About that Apple phone (?) patent | iLounge Backstage

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About that Apple phone (?) patent

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By Jeremy Horwitz

Editor-in-Chief, iLounge
Published: Thursday, September 7, 2006
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Apple files lots of patents these days, many for products that haven’t yet and may never find their way to market. But most of them relate to two things: computers and iPods. This morning, Macnn’s Apple patent patrol came up with a few that were filed months ago by the company, yet only published today - they all appear to be for post-iPod devices that are as much about input as output, blending three or more different devices (cell phone, iPod, and remote control) into a single chassis with a unified touchscreen interface. Apple envisions devices that either have multiple touch-sensitive surfaces, or a single surface with multiple touch-sensitive positions; some of the patent language continues to suggest that the screens will detect light (scrolling) or heavy (clicking) presses differently. In these ways, the screens could be used just like today’s iPod Click Wheels, or like keyboards, or like any other computer interface, without needing a mouse or separate track pad.

Of course, the new patents sound suspiciously like what YourMacLife suggested was about to be released as the iPod phone. The concept can be summed up simply as a touchscreen-based phone with the ability to switch interfaces - one could be a phone screen, another could be an iPod screen, and yet more could be for any sort of other function imaginable - video playback, game playing, GPS, and so on. All on a single-screened phone. Will any or all of these features be included in an iPod phone? Does Apple envision this as being the next-generation iPod, or a separate device? And will third-party developers be able to create applications for the platform?

So many questions. Hopefully next week will bring answers.

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Comments

1

If this device comes true, then I’ll be like OMG!!!

Posted by Brendan on September 7, 2006 at 8:29 PM (PDT)

2

A friend of mine was receiving an audio chat request tonight and my Sunrocket VOIP phone picked up the call and rang, showing his screenname as the caller id.  After that he was able to talk to his friend over my phone.  So it appears that Bonjour is looking for SIP devices on the network and automattically using the internet phone as a receiving device.  He tried calling him back using the phone, but it didn’t work.  A feedback window opened up afterwards to report the “problem” to Apple.  I told him that there will probably be some interact between iChat and the iPhone when it becomes available.

Posted by eon on September 8, 2006 at 12:42 AM (PDT)

3

What I heard, from a reliable source, is that Apple wants to make a combined Cell and WiFi phone that allows the user to roam from cell to WiFi (when available) without losing the call.

They have selected a carrier to start the service.

The hold up has been getting the phone to work reliably (to Apple’s standards) with WiFi.

Apple doesn’t just want to introduce another pretty cell phone with an integrated iPod - they want to make a technology & usability statement.

Hightower from Reflecture

/

Posted by Reflecture on September 8, 2006 at 7:45 AM (PDT)

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