Apple patent application published: ‘Resolution Independent User Interface Design’

Two US patent applications assigned to Apple Computer, Inc. have been published today:

United States Patent Application #20060288053: Apparatus and method for peer-to-peer N-way synchronization in a decentralized environment (Filed: June 21, 2005):
An apparatus and method of synchronizing a datum between a plurality of stores is disclosed. A version history is associated with the datum in each store. The version history has one or more entries, and each entry has an identifier and a value. The identifier identifies a store that has modified the datum, and the value indicates a number of modifications to the datum made by the store. When synchronizing the datum between stores, the version histories of the datum are compared to determine whether one version history is subordinate to another version history. The datum in the store having the subordinate version history is then replaced with the datum having the dominant version history. When compared, a conflict resolution by a user is required if the version histories are not identical, if the version histories do not have all the same identifiers, and if one version history does not contain all of the identifiers with equal or greater values of those in the other version history.

United States Patent Application #20060284878: Resolution Independent User Interface Design (Filed: July 21, 2006):
Graphical user interface material map objects are specified by a collection of attribute-value pairs, the collection of which comprises a complete description of the material map and may be used by a rendering engine to create a visual representation of the material map at any resolution. That is, material map representations in accordance with the invention are resolution independent. Another benefit of representing material maps in accordance with the invention is that they may be encrypted to prevent unauthorized inspection or use.

More info:

Related articles:
Apple confirms ‘resolution independence’ and more coming in Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard – October 23, 2006
Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard to feature ‘resolution independence?’ – May 21, 2006


  1. When I ran the above text through Bablefish it told me that the first entry was related to Apple Remote Desktop and that the second entry was related to Leopard’s supposed ability to resize interface elements so that that menu bar type that appears <font size=+3>HUGE</font> on an old 800×600 iBook doesn’t appear <font size=-3>tiny</font> on an Apple 30-inch Cinema HD display.

    Of course Babelfish is known for making “interesting” translations. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue rolleye” style=”border:0;” />

  2. I’ve been a computer geek and student of many forms of science and technology for longer than 2/3rds the world have been alive. I barely understood what that was about. Sure, what Nic said. But, I have been able to play Diablo ][ or WoW in a part-screen window or full-screen window – an effective change in resolution – and I’ve been able to change the ‘magnification of files I’m reading in Acrobat … both for years now.

    How is this different? It looks to me like they are codifying the process, bringing that ability into the OS, rather than creating something ‘new’. And this could either allow or deter abuse of the process. Allow, if they use it to prevent others from developing along those lines, deterring if they use this to keep others from abusing the process or if they are using the process to prove nobody else can lay legal claim to the process.

    DLMeyer – the Voice of G.L.Horton’s Stage Page

    Is it too much to (MW) ‘expect’ clarification? ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  3. “When I ran the above text through Bablefish it told me that the first entry was related to Apple Remote Desktop and that the second entry was related to Leopard’s supposed ability to resize interface elements so that that menu bar type that appears”

    Nothing new to see here. Both of these occurred to me without a lookup.

    I don’t know why most of these patent filings are found newsworthy. A quick patent search shows thousands of patents assigned to Apple Computer, not even counting those that only name employees, not the company.

    I would bet that they’ve patented the special paper Steve has in the executive washroom to wipe his a**.

  4. DudeMac: If you think the Amiga offered resolution independance like what Apple is giving us since the late 80s, all I can conclude is that you have no idea what resolution independance is. I talk as an Amiga owner for the late 80s and early 90s.

  5. @DLMeyer

    All interface elements will be vector based. If a button is 2cm wide on 800×600 display, it will also be 2cm on a 30″ 2550×1680 display.

    Also you will be able to zoom and all interface elements will be really sharp. No fuzz and blurring.

    MW “move”, lets move forward to Leopard

  6. aToMac:
    I was thinking vectors too. It would make sense as apps like Illustrator, Freehand and fonts have been resolution independant for years because of vectors.


    I really can’t wait.

    Also, Core animation is a pretty big deal as we will no doubt see stuff that would be impossible using Windows with the same hardware.

    I mean, didn’t they re-do the iPod video with the album covers turning into a city with something like 10% of the original code footprint.

    Imagine what sort of Mac games could be written to run well on standard mac hardware with entry level graphics cards.

    Roll on Leopard….

    And thanks for the link Cpt.Obvious. Looks like an interesting read. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  7. From OS X mobile to kiosks to HDTV and every screen in between…

    For years, the computer’s pixel-based graphics looked like shit on the television screen due to down-sampling and now it’s the other way around.

  8. “This is one of those “secret” Leopard features Steve was referring to.”

    Yeah, that’s some “secret” feature…
    …since resolution independence has long been reported that Apple and Microsoft have both been working on it for years, it is present in Tiger, and it’s been covered by both Apple’s publicly visible developer tech notes and Ars Technica.

Reader Feedback

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.