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Apple's 'shake to print' concept would add custom printing options to iOS devices

post #1 of 30
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A pair of new patent filings reveal a concept from Apple that would allow users to select custom settings for printing by moving or interacting with an iPhone or iPad in unique ways.

Patent


The filings discovered by AppleInsider were published this week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. They are entitled Systems and Methods for Defining Print Settings Using Device Movements, and Systems and Methods for Defining Print Settings Using an Input Interface.

In one example provided in the applications, a user could shake their iPhone back and forth to enable a print settings mode. In another implementation, a user could shake their iPad to cancel a print job.

Apple already has a system-wide "Shake to Undo" feature in iOS that uses a device's built-in accelerometer. The company also offers "Shake to Shuffle" when playing music.

With Apple's new concept, users could also change settings ? such as print orientation ? by rotating or moving an iOS device. For example, viewing a photo in portrait mode could then send the picture to a printer with the same layout.

Patent


The patent application also goes beyond motion and orientation of the device, and presents new ways that users could interact with an iPad to select printer settings. One illustration shows how users could select a range of pages to print from a document, while a template selector would show a user how their content would appear on various paper sizes.

When viewing multiple pages of a document at once on a touchscreen device, a user could also use their finger to draw across the pages and signify an order in which the pages should be printed.

The applications, made public this week, were first filed with the USPTO in March of 2011. The proposed inventions are credited to Howard A. Miller, David Gelphman, and Richard Blanchard Jr.
post #2 of 30
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Edited by MacRulez - 1/22/13 at 7:04am
post #3 of 30

This feels like one of those Galaxy S3 gesture gimmicks. 

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post #4 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by thataveragejoe View Post

This feels like one of those Galaxy S3 gesture gimmicks. 

Yeah, I kind of question whether many people print often enough to remember how to shake their iPad. Even shaking an iPhone is kind of a pain.

post #5 of 30
It does strike me as a bit gimmicky.
post #6 of 30

I can't see this being implemented, as shake already means undo.

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post #7 of 30
This is a stupid idea for anyone, let alone Apple unless "print" is covering up for something else.
post #8 of 30

Geez, I sure hope this never sees the light of day.  People who are printing from iPads are not doing it right. 

post #9 of 30
Lame, on the highest order. Would be hilarious if Samsung ran with this, based on the patent filing.

What's next- "Drop To Break"?
post #10 of 30

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

 

Yeah, bad pun and even worse idea, I can't see me ever using that feature.

post #11 of 30

Why???

 

At least pick a really fun gesture for porn, 'kay???

post #12 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacRulez View Post

Will they bring that to the desktop? That would not only be equally intuitive, but one heckuva lotta fun with a Mac Pro. 1wink.gif

I recall someone suggesting that slapping the edge of the screen from the side could be set to switch workspaces or switch apps.
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Yeah, I kind of question whether many people print often enough to remember how to shake their iPad. Even shaking an iPhone is kind of a pain.

I turn off that "shake to..." shit. It makes sense for shuffle or other randomizing actions. It's a stretch outside of that. Set something down too abruptly translates to a shake.
post #13 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

I can't see this being implemented, as shake already means undo.

 

Shake to undo is awful anyway.  Try typing an article on the bus on an iPad sometime.  Infuriating. 

post #14 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Yeah, I kind of question whether many people print often enough to remember how to shake their iPad. Even shaking an iPhone is kind of a pain.

 

It can also cause problems with the phone.  There have been a few reports of iPhone 5's with a loose battery so that when you shake it you can feel the heavy battery sliding back and forth.  This is usually fixed by adding a bit more glue, but still.  

 

Shaking your iPhone/iPad is not really something to encourage IMO.  

post #15 of 30
How about just tell Siri to "print this"?
post #16 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by allenbf View Post

Shake it like a Polaroid picture.

 

Yeah, bad pun and even worse idea, I can't see me ever using that feature.

 

Hey ya!

 

Why not make it shake left-right for print settings, up-down for general settings, and twist along the different axes to switch apps, call up Siri, and hard-reset the device? Intuitive for everyone!

post #17 of 30

How about giving iOS devices the native ability to Print to PDF? That alone would make a LOT of users happy.

post #18 of 30
Sorry, but a patent for every single functionality that involves a motion or "Shake"? This is ridiculous. Doesn't Apple already own a patent on Shake to Undo or something? Why do they need another one for Print?
post #19 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by paxman View Post

Yeah, I kind of question whether many people print often enough to remember how to shake their iPad. Even shaking an iPhone is kind of a pain.

That was my first thought. It's annoying and people look at you funny when you have several things to Undo.

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post #20 of 30
Because a print button is already such a difficult to understand concept. /s

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post #21 of 30
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Originally Posted by holophile View Post

How about giving iOS devices the native ability to Print to PDF? That alone would make a LOT of users happy.

I dislike the whole concept of saving a file as PDF and being required to go to Print to do it. I'd rather it just be general Save option.

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post #22 of 30
Looks rather useless in this form. Might be a preemptive patent designed to limit Android?

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post #23 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


I dislike the whole concept of saving a file as PDF and being required to go to Print to do it. I'd rather it just be general Save option.

 

Saving "documents" has always been something that the developer had to support. (Pages, Numbers, Garageband...) After all, they know their data and the file types they would need.

 

But I'm not talking about a general workflow as much as the ability to (Air)Print to File when the mobile device is not within range of a printer.

 

And I certainly would rather have a cross-platform file format like PDF over some confounding Safari webarchive when I'm trying to save a hotel/flight confirmation on a business trip.

post #24 of 30

My Droid did that two years ago....  There was an App for it...  

post #25 of 30
No, please not another shaking feature. I already hate the shake to undo. Try typing on a bumpy train ride. Or when you really need it, shake the hell out of your phone and nothing happens.
post #26 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by holophile View Post

How about giving iOS devices the native ability to Print to PDF? That alone would make a LOT of users happy.

 

This doesn't make much sense. It can't really be a system wide feature when iOS doesn't have a file system and all the apps are sandboxed.  

It should really be on the application level and it's my understanding that most apps that work with documents can already do this (Pages for example).  

post #27 of 30

I find the shake gestures on iOS devices annoying. Activates when you don't want it, doesn't activate when you do, and a general PITA.

post #28 of 30
Shaking is a useless gesture for me.

1. Shaking to undo is finnicky and makes you look crazy to observers or it looks like your phone is broken and you're shaking it out of frustration, which doesn't look good either.

2. Shake to Shuffle - is garbage. When my car dock worked I'd occasionally hit a big bump and my music would go to shuffle and play that little noise. I thought I was nuts until I figured out that was enabled by default. Dislike.

Shaking = bad idea.
Print to PDF on iOS = good idea.
post #29 of 30
Quote:
Originally Posted by JeffDM View Post


I recall someone suggesting that slapping the edge of the screen from the side could be set to switch workspaces or switch apps.
I turn off that "shake to..." shit. It makes sense for shuffle or other randomizing actions. It's a stretch outside of that. Set something down too abruptly translates to a shake.

 

Shake to shuffle in a car on the pothole filled road I used to drive along to get to work, didn't work too well, I had to turn it off.

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post #30 of 30
Gimmicky, agreed. A little weird too.

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