An Apple patent (number 8346847) has appeared at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office for installing applications and syncing them between devices.
The patent — for “installing applications based on a seed application from a separate device” — is for systems, computer-implemented methods, and tangible computer-readable storage media for synchronizing applications between devices. The method displays, on a sharing device, a list of one or more applications which are available to share with other devices, and receives a selection, at the sharing device, of an application to share with a receiving device from the list of applications.
The method then determines by the sharing device, sharing preferences of the selected application, creates an application package at the sharing device, based on the sharing preferences, and establishes a network connection from the sharing device to the receiving device. The system transmits the application package from the sharing device to the receiving device via the network connection.
Here’s the summary of the invention: “An increasing number of people use mobile computing devices such as smart phones, netbooks, and personal digital assistants (PDAs) in every-day life. Often these mobile computing devices interface with online electronic stores to download applications. In some cases, dedicated online stores exist that cater to specific device types. As users of mobile devices go about their daily activities and use their mobile devices, they can show applications to others. As others see the application, they often desire the same application, but getting that application can involve many steps which may cause the user to not retrieve the application.
“For example, Aaron, a smartphone user, is at lunch with his friend Brent. After lunch, when the bill comes, Aaron demonstrates a specialized calculator application on his smartphone to Brent which determines an appropriate tip and how much of the lunch bill they each owe. Brent is very impressed with the calculator application and would like to obtain a copy for his smartphone. In this case, Brent must ask Aaron the name of the application, browse to the online store on the mobile device, search the online store or elsewhere for the application, and finally select and download the application.
“A simple error in transcribing the name of the application, forgetting about the application, or any of a myriad of other setbacks can interrupt this chain of actions which Brent must accomplish to obtain a copy of the calculator application. Further, Brent can have other availability, licensing, or other feature-related questions to which Aaron does not know the answers. Brent can encounter some difficulty obtaining that information or downloading the application.
“Both Brent and the vendor of the calculator application are willing to transact business together, but due to logistical barriers and/or inconvenience they may be unable. Accordingly, what is needed in the art is an improved way to quickly and easily share applications between nearby computing devices.”
Edward D. Steakley is the inventor.