Future Android UI Could Be Found in HTC Patent

htc_patent_virtual_bookHTC’s Sense UI is a big hit.  Pretty much everyone who has played with it will agree that what HTC has done with the stock Android experience is something special.  Before Android came about, they were the company responsible for making Windows Mobile look nice with Touch Flo and Touch Flo 3D.  Inevitably, the question will arise “What’s next for HTC?”  If recent patent filings are any indication, the next look of Android could resemble a virtual book with pages that turn.

Gizmodo is not the only one to notice that this has the making of a Palm Pre-like navigation and we’re not the only one to agree.  We’re actually fans of the card system.  In fact, we’ve been asking for modders to come up with a desktop replacement app that mimics it for Android.

Each page of the virtual book is the UI of a service or function of the handheld electronic device. Flipping the pages of the virtual book means browsing and selecting the services and functions provided by the handheld electronic device. This book-like UI enables the user to use and manage these applications, widgets, and web pages in an easy and intuitive way like browsing a conventional printed book. The book-like UI hides the differences among applications, widgets, and web pages so that the handheld electronic device can be accessed through a uniform and convenient UI.

It sounds as if the contacts will get a Rolodex-esque flick through feel.  The image below shows pages collapsing and scrolling which certainly seems like it would feel intuitive.  Here’s hoping this comes to Android and not Windows Mobile.


  • Maybe I'm just unimaginative, but I'm not really digging the design paradigm. I agree that the Palm card like system is very intuitive and has lots of benefits, but the book/page metaphor seems a little more labor intensive than it needs to be. As an example, when looking for a specific song on your iPod / iPhone, is it more effective to use coverflow or a list? Personally I find the list easier.

    The problem as I see it with the book metaphor is that the page turning system doesn't allow for easy scanning. Anyway, my 2 cents…

  • David

    I agree with @hoguech. Coverflow, and interfaces like it, are more for the marketing people. They look really slick in ads, and people love to show them off to their friends for the first week or so that they own a device. When it comes down to daily use, though, they're unwieldy, and most people, I think, go back to the list.

  • Looks awesome!

  • JustAPhoneUser

    This, to me, looks more like pages of lists, not pages of list items. I agree that cover flow is bunk, but I think that this is something else.

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