New Apple Patent Points to Scrollable Menus and Toolbars in iOS, Mac OS X

A new Apple patent was just revealed that suggests iOS (and the upcoming Mac OS X Lion) could have scrolling menus and toolbars The idea would be that users could bring up menus and toolbars that apply to whatever application they're in, scroll through them, and select a command from the toolbar itself.

The patent also tells us that these toolbars could consist of text only commands or that icons could be used. To put it in simpler terms, it could change the way you interact with your OS. Right now in Mac OS X we use drop-down menus to save a file, open a document, or edit them. In iOS we use typically use pop-up menus. This patent implies that Apple may be looking at changing it up a bit. I'm not quite sure how I feel about scrolling through menus on a Mac or if I prefer the traditional solution (drop-down menus are easy to access), but I could definitely see this being an extremely useful feature in iOS. What do you guys think?


[via PatentlyApple]

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Allyson Kazmucha

Senior editor for iMore. I can take apart an iPhone in less than 6 minutes. I also like coffee and Harry Potter more than anyone really should.

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Reader comments

New Apple Patent Points to Scrollable Menus and Toolbars in iOS, Mac OS X


This kind of reminds me of the Weather Channel app. The toolbar along the bottom of the screen actually scrolls instead of having a "more" button like most other apps do. I really wish Apple would make this system wide, it just seems a lot more elegant than the "more" button.

Would be nice if the iPhone used the same pop over menus from the iPad instead of the current pop up menus.

I agree, I find scrollable menus frustrating, maybe they've worked out a way of stopping being like that. I hope so. Will be interesting to find out.

Apple can patent all they like but I don't see anything yet in any iOS update.. How long they been patenting almost 2 years. Nothing yet been change...

How come you can patent this when its been out in use in a half dozen different operating systems for over 5 years?
Perhaps this is why the patents Apple tried to enforce against Nokia were summarily ruled invalid last week.