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Multi-screen email client

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20120290946 patent thumbnailZoom

Multi-screen email client


An email client having multiple screens that may be displayed in different corresponding ones of a plurality of different display portions of a handheld electronic device. The screens of the email client may be related by way of a dependency relationship and/or may provide for control between the various screens. In one embodiment, the email client includes a folder management screen, a message listing screen, a message detail screen, and an attachment screen. Additionally, the email client may be responsive to received gesture inputs to navigate with respect to the screens and/or perform actions with respect to one or more elements (e.g., messages) of the various screens.

Browse recent Imerj LLC patents - Broomfield, CO, US
Inventors: Rodney Schrock, Sanjiv Sirpal, Alexander de Paz, Aaron VonderHaar, Martin Gimpl, Salvador Soto, Stanley Kurdziel, Paul Webber, Paul Reeves
USPTO Applicaton #: #20120290946 - Class: 715752 (USPTO) - 11/15/12 - Class 715 
Data Processing: Presentation Processing Of Document, Operator Interface Processing, And Screen Saver Display Processing > Operator Interface (e.g., Graphical User Interface) >Computer Supported Collaborative Work Between Plural Users >Interactive Email



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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20120290946, Multi-screen email client.

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CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/458,150 filed Nov. 17, 2010 entitled “DUAL SCREEN EMAIL CLIENT”, the entirety of which is incorporated by reference herein.

BACKGROUND

As the computing and communication functions of handheld computing devices become more powerful, the user interface and display elements of such devices have evolved by attempting to adapt user interface regimes developed for personal computers for use with handheld computing devices. However, the attempt to adapt prior user interface regimes has been met with various hurdles.

For instance, many current handheld computing devices make use of a physical keypad for user interface. Many different implementations of physical keypads exist that vary in orientation and relationship to the device screen. However, in every case the physical keypads take up a certain percentage of the physical space of the device and increase the weight of the device. In addition to the disadvantages of size and weight, physical keypads are not configurable in the same manner as a touch screen based user interface. While certain limited forms of physical keypads currently have, on the keys themselves, configurable displays, such as eInk or OLED surfaces, to allow for reconfiguration of the keys, even in these cases, the physical layout of keys is not modifiable. Rather, only the values associated with the physical keys on the keypad may be changed.

Other methods may provide increased user configurability of physical keypads. These methods may include stickers and/or labels that can be added to keys to reference modified functions or plastic overlays on top of the keypad denoting different functional suites. For instance, the ZBoard keyboard, meant for laptop or desktop computer use, incorporates a dual layered physical keyboard which separates the keys and their layout from the connections which send signals to the machine. As such, different physical keyboard inserts for different applications can be inserted into a holder allowing full configurability such that the orientation and layout of the keys in addition to their denotation of function is configurable. This model could be extended to handheld computing devices; however, the rate at which such a modular keypad can change functions is much slower and more labor intensive than with a touch screen user interface. Furthermore, for each potential functional suite, an additional physical key layout must be carried by the user, greatly increasing the overall physical size and weight of such implementations. One advantage of a physical keypad for handheld computing devices is that the user input space is extended beyond the user display space such that none of the keys themselves, the housing of the keys, a user's fingers, or a pointing device obscure any screen space during user interface activities.

A substantial number of handheld computing devices make use of a small touch screen display to deliver display information to the user and to receive inputs from the user interface commands. In this case, while the configurability of the device may be greatly increased and a wide variety of user interface options may be available to the user, this flexibility comes at a price. Namely, such arrangements require shared screen space between the display and the user interface. While this issue is shared with other types of touch screen display/user interface technology, the relatively small form factor of handheld computing devices results in a tension between the displayed graphics and area provided for receiving inputs. For instance, the small display further constrains the display space, which may increase the difficulty of interpreting actions or results while a keypad or other user interface scheme is laid overtop or to the side of the applications in use such that the application is squeezed into an even smaller portion of the display. Thus a single display touch screen solution, which solves the problem of flexibility of the user interface may create an even more substantial set of problems of obfuscation of the display, visual clutter, and an overall conflict of action and attention between the user interface and the display.

Single display touch screen devices thus benefit from user interface flexibility, but are crippled by their limited screen space such that when users are entering information into the device through the display, the ability to interpret information in the display can be severely hampered. This problem is exacerbated in several key situations when complex interaction between display and interface is required, such as when manipulating layers on maps, playing a game, or modifying data received from a scientific application, etc. This conflict between user interface and screen space severely limits the degree to which the touch based user interface may be used in an intuitive manner.

SUMMARY

A first aspect includes a multi-screen email client executable on a handheld electronic device having at least a first display portion and a second display portion. The email client includes a first user interface screen portion displayable on the first display portion and a second user interface screen portion displayable on the second display portion. The first user interface screen portion and the second user interface screen portion are related by way of a dependency relationship therebetween and are operable to provide functionality related to the email client.

