Apple patent involves automated email sorting
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Apple patent involves automated email sorting

An Apple patent (number 20120221961) for addressee-based message prioritization at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, showing that the company is looking to automate email sorting on its various devices.

Per the patent, in some implementations, messages received by an electronic messaging user (e.g., recipient) can be displayed in a user interface of an electronic messaging application. In some implementations, received messages can be prioritized based on how the messages are addressed to the user. In some implementations, received message can be displayed and highlighted based on the priority of each message. In some implementations, messages can be grouped and/or sorted based on the priority of each message.

Here's Apple's background and summary of the invention: "The volume of electronic messages (e.g., e-mail, text messages) sent and received by users can be overwhelming. As the volume of electronic messages received by users increases, it becomes increasingly difficult to determine which messages need the highest level of attention and which messages are merely informational. Sorting by message title, author, or date received is often useless as message threads (e.g., those with the same title) can change topic and/or participants, for example.

"Moreover, sorting messages by title, author or date often does nothing to help the recipient-user determine which messages are important and which are not or, more specifically, which messages require the recipient's immediate attention and which do not. Thus, messages that require an immediate response from a recipient often go overlooked. Accordingly, it may be useful to prioritize messages according to how they are addressed to the recipient-user and display the messages based on priority.

"Addressee based message prioritization is disclosed. In some implementations, messages (e.g., e-mails, text messages, chat messages, etc.) received by a user (e.g., recipient) can be displayed in a user interface of an electronic messaging application. In some implementations, received messages can be prioritized based on how the messages are addressed to the user. For example, messages may be prioritized based on whether the message is addressed to a user individually (e.g., directly), whether the message is addressed to the user as a member of a group (e.g., the e-mail was sent to an e-mail group), whether the message is addressed to the user as a carbon copy, or addressed to the user as a blind carbon copy.

"In some implementations, received messages can be displayed and/or highlighted based on the priority of each message. In some implementations, messages can be grouped and/or sorted based on the priority of each message. A method, system and computer-readable medium are disclosed for performing addressee based message prioritization.

"Particular implementations provide at least the following advantages: important messages can be quickly and easily identified by a message recipient thereby improving the productivity of the message recipient and saving the recipient time that might me otherwise spent sorting through electronic messages."

Bruce Charles Reynolds is the inventor.

 

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