Apple Investigating Scrollable Menus & Toolbars For Mac OS X & iOS Devices

It looks as Apple has shown interest in a new graphical user interface element that would allow devices running either Mac OS X or iOS to consolidate toolbars & menus & cut down on screen clutter.

The plans were revealed last week in a patent application filled last week in Europe under the name “Scrollable Menus and Toolbars.” The document describes a system that would allow the user to select an area and then scroll through menu items.

The document says that users don’t want toolbars & menus for typical commands, such as opening & saving a file. Apple claims to have found a solution to this problem by displaying all of the typical commands without taking up a significant amount of space.

Patent 1

Source = AppleInsider

The application describes a toolbar with a list of icons on a screen. Hovering over or touching the space would bring up a new window that would indicate to the user what option they are about to select.

Patent 2

Source = AppleInsider

Users are able to choose other selections by scrolling either left and right or up and down. A number of icons would be displayed on the screen, with the one to be selected highlighted, in order to stand out.

Patent 32

Source = AppleInsider

Apple’s proposed invention gives a number of methods to display these icons, including scrollable menus that would show the selected icon in the center and half of an icon to either the left or the right. Another method would have the icons scroll in a circular rotation, like on a wheel.

Do you think this is a good idea? Were the tool-bars & menus bugging you by taking up too much space? Are you wanting this idea? Tell us in the comments!


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