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Foreground/background assortment of hidden windows

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Foreground/background assortment of hidden windows


Graphical navigation of foreground and background applications running on a mobile computing device across multiple active user environments, even when graphics information for background applications is not maintained by a mobile operating system of the mobile computing device. A last graphical representation of an application screen may be captured as the application state is transitioned from the foreground state to the background state. The last graphical representation may be associated with a position in an application activity stack representing foreground and background mobile operating system applications. The navigation techniques may be used in a computing environment with multiple active user environments. A first active user environment may be associated with the mobile operating system. A second active user environment may be associated with the mobile operating system or a desktop operating system running concurrently with the mobile operating system on the mobile computing device.
Related Terms: Graphics Mobile Computing Operating System Windows Concurrent Desktop Foreground Graph Mobile Operating System Navigation Computing Device Mobile Computing Device

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USPTO Applicaton #: #20130024812 - Class: 715810 (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) >On-screen Workspace Or Object >Menu Or Selectable Iconic Array (e.g., Palette)

Inventors: Brian Reeves, Paul E. Reeves, Wuke Liu

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The Patent Description & Claims data below is from USPTO Patent Application 20130024812, Foreground/background assortment of hidden windows.

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BACKGROUND

1. Field

This Application relates generally to the field of mobile computing environments, and more particularly to supporting application navigation in a mobile computing environment with multiple active user environments.

2. Relevant Background

Mobile communications devices are becoming ubiquitous in today\'s society. For example, as of the end of 2008, 90 percent of Americans had a mobile wireless device. Among the fastest growing mobile communications devices are smartphones, that is, mobile phones built on top of a mobile computing platform. Mobile providers have launched hundreds of new smartphones in the last three years based upon several different computing platforms (e.g., Apple iPhone, Android, BlackBerry, Palm, Windows Mobile, and the like). In the U.S., smartphone penetration reached almost 23% by the middle of 2010, and over 35% in some age-groups. In Europe, the smartphone market grew by 41% from 2009 to 2010, with over 60 million smartphone subscribers as of July 2010 in the five largest European countries alone.

Smartphone computing platforms typically include a mobile operating system (“OS”) running on a mobile processor. While mobile processors and mobile OSs have increased the capabilities of these devices, smartphones have not tended to replace personal computer (“PC”) environments (i.e., Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, and the like) such as desktop or notebook computers at least because of the limited user experience provided. In particular, smartphones typically have different processing resources, user interface device(s), peripheral devices, and applications. For example, mobile processors may have a different processor architecture than PC processors that emphasizes features like low-power operation and communications capabilities over raw processing and/or graphics performance. In addition, smartphones tend to have smaller amounts of other hardware resources such as memory (e.g., SRAM, DRAM, etc.) and storage (e.g., hard disk, SSD, etc.) resources. Other considerations typically include a smaller display size that limits the amount of information that can be presented through a mobile OS graphical user interface (“GUI”) and different user input devices. Use interface input device(s) for smartphones typically include a small thumb-style QWERTY keyboard, touch-screen display, click-wheel, and/or scroll-wheel. In contrast, laptop, notebook, and desktop computers that use a desktop OS typically have a full-size keyboard, pointing device(s), and/or a larger screen area. As a result, mobile OSs typically have a different architecture where some capabilities and features such as communications, lower power consumption, touch-screen capability, and the like, are emphasized over traditionally emphasized PC capabilities such as processing speed, graphics processing, and application multi-tasking

Because of the architecture differences, applications or “Apps” designed for mobile OSs tend to be designed for tasks and activities that are typical of a mobile computing experience (e.g., communications, gaming, navigation, and the like). For example, over a third of all Android App downloads have been targeted towards the gaming and entertainment categories while less than 20% of downloads fall under the tools and productivity categories. In addition, many applications that are common on PC platforms are either not available for mobile OSs or are available only with a limited features set.

For example, many smartphones run Google\'s Android operating system. Android runs only applications that are specifically developed to run within a Java-based virtual machine runtime environment. In addition, while Android is based on a modified Linux kernel, it uses different standard C libraries, system managers, and services than Linux. Accordingly, applications written for Linux do not run on Android without modification or porting. Similarly, Apple\'s iPhone uses the iOS mobile operating system. Again, while iOS is derived from Mac OS X, applications developed for OS X do not run on iOS. Therefore, while many applications are available for mobile OSs such as Android and iOS, many other common applications for desktop operating systems such as Linux and Mac OS X are either not available on the mobile platforms or have limited functionality. As such, these mobile OSs provide

Accordingly, smartphones are typically suited for a limited set of user experiences and provide applications designed primarily for the mobile environment. In particular, smartphones do not provide a suitable desktop user experience, nor do they run most common desktop applications. For some tasks such as typing or editing documents, the user interface components typically found on a smartphones tend to be more difficult to use than a full-size keyboard and large display that may be typically found on a PC platform.

As a result, many users carry and use multiple computing devices including a smartphone, laptop, and/or tablet computer. In this instance, each device has its own CPU, memory, file storage, and operating system. Connectivity and file sharing between smartphones and other computing devices involves linking one device (e.g., smartphone, running a mobile OS) to a second, wholly disparate device (e.g., notebook, desktop, or tablet running a desktop OS), through a wireless or wired connection. Information is shared across devices by synchronizing data between applications running separately on each device. This process, typically called “synching,” is cumbersome and generally requires active management by the user.

