viewing area in accordance with the finger gesture on the viewing area.

In accordance with some embodiments, a multifunction device includes a touch screen display, one or more processors, memory, and one or more programs. The one or more programs are stored in the memory and configured to be executed by the one or more processors. The one or more programs include instructions for displaying a text entry interface on the touch screen display. The text entry interface includes a soft keyboard in a first area on the touch screen display, and a viewing area configured to display scrollable information. The viewing area has a first size when the soft keyboard is displayed. The one or more programs further include instructions for detecting a finger gesture on the viewing area. When the viewing area with the first size displays only a portion of the scrollable information, in response to detecting the finger gesture on the viewing area the one or more programs include instructions for: (1) ceasing to display the soft keyboard, (2) expanding the viewing area to a second size, where the expanded viewing area includes at least some of the first area, and (3) scrolling the scrollable information in the expanded viewing area. When the viewing area with the first size displays all of the scrollable information, in response to detecting the finger gesture on the viewing area the one or more programs include instructions for: (1) maintaining display of the soft keyboard, (2) keeping the viewing area at the first size, and (3) translating the scrollable information in the viewing area in accordance with the finger gesture on the viewing area.

In accordance with some embodiments, a computer readable storage medium has stored therein instructions which when executed by a multifunction device with a touch screen display, cause the device to display a text entry interface on the touch screen display. The text entry interface includes a soft keyboard in a first area on the touch screen display, and a viewing area configured to display scrollable information. The viewing area has a first size when the soft keyboard is displayed. The computer readable storage medium further has stored instructions which when executed by a multifunction device cause the device to detect a finger gesture on the viewing area. When the viewing area with the first size displays only a portion of the scrollable information, in response to detecting the finger gesture on the viewing area the computer readable storage medium further has stored instructions which when executed by a multifunction device cause the device to: (1) cease to display the soft keyboard, (2) expand the viewing area to a second size, where the expanded viewing area includes at least some of the first area, and (3) scroll the scrollable information in the expanded viewing area. When the viewing area with the first size displays all of the scrollable information, in response to detecting the finger gesture on the viewing area the computer readable storage medium further has stored instructions which when executed by a multifunction device cause the device to: (1) maintain display of the soft keyboard, (2) keep the viewing area at the first size, and (3) translate the scrollable information in the viewing area in accordance with the finger gesture on the viewing area.

In accordance with some embodiments, a multifunction device includes a touch screen display and a means for displaying a text entry interface on the touch screen display. The text entry interface includes a soft keyboard in a first area on the touch screen display, and a viewing area configured to display scrollable information. The viewing area has a first size when the soft keyboard is displayed. The multifunction device further includes a means for detecting a finger gesture on the viewing area. When the viewing area with the first size displays only a portion of the scrollable information, in response to detecting the finger gesture on the viewing area the multifunction device further includes: (1) a means for ceasing to display the soft keyboard, (2) a means for expanding the viewing area to a second size, where the expanded viewing area includes at least some of the first area, and (3) a means for scrolling the scrollable information in the expanded viewing area. When the viewing area with the first size displays all of the scrollable information, in response to detecting the finger gesture on the viewing area the multifunction device further includes: (1) a means for maintaining display of the soft keyboard, (2) a means for keeping the viewing area at the first size, and (3) a means for translating the scrollable information in the viewing area in accordance with the finger gesture on the viewing area.

In accordance with some embodiments, a graphical user interface on a multifunction device with a touch screen display includes displaying a text entry interface on the touch screen display. The text entry interface includes a soft keyboard in a first area on the touch screen display, and a viewing area configured to display scrollable information. The viewing area has a first size when the soft keyboard is displayed. The graphical user interface further includes detecting a finger gesture on the viewing area. When the viewing area with the first size displays only a portion of the scrollable information, in response to detecting the finger gesture on the viewing area the graphical user interface further includes: (1) ceasing to display the soft keyboard, (2) expanding the viewing area to a second size, where the expanded viewing area includes at least some of the first area, and (3) scrolling the scrollable information in the expanded viewing area. When the viewing area with the first size displays all of the scrollable information, in response to detecting the finger gesture on the viewing area the graphical user interface further includes: (1) maintaining display of the soft keyboard, (2) keeping the viewing area at the first size, and (3) translating the scrollable information in the viewing area in accordance with the finger gesture on the viewing area.

Thus, multifunction devices with touch screen displays are provided with faster, more efficient methods and interfaces for managing the display of soft keyboards, thereby increasing the effectiveness, efficiency, and user satisfaction with such devices. Such methods and interfaces may complement or replace conventional methods for managing soft keyboards.

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Other patents granted to Apple today include:

8,276,098

Interactive image thumbnails 

Invention

A computer-implemented method includes displaying, within a user interface, a view pane having a vertical direction and a horizontal direction, displaying, within the view pane, a plurality of poster frames, each poster frame representing a corresponding media item, a first poster frame being displayed as positioned in a first row extending across the event view pane in the horizontal direction such that the first poster frame is displayed substantially adjacent to a first vertical edge of the event view pane and subsequent poster frames are displayed substantially adjacent to one another in the first row until a poster frame in the first row is displayed substantially adjacent to a second vertical edge of the event view pane, and displaying a next poster frame in a second row vertically displaced from the first row. Photographs in a poster frame can be previewed by moving a cursor across the poster frame. 

 

8,276,076

Methods and apparatus for visualizing a media library

Invention

Visualizing and exploring a music library using metadata, such as genre, sub-genre, artist, and year, is provided. Geometric shapes, such as disks or rectangles, may be divided into sectors representing genre and each sector may be further divided into sub-sectors representing artists associated with each genre. The sector’s relative size generally reflects the importance of the corresponding genre within the library. Likewise, the sub-sector’s relative size generally reflects the importance of the corresponding artist within the genre which may be determined by the number of media items of the artist. Marks representing each media item may be arranged and displayed within the geometric shape to reflect the mark’s corresponding genre, artist, and year. In addition, each mark may reflect an attribute, such as playcount, of the media item and each sector may reflect the mean value of an attribute of all media items within the sector.

 

8,276,074

User interfaces for editing video clips

Invention

A computer-implemented method including displaying in a user interface, a first thumbnail representing a first video clip including a first plurality of frames; displaying in the first thumbnail, a first transition point positioned between a left edge and a right edge of the first thumbnail, the first transition point associated with a frame of the first plurality of frames, wherein, playback of the first plurality of frames starts with a first start frame positioned at the left edge and stops at the frame associated with the first transition point; receiving a first move input to move the frame associated with the first transition point to a new frame of the first plurality of frames; and in response to receiving the input, associating the new frame with the first transition point, wherein, in response to a playback input, playback starts with the first start frame and stops at the new frame.

8,275,924

Smart dock for chaining accessories

Invention

A system for communicating between an accessory and an electronic device includes a first interface, a second interface, and a docking station. The first interface is configured to communicate with the electronic device. The second interface is configured to communicate with the accessory. The docking station is coupled to the first interface and the second interface. The docking station is configured to receive a set of preferences from the accessory and forward the set of preferences to the electronic device.

 

Source:  USPTO

 

Posted by | Posted at September 25, 2012 10:46 | Tags: , , , , , , ,
Storm is a technology enthusiast, who resides in the UK. He enjoys reading and writing about technology.

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