A number of feature refinements and additional features are applicable to the first aspect. These feature refinements and additional features may be used individually or in any combination. As such, each of the following features that will be discussed may be, but are not required to be, used with any other feature or combination of features of the first aspect.

For example, the first display portion and the second display portion may be distinct display devices of the handheld device.

In one embodiment, one of the first and second user interface screen portions may be operable to at least partially control the execution of another of the first and second user interface screen portions. For example, one of the first and second user interface screen portions may include an input screen that is operable to receive inputs from a user for control of another of the first and second user interface screen portions. The input screen may be a keyboard screen.

In one embodiment, the first and second user interface screen portions may include different respective ones of a folder management screen, a message listing screen, a message detail screen, and an attachment screen. The folder management screen, the message listing screen, the message detail screen, or the attachment screen may define a hierarchical application sequence. Accordingly, the hierarchical application sequence may be navigable by a user to display at least a different one of the screens of the hierarchical application sequence on at least one of the first or second display portions in response to a user input. Additionally, the first user interface screen portion may include an indicator regarding a portion of the first user interface screen portion to which the second user interface screen portion corresponds.

In one embodiment, at least one of the first and second user interface screen portions may be a message listing screen, and a plurality of messages appearing in the message listing screen may be sortable by at least one of a sender, a subject matter, or a time of receipt. In another embodiment, at least one of the first and second user interface screen portions may be a message listing screen, and a plurality of messages appearing in the message listing screen may be selectable in order to perform an action on the selected messages collectively. In still another embodiment, at least one of the first and second user interface screen portions may be a message detail screen, and an element of the message detail screen may be responsive to a user input to initiate an action with respect to the element. The action may be indicated by way of a change in appearance of the element of the message detail screen. For example, the element may be an attachment bar and the action may include downloading an attached file corresponding to the attachment bar such that the appearance of the attachment bar may correspond to a status of the downloading of the attached file. In yet another embodiment, at least one of the first and second user interface screen portions may be a message detail screen, and the message detail screen may be selectively modifiable to invert the color of text and a background of a message displayed in the message detail screen. Further still, at least one of the first and second user interface screen portions may be a message detail screen, and the message detail screen may be selectively viewable in a full screen mode such that at least one element of the message detail screen is removed when displayed in the full screen mode.

In another embodiment, an indication may be presentable to user upon loss of connectivity with an email server with which an email account is associated.

A second aspect includes a method of operation of a multi-screen email client. The method includes executing the multi-screen email client on a handheld electronic device having at least a first display portion and a second display portion and displaying a first user interface screen portion on the first display portion and a second user interface screen on the second display portion. The first user interface screen portion and the second user interface screen portion are related by way of a dependency relationship therebetween. The method further includes receiving inputs from a user with respect to the first user interface screen portion on the first display portion and with respect to the second user interface screen portion on the second display portion and controlling the execution of the email client in response to the receiving.

A number of feature refinements and additional features are applicable to the second aspect. These feature refinements and additional features may be used individually or in any combination. As such, each of the following features that will be discussed may be, but are not required to be, used with any other feature or combination of features of the second aspect.

For example, in one embodiment, the first display portion and the second display portion may be distinct display devices of the handheld device.

In one embodiment, the method may further include affecting the execution of one of the first and second user interface screen portions in response to receiving inputs from a user with respect to another of the first and second user interface portions. One of the first and second user interface screen portions may includes an input screen operable to receive inputs from a user for affecting at least a portion of another of the first and second user interface screen portions. For example, the input screen may be a keyboard screen.

In various embodiments, the first and second user interface screen portion may be different respective ones of a folder management screen, a message listing screen, a message detail screen, or an attachment screen. The folder management screen, the message listing screen, the message detail screen, and the attachment screen may define a hierarchical application sequence. The method may further include navigating the hierarchical application sequence to display at least a different one of the screens of the hierarchical screen progression on at least one of the first or second display portions in response to the receiving of a user input. The method may also include indicating to a user a portion of the first user interface screen portion to which the second user interface screen portion corresponds.

In one embodiment, at least one of the first and second user interface screen portions may be the message listing screen, and a plurality of messages appearing in the message listing screen may be sortable by at least one of a sender, a subject matter, or a time of receipt. In another embodiment, at least one of the first and second user interface screen portions may be the message detail screen, and the method may further include initiating an action with respect to an element of the message detail screen in response to the receiving a user input and changing the appearance of the element of the message detail screen in response to the initiating. For example, the element may be an attachment bar and the action includes downloading an attached file corresponding to the attachment bar, and the appearance of the attachment bar may correspond to a status of the downloading of the attached file.

