Will Verduzco · Mar 15, 2014 at 02:30 pm

Google Patents Radial Menu Similar to PIE Controls–And That’s Actually a Good Thing

The world was first introduced to the concept of a touch-driven radial menu through an experimental “Labs” feature in Google’s AOSP browser in Android 3.0 Honeycomb. Affectionately known as PIE Controls, this radial menu allowed users to perform various browser navigation tasks easily and efficiently—all while saving valuable screen real estate in the process.

Since the dark days of Honeycomb, PIE Controls have been implemented in several custom ROMs starting with Paranoid Android, as well as a few aftermarket applications. A similar implementation was even included in Samsung’s Air Command on the Galaxy Note 3. Now, Google has patented an new implementation of the radial menu, but it’s not quite what any of us are used to. But rather than a simple one-finger gesture, Google’s freshly patented radial menu relies on two fingers: your thumb, which serves a a permanent anchor point, and your index finger, which calls a secondary menu and then selects from the available options.

Because of the inherent differences, it’s impossible for this patent to be used to go after existing applications using current generation PIE Controls. Rather, it’s far more likely that Google is planning an entirely new UI paradigm for use in Android—one that could potentially deliver the versatility of on-screen navigation, but without the wasted space of a dedicated navigation bar.

Ultimately, this is most likely a good thing for Android. It likely signals the coming of a “best of both worlds” approach combining the best from hardware and on-screen navigation. What do you think Google’s up to with this new patent? Let us know in the comments below!

[Source: PatentBolt | Many thanks to Recognized Developer EatHeat for the tip!]


_________
Want something on the XDA Portal? Send us a tip!

Will Verduzco

willverduzco is an editor on XDA-Developers, the largest community for Android users. Will Verduzco is the Portal Administrator for the XDA-Developers Portal. He has been addicted to mobile technology since the HTC Wizard. But starting with the Nexus One, his gadget love affair shifted to Google's little green robot. He is also a Johns Hopkins University graduate in neuroscience and is now currently studying to become a physician. View willverduzco's posts and articles here.
Mario Tomás Serrafero · Jul 30, 2015 at 02:04 pm · 3 comments

What Do You Think About Fingerprint Scanners?

More and more phones are featuring fingerprint scanners, and with many promising developments and it being natively supported on Android M, we can soon expect to see them on smartphones everywhere. If done right, it is a useful feature that allows for quick unlocking and authorization. There are concerns regarding security, but nonetheless the industry seems to be embracing it with open arms. What do you think?

DISCUSS
Aamir Siddiqui · Jul 30, 2015 at 01:20 pm · no comments

What’s Next for Samsung and Its Flagships?

If we were to say that the Galaxy S6 was a leap of faith made by Samsung, we wouldn't be too wrong. After all, the device marked a definite change in how Samsung perceived the market and its own place in it, as it stood amongst the signs of decline which started with the critical reception of the Galaxy S5. To recap, the Samsung Galaxy S5 was criticized heavily for feeling more like a toy, rather than a premium flagship...

XDA NEWS
Eric Hulse · Jul 30, 2015 at 12:24 pm · 2 comments

The Ultimate Showcase of dBrand Skins

In the search for ways to protect, accessorize, and personalize; a user has many options. One could choose a case, a “skin”, “armor”, or “wraps.” In fact, the global mobile accessory market is poised to reach a high of $62 Billion in 2017. dBrand is one of the more creative and friendly vinyl skin manufacturers around. In hopes of sharing what they can offer, our friends at dBrand sent us over some skins to have a look at. They offer...

XDA NEWS