updated 12:05 pm EST, Tue January 22, 2013
Filing documents iOS trope
Apple has won a patent on the magnifying loupe used throughout iOS, says AppleInsider. The loupe appears whenever a person taps and holds on certain content, such as selectable text. In the patent, Device, method, and graphical user interface for management and manipulation of user interface elements, Apple < ahref="http://appleinsider.com/articles/13/01/22/apple-awarded-patent-for-ios-loupe-on-screen-content-magnification">notes that the option is a way of making the UI easier to deal with on small screens such as the iPhone's; it's also said to preserve battery life, since it cuts out unnecessary zoom-in functions.
A notable detail in the patent is that the loupe is only set to display whenever certain criteria are met, in order to prevent it from popping up by accident. In a graph, for instance, it may show up whenever a line is below a certain size parameter. Different size thresholds are used throughout the OS, above which the loupe won't appear.
Apple first filed for the patent in 2009. Just two inventors are credited, Ian Patrick McCullough and Peter Glen Berger.