The method may further include receiving a gesture input from the user and, in response to receiving the gesture input, performing an action with respect to a message. The gesture input may include a long press gesture received with respect to a message displayed in at least one of a message listing screen or a message details screen, and the action may includes displaying a contextual menu related to the message. The gesture input may include a swipe gesture received with respect to a message displayed in at least one of a message listing screen or a message detail screen, and the action may include moving the message to a location in the email client different than the current location of the message. For example, the moving may include movement of the message to a destination folder. The destination folder may be at least partially determined by the nature of the gesture input received.

A third aspect includes a handheld electronic device operable to execute a multi-screen email client. The device includes a plurality of user interface screen portions, wherein the plurality of user interface screen portion include at least one of a message listing screen or a message detail screen and a plurality of display portions operable to display different respective ones of the plurality of user interface screens of the multi-screen email client thereon. The device also includes at least one input device operable to receive a gesture input from a user, wherein the plurality of user interface screen portions are responsive to received gesture inputs at the at least one input device to control the operation of the email client. Accordingly, upon receipt of a gesture from the user at the input device, the email client is operable to perform an action with respect to a message displayed in the message listing screen or the message detail screen to modify the message.

A number of feature refinements and additional features are applicable to the third aspect. These feature refinements and additional features may be used individually or in any combination. As such, each of the following features that will be discussed may be, but are not required to be, used with any other feature or combination of features of the third aspect.

For example, the gesture may include a long press gesture received with respect to a message displayed in at least one of the message listing screen or the message detail screen, and the action may include display of a contextual menu related to the message. Additionally or alternatively, the gesture may include a swipe gesture received with respect to a message displayed in at least one of the message listing screen or the message detail screen, and the action may include moving the message in the message listing screen or the message details screen within the email client. The moving may include movement of the message to a destination folder. For example, the destination folder may be at least partially determined by the nature of the gesture input received. In another embodiment, the gesture input may comprise a drag-and-drop gesture to move a message from a source folder to a destination folder.

A fourth aspect includes a handheld electronic device that includes a memory operable to store a plurality of programs and a plurality of files. At least a portion of the files are executable by one or more of the plurality of programs. The device further includes a processor operable to run the plurality of programs to execute the at least a portion of the files. The device includes at least one file in a non-executable file format not executable or capable of being opened by any of the plurality of programs. Furthermore, the device includes a file transfer module operable to transmit and receive the at least one non-executable file.

A number of feature refinements and additional features are applicable to the fourth aspect. These feature refinements and additional features may be used individually or in any combination. As such, each of the following features that will be discussed may be, but are not required to be, used with any other feature or combination of features of the fourth aspect.

For example, in one embodiment, at least one of the plurality of programs may include an email client operable to transmit email messages from and receive email messages at the device. Accordingly, at least one of the email messages may include a file attachment, and the attached file may be the at least one non-executable file.

A fifth aspect includes a method of operation of a handheld electronic device. The method includes storing a plurality of programs in a memory of the handheld electronic device and executing one or more of the plurality of programs on a microprocessor in operative communication with the memory. The method further includes receiving a non-executable file at the handheld electronic device, wherein the non-executable file is in a file format that is not associated with any of the plurality of programs. Furthermore, the method includes storing the file in the memory of the handheld device.

A number of feature refinements and additional features are applicable to the fifth aspect. These feature refinements and additional features may be used individually or in any combination. As such, each of the following features that will be discussed may be, but are not required to be, used with any other feature or combination of features of the fifth aspect.

For example, in one embodiment, at least one of the plurality of programs may include an email client operable to transmit email messages from and receive email messages at the device. Accordingly, at least one of the email messages may includes a file attachment, and wherein the attached file is the non-executable file.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a schematic view of an embodiment of a handheld computing device.

FIGS. 2A-D are graphical representations of an embodiment of a handheld computing device in various instances of operation.

FIGS. 3A-K are graphical representations of an embodiment of a handheld computing device provided in different positions, orientations, and instances of operation.

FIG. 4 includes graphical representations of various gesture inputs for controlling a handheld computing device.

FIG. 5 is a graphical representation of the logical positions of screens executing on displays of an embodiment of a handheld computing device.

FIGS. 6A and 6B are schematic views of embodiments of a handheld computing device provided with touch sensitive devices.

FIG. 7 is a graphical representation of an embodiment of a gesture input.

FIG. 8 is a screen shot of an embodiment of a folder management screen.

FIGS. 9-11 are screen shots of embodiments of screens for editing a folder listing.

FIG. 12 is a screen shot of an embodiment of a message listing screen.

