Regardless of the fit and finish that Apple applies to both their hardware and software, you’ve got to admit that the user interface of products running iOS is a bit long in the tooth. A new patent discovered by Unwired View shows that the Cupertino based company is looking into radial menus, both for iOS and Mac OS X. Current menus on the iPod touch and iPhone work by users having to tap the bottom of the screen, where icons have always traditionally been placed. With radial menus a user can select something on the screen and then actions pop up around the point which was pushed. This not only reduces the amount of moving a user has to do, but potentially opens up the possibility of larger iOS devices.
Ever struggled to hit a button on the lower left corner of your iPhone? Even with a 3.5 inch screen it’s a bit of a challenge. With radial menus your finger never has to leave a small section of the display. As a developer you can also better utilize the limited amount of pixels you have since user interface elements can appear when they’re needed and be hidden when they don’t have to be shown. It’s too early to tell if iOS 5 will get a dramatic overhaul. Word on the street is that the next iPhone will get some sort of NFC capabilities, similar to the recently launched Google Nexus S, that being said however … is it too soon? Apple always increments their designs, rarely coming out with something radically different. A totally new iOS seems unlikely, but radial menus could come either in summer 2011 or 2012.
Are you excited by this? Are you bored of your iPhone? Chime in your thoughts in the comment second below. I’ve had my iPhone for a little over 2 months now, and I’m incredibly fed up with it, but can’t find anything better as a replacement.