Just in time to my previous column if the Windows Mobile touchscreen interface is ready for single-hand use, the United States Patent and Trademark Office yesterday unveiled a patent which was given to Microsoft (Application Number: 11/765,684). Title of the patent: "Extensible Filtered Lists for Mobile Device User Interface" which is about systems and methods for providing an improved user interface for mobile devices (smartphones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and the like are explicitly stated in the patent specification). Access to data and services from multiple software applications can be provided through a group or list of items. Each group or list can include multiple items, which can be associated with data or tasks from multiple applications.
The set of groups of items can be both customizable and extensible to allow users to locate and utilize data and tasks relevant to the particular user. The set of item groups can provide users with a filtered view of content available through the mobile device, enhancing access to subset of data and tasks available on the mobile device:
Briefly described, the provided subject matter concerns an improved user interface for mobile devices such as smartphones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and the like. Selected data and services provided by multiple software applications can be accessed through a group or list of items. Each group or list can include multiple items that provide access to data or tasks from multiple applications. For example, a list centered around a user's current day can include items corresponding to meetings scheduled for that day using a calendar application, E-Mail received on that day through an E-Mail application, and a weather forecast for the day provided by a weather service application.