FIGS. 13 and 14 are screen shots of embodiments for sorting a message listing on the message listing screen shown in FIG. 11.

FIG. 15 is a screen shot of an embodiment of a message listing screen showing a position indicator.

FIG. 16 is a screen shot of an embodiment of a message listing screen for editing the messages in the message listing.

FIG. 17 is a screen shot of an embodiment of a message detail screen.

FIG. 18 is a screen shot of an embodiment of a message detail screen executing in full screen mode.

FIG. 19 is a screen shot of an embodiment of a message detail screen for a message including attachments.

FIG. 20 is a screen shot of an embodiment of a menu relating to a message displayable in response to a gesture input.

FIGS. 21 and 22 are screen shots including a representation of the response of an embodiment of an email client to a gesture input received for controlling the operation of an e-mail client.

FIGS. 23 and 24 depict an embodiment of a dual screen display executing an email client in dual screen mode on a handheld electronic device.

FIG. 25 is a representation of a change in the display of the screens of an email client in response to a user input.

FIG. 26 is a screen shot of an embodiment of a folder management screen executing in dual screen mode.

FIG. 27 is a screen shot of an embodiment of a message detail screen executing in full screen mode with respect to a plurality of displays.

FIG. 28 is a screen shot of an embodiment of an email composition screen executing in dual screen mode.

FIG. 29 is a screen shot of an embodiment of an email client executing in dual screen mode with nonsymmetrical sized screen portions.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The present disclosure is generally related to an email client executable on a handheld electronic device that includes a plurality of display portions. Accordingly, a plurality of screens of the email client may be simultaneously displayed in the various display portions of the handheld electronic device. Additionally, gesture inputs for interaction with the email client may be received. The interface and controls of the email client may be particularly suited for control of devices that have one or more displays capable of displaying graphical user interfaces (GUIs) on a handheld portable electronic device. The following disclosure may, in various embodiments, be applied to other computing devices capable of displaying and responding to a GUI (e.g., laptop computers, tablet computers, desktop computers, touch screen monitors, etc.) and is not intended to be limited to handheld computing devices unless otherwise explicitly specified.

FIG. 1 depicts an embodiment of a handheld computing device 100. The handheld computing device 100 may include a first display 102 and a second display 104. Additionally, while two displays (102, 104) may be shown and described below with regard to the functionality of various embodiments of handheld computing devices, a handheld computing device may be provided that includes more than two displays. In any regard, the first display 102 and the second display 104 may be independently controllable. The displays may be operative to display a displayed image or “screen”. As used herein, the term “display” refers to device hardware, whereas “screen” refers to the displayed image produced on the display. In this regard, a display is a physical hardware device that is operable to render a screen. A screen may encompass a majority of the display. For instance, a screen may occupy substantially all of the display area except for areas dedicated to other functions (e.g., menu bars, status bars, an annunciator bar etc.) A screen may be associated with an application, an operating system, or other software program executing on the handheld computing device 100. For instance, application screens or desktop screens may be displayed. An application may have various kinds of screens that are capable of being manipulated as will be described further below. In an embodiment, each display may have a resolution of 480 pixels by 800 pixels, although higher and lower resolution displays may also be provided.

In some instances, a screen may include interactive features (e.g., buttons, text fields, toggle fields, etc.) capable of manipulation by way of a user input. The user input may be received by various input devices (e.g., a physical keyboard, a roller ball, directional keys, a touch sensitive device, etc.). In some instances, a screen may simply include graphics and have no ability to receive an input by a user. In other instances, graphics features and input features may both be provided by a screen. As such, the one or more displays of a handheld computing device, the screens displayed on the one or more displays, and various user input devices may comprise a GUI that allows a user to exploit functionality of the handheld computing device.

The handheld computing device 100 may be configurable between a first position and a second position. In the first position, a single display (e.g., the first display 102 or the second display 104) may be visible from the perspective of a user. Both displays 102, 104 may be exposed on an exterior of the handheld device 100 when in the first position, but the displays 102, 104 may be arranged in a non-adjacent manner such that both displays 102, 104 are not concurrently visible from the perspective of a user (e.g., one display may be visible from the front of the device 100 and the other display may be visible from the back of the device 100).

