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Patent hints at Apple's Spaces on the iPad

PatentlyApple has dug up a patent application Apple filed with the USPTO, which demonstrates that Apple is at least considering bringing Spaces to the iPad. While not mentioning the iPad by name, the patent does say that "In some embodiments, the device [for this patent application] is a desktop computer. In some embodiments, the device is portable (e.g., a notebook computer, a tablet, or a handheld device)."

Apple notes that the current method of switching between windows or applications on a device are "cumbersome and inefficient," requiring multiple presses or clicks which "create a significant cognitive burden on a user" and take longer than necessary, therefore wasting energy.

Apple suggests implementing Spaces on touch screen devices via a two-finger pinch in the corner of the screen. This two-finger pinch would display a grid of all open spaces or virtual desktops. The user could then use a single finger to swipe the selected Spaces grid into full screen view, thus enabling that Space.

Once again, we remind readers that Apple typically patents things that never see the light of day, but this hypothetical Spaces technology on the iPad would by much more user friendly than the current multitasking options available, which require the user to double-press the iPad's Home button then swipe a row of apps at the bottom of the screen before finally selecting an app to activate.

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