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Electronic device and method for selectively applying message actions

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Electronic device and method for selectively applying message actions


An electronic device and method are provided for automatically identifying a message in a message thread to which a selected single-message action is to be applied, without requiring display of individual messages in a separate listing. Each single-message action is associated with one or more message attributes. When a single-message action is selected, a message in the thread having matching attributes is selected. While the selected message may be the most recent message in the thread having those attributes, but may not be the most recently received or most recently sent message in the thread.
Related Terms: Elective Listing Electronic Device

Browse recent Research In Motion Limited patents - Waterloo, CA
USPTO Applicaton #: #20130024780 - Class: 715752 (USPTO) - 01/24/13 - 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

Inventors: Darsono Sutedja, Katerina Doudkine

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20130024780, Electronic device and method for selectively applying message actions.

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TECHNICAL FIELD

This application claims priority to Canadian Patent Application No. ______ filed on 18 Jul. 2011 having attorney docket number 40575-CA-PAT, the entirety of said application is incorporated herein by reference.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present disclosure relates generally to an electronic device and method for applying actions to electronic messages.

BACKGROUND

A messaging client executing on an electronic device may be configured to display messages to the user in a listing ordered according to a message attribute such as message timestamp, recipient or sender, or subject line. Messages may also be logically or physically grouped in threads (conversations), which are collections of messages having a common thread identifier value, subject line, or other message attribute. The messaging client may thus display an ordered listing of message threads rather than individual messages. This view provides for an efficient display of information to the user, since each entry displayed in the list may represent a group of both sent and received messages. When the user wishes to take an action applicable to a single message, such as replying to a message or forwarding a message, one of the message threads listed in the display must be selected and a further view of the messages contained within that thread displayed so that the user may select the appropriate message to which the action is to be applied.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In drawings which illustrate by way of example only embodiments of the present application, in which like reference numerals describe similar items throughout the various figures,

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an embodiment of an electronic device for use with the embodiments described herein.

FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram illustrating interoperation of message data stores, collection objects, and a messaging client executing on the electronic device of FIG. 1.

FIG. 3 is an example of a graphical user interface displaying a message thread listing view on an electronic device.

FIG. 4 is an example of a graphical user interface displaying an individual message list view on an electronic device.

FIG. 5 is a variant of the graphical user interface of FIG. 3 with graphical user interface elements for message actions.

FIG. 6 is an example of a graphical user interface for a message composition screen for a reply message.

FIG. 7 is a flowchart illustrating a process for selecting a message for application of a reply action.

FIG. 8 is a flowchart illustrating a process for selecting a message for application of a reply-all or reply to all action.

FIG. 9 is a flowchart illustrating a process for selecting a message for application of a forward action.

FIG. 10 is a flowchart illustrating a process for selecting a draft message for application of a send or edit action.

FIG. 11 is an example of a graphical user interface for displaying a message thread listing including a message thread with a draft message.

FIG. 12 is a flowchart illustrating a process for selecting a message for application of a single-message action.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

The embodiments described herein provide a communication device, method and system for applying a selected single-message action applicable to a single message, such as a “reply” or “forward” action, to a single message in a message thread without requiring prior user selection of that single message.

There is thus provided a method, implementable at an electronic device, for applying a single-message action to an email message, the method comprising: displaying a listing of message threads; while said listing of message threads is displayed, detecting selection of one of the message threads, said message thread comprising a plurality of email messages and detecting selection of a single-message action to be applied to a single email message, the selected single-message action being associated with at least one message attribute; identifying one of the plurality of email messages comprising said at least one message attribute; and applying the selected single-message action to said identified email message.

In one aspect, identifying the one of the plurality of email messages comprises identifying a most recent one of the plurality of email messages comprising said at least one message attribute.

In another aspect, the at least one message attribute comprises the message being marked opened.

In still another aspect, selection of one of the message threads comprises selection of a graphical user interface element displayed at the electronic device, the graphical user interface element corresponding to said one of the message threads, and said selection of the single-message action is carried out while said graphical user interface element is selected.

In a further aspect, applying the selected single-message action may comprise displaying a message composition interface comprising content from the identified email message.

