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Apple patent filing involves a streaming method for viewing media content

Apple has filed for a patent (number 20180113699) for “automatically installing applications based on content selection.” It’s for a system can automatically initiate installation of a media content provider application based on a content selection by a user.

For example, a user device (an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or Apple TV) can present a graphical user interface (GUI) of a watch list app on a screen The app can present content item suggestions based on subscriptions or purchases that entitle the user to consume media content from various content providers. 

The user can select a suggested content item provided by a content provider from the watch list application. In response to the user selection, the watch list application can determine that a media content provider application corresponding to the content provider is not installed on the user device and automatically initiate installation of the media content provider application.

In the patent filing, Apple’ notes that traditional mechanisms (e.g., broadcast television, cable television, etc.) for viewing media content are becoming less and less popular. More and more people are turning to Internet content providers to view media content. Media content providers often create software applications that viewers (e.g., users) can install on their computing devices and use to view media content provided by the corresponding media content provider. 

However, because modern users typically have several computing devices (e.g., smart phone, tablet computer, laptop computer, streaming media device, etc.), the user may wish to initiate viewing a media content item on a first computing device and continue watching the media content item on a second computing device. When the media content provider application isn’t installed on the second computing device, Apple says the user has to waste time finding the media content provider application online, waste time installing the media content provider application on the second device, and waste time finding and selecting the media item in the media content provider application. The tech giant says a more streamlined and less burdensome mechanism for installing media content provider applications and initiating playback of media items is needed.

Of course, Apple files for — and is granted — lots of patents by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Many are for inventions that never see the light of day. However, you never can tell which ones will materialize in a real product.


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the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.

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