Technology news of late have been dominated by patent wars – wars between Microsoft and Motorola and between Apple and Samsung. We don’t know who will win yet between Apple and Samsung as it seems Microsoft is going soft on its patent feud with Motorola. The Apple and Samsung war, described as ‘a tussle over rectangles’ is the hottest we have seen in the recent times – it is so serious most of us now know just how important patents are. That said, Google is building up its patent portfolio through acquisitions and new innovations, one of the latest and most innovative being a new Radial styled menu system.
Android uses the same menu system as most other mobile operating system – includes iOS. The new menu system, it appears, is completely different. It features a radial menu where a user can scroll to different menu items such as applications and pages by arch gesture. In the last two years, Apple has filed two patents on such an idea. We know how rigorous Apple is when it comes to suing other companies for patent infringements; we do not know what fireworks are in store for us when this menu system is finally implemented in the Android devices.
The new menu system recognizes different gestures. For instance, a horizontal swap could be programmed to show a pie-like menu with a variety of options. From here, the user can move the selection finger to choose a particular menu item. Depending on the direction the finger is moved, the menu could pop up on the left, right or lower side of the screen.
According to the patent images, there seems to be a lot of technical details in this menu system. For instance, there is an object viewer feature where when the screen is touched, it can bring up a visual object that may include video or picture images. These images may represent documents, files, actions or shortcuts.
There has not been a single word from Android concerning this menu style though, but it is likely that it will be featured in when Google releases or announces the next Android OS, Android 5.0 next year.
Some people argue that Google has not worked on this menu style because they wanted to avoid patent infringement lawsuits from Apple, which could be true. We will just have to wait and see if Google will work on it, or say something about it anytime soon. You can read all about the menu system on Patent Bolt.