Cool Things: Apple Patent Shows Spaces-Style Application Switching for iPad

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Patently Apple has found an Apple patent that indicates Apple may be planning to bring Spaces to the iPad. Spaces is used on Mac laptops and desktops as a workspace-based way of giving frequently used apps their own place and rapidly switching between them.

Originally filed in the third quarter of 2009 and entitled “Device, method, and graphical user interface for manipulating workspace views”, the patent application describes methods for solving cumbersome and inefficient moving of one or more windows between workspaces, or seeing several workspace views simultaneously. Read on for more juicy details…

One embodiment specifically describes this feature on a multitouch-equipped tablet device. According to PatentlyApple, the Spaces-like capability could be invoked with a two-finger pinching gesture in a specific location. Alternatively, a five-finger pinching or tapping gesture could be used to bring a Spaces-like workspace switcher.

The multitouch gestures described above sound very much like what is already in place in the development build of iOS 4.3 for the iPad, with its additional multitasking gestures. It just doesn’t yet have an ability to assign specific apps to specific spaces, as we have on a Mac.

I love using Spaces on my MacBook Pro to assign individual desktop spaces to my 6-8 most frequently used apps. I like the idea of seeing it on the iPad if it can be implemented well. I imagine the iPad would need more RAM to handle having apps run more actively in the background if something like Spaces was added to its features.

Source: Patently Apple

Patrick Jordan

Founder and Editor in Chief of iPad Insight. Husband, father to a lovely daughter, Commander of the Armies of the North, dog lover (especially Labs), Austinite, former Londoner, IT consultant, huge sports nut, iPad and mobile tech blogger, mobile apps junkie.

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