Apple has been granted a new patent by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office called “Generation of a user interface based on contacts”, which reveals the company is working on a user interface that dynamically changes its background based on who you’re talking to in Messaging applications.
The patent explains how the background of apps like Messages app can be replaced with the image associated with the contact while the user is in a conversation. If an image is not associated with a contact then the system would generate a default male or female image based on the contact information. The background image could be dimmed or alpha-blended with a background color to ensure that it does not impact the readability of messages. This could prevent a user from sending embarrassing messages to the wrong person while chatting with multiple people at once.
The patent also explains how this can be implemented in case of both single and group conversations. As seen below, in case of group messaging, the background image of the contact who last sent the message could be highlighted by greying out others.
The patent also describes other methods such as showing contact thumbnails in a Cover Flow, rotating carousel or contact cards with animated transitions.
It remains to be seen if Apple will include this feature in iOS 8. It is an interesting concept. Let me know what you think in the comments.