In still a further aspect, the selected single-message action comprises a reply action, and the at least one message attribute comprises the message being a received message. Alternatively or additionally, the selected single-message action comprises a forward action, and the at least one message attribute comprises the message being a received message; or the selected single-message action comprises a reply to all action, and the at least one message attribute comprises the message being a received message and the message having a plurality of recipients; or the selected single-message action comprises a send action, and the at least one message attribute comprises the message being a draft message having at least one designated recipient; or the selected single-message action comprises a flag action, and the at least one message attribute comprises either the message being a received message, the message having an attachment, or the message both being a received message and having an attachment. In yet another aspect, the identified email message need not be, and is not a most recent message in the selected message thread.

The embodiments herein also provide an electronic device for handling messages and for applying single-message actions to an email message, the electronic device comprising: a display interface; and a processor in communication with the display interface, the processor being configured to: display a listing of message threads via the display interface; while said listing of message threads is displayed, detect selection of one of the message threads, said message thread comprising a plurality of email messages, and detect selection of a single-message action to be applied to a single email message, the selected single-message action being associated with at least one message attribute; identify one of the plurality of email messages comprising said at least one message attribute; and apply the selected single-message action to said identified email message.

In one aspect of the above electronic device, the processor is configured to identify the one of the plurality of email messages by identifying a most recent one of the plurality of email messages comprising said at least one message attribute.

In another aspect, the at least one message attribute comprises the message being marked opened.

In yet another aspect, selection of one of the message threads comprises selection of a graphical user interface element displayed at the electronic device, the graphical user interface element corresponding to said one of the message threads, and said selection of the single-message action is carried out while said graphical user interface element is selected.

In still another aspect, the processor is configured to apply the selected single-message action by displaying via the display interface a message composition interface comprising content from the identified email message.

In yet another aspect, the selected single-message action comprises a reply action, and the at least one message attribute comprises the message being a received message; alternatively or additionally, the selected single-message action comprises a forward action, and the at least one message attribute comprises the message being a received message; or the selected single-message action comprises a reply to all action, and the at least one message attribute comprises the message being a received message and the message having a plurality of recipients; or the at least one message attribute comprises the message being a draft message having at least one designated recipient; or the selected single-message action comprises a flag action, and the at least one message attribute comprises either the message being a received message, the message having an attachment, or the message both being a received message and having an attachment.

In a further aspect, the identified email message need not be, and is not a most recent message in the selected message thread.

There is also provided an electronic device program product comprising an electronic device-readable medium, which may be a non-transitory or physical medium, storing code which, when executed by an electronic device, causes said electronic device to carry out the methods described herein.

These embodiments will be described and illustrated primarily in relation to electronic devices, which include wireless communication devices, communicating over wireless networks and public networks. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, however, that this description is not intended to limit the scope of the described embodiments to implementation on these particular systems or to wireless devices. For example, the methods and systems described herein may be applied to any appropriate electronic device adapted to communicate with another electronic or communication device using a direct or network communication interface. The electronic device may be adapted to communicate over a fixed or wireless connection, and may be portable or wirelessly enabled or not, provided with voice communication capabilities or not, and additionally or alternatively may be adapted to process data and carry out operations on data in response to user commands for any number of purposes, including productivity and entertainment. Thus, the embodiments described herein may be implemented on electronic devices adapted for communication or messaging, including without limitation cellular phones, smartphones, wireless organizers, personal digital assistants, desktop computers, terminals, laptops, tablets, handheld wireless communication devices, notebook computers, portable gaming devices, Internet-connected televisions, set-top boxes, digital picture frames, in-vehicle entertainment systems, entertainment devices such as MP3 or video players, and the like. Unless expressly stated, an electronic device may include any such device or any device capable of sending and receiving, or implementing a messaging client for use in sending and receiving, messages to one or more recipients. As contemplated herein, the electronic device may have an integrated display interface, or may comprise a display interface configured to output data to be rendered or painted to an external display unit such as an external monitor or panel, television screen, projector, or virtual retinal display (via a data port or transmitter, such as a Bluetooth® transceiver, USB port, HDMI port, DVI port, and the like). References herein to a “display” or “display interface” are intended to encompass both integrated and external display units as well as data ports and transmitters used to output signals to external display units.

The embodiments herein will also be described and illustrated primarily in relation to email messages, such as those constructed and implemented in accordance with known Internet messaging standards including Internet Message Format RFC 5322 and RFC 2822, published by the Internet Engineering Task Force, as well as their predecessor, successor, and companion standards. However, it will also be appreciated by those skilled in the art that these embodiments are not intended to be exclusive of other message types or applications, and extend to other types and formats of messages, whether text or multimedia-based. Generally these message formats are adaptable to support the creation of “child” messages based on a “parent” message. A non-limiting example of this is the generation of a reply or forward message (the child message) from an earlier message (the parent message). The child message may comprise an express or implied reference to the parent message, for example by including a value in the child message header expressly referring to a message identifier for the parent, or by including in the child message body content at least an excerpt of the message body content of the parent. Each message may thus be expressly or impliedly associated with another specific message. The definition of such reply or forward messages using various identifiers or techniques will be known to those skilled in the art.

