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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A radial menu for iPhone 5? It’s not such a radical idea

Mark Bridge writes:

As sure as eggs, there’ll be an iPhone 5. It’ll be announced on 6th June 2011 if you want my guess. And the latest rumours are suggesting it’ll have ‘radial menus’.

A recently-spotted Apple patent application (pct/us2010/035472) notes “Radial menus can provide desired menu selections without the difficulties inherent in drop-down menus. However, there is minimal use as of yet of radial menus in popular computing applications”.

It goes on to talk about a radial menu that could involve non-uniform spacing, shading, highlighting and the use of ‘radial gestures’ for opening sub-menus.

There’s a good chance we’ll see the radial menu used in iPhone 5, it’s suggested.

But hold on a moment.

Back in February, I met Amir Kupervas at Mobile World Congress. He’s CEO at Emblaze Mobile, the company that had created the First Else. The phone – which ran a Linux operating system – was notable for the design and operation of its user interface. In fact, even though the phone didn’t make it into full-scale production, the Else Intuition interface remains.

And yes, it was radial.

Which suggests a radial interface on a mobile phone isn’t such a radical idea after all.

Click here to listen to our February podcast that includes an interview with Amir Kupervas, CEO of ELSE Mobile, or use the ipadio player below to hear the interview on its own. To receive every episode of our free podcasts as soon as they go online, simply subscribe to the RSS feed or download us via iTunes.

 

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Author: The Fonecast
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