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Apple investigates in-call iPhone file transfer feature

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
Apple has explored the ability to transfer a file from one cell phone to another during a connected call, according to a new patent filing revealed this week.

Similar to an application revealed in June, the new filing includes descriptions for sending text messages, e-mails, contacts, documents and more to a caller while two phones have established a voice connection. Entitled "Auto Messaging to Currently Connected Caller," the 16-page patent application was filed for in February of 2008.

"While a user of a mobile device is using telephony services, the user may want to send a message or a file to another part," the patent reads. "To send this information, the user may have to disconnect the call, and then perform a lookup of the caller's contact information prior to being able to send the message or file. This multi-step process can be tedious for the user."

Apple's possible solution would offer a user interface that would provide users voice and message capability access while on a call. The system would automatically detect caller details and relay the information in the appropriate direction. The document even describes a scenario with a conference call and multiple listeners, where files could be sent to any or all included on the call. The invention is credited to Peter Henry Mahowald.

It states that data could possibly be sent over a variety of network options, including GSM, GPRS, Edge, Wi-Fi, WiMax and Bluetooth. The application also describes how the receiving party's hardware might respond to the file, such as asking the user if they would like a contact to be automatically added to their address book.



While similar, the patent revealed in June focused on media sharing, such as the ability to share and control playback of music and video during a call. It would possibly include an "Add Media" option to the iPhone's phone application, to allow users to transmit and share media, including video, images, voicemails and podcasts.



Other Apple patent applications revealed this week:

A system that would automatically enable the iPhone's speakerphone capability based on the position of the phone. For example, switching to speakerphone when the device is laid flat on a table.

A shock sensor that is both active and passive. The system would recognize when a portable device is dropped, and be able to analyze when the device has failed and electronic detection is not possible.

A backward-compatible device connector, allowing new cables to connect a portable device to a computer but also working, with an adapter or otherwise, with previously created interfaces. This could allow new device form factors that were otherwise impossible because of standard plug shapes.
post #2 of 21
It's a phone. Everything turns naturally around calls.

The patent.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

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post #3 of 21
Seems very cool. I like the idea of being able to send / share files while in a call. Such as...

"Hey Tim, what's up?"
"Not too much Chris, Mary just sent me a hilarious picture"
"Oh, yea, why don't you send it to me"
.....moments pass
*Laughter*

That would be sweet. So would being able to transmit it to anyone in a conference call.
MBA 13" i7/4GB/256GB

C2D MBP 2.33GHZ/2 Gig/120 Gig/256MB
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MBA 13" i7/4GB/256GB

C2D MBP 2.33GHZ/2 Gig/120 Gig/256MB
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post #4 of 21
Odd patent. Why come up with a proprietary system for in-call media sharing when there's already 3GPP standard?
post #5 of 21
Patent? Come on Apple.
Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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Citing unnamed sources with limited but direct knowledge of a rumoured device - Comedy Insider (Feb 2014)
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post #6 of 21
Wow. In a few years may e the feature set will match Skype today.
post #7 of 21
Can't you already kinda do this while on a phone call? Just put the caller on speaker phone, press the home button, and send your text / email. I think this is currently talking about WITHIN the existing connection - but there is a way to send data to a person / people while in the midst of a phone call.

You can even play games while on a phone call (much to the annoyance of my fiance!)
post #8 of 21
Right- AT&T who can't even get MMS up and running will be able to get this to work. Dream on.
post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by RobbyCWilson View Post

Can't you already kinda do this while on a phone call? Just put the caller on speaker phone, press the home button, and send your text / email. I think this is currently talking about WITHIN the existing connection - but there is a way to send data to a person / people while in the midst of a phone call.

You can even play games while on a phone call (much to the annoyance of my fiance!)

You can certainly send an email! (Not on EDGE, but on 3G.)

What about SMS/MMS? I always assumed you could do that while on a call, even over EDGE, but I never tried. MMS can send contacts and map locations in iPhone OS 3.0, IIRC. Can it be done during a call? (On other phones, I mean... since AT&T still doesn't allow MMS for iPhone users.)
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple has explored the ability to transfer a file from one cell phone to another during a connected call...

I bet Steve won't call it "Squirting"
OMG here we go again...
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OMG here we go again...
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post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ireland View Post

Patent? Come on Apple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RichL View Post

Odd patent. Why come up with a proprietary system for in-call media sharing when there's already 3GPP standard?


You have to, or some guy in Texas will sue you after you have had it up and running for 2 years.
Forgo Looking At The Past As A Judge; Instead Be a Student.
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Forgo Looking At The Past As A Judge; Instead Be a Student.
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post #12 of 21
Despite Microsoft's constant talk about "innovation" and the fact that they spend far more money on R&D than Apple, it's always been pretty clear which company is *really* the hotbed of new ideas and inventions.
In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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In Windows, a window can be a document, it can be an application, or it can be a window that contains other documents or applications. Theres just no consistency. Its just a big grab bag of monkey...
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post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzDots View Post

I bet Steve won't call it "Squirting"



RIGHT! Squirt IS THE MOST asinine name for a service. (Is there an even stronger word than asinine to describe this?). "Hi Jenny. Whachadoin? If you're not busy, I'd like to squirt you." or "Yeah I'm cool. My Zune squirts and yours doesn't."

So long as Apple doesn't use asinine names for their products and services, this just might catch on

But there are possible security issues. For example, a caller spoofing to be someone the recipient knows fooling the recipient into authorizing a transfer from the caller. I'm sure this has been brought up, and I'd be so surprise if no one have considered this.
post #14 of 21
Really this is the first thought I had, enable multitasking and the user ends up with a world of options. At worst an API would need to be added to get current call info. To me this seems like another bone headed idea to work around the lack of user multitasking.

