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Patent suggests mid-call iPhone file transfer

updated 12:35 pm EDT, Thu August 20, 2009

iPhone filesend patent

Apple has considered incorporating simultaneous file transfers during iPhone calls, a newly-published patent application shows. Though files can be uploaded through many different iPhone apps at present, the filing notes that in the middle of a call, it is currently impossible to send files or even text messages. It may also be necessary to quit a call to look up secondary contact info.

As a solution, Apple proposes a system in which a phone could automatically detect caller details, and through a revised interface send both files and text; this includes bringing up an onscreen keyboard as needed. The concept could be extended to a conference call, with the option of sending files to everyone or only individuals. In any case, receiving parties could choose to add contacts to their address books.

Communications could be sent through various different protocols, including Wi-Fi, WiMAX, Bluetooth or GSM/GPRS/EDGE. The patent was originally submitted in February of 2008. Credited with the invention is Peter Henry Mahowald.

by MacNN Staff



  1. LenE

    Joined: Dec 1969


    Contrary to the filing

    These actions are not "impossible." You can keep a call live while leaving the phone app to do something else. I've been able to go check contacts mid-call, or go into other programs while continuing to talk with someone on the other end, even downloading new information. I just get a little green band at the top, telling me to tap it to return to the in-progress call.

    Perhaps this is a 3GS thing, and not available on older iPhones.

    -- Len

  1. Athens

    Joined: Dec 1969


    yes it is

    I've been able to switch to other programs while in a call with the 3G phone for a long time. Tethering continues to work while on a call as well. And I have sent txt messages while on voice calls. The only area I cant get into in a call is the call history/voice mail because hitting that button takes you back to the call.

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