New App that Enhances Apple TV Viewing Experience Now Patented

Apple has applied for a new patent for an iOS remote mobile app that can transition Apple TV’s user interface to smaller sized screen of iPhones and iPads. The patent filed with the office of U.S. Patent and Trademark, provides a brief description about the app as “Browsing remote content using a native user interface”.

At a very high level what this indicates is that the app possesses the capability to dynamically change the semantics data and media information from the Apple TV’s interface and change it to suit the size and dimension of iPhone or iPad display. It is significantly different from the current Apple remote software. The existing Remote app uses a UI specific to iPhone or iPad. However the new app would execute a mobile-centric translation of the Apple TV or iTunes interface, for the entire media, including ratings, media descriptions and options for buying/renting.

How it works

When the source and target both operate concurrently, one of the device is converted to active mode by the app. This device takes in user inputs and transmits the relevant content accordingly. It also responds to broadcast, provider content and user commands. On the other hand the second device is more on a ‘passive’ mode, working in the background allowing you to play back the content, while not disturbing the ‘active’ source of the content. Essentially it converts the target device to a dual viewing colleague. With this method, the entire content interface can be easily displayed on the second screen — complete with posters, rating, media descriptions or buying choices.

The program that gauges the change in semantic cues sent out by the host device can be kept on an iPhone device and accessed using an iCloud account. This facility (using an off-site server like iCloud) ensures that older devices (like iPhone 3G) can also be used for this functionality even though it doesn’t support a new-age app.

Fresh approach

Another important feature is the ability to gather external information to support the media being played or streamed on Apple TV. To take an illustration, a user may start a video or movie on the iOS device and then use the second device to search for more details or trivia about the movie on Internet. Such useful information related to the media being played on the iOS device can then be transmitted back to the iOS device where it can be presented to the rets of the viewers in one of the many forms of external content presentation — sidebars, overlay or any other methods.

To Conclude

Apple’s foray into better evolving iOS based remote was an expected outcome of its efforts in getting to know its users’ preferences better and thus devise solutions that focus on enhancing precisely these preferences. While some may argue this is another step by the company to come up with its own distinct media viewing solutions (standalone TV) that incorporate its existing array of devices and features, we personally feel that they are actually proposing solutions that expand or cross utilise the functionalities of their existing devices.

What do you think of this new patent by Apple? Write in to us and share your thoughts.

Originally published at: MobDevApp

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