The patent, filed in July 2007, is entitled Extensible filtered lists for mobile device user interface and discusses how mobile phones are so full of features that they have become extremely complicated to use. A problem that is “exacerbated by the generally limited user interfaces” on modern phones.
Interestingly some of the screenshots provided in the patent appear to show a user interface very similar to the way the iPhone handles images and music albums as well as the famous visual voicemail application.
Speculation that Microsoft is intending to launch a Zune phone appears to be unfounded so this patent is most likely a future incarnation of the popular Windows Mobile operating system.
Briefly described, the provided subject matter concerns an improved user interface for mobile devices such as smartphones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and the like. Selected data and
services provided by multiple software applications can be accessed through a group or list of items.
Each group or list can include multiple items that provide access to data or tasks from multiple applications. For example, a list centered around a user’s current day can include items corresponding to meetings scheduled for that day using a calendar application, email received on that day through an email application, and a weather forecast for the day provided by a weather service application.
In addition, a shortcut display can be provided to facilitate navigation of a horizontal list, such as the set of lists. A shortcut display can reorganize elements of the horizontal list as a vertical list, which typically allows additional items to be displayed.
Selection of an item or element of the shortcut list triggers a return to the parent, horizontal list. On return, the parent list is updated such that the item selected within the shortcut list has focus in the
parent list. The shortcut list allows users to navigate rapidly through the parent list.