Popular Twitter client Tweetbot 3 has received an expected 3.1 update with many enhancements. In our review of the application, we noted that it has a great new interface over Tweetbot 2, but it lacked a couple of features from the older version: the ability to adjust the text size independently of iOS’s new system-wide text size setting, lists in the central timeline view, and a right swipe gesture. All three of those features have returned in Tweetbot 3.1, and the new right-swipe gesture can be set to quickly reply to, favorite, or retweet a Tweet…
True new innovations in the technology space only come around every few years, and even rarer are the innovations that have the power to change our day-to-day interactions with our devices. That’s why I was excited when I first heard about the Leap Motion, a little motion control device that promised to alter how we think of using computers. One year since the initial preview, the device is in the hands of the public, and now it’s up to the people to decide if it can change the way we use our computers. Does it live up to its expectations? Read on to find out:
In addition to the several new user-facing features introduced by Apple for iOS 7, hidden settings inside the new system have revealed that Apple has been testing other new enhancements. Hamza Sood discovered the hidden settings options, and these toggles reveal additional gesture, multitasking, and folders options. The settings are not readily available to users of the iOS 7 beta, but acces requires some unspecified tweaking.
Notably, Apple is testing system-wide edge-swipe and corner-swipe gestures for iOS 7. These gestures would bolster the already present edge-swipe feature in iOS 7 for Messages, Safari, and a couple of the other pre-installed iOS apps. According to these settings, Apple’s testing of these gestures would expand to being used for quick-app-switching.
Video and more details below:
Editing text on an iOS device can often be cumbersome. Currently, it requires you to tap twice to select text, and then drag small blue cursors to highlight a portion, or try to tap in between letters to set the cursor. To demonstrate a more efficient method of navigating text on an iPad, YouTube user danielchasehooper posted the video above showing a concept of moving the cursor and editing text with gestures.
When performing lots of edits in larger documents the direct interaction metaphor falls apart for cursor control. Even short portions of text can be painful to edit when you need to move the cursor to a precise location. Would you ever want to write a document on your computer without using the arrow keys? This is the reality iPad users face because they do not have the equivalent of arrow keys. There is a better way.
In the video, we see a dragging gesture on top of the keyboard being used to control the cursor. We also see a two-finger drag to move it faster and the ability to select a portion of text by holding a button while dragging. The video certainly makes a good case that Apple’s current implementation could be improved. The video’s creator urges iOS users to contact Apple and request the feature with the following provided instructions:
This is not the first time an Apple patent has surfaced relating to three-dimensional camera technologies. A previous patent highlighted advanced 3D object recognition and verification. A new patent—published today by the United States Patent & Trademark Office and detailed by PatentlyApple—shows Apple is continuing to work on 3D camera technologies that could land in future iOS devices. Apple’s patent described a 3D imagining camera that uses advanced microlenses, depth-detection, chrominance, and luminance sensors. The camera could recognize facial expressions and gestures while creating 3D models of scanned objects. PatentlyApple explained:
The United States Patent & Trademark Office published an Apple patent application today (via PatentlyApple) detailing new 3D GUI concepts and touch-free, motion sensing gestures that would allow you to simply wave your hand over a device equipped with proximity sensors. This follows a patent application published in July that explores similar 3D gestures and user-interfaces, and another in September detailing 3D display and imaging technology that could lead to Kinect-like gestures on future Apple products.
The image to the right (larger version is below) shows a 3D UI environment consisting of two sidewalls, a back wall, a floor, and a ceiling. As you can see, 2D objects are posted to the back and sidewalls, while 3D objects rest on the floor of the environment. The patent mentions a “snap to” feature that appears to allow objects to move from one surface to another by changing the orientation of the 3D environment. In other words, the user’s perspective of the UI, which PatentlyApple said could be imagined as the “view from an imaginary camera viewfinder,” would change when rotation of the device is detected by its gyro sensor or accelerometer:
Pinch? Swipe? How about “dig a hole” or “open the window”? Another round of Apple Inc filed patents have been published today by the US Patent & Trademark Office. The most interesting of the latest patents (via Patently Apple) is one focused on “advancing iOS metaphors to a higher level”. What does this mean exactly?
Essentially it would see iOS including a number of new interactive UI elements, many of which will replicate the experience of being able to “manipulate and organize various graphical objects”, similar to the desktop-like environment of “conventional personal computers” (OS X). In other words, Apple wants you to have more control over what you can do with elements within iOS, presumably to close the gap between what’s possible on OS X compared to current iOS builds… which also highly supports theories of iOS and OS X becoming one in the future.
Perhaps the most clear example of how these new UI elements might appear to the end user comes from the “Example Interactions Digging a Hole in a Device User Interface” section of the patent…
From Patently Apple:
Apple is always looking for new ways to distinguish iOS from the pack and today Apple introduces us to a number of new GUI gestures and metaphors that are fun and Kooky – if not creatively insane. The first one describes the notion of “digging a hole” in your interface that will allow you to drop a file into it quickly or act as a garbage bin or other uses.
Apple also described a number of other interactions similar to “digging a hole” including opening a trap door or window via gestures.