In a CNET News story yesterday, our very own Josh Lowensohn explored Apple's recent patent application for an interesting touch-screen concept. The patent details separate smaller displays outside of the regular iPhone touch screen. According to the patent filing, these separate displays could be used in tandem with the main iPhone touch screen or used by developers to show added information in apps and games. Josh is careful to point out that patent applications don't necessarily mean a company will use an idea in a future product, but they are nonetheless interesting to consider.
Obviously, adding separate screens would open up all kinds of options for apps, but I wonder if these areas would be used by Apple for showing things like battery life, current time, camera information, or other more generic smartphone-related uses. But if these added touch-screen areas could be used by app developers, it would open up a huge number of possibilities for more interesting on-screen controls and other information widgets related to what's happening on-screen.
Even without knowing whether this will come to light, what sort of uses can you envision for extra displays around the main iPhone screen? Let me know your ideas in the comments.
This week's apps include an app for star gazing that uses augmented-reality technology and an app that lets you play classic arcade and console games from the golden age of gaming.… Read more