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Apple looking into radial menus; Universal Dock updated

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
A recently granted patent application shows Apple is investigating radial pop-up menus. Also, Apple has added an aluminum remote and USB power adapter to its Universal Dock product.

Radial menus

Peter Warner, who is a "Designer at Apple," according to his LinkedIn profile, is listed as the inventor for a patent granted Dec. 2 that details the concept of radial menus as an alternative to drop-down menus, MacNN reports. The patent expands on a previous patent for the use of "spiraling" menus.

According to the application, radial menus could prove more efficient than the current "move to menubar to select standard features" model used in current major operating systems. The patent provides for both a static menu order and a prioritized order, where higher priority items would be displayed more prominently.

Both mouse and touchscreen input methods are covered in the patent. The invention incorporates the use of angled mouse or trackpad gestures to indicate selection of a particular menu item. Radial menus would also allow for circular gestures when navigating menus on a touchscreen.

Drawings include possible implementations for both Mac OS X and iOS.





Universal Dock

Apple quietly updated its Universal Dock bundle to include a USB power adapter and the aluminum Apple Remote, raising the price from $49 to $59.

Previously, the Universal Dock came with the older plastic remote. As before, the Universal Dock also comes with 5 dock adapters and a USB cable. The dock adapters now fit the iPhone 4, iPhone 3G and 3GS, the 4th generation iPod touch, the 2nd and 3rd generation iPod touch, and the 5th generation iPod nano.

The aluminum Apple Remote was released last year and sells for $19 on its own.
post #2 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Universal Dock

Apple quietly updated its Universal Dock bundle to include a USB power adapter and the aluminum Apple Remote, raising the price from $49 to $59.

Previously, the Universal Dock came with the older plastic remote. As before, the Universal Dock also comes with 5 dock adapters and a USB cable. The dock adapters now fit the iPhone 4, iPhone 3G and 3GS, the 4th generation iPod touch, the 2nd and 3rd generation iPod touch, and the 5th generation iPod nano.

The aluminum Apple Remote was released last year and sells for $19 on its own.



I don't know a single person who uses this accessory on a regular basis.
post #3 of 21
Spiral menus? Neat. It would be cool if you could rotate the menu with a twisting gesture. I get the feeling that Apple wants to do away with the Mac menu bar, although NeXTStep didn't have a static menu bar at the top of the screen.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

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post #4 of 21
Patent war!!
post #5 of 21
Looks like iMovie or perhaps Final Cut Pro in the patent?

http://www.macnn.com/articles/10/12/...se.and.finger/

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

A recently granted patent application shows Apple is investigating radial pop-up menus. Also, Apple has added an aluminum remote and USB power adapter to its Universal Dock product.

Radial menus

Peter Warner, who is a "Designer at Apple," according to his LinkedIn profile, is listed as the inventor for a patent granted Dec. 2 that details the concept of radial menus as an alternative to drop-down menus, MacNN reports. The patent expands on a previous patent for the use of "spiraling" menus.

According to the application, radial menus could prove more efficient than the current "move to menubar to select standard features" model used in current major operating systems. The patent provides for both a static menu order and a prioritized order, where higher priority items would be displayed more prominently.

Both mouse and touchscreen input methods are covered in the patent. The invention incorporates the use of angled mouse or trackpad gestures to indicate selection of a particular menu item. Radial menus would also allow for circular gestures when navigating menus on a touchscreen.

Drawings include possible implementations for both Mac OS X and iOS.





Universal Dock

Apple quietly updated its Universal Dock bundle to include a USB power adapter and the aluminum Apple Remote, raising the price from $49 to $59.

Previously, the Universal Dock came with the older plastic remote. As before, the Universal Dock also comes with 5 dock adapters and a USB cable. The dock adapters now fit the iPhone 4, iPhone 3G and 3GS, the 4th generation iPod touch, the 2nd and 3rd generation iPod touch, and the 5th generation iPod nano.

The aluminum Apple Remote was released last year and sells for $19 on its own.
post #6 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by alma View Post

I don't know a single person who uses this accessory on a regular basis.

I know. I have one and really struggle to use it with my iMac.

I originally bought it to use with my original ATV.

Which I sold with the white plastic remote..

I guess I was in the Apple store with a twenty dollar bi in my pocket and just had to have it!

Best
post #7 of 21
the dock that came [bundled] with my original iphone is my nightstand dock for my iphone4.
took a bit of work to pry the plastic top cover off [lots of glue], but now it's about as universal as you can get.
post #8 of 21
Too late Android already has radial menus.
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"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
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post #9 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by dasanman69 View Post

Too late Android already has radial menus.

