Continuing to build its collection of core iOS patents, Apple's latest win comes in the form of list editing.
It's yet another example of Apple gaining stronger legal ground to defend the look and feel of iOS from competitors looking to capitalize on the popularity of the mobile operating system.
The patent, uncovered by Patently Apple, for "a computer-implemented method for displaying and managing lists on a portable multifunction device with a touch-screen display" describes, in exhausting detail, another principle function of iOS, namely list editing.
We know it better as "that easy way to reorder the list of cities we really want to know the weather forecast for" function. Tap the Edit button in the top-right corner, tap and hold the three-bar icon, and drag the list selection to its new position (and watch the other list items shuffle to the new order).
Like many of Apple's patent wins for touch-screen OS functionality, this simple set of gestures seems obvious. But, let's not forget that we've been seeing this in iPhones (and copied in other smartphones) since 2007, so it seems normal. But, before the iPhone's release, smartphones were not what they have become.
And, these patents will help Apple's lawyers fight off any companies attempting to implement similar functionality in their touch-screen OSes. Yikes. I can't even think of another way I would want to order a list. But Google will have to figure that out for Android if Apple decides to get aggressive with its new patent.
That's a big ripple effect. Will (or should) Apple take the offensive with its collection of iOS-related patents to thwart Android? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!