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Three new iPhone input patents

updated 05:25 pm EDT, Thu April 24, 2008

Three new iPhone patents

The US Patent and Trademark Office today published several of Apple's patent approvals, all of which relate to different aspects of the iPhone's functionality. The first deals with organization of the iPhone's interface as to reduce the clutter of adding too many visual elements to a document. The patent seems to indicate the use of nested interface elements, such as clicking a button to summon a menu detailing operations that the user can perform.

The second patent demonstrates user input on the software keyboard and how the iPhone highlights the letter that was pressed, as well as how much time the button stays highlighted.

The third relates to gestures which can select, and consequently delete items using the touch screen. The process recognizes gestures to first edit the list, then select the item for deletion, and finally delete the item.

by MacNN Staff



  1. danviento

    Joined: Dec 1969


    more gestures, please

    Gestures could solve the problem of highlighting text, copy/paste, (as noted) deletion, and other commonly used commands used on a normal computer that are currently absent from the iPhone/Touch UI.

    Personally, I can think of a dozen different manners that could be used as gestures. Surely Apple engineers have some in the works.

  1. Herod

    Joined: Dec 1969


    drop down menus?


  1. vasic

    Joined: Dec 1969


    very critical...

    Gestures, indeed. The problem here is, all the gestures we have so fare seem to be extremely intuitive. In other words, they are the ones we would use on physical objects (flick a page in a book, pinch/squeeze to re-size, etc). The biggest problem with cut/copy/paste gesture combo is to make them logical. It must be done in such a way that everyone can figure it out without having to learn it.

    Let's see; selecting something (an image on a web page, or a block of text somewhere) should be relatively easy. Press, hold, then drag (if text) or just press/hold (if an image or an object). Now, how do you copy, and how do you cut? Perhaps like this: press/hold/drag (to select); without lifting the finger, touch screen elsewhere with another finger and lift together, (more-or-less) simultaneously. Or, select text or object (press/hold/drag/lift finger); then pinch to cut, or swipe to copy.

    I'm sure Apple has a bunch of very creative guys scratching their heads over this intensively and we'll soon finally get that cut/copy/paste functionality everyone's been complaining about.

  1. G4_Kessel

    Joined: Dec 1969


    better yet...

    Better yet... press and hold, then drag to highlight... a pop-up bubble similar to when it assumes the word you are typing, but it says "copy".

  1. shigzeo

    Joined: Dec 1969


    double finger tap

    just like the wonder of mb and older ibooks and powerbooks, it would be wonderful to have double finger tapping available for cut, paste and edit functions that would appear from a contextual menu

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