It’s official. Apple has filed a patent for a “multi-functional hand-held device” in which the user interface adapts to the function needed. And the patent mentions a wide range of functions indeed: PDA, mobile phone, music player (naturally), camera, video player, game player, GPS, remote control, net terminal, and “handtop”.
Did you catch that? “PDA” and “mobile phone”? The rumoured iPhone is starting to sound like a smartphone to me, and I don’t think it’s such a bad idea. They may be able to get a little more market penetration with a more conventional handset, but I wouldn’t be opposed to a smartphone offering as well.
After all, Apple is known for fantastic UIs, be it on their computers or iPods, and if the iSmartphone can adapt its user interface according to function, it just may have a leg up on the competitors in the segment, like WM5 and Symbian.
What’s more, the patent calls for the device “to receive simultaneous inputs from different inputs [sic] devices and perform actions based on simultaneous inputs.” It can also differentiate between a “light touch” and a “hard touch”.
Stay tuned for more as it develops.