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  • Apple Files Radical New "Radial Menu" Patent


    A recently-revealed Apple patent filing indicates that the company is looking into a radical modification of the graphical user interface with the introduction of a "radial menu." According to the application, a rotary wheel of options could be more efficient in terms of screen real estate and ease of use than the current drop-down list. Sample drawings accompanying the patent show the technology used in both iOS and Mac OS X.

    The new menu could be a modification of current drop down menus, where the most common items appear in a list but change to the radial menu if the user makes a circular motion. This would be especially well-suited for touchscreen devices, allowing the user to navigate longer lists more easily even when holding the device in one hand and scrolling (or, um, "spinning?) with a thumb. The same circular gesture could be used to open sub-menus as well. When the user reaches the menu option or sub-level they want, a linear gesture (swipe) or tap would be used to choose the option.

    However, not only touchscreen devices but traditional mouse-and-pointer interfaces could make use of the new menu design. The patent shows an example of a video-editing application on a desktop computer where radial menus are invoked by keyboard commands to do things like select clips to add to a project, as well as trimming and editing them.

    United States Patent Application 20100306702, simply titled "Radial Menus," is credited to Peter Warner of Paris, France whose LinkedIn profile shows him as a "Designer at Apple." The application was filed on May 29, 2009.

    Source: MacNN
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Files Radical New "Radial Menu" Patent started by Paul Daniel Ash View original post
    Comments 31 Comments
    1. steve-z17's Avatar
      steve-z17 -
      Whatever it is, it'll be sweet!
    1. sziklassy's Avatar
      sziklassy -
      Quote Originally Posted by westerman View Post
      I feel like us jailbreakers have already done this
      Jailbreakers had every updated feature on iOS (post 1.0), including the app store. Everything Apple adds anymore is just polish, at best, to something that is already available on jailbreak.
    1. Jahooba's Avatar
      Jahooba -
      I like it. Let's do it, Apple.
    1. shinygerbil's Avatar
      shinygerbil -
      In the news next week: Apple filing suit against Bioware for having used radial menus in their games for nearly a decade.

      On a more serious note, I'm assuming the patent deals more with the details, such as making more common items more prominent and therefore more easy to select. Then again, this concept isn't new either.
    1. jonnyraincloud's Avatar
      jonnyraincloud -
      does anyone else remember the old version of "dock" on iphone?
      with the sun and icons moving about when you swipe up from the bottom right corner?


      kinda similar huh
    1. luqven's Avatar
      luqven -
      This already exists for the mac, its been around for years. It's called Sapiens and works exactly as detailed except that it launches apps not commands. Look it up, you will be surprised how similar they are
    1. brandyn baker's Avatar
      brandyn baker -
      It's kinda sad you know? Apple probably wouldnt have half the stuff they have in iOS if they didn't steal the ideas from jailbreaking. (pogo plank, categories "folders")
    1. KartRacer's Avatar
      KartRacer -
      How is this radical? Computer games have had this for years. Jobs himself said years ago that they are masters of stealing ideas.
    1. Zokunei's Avatar
      Zokunei -
      I think it's funny because there are a thousand other things that use this. One of them is an app in the App Store that you know they reviewed. Seriously though, SketchBook MobileX has a menu system exactly like this other than the submenus and gestures.
    1. pandoz's Avatar
      pandoz -
      yet another copy of a jailbreak concept...
    1. LogicBox's Avatar
      LogicBox -
      Quote Originally Posted by Westerman View Post
      I feel like us jailbreakers have already done this
      And we will always be 4 steps ahead of them.
      I think they get most of there patents from us anyway.