The handheld computing device 100 may also be provided in the second position such that the displays 102, 104 may be concurrently viewable from the perspective of a user (e.g., the displays 102, 104 may be positioned adjacent to one another). The displays 102, 104 may be displayed in the second position such that the displays 102, 104 are arranged end-to-end or side-by-side. Additionally, the displays 102, 104 may be arranged in a portrait orientation or a landscape orientation with respect to a user. As will be discussed further below, a portrait orientation describes an arrangement of the handheld computing device, wherein the longer dimension of the display of the handheld computing device is vertically oriented (e.g., with respect to gravity or the perspective of a user). A landscape orientation describes an arrangement wherein the shorter dimension of the display of the handheld computing device is vertically oriented (e.g., with respect to gravity or the perspective of a user). Furthermore, the longer dimension and shorter dimension may refer to each display individually or the combined viewing area of the one or more displays of the device. Thus, when the individual displays are arranged in a portrait orientation, the overall display area (i.e., the collective display area of the individual displays) may be arranged in a landscape orientation, and vice versa. Additionally, the displays and screens may be in different respective orientations. For instance, when the displays are in a landscape orientation, one or more screens may be rendered in a portrait orientation on the displays or vice versa.

The handheld computing device 100 may be manipulated between the first position (i.e., a single display visible from a user\'s perspective) and the second position (i.e., at least two displays concurrently visible from the user\'s perspective) in a variety of manners. For instance, the device 100 may include a slider mechanism such that the first and second displays 102, 104 are disposable adjacent to one another in a parallel fashion in a second position and slideable to the first position where only a single display is viewable and the other display is obscured by the viewable display.

Alternatively, the device 100 may be arranged in a clam shell type arrangement wherein a hinge is provided between the first display 102 and the second display 104 such that the displays 102, 104 are concurrently visible by a user when in the second position (i.e., an open position). The displays 102, 104 may be provided on an interior clam shell portion or an exterior clam shell portion of the device 100. In this regard, both displays 102, 104 may be visible from the front and the back of the device, respectively, when the device is in the first position (i.e., the closed position). When the device 100 is in the open position, the displays 102, 104 may be provided adjacent and parallel to one another. Alternative arrangements of the handheld computing device 100 are contemplated wherein different arrangements and/or relative locations of the displays may be provided when in the first and second position.

In addition, the first display 102 and the second display 104 may be provided as entirely separate devices. In this regard, a user may manipulate the displays 102, 104 such that they may be positioned adjacent to one another (e.g., side-by-side or end-to-end). The displays 102, 104 may be in operative communication when adjacently positioned such that the displays 102, 104 may operate in the manner provided in greater detail below when adjacently positioned (e.g., via physical contacts, wireless communications, etc.). A retention member (not shown) may be provided to retain the separate displays 102, 104 in an adjacent position. For instance, the retention member may include coordinating magnets, mechanical clips or fasteners, elastic members, etc.

While the foregoing has referenced two displays 102 and 104, alternate embodiments of a handheld device may include more than two displays. In this regard, the two or more displays may behave in a manner in accordance with the foregoing wherein only a single display is viewable by a user in a first position and multiple displays (i.e., more than two displays) are viewable in a second position. Additionally, in one embodiment, the two displays 102 and 104 may comprise separate portions of a unitary display. As such, the first display 102 may be a first portion of the unitary display and the second display 104 may be a second portion of the unitary display. For instance, the handheld computing device 100 (e.g., having a first and second display 102 and 104) may be operatively connected to the unitary display (e.g., via a connector or a dock portion of the unitary display) such that the first display 102 and the second display 104 of the handheld computing device 100 are emulated on the unitary display. As such, the unitary display may have first and second portions corresponding to and acting in a similar manner to the first and second display 102 and 104 of the handheld computing device 100 described below.

The handheld computing device 100 may further include one or more input devices that may be used to receive user inputs. These input devices may be operative to receive gesture inputs from a user, and, accordingly, may be referred to as gesture sensors. A number of different types of gesture sensors may be provided. Some examples include, but are not limited to traditional input devices (keypads, trackballs, etc.), touch sensitive devices, optical sensors (e.g., a camera or the like), etc. The discussion contained herein may reference the use of touch sensitive devices to receive gesture inputs. However, the use of touch sensitive devices is not intended to limit the means for receiving gesture inputs to touch sensitive devices alone and is provided for illustrative purposes only. Accordingly, any of the foregoing means for receiving a gesture input may be used to produce the functionality disclosed below with regard to gesture inputs received at touch sensitive devices.

In this regard, the handheld computing device 100 may include at least a first touch sensor 106. Furthermore, the handheld computing device may include a second touch sensor 108. The first touch sensor 106 and/or the second touch sensor 108 may be touchpad devices, touch screen devices, or other appropriate touch sensitive devices. Examples include capacitive touch sensitive panels, resistive touch sensitive panels, or devices employing other touch sensitive technologies. The first touch sensor 106 and/or second touch sensor 108 may be used in conjunction with a portion of a user\'s body (e.g., finger, thumb, hand, etc.), a stylus, or other acceptable touch sensitive interface mechanisms known in the art. Furthermore, the first touch sensor 106 and/or the second touch sensor 108 may be multi-touch devices capable of sensing multiple touches simultaneously.

