This past week, Apple had a host of new patents officially approved by the US Patent and Trademark Office. From streamlining the way images are rendered to preventing the accidental opening of applications, a large chunk of the patents seem to relate to the ways that a user interacts with a device. Macsimum News has a synopsis of all the patents awarded.
A few of the patents that stick out are for operations that we take for granted on a daily basis.
One of them relates to scrolling through a list on a touch input device (say your iPhone contacts list), with the acceleration of the scrolling of that list being determined by the input of your finger. That's pretty nifty!
Another is for immediate search feedback on a Web browser application, like the Safari search bar. So, for instance, when you start typing in the first few letters of a search query and a list pops up of the potential items that you're searching for - that's immediate search feedback.
I think I would be lost without this feature. Often times, I can't remember the title of a song, but if I can remember the first couple lyrics, I can type them in, and a link to the song title will appear in the list. Or when I can't quite remember how to spell a word (embarrassing, I know), I go to the Safari search bar instead of going to the dictionary. Somehow, it's always the easier place to turn to.
These are some pretty simple features, but they make such a profound difference in the ways that we use and interact with the computer devices around us on a daily basis. There's some solid innovation going on over there in Cupertino.