SUMMARY

Embodiments of the present invention are directed to providing the mobile computing experience of a smartphone and the appropriate user experience of a secondary terminal environment in a single mobile computing device. A secondary terminal environment may be some combination of visual rendering devices (e.g., monitor or display), input devices (e.g., mouse, touch pad, touch-screen, keyboard, etc.), and other computing peripherals (e.g., HDD, optical disc drive, memory stick, camera, printer, etc.) connected to the computing device by a wired (e.g., USB, Firewire, Thunderbolt, etc.) or wireless (e.g., Bluetooth, WiFi, etc.) connection. In embodiments, a mobile operating system associated with the user experience of the mobile environment and a desktop operating system associated with the user experience of the secondary terminal environment are run concurrently and independently on a shared kernel.

According to one aspect consistent with various embodiments, a mobile computing device includes a first operating system. A first application is running on the mobile operating system. A first application screen, associated with the first application, is displayed on an active display device. For example, the application screen may be displayed on a display of the mobile computing device. A process for managing application graphics associated with the application includes receiving an application interaction state change event indicating that a current interaction state of the first application is to be changed from a foreground state to a background state, generating a bitmap image corresponding to a graphical representation of the first application screen, changing the current interaction state of the first application from the foreground state to the background state, associating the bitmap image with a position within an application activity stack corresponding to the application, receiving a user input command related to the application activity stack, and displaying a representation of the bitmap image within a graphical representation of the application activity stack. The process may include receiving a user command indicative of a selection of the bitmap image within the graphical representation of the application activity stack, and changing the current interaction state of the first application from the background state to the foreground state.

According to other aspects consistent with various embodiments, the mobile computing device may define a first user environment, and the graphical representation of the application activity stack may be presented on a display of a second user environment. The second user environment may be associated with a second operating system running concurrently with the first operating system on a shared kernel of the mobile computing device. The application activity stack may be maintained by an application model manager. The application activity stack may include applications that have been started by the user and not actively closed by the user. A process associated with the first application screen may be suspended in response to the change in the current interaction state of the first application from the foreground state to the background state.

According to other aspects consistent with various embodiments, a mobile computing device includes a first application and a second application running concurrently on a first operating system. A process for managing application graphics may include displaying the first application on an active display device, receiving an application interaction state change event indicating that a current interaction state of the first application is to be changed from a foreground state to a background state, generating a bitmap image corresponding to a graphical representation of an application screen associated with the first application, changing the current interaction state of the first application from the foreground state to the background state, associating the bitmap image with a position within an application activity stack corresponding to the application, and displaying a graphical representation of the application activity stack on a display device associated with a secondary terminal environment, the secondary terminal environment connected to the mobile computing device via a communications interface, the graphical representation of the application activity stack including the bitmap image.

According to other aspects consistent with various embodiments, the secondary terminal environment may be associated with a second operating system running concurrently with the first operating system on a shared kernel of the mobile computing device. Displaying of the graphical representation of the application activity stack may be in response to a user initiated event within the secondary terminal environment and/or a dock event. The dock event may include connecting the mobile computing device with the secondary terminal environment via the communications interface. The bitmap image may be generated from graphical information maintained by a bitmap server within a surface manager of the first operating system. The bitmap server may provide an application level interface to the bitmap image data.

According to other aspects consistent with various embodiments, a mobile computing device includes a first operating system and a display device. A first application screen, associated with a first application running on the first operating system, is displayed on the display device. The first application may be considered to be in a foreground state. The first operating system includes an activity manager that maintains a list of currently running applications, an application model manager of the first operating system that receives application state information from the activity manager service, and a bitmap server module that maintains references to active surfaces of the first application. The bitmap server module may store a copy of the surface information of the first application screen responsive to an application interaction state change event indicating that a current interaction state of the first application is to be changed from the foreground state to a background state. The first operating system may display a transition animation based on the copy of the surface information of the first application screen. The transition animation may be displayed by an application space component of the first operating system. The first operating system may be a mobile operating system. The mobile operating system may include a surface manager module, and the bitmap server module may be implemented as a class in the surface manager module. The bitmap server module may provide references to the copy of the surface information of the first application screen to the framework layer of the mobile operating system. The bitmap server module may create a bitmap image from the copy of the surface information of the first application screen.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

Embodiments of the present invention are illustrated in referenced figures of the drawings, in which like numbers refer to like elements throughout the description of the figures.

FIG. 1 illustrates a computing environment that provides multiple user computing experiences, according to various embodiments.

FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary system architecture for a mobile computing device, according to various embodiments.

FIG. 3 illustrates an operating system architecture for a computing environment, according to various embodiments.

FIG. 4 illustrates an operating system architecture for a computing environment, according to various embodiments.

FIG. 5 illustrates aspects of a kernel for a computing environment, according to various embodiments.

FIG. 6 illustrates an operating system architecture for a computing environment, according to various embodiments.



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Previous Patent Application:
User interface overlay system
Next Patent Application:
Method, system, and means for expressing relative sentiments towards subjects and objects in an online environment
Industry Class:
Data processing: presentation processing of document
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stats Patent Info
Application #
US 20130024812 A1
Publish Date
01/24/2013
Document #
13399901
File Date
02/17/2012
USPTO Class
715810
Other USPTO Classes
International Class
06F3/048
Drawings
13


Graphics
Mobile Computing
Operating System
Windows
Concurrent
Desktop
Foreground
Graph
Mobile Operating System
Navigation
Computing Device
Mobile Computing Device


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