Apple patent is for scrollable menus, toolbars for Mac OS X, iOS
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Apple patent is for scrollable menus, toolbars for Mac OS X, iOS

As first noted by "Patently Apple" (http://www.patentlyapple.com), a new European patent filing (publication number WO2010126782) has emerged that describes a new system of "scrollable menus and toolbars" -- apparently for both Mac OS X and iOS

Some embodiments of the invention provide a method that defines several menu items having a particular order. The method provides a display area for displaying a portion of the menu items in the particular order. The method provides a selection window in the display area for indicating that a menu item is presently selectable.

The display area is also for receiving input to (i) scroll the menu items through the selection window in the particular order and (ii) select a particular menu item when the particular menu item is displayed in the selection window. In some embodiments, the display area is a linear display area, while in some embodiments it is a semi-circular display area or other shape. The inventors are Egan Schulz and Tom Langmacher.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "User interfaces of computer applications often provide numerous commands or user interface tools for a user to choose from. For instance, many applications include drop-down menus. Such menus often include lists of commands. There are standard commands such as opening a file, printing a document, saving a document, etc., as well as more application-specific commands such as inserting a page break (for a word-processing application), formatting cells (for a spreadsheet application), etc.

"Many applications also include toolbars or tool palettes. For instance, many computing applications have one or more rows of toolbars at the top of their user interface. The toolbars include various types of tools. Drawing applications have drawing tools, video editing applications have video-editing tools, etc. Some applications also have floating tool palettes. For instance, some video-editing applications include a floating trim tool palette that allows a user to select between various different trim tools for video-editing.

"Such toolbars, tool palettes and drop-down menus can take up valuable real estate in the graphical user interface. Furthermore, the number of items in such menus and toolbars is limited by screen space. For example, a user does not want a floating tool palette that takes up too much of the screen.

"As more options are added to a tool palette, the tool palette must get larger or the size of the options must get smaller. Just as the tool palettes can only increase in size to a certain point, the size of the options can only decrease to a certain point before they become indistinguishable. As such, a need exists for ways to display toolbars or menus that do not take up significant amounts of screen space while keeping the options at a visually recognizable size.

"Some embodiments of the invention provide a novel method for presenting a menu in a graphical user interface. The menu includes several selectable menu items that are assigned a particular order for scrolling through a selection window based on user input. In some embodiments, each of the menu items is associated with a command. When a menu item is in the selection window, a user can select the menu item in order to perform the command associated with the menu item.

The menu items may be displayed as standard text items in some embodiments (e.g., File, Save, Print, etc.) or may be displayed as icons (e.g., icons representing various tools, such as drawing tools, video editing tools, etc.). The menu items are ordered within the menu (e.g., a first menu item is assigned to be one menu item left of a second menu item). Different embodiments use different techniques to determine this order. For instance, in some embodiments, the order can be defined by a user, by a random process, and/or by a developer of the program or operating system that uses the menu. In some embodiments, the order can also change based on use statistics, favoring menu items that are more regularly selected.

"The selection window is an indicator (e.g., a highlight, box, etc.) that indicates that a particular menu item can be presently selected. In some embodiments, the selection window is static or nearly static as the menu items scroll through. In the menu, the order of the menu items is the order in which they scroll through the selection window in response to user input. However, when the menu is initially presented, the menu item that is initially displayed in the selection window need not be the first menu item in the order (i.e., the leftmost, topmost, etc.). As the menu items can scroll in two directions (e.g., left and right, up and down), some embodiments initially display the menu item in the middle of the order in the selection window.

"The nature of the scrolling can be in two different forms in some embodiments, depending on how the items are ordered. In some cases, the menu items cannot scroll past the first and last items in the order. In other cases, however, the items can be continuously scrolled in a loop as the ordering of the menu items is only defined relative to one another, and there is only a first item to the extent that there is an item that is initially displayed in the selection window.

"In either of these cases, some embodiments scroll the menu items through the selection window in such a fashion that the number of menu items is not limited by space in the graphical user interface. For instance, some embodiments only display the menu item that is presently in the selection window and a portion of the menu items on either side of the selection window. Some embodiments display a small number of menu items on either side of the selection window, with the items that are not actually in the selection window displayed as partially faded. As the menu items scroll through the selection window, new items appear in the display as previously displayed items disappear.

"The shape of the displayed menu is also different in different embodiments. Some embodiments display the menu in linear form, with the menu items scrolling in one dimension (e.g., horizontally or vertically). Other embodiments display the menu as a semi-circle, with the menu items scrolling along the semicircle. Other non-linear configurations of menu items are also possible.

