Apple patent involves history-based image searching in the Messages app

Apple has been granted a patent (number 20180173725) for history-based searching for images and graphics with its Messages app in macOS and iOS.

The invention involves systems and methods for suggesting “expressive graphical content” to a user to share within a messaging system. Expressive graphical content can include images, video, animated images (any of which may include sound) that a Messages user is likely to share because it’s related to a conversation between one or more users of the messaging system. 

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A transcript of a message session between two or more users of a message system can be used to generate keywords for identifying and prioritizing expressive graphical content. The keywords can be prioritized and used as search terms to proactively suggest to the user to search for expressive graphical content. A search can be initiated automatically upon selecting one or more of the keywords.

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.