A Samsung patent, filed last year but only made publicly available recently, suggests the company is looking to refresh the user interface for its Android smartphones, with the focus on new ways to group icons together and sort through them, beyond the traditional folder option.
This image, retrieved by Patent Bolt, show the various design avenues Samsung could pursue. The most straightforward involves turning folders into a kind of drop down menu, where the user would scroll up and down to locate a particular app.
A different possibility shows the icons folding out in a manner described by Patent Bolt as "accordion"-like, but it reminds me of one of those joke wallets from a 90s live-action comedy, filled with a hundred photos of kids and relatives. For some reason, I'm not a fan.
Yet another idea dispenses with the container metaphor entirely, opting instead to stack app icons and showing them from an isometric perspective. The stacked icons could then explode out when clicked on, or appear in a separate, smaller window — a more familiar approach.
What do you think? I reckon smartphones have nailed the icon/folder interface. It's about time companies started to innovate in this area again, regardless of what legal pressures might be forcing their hand.
Images: Patent Bolt