New Apple Patent Hints at Spaces for iPad
One of my favorite features of Mac OS X is spaces, the simple feature that allows the user to have multiple desktops to allow different workspaces and separate applications to allow for more seamless multitasking. As someone who's often attempting to do about thirty things at once on my Mac, spaces is my lifeline. Now it looks like this feature may come to another Apple product, the iPad.
Strangely, the patent picture shows the iPad running what looks like OS X (the thought that Mac OS could come to the iPad isn't crazy, but that's for another story) and allowing users to place different open applications in different spaces, just as one does on their Mac. Spaces still appears in OS X Lion, alongside the new Mission Control feature. The picture also implies that users would use specific gestures to move applications into different spaces, and to maneuver from space to space.
This is an area I feel that Apple could improve on in iOS, particularly on the iPad. Android already has this ability to an extent, where a home screen page can be a user-defined running application, such as a calendar, mail, or clock app. With the current multitasking implementation in iOS 4, this is not possible. It may be that Apple will enhance these capabilities in iOS 5, which should be unveiled very soon.
Also, it should be noted that this patent was filed quite a while ago, sometime in the third quarter of 2009, before the iPad was ever released, so this patent may never come to fruition at all. But it's still possible we could see this implemented in future versions of iOS. We'll certainly learn what the future of the OS has in store at WWDC in June.