HTC's new UI patent that "organises applications, widgets, and web pages into pages of a virtual book" may "borrow" a few ideas from Palm, but it's cool with me. I'm all for a snazzier version of Pre's card system.
It takes all open webpages, applications, and widgets and organizes them in a way that you can easily flick to leaf through the selections. Actually, the more I think about it, the more it seems almost exactly like the card system. With fancy page-flip transitions in between.
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.
The patent also describes a really cool rolodex-style method of browsing, where the UI collapses apps and pages towards the top and bottom of the screen while expanding the item you're looking at in the middle. Imagine (again with the Palm comparisons) the Pre's calendar, and you'll get the idea.
The Pre might already have a lot of what's described here, but I'm totally cool with HTC ripping it off. Because if anyone can knock this interface out of the park, it's HTC. [<a href="http://www.unwiredview.com/2009/10/30/hts-is-working-on-next-gen-virtual-book-touch-ui/""UnwiredView via Slashgear]