Is Apple working on a Photoshop competitor?
TweetFollow Us on Twitter

Is Apple working on a Photoshop competitor?

An Apple patent (number 20120206471) for systems, methods and computer-readable media for managing layers of graphical object data has appeared at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. It hints that Apple may be working on a Photoshop competitor.

Systems, methods, and computer-readable media for managing layers of graphical object data are provided. For example, a graphical display system may be configured to implicitly manage various graphical object layers. In some embodiments, any new graphical object of a first type of graphical object may be generated in a current top layer of a stack when the current top layer is associated with the first type of graphical object. However, when the current top layer of the stack is not associated with the first type of graphical object, any new graphical object of the first type of graphical object may be generated in a new top layer of the stack. Moreover, any new graphical object of a second type of graphical object may similarly be generated in a new top layer of the stack.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "Some electronic devices include a graphical display system for generating and presenting graphical objects, such as free-form drawing strokes, images, strings of text, and drawing shapes, on a display. A user of such devices may interact with the graphical display system via a user interface to create different graphical objects in different layers, which may overlap and be stacked in various orders when presented for display. However, the ways in which currently available electronic devices allow a user to manage various layers of graphical object data may be confusing or overwhelming.

"Rather than explicitly creating and managing multiple graphical object layers (e.g., via a layers list that may be presented to and manipulated by a user), a graphical display system of an electronic device may be configured to utilize an implicit layer scheme that may be less confusing and less overwhelming to a casual user. Such an implicit layer management scheme may provide an interface that may not confuse a user with a layers list or that may not put a user in a situation where he or she may try to create a first type of graphical object content when a layer that is incompatible with the first type of graphical object content has been activated.

"Therefore, a graphical display system may be configured to follow one or more rules or principles when defining, selecting, and/or managing various graphical object layers, such that the simplicity of a basic drawing space application may be combined with the flexibility and non-destructive manipulation capabilities of a more advanced layering application.

"For example, in some embodiments, a graphical display system may be configured to generate any new graphical object in the top-most layer of a layer stack presented for display to a user. Additionally or alternatively, the system may be configured to determine whether to incorporate a new graphical object into a new layer or into a pre-existing layer based on the particular type of the new graphical object and/or based on the particular type of graphical object that may be provided by the current top-most layer. That is, different types of graphical objects may be handled differently by the layer management processes of a graphical display system. d

"For example, any new non-drawing stroke graphical object may be created in a new layer and that new layer may be made the top-most layer in the layer stack. Moreover, unless the current top-most layer is a drawing stroke layer, any new drawing stroke graphical object may be created in a new layer and that new layer may be made the top-most layer. Therefore, in some embodiments, only if the current top-most layer is a drawing stroke layer, may a graphical display system be configured to create any new drawing stroke graphical object in that pre-existing current top-most layer.

"As another example of how a graphical display system may be configured such that the simplicity of a basic drawing space application may be combined with the flexibility and non-destructive manipulation capabilities of a more advanced layering application, certain types of graphical object layers may be automatically or optionally provided with certain tools, while other types of graphical object layers may not be provided with those tools. For example, each layered image graphical object may be provided with one or more control points that may be manipulated for resizing and/or moving the image graphical object layer in various ways along a workspace.

"As another example, each layered image graphical object may be provided with a toolbar that may allow a user to manipulate the graphical object layer in various other ways (e.g., by moving the layer up or down in the stack of layers, by adding another graphical object into the layer, and/or by modifying one or more properties of the graphical object of the layer).

"In some embodiments, there is provided a method for managing graphical object data. The method may include determining the type of a new graphical object to be generated, and then generating the new graphical object in response to the determination. For example, in response to determining that the new graphical object is a second type of graphical object, the method may include generating the new graphical object in a new layer and positioning the new layer at the top of a stack.

"However, in response to determining that the new graphical object is a first type of graphical object, the method may include determining if the top layer in the stack is associated with the first type of graphical object. Then, in response to determining that the top layer in the stack is associated with the first type of graphical object, the method may include generating the new graphical object in the top layer in the stack. However, in response to determining that the top layer in the stack is not associated with the first type of graphical object, the method may include generating the new graphical object in a new layer and positioning the new layer at the top of the stack.