The first touch sensor 106 may correspond to the first display 102 and the second touch sensor 108 may correspond to the second display 104. In one embodiment of the handheld computing device 100, the first display 102 and the first touch sensor 106 comprise a first touch screen display 110. In this regard, the first touch sensor 106 may be transparent or translucent and positioned with respect to the first display 102 such that a corresponding touch received at the first touch sensor 106 may be correlated to the first display 102 (e.g., to interact with a screen rendered on the first display 102). Similarly, the second display 104 and the second touch sensor 108 may comprise a second touch screen display 112. In this regard, the second touch sensor 108 may be positioned with respect to the second display 104 such that a touch received at the second touch sensor 108 may be correlated to the second display 104 (e.g., to interact with a screen rendered on the second display 104). Alternatively, the first touch sensor 106 and/or the second touch sensor 108 may be provided separately from the displays 102, 104. Furthermore, in an alternate embodiment, only a single touch sensor may be provided that allows for inputs to control both the first display 102 and the second display 104. The single touch sensor may also be provided separately or integrally with the displays.

In this regard, the first and second touch sensors 106, 108 may have the substantially same footprint on the handheld computing device 100 as the displays 102, 104. Alternatively, the touch sensors 106, 108 may have a footprint including less of the entirety of the displays 102, 104. Further still, the touch sensors 106, 108 may include a footprint that extends beyond the displays 102, 104 such that at least a portion of the touch sensors 106, 108 are provided in non-overlapping relation with respect to the displays 102, 104. As discussed further below, the touch sensors 106, 108 may alternatively be provided in complete non-overlapping relation such that the footprint of the touch sensors 106, 108 is completely different than the footprint of the displays 102, 104.

For example, with reference to FIGS. 6A and 6B, various potential arrangements are depicted for the first display 102, the second display 104, and touch sensors 106′, 106″, and 108″. In FIG. 6A, the first 102 and second display 104 are arranged side-by-side such that a crease 196 separates the displays. In this regard, the first display 102 and second display 104 may be arranged in a clam-shell type arrangement such that the crease 196 includes a hinge that allows for pivotal movement between the first displays 102 and second display 104 as discussed above. A touch sensor 106′ may span the width of both the first display 102 and the second display 104. In this regard, the touch sensor 106′ may span the crease 196 without interruption. Alternatively, as shown in FIG. 6B, separate touch sensors 106″ and 108″ may be provided on either side of the crease 196. In this regard, each of the touch sensors 106″ and 108″ may span the width of each of the first display 102 and second display 104, respectively.

In any of the arrangements shown in FIGS. 6A and 6B, the displays (102, 104) may comprise touch screen displays that may be used in conjunction with touch sensitive portions that are provided separately from the touch screen displays. Thus, displays 102 and 104 may both comprise touch screen displays and be provided in addition to touch sensitive devices 106′, 106″, and 108″. Accordingly, a combination of touch screen displays (e.g., 110, 112) and off display touch sensors (e.g., 106′, 106″, 108″) may be provided for a single device. Touch inputs may be received at both a touch screen display (110, 112) and off display touch sensor (106′, 106″, 108″). In this regard, gestures received at an off screen display sensor may have a different functionality than the same gesture received at a touch screen display. Also, a touch sensitive device may be divided into a plurality of zones. The same gesture received in different zones may have different functionality. For instance, a percentage (e.g., 10%, 25%, etc.) of the touch sensitive device at the top or bottom of the display may be defined as a separate zone than the remainder of the touch sensitive device. Thus, a gesture received in this zone may have a different functionality than a gesture received in the remainder of the touch sensitive device.

Returning to FIG. 1, the handheld computing device 100 may further include a processor 116. The processor 116 may be in operative communication with a data bus 114. The processor 116 may generally be operative to control the functionality of the handheld device 100. For instance, the processor 116 may execute an operating system and be operative to execute applications. The processor 116 may be in communication with one or more additional components 120-134 of the handheld computing device 100 as will be described below. For instance, the processor 116 may be in direct communication with one more of the additional components 120-134 or may communicate with the one or more additional components via the data bus 114. Furthermore, while the discussion below may describe the additional components 120-134 being in operative communication with the data bus 114, in other embodiments any of the additional components 120-134 may be in direct operative communication with any of the other additional components 120-134. Furthermore, the processor 116 may be operative to independently control the first display 102 and the second display 104 and may be operative to receive input from the first touch sensor 106 and the second touch sensor 108. The processor 116 may comprise one or more different processors. For example, the processor 116 may comprise one or more application specific integrated circuits (ASICs), one or more field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs), one or more general purpose processors operative to execute machine readable code, or a combination of the foregoing.