The association of individual messages in this manner may be contrasted to those message protocols in which the messages are delivered between senders and recipients in a single session or stream (“conversation”), in which later messages are not associated with a specific earlier message in the stream, but are generally only associated with the stream itself. However, the person skilled in the art will appreciate that any appropriate message format may be employed, provided it is adaptable for use with the embodiments described herein. Examples of other message formats include private messages, SMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multimedia Messaging Service), VVM (Visual Voicemail) and the like. The message formats to which these embodiments are applicable need not be restricted to those standardized formats. The formatting and transmission of all such messages, storage and indexing of such messages, and the implementation of suitable messaging infrastructures to support such communications, will also be known to those skilled in the art.

These embodiments are also generally described as being implemented in conjunction with messaging client applications that are configured to display messages both individually and collectively in a display of message “threads”, as discussed below. The messaging client need not be limited to a single-purpose or single-message format application; for example, messages may be generated and transmitted using a social networking client application, or a collaborative or groupware client application.

FIG. 1 is a block diagram of an example embodiment of an electronic device 100 that may be used with the embodiments described herein. The electronic device 100 includes a number of components such as a main processor 102 that controls the overall operation of the electronic device 100. It should be understood that the components described in FIG. 1 are optional and that an electronic device used with various embodiments described herein may include or omit components described in relation to FIG. 1.

Communication functions, including data and voice communications, are performed through one or more communication subsystems 104, 105, and/or 122 in communication with the processor 102. Data received by the electronic device 100 can be decompressed and decrypted by decoder 103, operating according to any suitable decompression techniques, and encryption/decryption techniques according to one or more various encryption or compression standards known to persons of skill in the art.

If equipped with a communication subsystem 104, this subsystem 104 receives data from and sends data to wireless network 200. In this embodiment of the electronic device 100, the communication subsystem 104 is configured in accordance with one or more wireless communications standards. New wireless communications standards are still being defined, but it is believed that they will have similarities to the network behaviour described herein, and it will also be understood by persons skilled in the art that the embodiments described herein are intended to use any other suitable standards that are developed in the future. The wireless link connecting the communication subsystem 104 with the wireless network 200 represents one or more different Radio Frequency (RF) channels, operating according to defined protocols specified for the wireless communications standard, and optionally other network communications.

The electronic device 100 may be provided with other communication subsystems, such as a wireless LAN (WLAN) communication subsystem 105 or a short-range and/or near-field communications subsystem 122 also shown in FIG. 1. The WLAN communication subsystem 105 may operate in accordance with a known network protocol such as one or more of the 802.11™ family of standards developed or maintained by IEEE. The communications subsystems 105 and 122 provide for communication between the electronic device 100 and different systems or devices without the use of the wireless network 200, over varying distances that may be less than the distance over which the communication subsystem 104 can communicate with the wireless network 200. The subsystem 122 can include an infrared device and associated circuits and/or other components for short-range or near-field communication.

It should be understood that any of the communication subsystems 104, 105, 122 may optionally be included in the electronic device 100. Alternatively, a communication subsystem comprised in a dongle or other peripheral device (not shown) may be connected to the electronic device 100, either wirelessly or by a fixed connection such as a USB port, to provide the electronic device 100 with access to a network. If provided onboard the electronic device 100, the communication subsystems 104, 105 and 122 may be separate from, or integrated with, each other.

The main processor 102 also interacts with additional subsystems, if present, such as a Random Access Memory (RAM) 106, a flash memory 108, a display 110, other data and memory access interfaces such as an auxiliary input/output (I/O) subsystem 112 or a data port 114, a keyboard 116, a speaker 118, a microphone 120, the communications 104, 105, 122 and other device subsystems 124. The communication device may also be provided with an accelerometer 111, which may be used to detect gravity- or motion-induced forces and their direction. Detection of such forces applied to the electronic device 100 may be processed to determine a response of the electronic device 100, such as an orientation of a graphical user interface displayed on the display assembly 110 in response to a determination of the current orientation of the electronic device 100. The electronic device 100 may be a battery-powered device including a battery interface 132 for receiving one or more rechargeable batteries 130.

