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back to article Apple applies for in-call music swapsies iPhone patent

Apple has filed a patent application that would enable iPhone users to transfer files and typed messages to others while speaking with them during a voice call. Entitled Auto Messaging to Currently Connected Caller, the filing was published on Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The filing describes a method in …

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disband the USPTO

So VoIP+FTP is patentable now? It's not completely bloody obvious to anyone "skilled in the art"? What the HELL is the USPTO using as filters for these applications, lobotomized baboons??

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Pah

My N95 has been able to do this for years....

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WTF?

Nothing new here

Really?! You can already do this on the 1st iPhone, not to mention every other smartphone in the last 5 years.

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Coffee/keyboard

@raving angry loony

'lobotomized baboons'... Awesome!

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FAIL

@AC 01:12

Ah, but not without having to tediously look up your contacts list. Which is utterly over the head of anyone who buys Apple products.

There's an app for this sort of thing on Windows Mobile , someone above has said the N95 does it too, Skype can do it if I remember correctly.

So there's plenty (well, some) prior art out there at the moment, and... well, it's bloody obvious to anyone who's ever needed to, say, text someone a code or forward an email mid-conversation.

And the iPhone can't run two third party apps concurrently? POS.

USPTO fails once again.

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FAIL

Ridiculous

Why aren't Apple being called out on this? Or more importantly why are the media playing their game?

Whenever they introduce (or patent!) something that's been available for years, it's treated like a technical revolution! All they're doing is playing catch-up, or stopping ridiculous restrictions - multi-taking, woo!

I'm not a fanboi of any camp, and I think Apple have done a great job at a) marketing and b) usability/interface, but I am much, much happier with my HTC Touch HD.

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FAIL

Well.. duh!

On my N95 I was able to just press the menu button in-call and hey presto access to music and photos, etc which I could share to peeps via email, mms, bluetooth, etc exactly same as if I wasnt on the call....

Software patents are very stupid... even more so when it can already be done!

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FAIL

FFS...

Yahoo / Hotmail messenger on a voice call on a mobile device.

They seem to being trying to Patent something they don't do as opposed to something new.

Done!

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Gold badge

iTablet?

Could this be a hint at what's to come in the iTablet or whatever it is they're planning? A concurrent scribble device would be cool, at the moment you need digipad or a smartboard to do that in a meeting (that is, if you want to keep a record of it).

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WTF?

You mean like Skype?

It pretty much sounds like an IM with VoIP to my ignorant self.

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FAIL

Calm down, it's only a publication FFS!

I wish critics of the USPTO would calm down a bit, and (for once) do a little bit of research into the application procedure (pre-grant), to avoid continually making the same idiotic remarks.

The USPTO can of course refuse the patent application during prosecution in view of existing prior art .

This part of the procedure most often takes place *AFTER* publication (publication being entirely automatic at 18 months from the earliest priority date of the application).

You want to rant at someone, rant at Apple for filing it in the first place, not at the USPTO who (I'm 99.99% certain) hasn't *YET* started looking at the 'merit' (novelty, obviousness) of the inventive concept.

Fail icon, in default of a :rolleyes: icon

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As seen on TV

Has Apple resorted to copying ideas from TV shows? Because I remember the characters of NCIS transferring photos to each other mid-call in one episode (on an original iPhone no less).

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FAIL

Prior Art...

My E90 has been able to do this for years...

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Anonymous Coward

Terrible filing.

Has noone involved used another phone before? my sony ericsson w810 from a very long time ago can do this. and i don't have to tediously do anything.

The only advance needed would be a dual cell antenna or multiple data streams which newer phones must already have. I will be patenting this idea, just to stop apple doing it.

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Bronze badge
Jobs Horns

There may be something new here...

If I'm not mistaken, they're talking about using a shared connection available to multiple applications. That's new... ish.

Is it non-obvious? I don't think so. At the moment we're happy with multiple concurrent connections for a reason: allowing external apps to use a connection initiated by a different app is a security risk and messes up the whole idea of trusted connections and certificates.

The only reason Apple think that they can get away with this is because of the closed app-store environment -- technically every app should be trusted. However, if they fail to stop jailbroken phones from using this technology, they've just opened one hell of an acute attack vector....

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Jobs Horns

Good old Apple, still trying to catch up with MS ...

... in the evil monopolist and vendor lock in stakes, but never quite making it. Cue pointless rehashing of the Apple Good - MS Bad flame fest.

Will the linux jihad side with the fanbois on the issue of software patents, will anyone with a life care ? Will anyone capable of retaining some rational objectivity care ? Are a thousand mardy geeks about to shout their worthless opinions into the internets, again ?

Find out in the next 200 comments. If you can be arsed.

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Boffin

Yes, but...

Of course Apple are going to waste time drawing up filing a patent for something that your N95, T28, <insert name of earliest gsm handset here because you can't be bothered to upgrade, and in addition to that your sandals are wearing a bit thin> has been doing for millennia. Or not.

