Apple Patent Hints at Next-Generation Contacts App GUI Redesign

As we approach the launch of iOS 7, everybody is talking about the need for a user interface refresh, even the BlackBerry CEO has pointed to Apple’s iOS, saying it’s a bit dusty. We’ve shared a couple iOS 7 concepts, but they obviously remain just concepts, as they are only the creations of creative people.

In other words, the question of what the next-generation operating system will look like remains open, although we can expect a much simpler UI with Jony Ive leading the Human Interfaces group.

Today, however, Apple was granted a patent that gives an insight into where the company might be heading, or at least what they’ve been working on recently. The newly proposed “contacts” GUI is designed for both Macs and iOS devices, and for a possible future TV as well.

As Patently Apple’s reports, with the new contacts user interface, “a user will be able to transfer a file to a contact by simply dragging and dropping a file icon onto a visual representation of a recipient contact, with the option of determining automatically or manually the communication mode for transfer.

The patent background is our daily habit of using our smartphones, laptops and tablets: we interact with our contacts using a variety of communication technologies, such as telephony, email, text messages, social media, and microblogging services.

According to the new patent description, by selecting a contact, users will have a timeline of that contact alongside descriptors for communications with the contact. You can see an example of a timeline display below.


While we are talking about a patent here, which may never materialize, I hope this contacts graphical user interface arrives soon. What do you think?