Patents-pondered

Patents Pondered: Personalized Podcasts to Stream Straight to the iPhone?

"Marimba" shatters the early morning silence. Groggy, you fumble for your iPhone and "slide to unlock", ending the alarm. A cloudy, gloomy day greets you as you skip the weather and start on your email. In the background, your iPhone begins to stream the morning news. Not all of it and not all from one source, just your favorites. Just what you'd previously setup in iTunes Podcast Creator.

Sports and local highlights -- minus the crime news that's too harsh for your morning mellow -- flow one from the next, scraped while you slept from CNN, ABC, BBC, CBC, Comedy, and all the independent, niche podcasts you'd favorite'd. The fuzzy-logic of Apple's servers matched your criteria as closely as possible while still filling the 60 min. time slot you'd set up. And once collected, assembled it and pushed it out to your iMac, where iTunes made it available immediately for streaming over WiFi right to your iPhone.

Today, however, you're running late and don't even have time to sync before heading out the door. But since your iPhone can access your iMac's streaming, custom-podcasts over the blazingly fast 4G LTE network, you don't even notice the transition from local to wide area network as your door closes and you hit the street. You just keep on listening as Jon Stewart makes fun of whos-that-president for the umpteenth time. And as you jump on the train, with a couple quick taps, your iMac is updated, your iTunes Podcast Creator is adjusted, Stewart is out of tomorrow's mix, and iPhone lover Stephen Colbert is back in.

The good-looking passenger beside you comments on the awesome sounding custom podcast you're rocking. Smiling, you tap another button and peer-to-peer it right on over, just as the train pulls out and the day starts to look ever so much brighter...

Sound more like a multi-media dream than current reality? Well, some of Apple's newest patents look like they might be trying to make this particular dream come true. Read on for what just might be the future of iTunes and truly mobile media...

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Patent Watch: Mobile iChat Touch Cometh?

Ever-watchful Apple Insider brings word on yet another Apple patent drop. This one, published in March, sets the stage for the long anticipated -- nay, demanded -- Mobile iChat application.

Though the iPhone already includes a somewhat similar, though carrier-bound, SMS app, the need to move away from device-modal technologies (i.e. phone to phone) to more open protocols (i.e., phone to computer to console, etc.) like Instant Messenger is compelling. In answer, Apple has proposed an interface that builds on the SMS app in significant ways:

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Patents Pondered: An AT&T-less iPhone World?

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Your plane's landing in the middle of nowhere. Scratch that. WAY past the middle of nowhere -- that little state on the other coast you've never been to, where the people have funny accents and McDonald's has menu items you've never seen before.

The pilot flips off the seatbelt light, you whip out your iPhone to make a quick call, and before the bars come up you're greeted with a screen that lists off all the local service providers complete with up-to-the-minute rate information. You flick-scroll to the cheapest one, tap to select, the bars pop up, the network springs to life, and you start your call.

What? Your iPhone doesn't do that? You don't get to pick your service provider? You don't get to choose just-in-time data rates? You're stuck with AT&T 24/7?!

Yeah. That's because you're in the real world, not the world of what might-have-been. Not the world Apple could have created had they gone ahead with a little patent just recently brought to public attention...

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Patents Pondered: Say Hello to... iFlip? - Wait-a-Thon

Dual-sided, transparent, flip-capable iPhone Nano?

El Jobso and Co. might just be exploring the possibility according to a recent patent filing unearthed, as usual, by the folks at Apple Insider.

Some of the juicy details include:

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