Oh I do realize there are issues with multi tasking but those have been pretty much eliminated with the latest iPhone. Plus it goes back to who is really in control of the phone and who should be. In the case of a file transfer, battery burn comes from the RF power used for the most part and not the fact that you are multitasking.



Dave
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

You can certainly send an email! (Not on EDGE, but on 3G.)

What about SMS/MMS? I always assumed you could do that while on a call, even over EDGE, but I never tried. MMS can send contacts and map locations in iPhone OS 3.0, IIRC. Can it be done during a call? (On other phones, I mean... since AT&T still doesn't allow MMS for iPhone users.)

You can 100% send SMS for sure during a phone call. Once MMS is enabled, I'm sure you will be able to send this as well.
post #16 of 21
You can definitely already do this. I do it all the time.

Most of the time I'm talking on the phone I use the headphones with the mic... and all you have to do is press the home button and do whatever you want to do (which is pretty much everything the phone can do). The only thing I have found you cannot do is take video on the 3GS while also in a call. It does not give you the video option until you end the call. Its weird, but I suppose its cranking the processor into high gear to take video and it'd be too much for it while its also handling a phone call.

I suppose this patent might be to enable a feature where the icons to send an MMS or email is on the same screen as the phonecall, and it'd auto-populate the info of the person you are on the phone with - which is cool - but its definitely already doable. You can send an email with attachments or surf the net or get on facebook of whatever you want to do on the 3G or 3GS. On any of the iphones you can do non data stuff while on a call... but on the 3G capable ones you can do data related stuff and voice simultaneously. You can even send text messages on the EDGE phone while also in a phone call. I'd assume - when ATT finally releases MMS - that you'd also be able to do that while on a call since its only doable on the 3G phones anyway.

The thing they NEED to patent and get working quickly is the ability to record a voice memo with the iPhone voice app of a phone call that you are currently in. It'd be great for phone interviews, or trying to remember directions that someone is telling you... or proving that someone had drunk dialed you AGAIN! That is something i would use all the time.
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Virgil-TB2 View Post

Despite Microsoft's constant talk about "innovation" and the fact that they spend far more money on R&D than Apple, it's always been pretty clear which company is *really* the hotbed of new ideas and inventions.

The idea isn't new. Every one does it. It wasn't patented before just because competitors come from different angle. They make mobile computers, not phones.

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply

We mean Apple no harm.

People are lovers, basically. -- Engadget livebloggers at the iPad mini event.

Reply
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhReallyNow View Post

You can definitely already do this. I do it all the time.

Most of the time I'm talking on the phone I use the headphones with the mic... and all you have to do is press the home button and do whatever you want to do (which is pretty much everything the phone can do). The only thing I have found you cannot do is take video on the 3GS while also in a call. It does not give you the video option until you end the call. Its weird, but I suppose its cranking the processor into high gear to take video and it'd be too much for it while its also handling a phone call.

I suppose this patent might be to enable a feature where the icons to send an MMS or email is on the same screen as the phonecall, and it'd auto-populate the info of the person you are on the phone with - which is cool - but its definitely already doable. You can send an email with attachments or surf the net or get on facebook of whatever you want to do on the 3G or 3GS. On any of the iphones you can do non data stuff while on a call... but on the 3G capable ones you can do data related stuff and voice simultaneously. You can even send text messages on the EDGE phone while also in a phone call. I'd assume - when ATT finally releases MMS - that you'd also be able to do that while on a call since its only doable on the 3G phones anyway.

The thing they NEED to patent and get working quickly is the ability to record a voice memo with the iPhone voice app of a phone call that you are currently in. It'd be great for phone interviews, or trying to remember directions that someone is telling you... or proving that someone had drunk dialed you AGAIN! That is something i would use all the time.

To record a sound by voice memo app while on a call is really helpful feature....
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

Really this is the first thought I had, enable multitasking and the user ends up with a world of options. At worst an API would need to be added to get current call info. To me this seems like another bone headed idea to work around the lack of user multitasking.

Oh I do realize there are issues with multi tasking but those have been pretty much eliminated with the latest iPhone. Plus it goes back to who is really in control of the phone and who should be. In the case of a file transfer, battery burn comes from the RF power used for the most part and not the fact that you are multitasking.



Dave

The iPhone can already multitask (as well as having superior options like the push service, which solves some serious problems of conventional multitasking). The iPhone uses conventional multitasking for some things, and always has--and phone calls are one of them. You can multitask any app with a phone call. (Plus the browser, email, and music player are also always running. All the common stuff can multitask, and 3rd-party apps can multitask with them--just not with each other. There are limits to multitasking on the iPhone, just as there area on any mobile device. The limits are just different limits.)
post #20 of 21
Call me when there's an Apple native video app like iChat. International video calls would be so sweet. That's why Apple should be their own carrier [Apple Mobile]. You buy an iPhone and everything's free. DATA / CALLS / iChat VIDEO or something similar.

Why is the most obvious video chat app [iChat] missing from an Apple product? IPhone is fully capable of doing it. Is it simply because the carriers wouldn't make any money?

iPhone Skype is audio only right? Is it free? Has someone figured a work around to add Skype video?
post #21 of 21
huh...seems to me like Apple needs to get their priorities straight...There are many more (IMHO important) features that we would like to see on the iPhone. Video conferencing, MMS, better navigation, etc...sigh
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