Because, as you lot obviously know, to actually carry out the SMSing, or emailing mid-call, you still have to look up the recipients details in the phone's address book. Instead of doing the obvious thing and send the data to the person you're actually speaking to.

And of course, your current handset knows it's talking to another mobile, right? Not a landline that can't accept said SMS or email...

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Apple reinvent the wheel (again).

Pretty sure this is the whole point of "Unified Comms".

Ooh looky, text, speach, FT and app share, all at the same time. Wowsers. Quick, better get a patent on inhale/exhale as a method of life exstinction prevention.

A case of Apple lawyers suffering from Body Part Recognition Deficit Syndrome.

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Thumb Down

RIAA

Ummm, what is the RIAA going to think about on applehead sending another applehead a song?

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Joke

iPatent - coming soon (tm)

That'll be the name of my iPhone / iPod touch app! It'll scour the internet for things just like this with an optional option box (joke box?) to ignore prior art. The last optional option is to tag your iPatent patent with "Apple" so it's approved regardless. When you're done it offers up Jobs-esque banter for your new iPatent patent before filing it for you.

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Stop

Prior Art

Unfortunately there's plenty of prior art in various tv shows/movies. I for one remember an episode of South Park where cartman sends a picture to Kyle while talking to him on the phone (without having to do anything more than take the photo).

Apple fail.

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Re: Yes, but...

"And of course, your current handset knows it's talking to another mobile, right? Not a landline that can't accept said SMS or email..."

I don't know where you're posting from but here in the UK (at least on BT), landlines do accept SMS messages; you get an automated phone call and the SMS is read out to you using a text to speech system.

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@raving angry loony

"What the HELL is the USPTO using as filters for these applications, lobotomized baboons??"

Anybody with any knowledge or competence at all in IT is probably working somewhere other than the USPTO. Trust me, you can have more fun and more money working in grey corporate IT.

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Stop

misread and misunderstood

This patent is not about running apps concurrently... It;s about adding an INTERFACE into the PHONE app to allow access to files WITHOUT CLOSEING the phone app. We can already do this without ending the call, but now we could do it without SWITCHING APPS.

Further, the patent implies the call connection itself would assist with the data transfer, allowing the person receiving the data to see and interact with that trasfer without also leaving their own active call screen. Potentially, we're also talking about this data being transmitted over the voice chanel, instead of IP, but that's not clear in what I read.

Nothing in this patent app means the other apps on the device need to run concurrently, nor would it preclude exclusion of 3rd party apps. The PHONE app would simply be making the appropriate call to interfaces to access data. currently, to access another contact's infor or look up an address during a call, you loose visibility to the active call, and loose access to the buttons controlling the call (speakerphone, end call, etc). If Apple tied those interfaces together, and allowed not only data access, but data interaction and transmission, while on an active call, that would in fact be unique. If this included data xfer across the existing connection, that would be compeltely new (though i'd live to see AT&T's response to that, essentially we're talking blurring the lines between a cell call and a data operation, even considdering the iPhone when calling anohter iPhone would essentially be a VOIP call.

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Badgers

DANGER

need I say more, no, ok, I will anyway. I am pretty sure I can do everything described on my sidekick, and it is so anal and tied down that you can consider the whole thing one app....

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WTF?

THey had better call prior art on this one

Last I checked, ANY IM client can do what they're talking about, all from one unified interface. Extending this to a phone conversation as the voice compoent is inconsequential...SkypeOut anyone?

Seriously, if this is approved and not rejected due to prior art, the person who made the approval should be shot. It's crap like this that stifles innovation because now people have to work around the rather obvious, broad patent.

Anyway, if I remember correctly you can do voice and data simultaneously on UMTS/HSPA (not on GSM/EDGE though). Not 100% sure on this though; I'm using a CDMA phone which can't do cellular voice and data simultaneously...yet...

If HSPA CAN'T do the data and voice at the same time, then this method will have to be over VoIP...which means it'll have to be over WiFi since voice is AT&T's crown jewel (except when it drops out, is garbled, fades, etc.)

Last but not least, note that this patent is for doing stuff within the same application. While *technically* you can be on the phone and do a limited amount of other stuff with the call in the background, this once again highlights Apple's refusal to do multitasking on the phone. Not that I blame them a ton; my Touch Pro runs slower than it should due to stuff running in the background. But still, at least have the option available. The iPhone 3Gs hardware is powerful enough...

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Anonymous Coward

... Regtards strike again!

@ Yes, but:

Jesus, mate, you expect the Regtards who post here to actually read (and understand!) the original source material for an article? Good luck with that!

@ iansltx

quote: "Last but not least, note that this patent is for doing stuff within the same application. While *technically* you can be on the phone and do a limited amount of other stuff with the call in the background, this once again highlights Apple's refusal to do multitasking on the phone. Not that I blame them a ton; my Touch Pro runs slower than it should due to stuff running in the background. But still, at least have the option available. The iPhone 3Gs hardware is powerful enough..."

There's no "technically" about it, if you want to run and use any app while on a call you ALREADY CAN.

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Skype on Windows Mobile

There, that's solved for you.

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