"The menu also might be presented differently in different embodiments in that some embodiments display the menu constantly at a set location, whereas other embodiments require user input to invoke the display of the menu. For example, the menu might be a toolbar in a media-editing application that occupies a particular location in the user interface of the application, or a menu in an operating system that is invoked by a keystroke.

"Different embodiments provide different schemes for navigating through the menu items. In some embodiments, users can click over the displayed items on either side of the selection window in order to cause the next item in the menu order to move into the selection window.

"Alternatively or conjunctively, in some embodiments, users can scroll the menu items by using various forms of sliding or swiping input (e.g., dragging a mouse). In some cases, the menu items are displayed as moving in large, discernible steps, while in other cases the items are displayed as moving in small steps that make the movement appear smooth.

"When a selectable menu item is aligned in the selection window, a user can select the menu item in order to cause instructions associated with the selected menu item to be performed. In some embodiments, the instructions can activate a particular tool (e.g., if the menu is a group of video-editing tools), can cause a command (e.g., save a file, print a document, etc.) to be performed, or can open a submenu. Submenus are opened perpendicular to the previous menu in some embodiments. For instance, when the menu items in an initial menu scroll horizontally through the selection window, some embodiments open a submenu such that the menu items in the submenu scroll vertically through the selection window.

"Different embodiments enable users to select a menu item that is in the selection window in different ways. In some embodiments, a user clicks or double-clicks over the menu item in the selection window. In other embodiments, the user selects an item by simply releasing a mouse button while the menu item is scrolling through the selection window. For menu items that open submenus, some embodiments automatically open the submenu when the menu item enters the selection window."

 
AAPL
$103.30
Apple Inc.
+0.80
MSFT
$45.09
Microsoft Corpora
-0.34
GOOG
$577.33
Google Inc.
+5.73