Radial menus have been around in CAD systems for years. I doubt that Apple's patent is strong enough to stop others from doing something similar, but good enough for them to be able to do it without infringing on others.
post #10 of 21
Didn't a lot of games have radial menus like this? For example, it seems like every Ratchet and Clank had something similar. Front Row on a Mac was like that, but in a 3D-like tilted plane view.
post #11 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

Radial menus have been around in CAD systems for years. I doubt that Apple's patent is strong enough to stop others from doing something similar, but good enough for them to be able to do it without infringing on others.

Radial menus on a multi-touch phone, though? Probably not.

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post #12 of 21
Looks like the menu system in the SNES game Secret Of Mana.
http://www.rpgamer.com/games/sd/som/screens/som22.jpg
post #13 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Radial menus on a multi-touch phone, though? Probably not.

Then, that should fail the non-obviousness test of a patent. It seems like a pretty obvious combination of taking a desktop concept and applying it to a phone (and it wouldn't require multi-touch.)
post #14 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post

Didn't a lot of games have radial menus like this? For example, it seems like every Ratchet and Clank had something similar. Front Row on a Mac was like that, but in a 3D-like tilted plane view.

I'm not familiar with the games you mention. But this looks to me to be different from front row. My impression from the drawings is that once the menu is activated, you could tap/click on any one of the menu items that pops up, whereas in front row you could see the other items, but could not immediately activate them (you had to rotate through until you got to the item you wanted). Of course I could be mistaken.

In any event, I do think it would be nice if a better alternative to the menu bar could be developed. I don't really think that the Ribbon from MS constitutes a better alternative, at least not in Word or Excel (I find I actually kind of do like it in Outlook, though, which surprised me).
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

I'm not familiar with the games you mention. But this looks to me to be different from front row. My impression from the drawings is that once the menu is activated, you could tap/click on any one of the menu items that pops up, whereas in front row you could see the other items, but could not immediately activate them (you had to rotate through until you got to the item you wanted). Of course I could be mistaken.

In any event, I do think it would be nice if a better alternative to the menu bar could be developed. I don't really think that the Ribbon from MS constitutes a better alternative, at least not in Word or Excel (I find I actually kind of do like it in Outlook, though, which surprised me).

The Ribbon is horrible. It couldn't be more crap. I was forced to use it on monday when I started a new job. I spent half a day customising the menu bar in Word just so I had all the tools I use a single click away. Making buttons enormous does not make them more descriptive!!!
post #16 of 21
The spiral menu gives me a headache, and it doesn't really seem to be an improvement. Just sayin'.
post #17 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dunks View Post

The Ribbon is horrible. It couldn't be more crap. I was forced to use it on monday when I started a new job. I spent half a day customising the menu bar in Word just so I had all the tools I use a single click away. Making buttons enormous does not make them more descriptive!!!

I agree with your last statement .... but as your boss, you are fired.
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post #18 of 21
The title of this thread is totally bogus. The Universal Dock has not been "updated". They changed the remote and they added a power adapter. Big whoop. The dock itself is the exact same piece of crap it has been since it was downgraded in 2007.

When I first read the headline, I thought, "Finally! Apple replaced the video out functionality the Universal Dock used to have!"

In 2007, Apple removed the S-video out port from the Universal Dock, added the remote, and raised the price from $39 to $49. In order to get any video out from the dock, you suddenly had to spend $49 (!!!!) more for a video cable, meaning the difference in price if you wanted video out went from $39 (plus any random s-video cable you had lying around) to $98!!!! ($49 plus the extortionate $49 for the iPod Dock Connector-to-AV cable). What a crock!

No wonder people stopped buying them.

I still have one of the old ones and I use it every day to connect either my Classic or my Touch to my living-room hi-fi. I also use it for convenient charging.
post #19 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Suddenly Newton View Post

Spiral menus? Neat. It would be cool if you could rotate the menu with a twisting gesture. I get the feeling that Apple wants to do away with the Mac menu bar, although NeXTStep didn't have a static menu bar at the top of the screen.

Menus need to work better on Macs with multiple displays attached.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by macFanDave View Post

Then, that should fail the non-obviousness test of a patent. It seems like a pretty obvious combination of taking a desktop concept and applying it to a phone (and it wouldn't require multi-touch.)

Presumably that would apply to most of the features of the iPhone, yet Apple secured many patents that would fail your so-called "stress test".

If it was so obvious, it would have been done already.

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post #21 of 21
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