Apple patent reveals scrollable menus and toolbars for Mac OS X 10.7 Lion

“During a recent Special Event, Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs provided us with a peek into four key attributes coming to the next major operating system upgrade due next summer called ‘Lion,'” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“Specifically, Jobs reviewed the fundamentals of Lion’s Mac App Store, Launchpad, Full Screen Apps and Mission Control,” Purcher reports. “What Jobs didn’t reveal was something called ‘scrollable menus and toolbars.'”

Purcher reports, “This possible new OS X Lion feature came to light late last week in a new European patent filing. The new feature is clearly identified as one being designed for both the desktop (OS X) and handheld devices (iOS) – which is what OS X Lion is all about: ‘The Power of OS X – The Magic of iPad.’ Apple’s Full Screen App feature is about simplifying the desktop and their latest scrollable menus and toolbars concept extends upon that very thinking.”

Read more in the full article, including patent application illustrations, here.


  1. Cool. It’s probably needed more on the iPad, but it’s going to be beneficial to both operating systems. It’s much better than Microsoft’s ribbon idea. Though I expect nothing less from Apple.

  2. @macromancer

    There are some things that I’m really looking forward to about more iOS in OS X. Hopefully it will be focused on improving real world usability and not on flashy candy for demos.

  3. … offended by the rapidly-blinking ad claiming “you’re the one” – the 100,000 visitor? That I’d “won” something … click here? If the message were not offensive enough – being a lie – the audio aspect – it talks without being asked to – is an added offense … to office workers, at least. And then there’s the flashing, which could set off an epileptic seizure! A little more care in clearing ads, please, MDN.
    Scrollable menues and toolbars are an excellent solution to a problem no good designer would allow. Looking forward to it.

  4. @Macromancer
    I have not seen any hard evidence that the Mac OS X UI is being “iPadified.” Most Lion news is speculative.

    There will undoubtedly be some UI correspondence/blending between touch and mouse in order to bring iOS functionality into OS X. But I am not inclined to become concerned at this point. Time will tell and poor decisions can be reversed. I like the fact that Apple is willing to explore beyond the safe and familiar boundaries of human-computer interaction.

  5. I think that it will be really useful on the iPad. I also like the fact that we’ll be able to customize the menu sequence for tools that we use the most to make it very personal.

  6. @Macromancer,
    Did you watch the keynote? I had my own reservations, but then after watching the Lion demo I think that the UI changes make sense and will be very useful from a productivity/usability standpoint.

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