back to article Apple patent eyes Mac OS X tablet

A patent application published on Thursday reveals how far Apple has progressed on melding iOS's multi-touch interface with Mac OS X, and hints that the Mac operating system's multiple-workspace feature, Spaces, may find its way onto the iPad. The application, entitled "Device, Method, and Graphical User Interface for …


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  1. Robin Layfield

    Great concept but....

    In introducing multiple multi-touch gestures and with this one in particular requiring an entire hand, is Apple limiting the accessibility of future interfaces to only fully able-bodied dextrous people?

    Just how perfect are we going to have to be to use this gear?

    1. dave 93
      Thumb Up

      A nice touch...

      ... is Michaelangelo's hand of god in the diagram. That represents the desired level of user.

      That pinching in the corner trick already zooms in and out in lots of apps with the trackpad.

  2. petur


    Since my hands are on the keyboard and/or mouse, that's the fastest and most convient way to do stuff, like switching workspaces.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    Does this mean I'm going to have stop using compiz and a touchscreen?

  4. Joe Cooper


    Is it so hard just to have four squares somewhere on the menu bar? That's what I always had in Linux and I loved it.

    1. Ralphe Neill

      Ah yes ...

      ... but Linux has virtual desktops ... Apple "invented" spaces!

    2. Jonathan 6


      You have that in OS X already. This would just be an additional option on top. Not hard to imagine that now is it?

      1. Joe Cooper


        Yes I see that now. Very close, though the Gnome\KDE\IceWM\etc. system shows a row of icons with mini-preview, here I just have some numbers, and I can't rename them.

        Little detail? Yes. But it measurably adds to the pain in the rear factor. I have to click a drop-down menu, I see some numbers that give no hint of what's on what, then I click and then it has to do this slide animation.

        The other way, I can instantly recognize which desktop I want to go to and have one-click access.

        Furthermore, Apple's MO is that they're supposed to care about little details like this, and that's why they're worth these extra money.

        And I do love my Mac, but basically they're doing some ridiculous over-engineering to avoid a very simple, easy solution and why?

        NIH syndrome.

        I wouldn't criticize Linux if it had some silliness like this (and I remember lots of silliness) but this and that stupid Expose thing make it kind of a pain in the rear to use a Mac if any program you're running opens two or more windows.

        Though that's not so bad anymore since almost everything's tabbed.

  5. flying_walrus
    Jobs Halo


    Didnt I read somewhere that all of this is coming in 10.7?

  6. Eddy Ito


    Since when is making a gesture for a keyboard shortcut or mouse clicks patentable? Oh, it's two fingers that makes... no difference at all.

  7. decisive
    Thumb Up


    It is a fine day today

  8. Gangsta


    Isn't this already on HTC's Sense UI (and in other places I Presume)

    Pinch out on the home screen and all the desktops appear for one to select.

    Obviously you can't move them around like the ones Apple are "coining", but still the same concept?

    1. dssf

      Move them around...

      On HTC's larger touch screens, it may become intuitive and useful to reorder the tiles the way we ad hoc move browser tabs around. Apple should NOT be awarded a patent on this unless it is defensive so that no one company heists the feature capability.

      Motorola's Xoom and Dell's Streak also could benefit from that. Since each home screen has from 1 to some 20 icons and users such as myself tend to organize by task or mind-managing, it would be useful to move those home screens easier than moving the tiles around. HTC should jump on this FAST. They are not that far from it and it is on the verge of prior art.

    2. styven

      htc sense

      I have seen videos of the abilty to move around the desktops on htc sense, can't do it on my HTC desire, but have seen at least one of the newer "sense" htc phones doing it.

  9. Thomas 18

    Windows vs OS X graphics

    When run on identical hardware, Windows will get substantially better graphics performance due to the loss of 10% OS X screen real-estate from your fist (performance degradation varies with operators hand size).

    Experts in the field have also slated Apple on its "layer of grease" approach to anti-aliasing, calling it primitive and lazy

    1. Adam T

      Does it really matter that much?

      I can't really tell the difference between 96Khz and 192Khz audio, but I'm happy listening to either...

      Not noticed any significant difference between my Macs (quad xeons) and Windows 7 PCs (i7 X980s), and I like working on them both.

      There comes a point when the differences really aren't worth arguing about. New software features to enhance the user experience, well that's something else isn't it.

      1. Adam T

        shot in the foot!

        I didn't see the joke icon - had graphics turned off! :))

  10. bex


    am I the only mac user how never uses spaces?

    1. Ivan Headache

      No you're not

      I cant find a use for it either.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Thumb Up

        Never used it on anything

        There used to be a special download for XP that let you do something similar that I never used. Never used it in Ubuntu or Fedora, and never use it with Mac.

        IMHO, If you need more than one screen's worth of real estate get a second screen.

  11. Mark .

    "One Mouse Button Is Better"

    What I don't understand is - for years, we had claims that two mouse buttons were too complicated, and the combination of mouse button with option key press was better. But now, we're expected to believe that learning all kinds of complex multitouch gestures is better? Which is it?

    If you think that explaining which mouse button to a newbie user is hard, how are you going to explain complex gestures? Especially say, over a phone or in a written article? No. Whilst some simple multitouch features are useful (the scroll and zoom gestures to replace mouse wheels), a well designed UI doesn't need anything more complex.

    I was using workspaces on the Amiga years before Apple thought of them. Didn't need any multitouch for that.

  12. Levente Szileszky
    Thumb Down

    Another feature, stolen from someone else, gets patented by Apple?

    Steve "Freedom From Porn" Jobs' disgusting methods are truly sickening.

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