The handheld computing device may include a battery 118 operative to provide power to the various devices and components of the handheld computing device 100. In this regard, the handheld computing device 100 may be portable.

The handheld computing device 100 may further include a memory module 120 in operative communication with the data bus 114. The memory module 120 may be operative to store data (e.g., application data). For instance, the memory 120 may store machine readable code executable by the processor 116 to execute various functionalities of the device 100.

Additionally, a communications module 122 may be in operative communication with one or more components via the data bus 114. The communications module 122 may be operative to communicate over a cellular network, a Wi-Fi connection, a hardwired connection or other appropriate means of wired or wireless communication. The handheld computing device 100 may also include an antenna 126. The antenna 126 may be in operative communication with the communications module 122 to provide wireless capability to the communications module 122. Accordingly, the handheld computing device 100 may have telephony capability (i.e., the handheld computing device 100 may be a smartphone device).

An audio module 124 may also be provided in operative communication with the data bus 114. The audio module 124 may include a microphone and/or speakers. In this regard, the audio module 124 may be able to capture audio or produce sounds. Furthermore, the device 100 may include a camera module 128. The camera module 128 may be in operative communication with other components of the handheld computing device 100 to facilitate the capture and storage of images or video.

Additionally, the handheld computing device 100 may include an I/O module 130. The I/O module 130 may provide input and output features for the handheld computing device 100 such that the handheld computing device 100 may be connected via a connector or other device in order to provide syncing or other communications between the handheld computing device 100 and another device (e.g., a peripheral device, another computing device etc.).

The handheld computing device 100 may further include an accelerometer module 132. The accelerometer module 132 may be able to monitor the orientation of the handheld computing device 100 with respect to gravity. In this regard, the accelerometer module 132 may be operable to determine whether the handheld computing device 100 is substantially in a portrait orientation or landscape orientation. The accelerometer module 132 may further provide other control functionality by monitoring the orientation and/or movement of the handheld computing device 100.

The handheld computing device 100 may also include one or more hardware buttons 134. The hardware buttons 134 may be used to control various features of the handheld computing device 100. The hardware buttons 134 may have fixed functionality or may be contextual such that the specific function of the buttons changes during operation of the handheld computing device 100. Examples of such hardware buttons may include, but are not limited to, volume control, a home screen button, an end button, a send button, a menu button, etc.

With further reference to FIGS. 2A-D, various screens of an embodiment of a device are shown. While multiple screens may be shown, only one or a subset of the multiple screens may be shown on the displays of the device at any one moment. In this regard, a screen may be described in a relative location to the displays or other screens (e.g., to the left of a display, to the right of a display, under another screen, above another screen, etc.). These relationships may be logically established such that no physical display reflects the relative position. For instance, a screen may be moved off a display to the left. While the screen is no longer displayed on the display, the screen may have a virtual or logical position to the left of the display from which it was moved. This logical position may be recognized by a user and embodied in values describing the screen (e.g., values stored in memory correspond to the screen). Thus, when referencing screens in relative locations to other screens, the relationships may be embodied in logic and not physically reflected in the display of the device.

FIGS. 2A-D may display a number of different screens that may be displayed at various instances of operation of a handheld device and are not intended to be presented in any particular order or arrangement. Single screen applications and multi-screen applications may be provided. A single screen application describes an application that is capable of producing a screen that may occupy only a single display at a time. A multi-screen application describes an application that is capable of producing one or more screens that may simultaneously occupy multiple displays. Additionally, a multi-screen application may occupy a single display. In this regard, a multi-screen application may have a single screen mode and a multi-screen mode.

A desktop sequence 136 is displayed in FIG. 2A. The desktop sequence 136 may include a number of individual desktop screens 138a-138f. Thus, each desktop screen 138 may occupy substantially the entirety of a single display (e.g., the first display 102 or second display 104 of FIG. 1). The desktop screens 138a-138f may be in a predetermined order such that the desktop screens 138a-138f appear consecutively and the order in which the desktop screens appear may not be reordered. However, the desktop screens 138a-138f may be sequentially navigated (e.g., in response to a user input). That is, one or more of the desktop screens 138a-138f may be sequentially displayed on a handheld device as controlled by a user input.

Additionally, FIG. 2B displays a hierarchal application sequence 140 of a multi-screen application. The hierarchal application sequence 140 may include a root screen 142, one or more node screens 144, and a leaf screen 146. The root screen 142 may be a top level view of the hierarchical application sequence 140 such that there is no parent screen corresponding to the root screen 142. The root screen 142 may be a parent to a node screen 144. One or more node screens 144 may be provided that are related as parent/children. A node screen may also serve as a parent to a leaf screen 146. By leaf screen 146, it is meant that the leaf screen 146 has no corresponding node screen for which the leaf screen 146 is a parent. As such, the leaf screen does not have any children node screens 144. FIG. 2C depicts various single screen applications 148a, 148b, and 148c arranged sequentially. Each of these single screen applications may correspond to a different executing application. For instance, in FIG. 2C Application 4, Application 5, and Application 6 may be executing on the device and correspond to each single screen 148a, 148b, and 148c, respectively.