"For example, the first type of graphical object may include a drawing stroke graphical object and the second type of graphical object may include an image graphical object. In some embodiments, the method may determine that the top layer in the stack is associated with the first type of graphical object by determining that the top layer in the stack was initially generated to include an initial graphical object of the first type of graphical object. Alternatively, the method may determine that the top layer in the stack is associated with the first type of graphical object by determining that the top layer in the stack includes an existing graphical object of the first type of graphical object.

"In yet other embodiments, the method may determine that the top layer in the stack is associated with the first type of graphical object by determining that the top layer in the stack includes at least one existing graphical object and by then determining that each one of the existing graphical objects is of the first type of graphical object. The method may also include presenting the generated new graphical object in its layer on a display. In such embodiments, the method may also include removing at least one previously presented layer tool from the display. Alternatively, in response to determining that the new graphical object is the second type of graphical object, the method may also include presenting on the display at least one new layer tool that is associated with the layer of the new graphical object.

"In other embodiments, there is provided another method for managing graphical object data. The method may include presenting multiple graphical object layers in a stack on a display and receiving a selection of a first graphical object layer of the multiple graphical object layers.

"The method may also include determining if the first graphical object layer is associated with a first type of graphical object, and then enabling the first graphical object layer based on the determination. In some embodiments, the method may also include activating the first graphical object layer before the enabling, and the activating may include removing at least one previously presented layer tool from the display or visually distinguishing the first graphical object layer from the other graphical object layers on the display.

"For example, in some embodiments, the first graphical object layer may include at least one graphical object of the first type of graphical object, and, in response to determining that the first graphical object layer is associated with the first type of graphical object, the enabling may include enabling the editing of the at least one graphical object of the first type of graphical object. Alternatively, the enabling may include enabling the editing of the at least one graphical object of the first type of graphical object only in response to determining that the first graphical object layer is associated with the first type of graphical object and that the first graphical object layer is the top layer in the stack. In yet other embodiments, the first graphical object layer may include at least one graphical object, and, in response to determining that the first graphical object layer is not associated with the first type of graphical object, the enabling may include presenting on the display at least one layer tool that is associated with the first graphical object layer.

"This presenting may include at least one of enabling the first graphical object layer to be actively moved along the stack, enabling the first graphical object layer to be actively moved along the display, and enabling a new graphical object to be created in the first graphical object layer. Alternatively, the first graphical object layer may include an initial boundary, and the enabling may include enabling a new graphical object in the first graphical object layer to be created within the initial boundary or beyond the initial boundary.

"In yet other embodiments, there is provided a method for managing graphical object data that may include presenting multiple graphical object layers in a stack on a display. The method may also include receiving a selection of a first graphical object layer of the multiple graphical object layers, and the first graphical object layer may include a first graphical object.

"The method may also include creating a new graphical object in the selected first graphical object layer and then manipulating the first graphical object layer. The manipulating may include manipulating the first graphical object and the new graphical object. In some embodiments, the first graphical object may be an image graphical object and the new graphical object may be a drawing stroke graphical object.

"For example, creating the new graphical object may include re-defining a portion of the first graphical object layer that may have been previously defined by the first graphical object. In other embodiments, creating the new graphical object may include expanding a boundary of the first graphical object layer. Manipulating the first graphical object layer may also include moving the first graphical object layer along the stack, which may include moving the first graphical object and the new graphical object with the first graphical object layer along the stack.

"Alternatively, manipulating the first graphical object layer may also include moving the first graphical object layer along the display, which may include moving the first graphical object and the new graphical object with the first graphical object layer along the display. As yet another alternative, manipulating the first graphical object layer may also include resizing the first graphical object layer, which may include resizing the first graphical object and the new graphical object with the first graphical object layer.

"In still yet other embodiments, there is provided a graphical display system that may include a graphical object generating module. The graphical object generating module may receive input information defining a new graphical object to be generated, and may then determine if the new graphical object to be generated is a first type of graphical object based on the received input information.

"The graphical object generating module may also generate a new top layer in a stack and may generate the new graphical object in the new top layer when the generating module determines that the new graphical object is not of the first type. The graphical object generating module may also determine if the current top layer in the stack is associated with the first type of graphical object when the generating module determines that the new graphical object is of the first type.

