Apple Patent Reveals Scrollable Menus And Toolbars May Be Coming To iOS & Mac OS X

apple patent

Folks over at Patently Apple have come across a new patent application from Apple submitted to the European Patent Office for a feature that might be seen in future iterations of iOS and Mac OS X Lion.

The patent reveals a user interface that offers scrollable menus and toolbars for applications with large number of menu options. The basic idea of the patent is to save screen real estate and provide easier access to these menus. 

Patently Apple explains:

“Apple's patent and illustrations introduce us to a new concept of scrollable menus and toolbars that may very well end up in both OS X Lion and a future iteration of iOS. The new menus and toolbars may also be integrated into future iterations of Apple applications such as Aperture and/or suite applications like Pages, Numbers and iMovie.

To begin with, Apple states that their invention provides a novel method for presenting a menu in a graphical user interface. The menu includes several selectable menu items that are assigned in a particular order for scrolling through a selection window based on user input. In some embodiments, each of the menu items is associated with a command. When a menu item is in the selection window, a user could select the menu item in order to perform the command associated with the menu item."


The figure below shows how the feature may be implemented in iOS.


It can get quite painful if an application has many menu options so it is good to see Apple thinking about how to deal with this problem. But I'm not sure how a small window with scrollable menus and toolbars will solve this problem. 

Let us know your views in the comments section below.

[Via Patently Apple]

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  • First!

    That would be really cool if they could use this with iOS…

  • has anybody seen parallax from cydia ?

  • scrollable wallpaper cool ?

  • lrs

    did u even read ?

  • lrs

    tinyunbrella saving shsh for 42

  • Saa

    Parallax is not the first to bring this feature on iPhone. I have been using this feature since 3.1.2. Ever heard about "simple background" tweak.

  • fas

    Lets see when this goes into production.

  • jes

    The idea that this is novel enough for a patent is ludicrous. There have been similar UI widgets since long before iPhone came on the scene.

    If the USPTO approves this they're out of their minds.