FIG. 2D also includes an empty view 166. The empty view 166 may be used during transitions of a screen (e.g., movement of screen between a first display and a second display). It is not necessary that the empty view 166 be interpretable by the user as an effective GUI screen. The empty view 166 merely communicates to the user that an action regarding the screen (e.g., the movement of the screen with respect to one or more displays) is occurring. An application displaying an empty view 166 need not be able to rest, wait, process or interpret input. The empty view 166 may display a screen, or a representation thereof, as it is being moved in proportion to the amount of the screen that has been moved from a first display to a second display as will be discussed in greater detail below. In this regard, the empty view 166 may be used to relate information regarding the position of a screen during a transition of the screen (e.g., in response to gesture). While shown in FIG. 2D as a grayed screen, an empty view 166 is only intended to refer to a screen not capable of receiving an input (e.g., a screen in transition). In this regard, the display of an empty view 166 may include an animation or the like showing the response of a screen as it is being moved or changed (e.g., modified into or out of a landscape mode).

FIGS. 3A-K depict various arrangements and statuses of displays 102, 104 of a device that are possible in various embodiments of a handheld computing device according to the present disclosure. For instance, when in the first (e.g., closed) position, a closed front display 168 may be visible as shown in FIG. 3A. The closed front display 168 may correspond with the first display 102 or the second display 104. The closed front 168 as displayed may be occupied by a desktop screen D1 138 as shown in FIG. 3A. Alternatively, an application with a single screen or a multi-screen application in single screen mode may be displayed in the closed front 168. A closed back display 170 may be viewable from an opposite side of the display when the device is in a closed position, as shown in FIG. 3B. The closed back 170 may display a different desktop screen or application screen than the closed front 168 or may simply display an empty view 166 (e.g., displaying an icon or other graphic) and lack functionality as an interface.

FIG. 3C depicts a closed device in a landscape orientation 172a. In one embodiment, a landscape mode (i.e., wherein the display is adjusted to display a screen 148 in a landscape orientation) may not be enabled as shown in FIG. 3C. Alternatively, the landscape mode may be enabled such that the screen 148 is modified when the device is sensed in a landscape orientation 172b, such that the screen 148 is rendered in a landscape orientation as shown at FIG. 3D.

The device may further be provided in a second (e.g., open) position 174 as shown in FIG. 3E. In the open position 174, at least two displays 102, 104 are arranged such that the two displays 102, 104 are both visible from the vantage point of a user. The two displays 102, 104 may be arranged in a side-by-side fashion when in the open position 174. Thus, each of the two displays 102, 104 may display separate screens. For instance, the displays 102, 104 may each display a separate desktop screen 138a, 138b, respectively. While the individual displays 102 and 104 are in a portrait orientation as shown in FIG. 3E, it may be appreciated that the full display area (comprising both the first display 102 and the second display 104) may be arranged in a landscape orientation. Thus, whether the device as depicted in FIG. 3E is in a landscape or portrait orientation may depend on whether the displays are being used individually or collectively. If used collectively as a unitary display, the device may be in a landscape orientation, whereas if the displays are used separately, the orientation shown in FIG. 3E may be referred to as a portrait orientation.

Additionally, when the device is in an open position 174 as shown in FIG. 3F, a similar dependency with regard to the use of the screens as a unitary display or separate displays may also affect whether the device is in a portrait orientation or landscape orientation. As can be appreciated, each individual screen is in a landscape orientation, such that if the displays are used separately, the device may be in a landscape orientation. If used as a unitary display, the device may be in a portrait orientation. In any regard, as shown in FIG. 3F, a single screen 148 may occupy a first display 102 and the second display 104 may display a desktop screen 138. The single screen 148 may be displayed in a landscape or portrait mode. Alternatively, a device in an open orientation 172 may display a multi-screen GUI 156 that may occupy both displays 102, 104 in a portrait orientation as shown in FIG. 3G such that the individual displays are in a landscape orientation.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20120290946 A1
Publish Date
11/15/2012
Document #
13299203
File Date
11/17/2011
USPTO Class
715752
Other USPTO Classes
715761, 709217, 709206
International Class
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Drawings
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Data Processing: Presentation Processing Of Document, Operator Interface Processing, And Screen Saver Display Processing   Operator Interface (e.g., Graphical User Interface)   Computer Supported Collaborative Work Between Plural Users   Interactive Email