Apple wants to make it easier to browse media from multiple sources on its various devices

Apple has been granted a patent (number 20180136800) for “user interfaces for browsing content from multiple content applications on an electronic device.” The goal: present media items such as music, movies, and TV shows from different media applications in a unified media browsing app on Apple devices such as Macs, iPads, Apple TVs, and iPhones.

Media Device patent 2.jpeg

This would obviously involve iTunes and Apple’s TV app. However, it’s possible that it could also bring Photos into the fold.

In the patent filing, Apple notes that user interaction with electronic devices has increased significantly in recent years. In some circumstances, such a device has access to content or media (e.g., music, movies, television shows, etc.) via content applications installed on the device that are associated with content providers, and user interaction with such a device entails browsing and playing of the content using the content applications. Apple wants to enhance those interaction, improve the user experience, and reduce decreases user interaction time.

Here’s Apple’s summary of the invention: “In some embodiments, an electronic device facilitates browsing of media from different media applications based on category of media (e.g., movies, television shows, etc.). In some embodiments, an electronic device facilitates setup of a unified media browsing application that presents media items from different media applications in a unified media browsing user interface. 

Media Device patent.jpeg

“In some embodiments, an electronic device displays multiple episodes of a collection of episodic content (e.g., a television series) in a user interface for the collection of episodic content. In some embodiments, an electronic device displays representations of, and provides access to, live-event media items accessible on the electronic device.”

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.