Earlier today Patently Apple published reports of the latest patent granted to Apple. This patent covered the extensive behaviours of the iPhone, therefore resulting in possible trouble for its competitors, such as Google’s Android OS. But does it really cover all extensions of the iPhone, or just the multitouch aspect?
Nilay Patel from This is My Next breaks down what the patent covers, in plain English:
- You need a â€œportable multifunction device with one or more processors, memory, and a touch screen display.â€ Check!
- That device needs to display â€œa portion of a web page in a stationary application window,â€ and that portion has to include both the regular page content and a â€œframe displaying a portion of frame content.â€Â Thatâ€™s something like a Google Maps embed â€” itâ€™s a frame within a webpage thatÂ displays other content.
- The device has to â€œdetect a translation gesture by a single finger,â€ and in response somehow translate both the main content and the frame content. That means when you scroll with a single finger, everything has to move.
- Lastly, the device has to be able to detect â€œa translation gesture by two fingersâ€ and in response translate only the frame content without translating the main content. Thatâ€™s exactly what happens on the iPhone today â€” you can pinch-to-zoom on a map embed without zooming a main web page. Itâ€™s easier to show this in a video, actually:
Patel believes Apple’s competitors won’t have a hard time engineering around this specific type of multitouch interface, as it’s fairly specific. He also reminds everyone to not jump to the conclusion that it’s an “iPhone patent”.
This patent is just one advantage Apple can lay out on its competitors if it has to, but right now there’s already enough legal wars going on. Apple’s infamous battle with Samsung recently resulted in a judge favouring the Cupertino company. The decision was to not allow Samsung the rights to look at Apple’s private parts–specifically the iPhone 5 and iPad 3.