There have been some recent rumblings regarding Apple supposedly stealing an iPhone idea for a program which would allow users to review information from the iPhone screen while the phone is still locked. In other words, without unlocking the phone, a user would be able to check his/her missed calls, recent text messages, and stock prices etc.
Here’s where the controversy comes in. Recent Apple patent filings have been unearthed showing an iPhone screen that is extremely similar to an already available iPhone application that was rejected from the App store. On the surface, this seems to be highly suspicious, but digging a bit deeper reveals that all finger pointing is misplaced.
The iPhone patents from Apple date back to June of 2007, but the application in question, known as Intelliscreen, is and has only been available on jailbroken iPhones. Iphones weren’t jailbroken until July 2007, so it was impossible for Apple’s patents to copy Intelliscreen’s program. Moreover, if the patents were filed in June of 2007, it’s likely that the idea was thought of weeks, if not months, beforehand. And to put the final nail in the coffin, it seems that Intelliscreen was first released as a beta in May of 2008, a full 11 months after the initial patent filings were made.
Nevertheless, Intelliscreen puts out a kick ass app as evidenced by the screenshots below, and hopefully a similar program will be available for non-jailbroken iPhones sometime in the near future. Click on the images for a larger picture.