In embodiments where a display is integrated with the electronic device, the electronic device 100 may comprise a touchscreen-based device, in which the display interface 110 is a touchscreen interface that provides both a display for communicating information and presenting graphical user interfaces, as well as an input subsystem for detecting user input that may be converted to instructions for execution by the device 100. The touchscreen display interface 110 in such embodiments can be the principal user interface provided on the electronic device 100, although in some embodiments, additional buttons, variously shown in the figures or a trackpad, or other input means may be provided. If a touchscreen display interface 110 is provided, then other user input means such as the keyboard 116 may or may not be present. The controller 216 and/or the processor 102 detects touches by any suitable contact member on the touch-sensitive display 110.

A visualization processor or module 125 is included in the electronic device 100. The visualization module 125 analyzes and processes data for visualization on the display 110. Data originally prepared for visualization on a large-screen display may require additional processing prior to visualization on a small-screen display. This additional processing is accomplished by the visualization module 125. As will be appreciated by those of skill in the art, the visualization module can be implemented in hardware, software, or a combination thereof, and can comprise a dedicated image processor and associated circuitry, or can be implemented within main processor 102.

The electronic device 100 also includes an operating system 134 and software components 136 to 152. The operating system 134 and the software components 136 to 152 that are executed by the main processor 102 are typically stored in a persistent store such as the flash memory 108, which can alternatively be a read-only memory (ROM) or similar storage element (not shown). Those skilled in the art will appreciate that portions of the operating system 134 and the software components 140 to 152, such as specific device applications, or parts thereof, can be temporarily loaded into a volatile store such as the RAM 106. Select other modules 152 may also be included, such as those described herein. Other software components can also be included, as is well known to those skilled in the art.

A subset of software applications 136 that control basic device operations may be installed on the electronic device 100 during its manufacture. Other software applications include a messaging client 140 that can be any suitable software program that allows a user of the electronic device 100 to send and receive electronic messages. Other types of software applications can also be installed on the electronic device 100, such as feed or content readers 150, web browsers 152, other user agents 154, and other modules 156. These software applications may be supplied by the electronic device manufacturer or operating system provider, or may be third party applications. The additional applications can be loaded onto the electronic device 100 through at least one of the communications subsystems 104, 105, 122, the auxiliary I/O subsystem 112, the data port 114, or any other suitable device subsystem 124. This flexibility in application installation increases the functionality of the electronic device 100 and can provide enhanced on-device functions, communication-related functions, or both.

Various alternatives exist for the messaging client 140 as is well known to those skilled in the art. Messages that have been sent or received by the user using the electronic device 100 are typically stored in the flash memory 108 of the electronic device 100 or some other suitable storage element in the electronic device 100. In at least some embodiments, some of the sent and received messages can be stored remotely from the device 100 such as in a data store of an associated host system with which the electronic device 100 communicates, while header information (e.g., sender and recipient identities, subject line if applicable, message identifier or number, and optionally additional metadata such as message size or message content such as an excerpt of the message body) is provided to the device 100 for display via the messaging client 140. In some embodiments message stores are hosted in a remote location, accessible from the electronic device 100 over a network connection using either the messaging client 140 or another user agent 154, or the web browser 152. The electronic device 100 thus provides a user interface to the message stores and messaging services that are hosted remotely.

In use, a received signal such as message or information about a message will be processed by the receiving communication subsystem 104, 105, 122 and input to the main processor 102. The main processor 102 will then process the received signal for output to the display 110 or alternatively to the auxiliary I/O subsystem 112. A subscriber can also compose data items, such as messages, using the keyboard 116 in conjunction with the display interface 110 and possibly the auxiliary I/O subsystem 112 (or, in the case of a touchscreen electronic device 100, using only the display interface 110). The auxiliary subsystem 112 can include devices such as: a touchscreen, mouse, track ball, infrared fingerprint detector, or a roller wheel with dynamic button pressing capability. The keyboard 116 may be an alphanumeric keyboard and/or telephone-type keypad. However, other types of keyboards can also be used. It will be appreciated that if the display 110 is a touchscreen, then the electronic may still comprise one or more other auxiliary subsystem 112 devices. A composed item can be transmitted over the wireless network 200 or other network connection using an appropriate communication subsystem.



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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20130024780 A1
Publish Date
01/24/2013
Document #
13185635
File Date
07/19/2011
USPTO Class
715752
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
/
Drawings
7


Elective
Listing
Electronic Device


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