Apple eyes remote management of media devices
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Apple eyes remote management of media devices

An Apple patent (number 2012012415) shows that Apple is working on ways to remotely configure a media device. Improved techniques for controlling operation of a portable electronic device are disclosed.

Portable electronic devices which interact with a host electronic device can have their operational settings (e.g., configurations or preferences) remotely controlled. As a result, a host electronic device can offer a more sophisticated user interface and portable electronic devices need less local user interface features because these operational settings can be remotely controlled. The remotely-controlled (i.e., host controlled) operational settings are transferred to the portable electronic devices, whereby the portable electronic devices can thereafter operate in accordance with such settings.

Here's Apple's summary of the invention: "Today, portable media devices, such as Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs) or hand-held media players, are battery powered and include various user interface components, such as displays and switches/buttons. Conventionally, portable media devices use buttons, dials or touchpads together with graphical user interfaces to control the devices, including setting of user preferences for use by the devices.

"These portable media devices continue to get smaller and more portable. At the same time, the functionality supported by portable media devices is increasing. Consequently, as portable media devices get smaller while supporting robust functionality, there are increasing difficulties in providing adequate user interfaces for the portable media devices. Accordingly, there is a need for improved user interface capabilities for portable media players.

"The invention relates to improved techniques for controlling operation of a portable electronic device. According to the invention, portable electronic devices which interact with a host electronic device can have their operational settings (e.g., configurations or preferences) remotely controlled. As a result, a host electronic device can offer a more sophisticated user interface and portable electronic devices need less local user interface features because these operational settings can be remotely controlled. The remotely-controlled (i.e., host controlled) operational settings are transferred to the portable electronic devices, whereby the portable electronic devices can thereafter operate in accordance with such settings."

The inventors are Greg Marriott and Andrew Bert Hodge.

 

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