A patent application filed earlier this year by Apple may bring improved accessory integration with iOS devices. The patent, described as “Pushing a user interface to a remote device,” describes a method of displaying the iOS interface (as well as the iPod interface) on accessories, such as a car’s navigation system, and allowing seamless integration between the two devices.
While many auto manufacturers currently offer iPod or iPhone interface accessories, most of these devices display only a rudimentary playlist on a car’s navigation system with slow forward/back, up/down interaction. Apple’s UI push patents describe how the entire iOS interface – apps and all – can be displayed and controlled by a third party device, as illustrated above, via touch or a D-Pad. In theory, this will allow users to interact with iOS and iOS apps through their car’s navigation system, for example. While playing Angry Birds while driving probably isn’t a great idea, there are some apps, like music, email or maps, that would be idea for a car’s nav system.
Check out the patent, application number 13/175,581, here. Note that this is just an application – it hasn’t yet been issued.
Today, Quanta Computer, a Taiwanese manufacturer of computers and tablets, signed a patent licensing deal with Microsoft. Although many details of the deal remain confidential, Microsoft has confirmed that Quanta’s license covers products that use Google’s Android and Chrome operating systems.
While Quanta isn’t exactly a household brand, the company is a key player in the computing market – many analysts rank Quanta as the largest manufacturer of notebook computers in the world. But Quanta doesn’t sell computers under its own brand, instead the company produces OEM computing devices for the likes of Apple, HP, Dell, Lenovo and others.
Quanta is also the manufacturer of Amazon’s upcoming Kindle Fire Android tablet. Amazon’s foray into the Android tablet market raised some concern that the company, which has so far relied on a proprietary OS for its eBook readers, would run into intellectual property battles with companies such as Microsoft, which hold patents related to Android. However, it now appears that Quanta has protected its OEM customers such as Amazon by purchasing a license to Microsoft’s patents.
Of course, only Quanta and Microsoft know who is protected by Quanta’s license. But it seems unlikely that Quanta, which doesn’t sell any branded products, would sign a patent license that doesn’t pass through to its OEM customers. Therefore, the Amazon’s Kindle Fire is likely now protected under Quanta’s licensing deal with Microsoft – good news for Amazon investors concerned over potential IP squabbles between Washington’s two largest tech companies.