"Then, the graphical object generating module may generate the new graphical object in the current top layer when the generating module determines that the current top layer is associated with the first type of graphical object. Alternatively, the graphical object generating module may generate a new top layer in the stack and may generate the new graphical object in the new top layer when the generating module determines that the current top layer is not associated with the first type of graphical object. The graphical display system may also include a graphical processing module that may render the generated new graphical object in its layer on a display.

"In still yet other embodiments, there is provided computer-readable media for controlling an electronic device, that may include computer-readable code recorded thereon for generating any new graphical object of a first type of graphical object in a current top layer of a stack when the current top layer is associated with the first type of graphical object, generating any new graphical object of the first type of graphical object in a new top layer of the stack when the current top layer of the stack is not associated with the first type of graphical object, and generating any new graphical object of a second type of graphical object in a new top layer of the stack."

The inventors are Matthew Jacob Sarnoff and Conrad R. Carlen.

 
AAPL
$102.25
Apple Inc.
+0.12
MSFT
$44.88
Microsoft Corpora
+0.01
GOOG
$569.20
Google Inc.
-1.80

MacTech Search:
Community Search:

Software Updates via MacUpdate

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
LibreOffice 4.3.1.2 - Free Open Source o...
LibreOffice is an office suite (word processor, spreadsheet, presentations, drawing tool) compatible with other major office suites. The Document Foundation is coordinating development and... Read more
SlingPlayer Plugin 3.3.20.505 - Browser...
SlingPlayer is the screen interface software that works hand-in-hand with the hardware inside the Slingbox to make your TV viewing experience just like that at home. It features an array of... Read more
Get Lyrical 3.8 - Auto-magically adds ly...
Get Lyrical auto-magically add lyrics to songs in iTunes. You can choose either a selection of tracks, or the current track. Or turn on "Active Tagging" to get lyrics for songs as you play them.... Read more
Viber 4.2.2 - Send messages and make cal...
Viber lets you send free messages and make free calls to other Viber users, on any device and network, in any country! Viber syncs your contacts, messages and call history with your mobile device,... Read more
Cocktail 7.6 - General maintenance and o...
Cocktail is a general purpose utility for OS X that lets you clean, repair and optimize your Mac. It is a powerful digital toolset that helps hundreds of thousands of Mac users around the world get... Read more
LaunchBar 6.1 - Powerful file/URL/email...
LaunchBar is an award-winning productivity utility that offers an amazingly intuitive and efficient way to search and access any kind of information stored on your computer or on the Web. It provides... Read more
Maya 2015 - Professional 3D modeling and...
Maya is an award-winning software and powerful, integrated 3D modeling, animation, visual effects, and rendering solution. Because Maya is based on an open architecture, all your work can be scripted... Read more
BBEdit 10.5.12 - Powerful text and HTML...
BBEdit is the leading professional HTML and text editor for the Mac. Specifically crafted in response to the needs of Web authors and software developers, this award-winning product provides a... Read more
Microsoft Office 2011 14.4.4 - Popular p...
Microsoft Office 2011 helps you create professional documents and presentations. And since Office for Mac 2011 is compatible with Office for Windows, you can work on documents with virtually anyone... Read more