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

TextSoap 7.4.0 - Flexible text editing u...
TextSoap is for people who work with text. TextSoap effortlessly cleans up text from endlessly different formats. Wash away unwanted characters, spaces, tabs. Fix paragraphs with hard returns at the... Read more
NetShade 6.0.2 - Browse privately using...
NetShade is an Internet security tool that conceals your IP address on the web. NetShade routes your Web connection through either a public anonymous proxy server, or one of NetShade's own dedicated... Read more
Mac DVDRipper Pro 5.0 - Copy, backup, an...
Mac DVDRipper Pro is the DVD backup solution that lets you protect your DVDs from scratches, save your batteries by reading your movies from your hard disk, manage your collection with just a few... Read more
pwSafe 3.1 - Secure password management...
pwSafe provides simple and secure password management across devices and computers. pwSafe uses iCloud to keep your password databases backed-up and synced between Macs and iOS devices. It is... Read more
StatsBar 1.8 - Monitor system processes...
StatsBar gives you a comprehensive and detailed analysis of the following areas of your Mac: CPU usage Memory usage Disk usage Network and bandwidth usage Battery power and health (MacBooks only)... Read more
Path Finder 6.5.5 - Powerful, award-winn...
Path Finder is a file browser that combines the familiar Finder interface with the powerful utilities and innovative features. Just a small selection of the Path Finder 6 feature set: Dual pane... Read more
QuarkXPress 10.2.1 - Desktop publishing...
With QuarkXPress, you can communicate in all the ways you need to -- and always look professional -- in print and digital media, all in a single tool. Features include: Easy to Use -- QuarkXPress is... Read more
Skype 6.19.0.450 - Voice-over-internet p...
Skype allows you to talk to friends, family and co-workers across the Internet without the inconvenience of long distance telephone charges. Using peer-to-peer data transmission technology, Skype... Read more
VueScan 9.4.41 - Scanner software with a...
VueScan is a scanning program that works with most high-quality flatbed and film scanners to produce scans that have excellent color fidelity and color balance. VueScan is easy to use, and has... Read more
Cloud 3.0.0 - File sharing from your men...
Cloud is simple file sharing for the Mac. Drag a file from your Mac to the CloudApp icon in the menubar and we take care of the rest. A link to the file will automatically be copied to your clipboard... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Modern Combat 5 Gets a Major Multiplayer...
Modern Combat 5 Gets a Major Multiplayer Update Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 2nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Alien Creeps TD Review
Alien Creeps TD Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: EXPENSIVE DEFENSESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Alien Creeps TD would be a fun if unremarkable Tower Defense game, but its heavy focus on... | Read more »
The Journey Down: Chapter Two Review
The Journey Down: Chapter Two Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: DARK YET ENTICINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad It’s a little dark, in every sense of the word, but The Journey Down:... | Read more »
Function Space, a Social Network App for...
Function Space, a Social Network App for Science, Launches on iOS Posted by Ellis Spice on September 2nd, 2014 [ permalink ] | Read more »
Stupidfast – How Taylor Martinez Switche...
How do you make an Endless Running game more than just another Endless Running game? By adding real life prizes to it, of course! That’s the thinking behind StupidFast: a game designed for football enthusiasts, and the brainchild of former college... | Read more »
Little Raiders: Robin’s Revenge Review
Little Raiders: Robin’s Revenge Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: CASUAL RAIDINGUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Combining simple combat with village building is a potent combination for... | Read more »
Treasure Tombs: Ra Deal Coming from Bulk...
Treasure Tombs: Ra Deal Coming from Bulkypix and Dark Tonic This Fall Posted by Jessica Fisher on September 2nd, 2014 [ permalink ] Dark Tonic and | Read more »
Pirate Bash Review
Pirate Bash Review By Nadia Oxford on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: BAD PIRATES, GOOD TIMESUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Pirate Bash’s turn-based battles add an intriguing twist to a typical physics game.   | Read more »
Tiny Tower Vegas Review
Tiny Tower Vegas Review By Jennifer Allen on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: STEADY DEVELOPMENTUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Build a huge tower again but Vegas-style in Tiny Tower Vegas.   | Read more »
The Manhattan Project Review
The Manhattan Project Review By Andrew Fisher on September 2nd, 2014 Our Rating: :: ROCKET SCIENCEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad The Manhattan Project offers a great Euro-style gameplay experience, but it is totally... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Apple refurbished iPads available for up to $...
Apple is offering Certified Refurbished iPad Airs for up to $140 off MSRP. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Stock tends to come and go with some of these... Read more
Are We Now In The Post-Post-PC Era?
A longtime and thoroughgoing laptop aficionado, I was more than a little dismayed by Steve Jobs’s declaration back in 2010 when he sprang the iPad on an unsuspecting world. that we’d entered a “post-... Read more
PC Outlook Improves, But 2014 Shipments Still...
According to the International Data Corporation (IDC) Worldwide Quarterly PC Tracker, worldwide PC shipments are expected to fall by -3.7 percent in 2014. To hat’s actually an improvement from the... Read more
IDC Lowers Tablet Sales Projections for 2014...
Following a second consecutive quarter of softer than expected demand, International Data Corporation (IDC) has lowered its worldwide tablet plus 2-in-1 forecast for 2014 to 233.1 million units. The... Read more
Apple now offering refurbished 21-inch 1.4GHz...
The Apple Store is now offering Apple Certified Refurbished 21″ 1.4GHz iMacs for $929 including free shipping plus Apple’s standard one-year warranty. Their price is $170 off the cost of new models,... Read more
Save $50 on the 2.5GHz Mac mini, on sale for...
B&H Photo has the 2.5GHz Mac mini on sale for $549.99 including free shipping. That’s $50 off MSRP, and B&H will also include a free copy of Parallels Desktop software. NY sales tax only. Read more
Save up to $300 on an iMac with Apple refurbi...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished iMacs available for up to $300 off the cost of new models. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free. These are the best prices on... Read more
The Rise of Phablets
Carlisle & Gallagher Consulting Group, a businesses and technology consulting firm focused solely on the financial services industry, has released an infographic depicting the convergence of... Read more
Bad Driver Database App Allows Good Drivers t...
Bad Driver Database 1.4 by Facile Group is a new iOS and Android app that lets users instantly input and see how many times a careless, reckless or just plain stupid driver has been added to the... Read more
Eddy – Cloud Music Player for iPhone/iPad Fre...
Ukraine based CapableBits announces the release of Eddy, its tiny, but smart and powerful cloud music player for iPhone and iPad that allows users to stream or download music directly from cloud... Read more

Jobs Board

*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
*Apple* Retail - Multiple Positions (US) - A...
Sales Specialist - Retail Customer Service and Sales Transform Apple Store visitors into loyal Apple customers. When customers enter the store, you're also the Read more
Senior Event Manager, *Apple* Retail Market...
…This senior level position is responsible for leading and imagining the Apple Retail Team's global event strategy. Delivering an overarching brand story; in-store, Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.