Friday, April 4, 2008

Apple Patents: Widget Organization, Virtual Keyboards, Episodic Games

A few more patent applications filed by Apple have been published by the United States Patent and Trademark Office, three of which were iPhone/iPod touch-related. Among them are a feature for rearranging a homescreen, a configuration for unique virtual keyboards that display for different tasks, such as writing Email, and most interestingly a patent for "episodic" gaming.

The first patent, Graphical User Interface for Configuring and Displaying Widgets, covers the organization of widgets on the iPhone and iPod touch.

Their second patent, Soft Keyboard Display for a Portable Multifunction Device, covers "computer-implemented method for displaying soft keyboards at a portable electronic device with a touch screen display", or the iPhone's virtual keyboard.

Lastly, the third patent, Treatment of Episodic Games, pertains to titles that make up only part of a whole story, such as Half-Life 2. The patent is for a method of detecting what episodes of a game a user has and telling them what others are available. Using this, they could theoretically inform you when a new episode for an iPhone/touch game that you own comes out.

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