Latest Forum Discussions

See All

Hyperlapse Review
Hyperlapse Review By Jennifer Allen on August 28th, 2014 Our Rating: :: SPEEDY VIDEO SNAPSUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Want to make a great time-lapse video quickly? Hyperlapse is perfect for that.   | Read more »
Back To Bed Review
Back To Bed Review By Jennifer Allen on August 28th, 2014 Our Rating: :: STYLISH BUT LIMITEDUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad It looks gorgeous, but Back to Bed is actually a fairly simple and uneventful puzzle game.   | Read more »
New Cars, New Locations, and a New Seaso...
New Cars, New Locations, and a New Season in Asphalt 8: Airborne Update Posted by Jessica Fisher on August 28th, 2014 [ permalink ] Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad | Read more »
Award Winning Children’s Book Bedtime fo...
Bedtime for Sarah Sullivan is a children’s storybook that emphasizes the importance of going to bed, dreams, and those magical moments right before being tucked in. Now Kelly Paniagua, author of the award-winning children’s book, is planning to... | Read more »
Happy Cube Death Arena Review
Happy Cube Death Arena Review By Jordan Minor on August 28th, 2014 Our Rating: :: CUBEDUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Happy Cube Death Arena is adorably violent, but very, very shallow.   | Read more »
8bit Doves, the New Game from Icebreaker...
8bit Doves, the New Game from Icebreaker Developers Nitrome, is Now Available – and in Four Colours Posted by Ellis Spice on August 28th, 2014 [ | Read more »
Ace Ferrara and the Dino Menace Review
Ace Ferrara and the Dino Menace Review By Nadia Oxford on August 28th, 2014 Our Rating: :: DINO-MYTEUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Ace Ferrara and the Dino Menace combines space combat and weird humor into a fun game... | Read more »
Draw Stuff, Win Prizes. Glorkian Warrior...
Draw Stuff, Win Prizes. | Read more »
Lots of iOS Games Have Been Deeply Disco...
Labor Day is fast approaching, and so are the sales. Lots of sales, by the look of it. This list is already pretty sizable, and we haven’t even made it to the weekend yet. Naturally that means you can expect there to be plenty more price drops and... | Read more »
Letter Pix Review
Letter Pix Review By Jennifer Allen on August 28th, 2014 Our Rating: :: FLAWED WORDPLAYUniversal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad Create words to clear the board and guess a photo underlay correctly in this fun but flawed word... | Read more »

Price Scanner via MacPrices.net

Save up to $60 with Apple refurbished iPod to...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 5th generation iPod touches available starting at $149. Apple’s one-year warranty is included with each model, and shipping is free. Many, but not all... Read more
12-Inch MacBook Air Coming in 4Q14 or 2015 –...
Digitimes’ Aaron Lee and Joseph Tsai report that according to Taiwan-based upstream supply chain insiders, Apple plans to launch a thinner MacBook model either at year end 2014 or in 2015, and that... Read more
Sapphire Screen “Most Wanted” iPhone 6 New Fe...
According to the ‘uSell.com iPhone Most Wanted Survey’ — a representative survey of 1,000 U.S. smartphone users conducted by used iPhone marketplace uSell.com — close to half of all smartphone users... Read more
The iPad’s Real Competitive Challenger (Not S...
It’s been my contention for some time that the iPad is suffering from something of an identity crisis, and I suspect that may be a factor in slackening sales this year. Apple can’t seem to decide... Read more
13-inch 2.6GHz/256GB Retina MacBook Pro on sa...
B&H Photo has the 13″ 2.6GHz/256GB Retina MacBook Pro on sale for $1379 including free shipping plus NY sales tax only. Their price is $120 off MSRP. Read more
Life Inventory iOS Apps – Learn to Know Thyse...
James Hollender’s Life Inventory apps s are now on sale with 20% off thru Labor Day, 09/01/2014. This is a great opportunity to get started on that Moral Inventory you’ve been putting off doing for... Read more
Pocket Watch, LLC. Reveals Cloud Server For P...
Beaumont, Texas based Pocket Watch, LLC. has announced the availability of its new ActivePrint Cloud Server Powered by Raspberry Pi. With this small standalone box almost any USB printer or available... Read more
902it Simplifies Area Code Changes For Nova S...
The east coast Canadian provinces of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island are phasing in 10 digit telephone dialing, to be fully in place by November, in order to accommodate a second area code to... Read more
Boomerang iPad Stand Mounts Your iPad Anywher...
Boomerang, a Mountable Stand with Multiple Viewing Angles, is now available for iPad Air. Boomerang combines several functions that aim to expand your iPad’s potential in one, elegant product. The... Read more
Retina MacBook Pros available starting at $10...
The Apple Store has Apple Certified Refurbished 13″ and 15″ MacBook Pros available starting at $929. Apple’s one-year warranty is standard, and shipping is free: - 13″ 2.5GHz MacBook Pros (4GB RAM/... 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
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
*Apple* Solutions Consultant (ASC) - Apple (...
**Job Summary** The ASC is an Apple employee who serves as an Apple brand ambassador and influencer in a Reseller's store. The ASC's role is to grow Apple Read more
Project Manager / Business Analyst, WW *Appl...
…a senior project manager / business analyst to work within our Worldwide Apple Fulfillment Operations and the Business Process Re-engineering team. This role will work Read more
All contents are Copyright 1984-2011 by Xplain Corporation. All rights reserved. Theme designed by Icreon.