EP2069900A2 - System and method for managing and using electronic widgets - Google Patents

System and method for managing and using electronic widgets

Info

Publication number
EP2069900A2
EP2069900A2 EP07858842A EP07858842A EP2069900A2 EP 2069900 A2 EP2069900 A2 EP 2069900A2 EP 07858842 A EP07858842 A EP 07858842A EP 07858842 A EP07858842 A EP 07858842A EP 2069900 A2 EP2069900 A2 EP 2069900A2
Authority
EP
European Patent Office
Prior art keywords
widgets
widget
device
user
information
Prior art date
Legal status (The legal status is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the status listed.)
Withdrawn
Application number
EP07858842A
Other languages
German (de)
French (fr)
Inventor
Kaj HÄGGMAN
Seppo PYHÄLAMMI
Samuli SILLANPÄÄ
Juha TÖRÖNEN
Jani LEHTIMÄKI
Antti Heinonen
Tero-Markus Saarimaa
Jaripekka Salminen
Tuomo Sihvola
Antti Tohmo
Pekka Tulokas
Simo Tuokko
Current Assignee (The listed assignees may be inaccurate. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation or warranty as to the accuracy of the list.)
Nokia Oyj
Original Assignee
Nokia Oyj
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to US82621106P priority Critical
Application filed by Nokia Oyj filed Critical Nokia Oyj
Priority to PCT/IB2007/002696 priority patent/WO2008047192A2/en
Publication of EP2069900A2 publication Critical patent/EP2069900A2/en
Application status is Withdrawn legal-status Critical

Links

Classifications

    • GPHYSICS
    • G06COMPUTING; CALCULATING; COUNTING
    • G06FELECTRIC DIGITAL DATA PROCESSING
    • G06F9/00Arrangements for program control, e.g. control units
    • G06F9/06Arrangements for program control, e.g. control units using stored programs, i.e. using an internal store of processing equipment to receive or retain programs
    • G06F9/44Arrangements for executing specific programs
    • G06F9/451Execution arrangements for user interfaces

Abstract

Widgets may generally be used to convey information from one or more content sources to a user device. The widgets may operate on the user device and be configured to detect and receive new information feeds. The new information feeds may be filtered according to various factors including user preferences. When new information is received for a widget, the widget may include a new information indicator. Further, widget clients may be used to manage the widgets including the setting of various options and modes. A widget client may also be configured to receive widget recommendations from one or more widget providers as well as to provide traffic information for one or more widgets. Additionally, widgets may be sent from one device to another device through a widget service provider.

Description

SYSTEM AND METHOD FOR MANAGING AND USING ELECTRONIC WIDGETS

TECHNICAL FIELD

[1] Embodiments of the invention relate generally to electronic distribution of information. More specifically, embodiments of the invention provide for conveying information using applications.

BACKGROUND

[2] Electronic access to and distribution of information has grown in importance as a result of networks such as the Internet connecting individuals on a global scale. Even individuals who are on travel or vacation may connect to communication and information networks through mobile communication devices like mobile telephones. For example, many smartphones allow users to browse the web, check and send e-mails and make telephone calls while they are on the move. Business people, in one instance, may use such devices to seek information involving business news, stock prices and/or weather reports. From a social perspective, information access may further be directed toward obtaining gossip information, web logs (i.e., blogs) and/or traffic alerts.

[3] Typically, an individual must access desired information by manually navigating to a particular site and/or manually searching for the topic of interest. For example, a mobile device user interested in up-to-date stock quotes may enter a particular stock quote web address into a browser and subsequently enter the stock symbol or symbols. In another example, an individual who does not know where to access stock information may enter a search website address to search for stock quotes. The individual may then be required to parse through multiple search results to find a suitable web site. In either case, an individual may have to take several steps before receiving the information they desire.

[4] Additionally, an individual accessing the desired information may often lack control of the format and/or presentation of the information. In one instance, extraneous information such as advertisements or undesired data may be embedded within the desired information. In other instances, information like stock quotes may be presented on a static page. That is, the stock quotes are not automatically updated. As such, an individual may be required to select a refresh option to check whether the quote has changed or been updated. This may be tiresome for the individual and/or may result in substantial network access charges associated with the time spent on the network.

BRIEF SUMMARY

[5] This Summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This Summary is not intended to identify key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used to limit the scope of the claimed subject matter.

[6] In one embodiment, widgets may be used on a device such as a mobile telephone or a personal computer to receive information, from one or more content servers and to convey that information to a user. Widgets, as used herein, relate to user interface elements and/or applications that provide and convey information such as advertisements, weather information or other defined information from one or more content sources based on a variety of factors. Widgets may be managed by a widget client that operates on a user's device. A widget client may provide various options including removing a widget and reloading the information associated with a widget. The client may also include various settings that allow a user to control the behavior of the client and/or widgets under the client's control. Further, the widget client may receive notification of new widgets from, e.g., a widget server. The new widgets may be a constrained list of new widgets based on the preferences, characteristics and usage history of the user. Additionally or alternatively, the widget client may monitor traffic associated with one or more widgets. For example, the widget client may log the amount of information that is received by and/or sent from a particular widget.

[7] According to one aspect, a user of a first device may request that a widget be transmitted to a second device. For example, the first device, upon selection of a widget, may transmit a request to send the selected widget to a second device including an identification of. the second device. A widget server may determine whether the second device or a user thereof has an existing account. If the user does have an existing account, the widget may be placed in or otherwise associated with the user of the second device's account for downloading. Alternatively, if the user does not have an account, the widget may create one for the user and send account information to the new user. The account information may include links for accessing the widget server and/or for downloading the widget being sent.

[8] Further, a widget or widget client configured to allow a user to browse information may include a method and system for navigation. The navigation system may include various navigation options include next page, last page, next down page, first page, jump and channel. The jump navigation option may, for example, provide a listing of channel category numbers (e.g., all channels in the 100s may represent sports content while all channels in the 200s may relate to politics). The channel option may be used to allow a user to navigate based on channel identification (e.g., NBC, MTV, CNN, BBC). The navigation system and method may further allow a user to enter a desired page number.

[9] Still further, a widget server or a widget, upon receiving new content, may filter the content according to user or device preferences. For example, if a user is using a mobile device having a slow or low bandwidth connection, the user may indicate that he or she wishes only to receive text and not images. Thus, in such a scenario, the widget server or other device may filter the content to strip out images. The images may be replaced by links, symbols, text and the like. In another example, a user may only wish to receive a predefined amount of text for any given information item. Thus, the widget server or other device may distill a content item down to the predefined amount of text. Various other preferences may be set.

[10] In one or more embodiments, an indicator may be displayed in or around a widget to indicate that new information is available in that widget. The indicator may be selectable or otherwise interactive such that when a user interacts with the indicator, the new information is displayed. The indicator may include a symbol such as "+," text (e.g., "NEW"), an image and the like.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[11] A more complete understanding of the present invention and the advantages thereof may be acquired by referring to the following description in consideration of the accompanying drawings, in which like reference numbers indicate like features, and wherein:

[12] Fig. 1 illustrates a user interface for managing widgets and widget sets on a communication device according to one or more aspects described herein.

[13] Fig. 2 illustrates a user interface associated with selecting a widget or widget set according to one or more aspects described herein.

[14] Fig. 3 illustrates a user interface displaying a list of the widgets which may be downloaded to a user's device according to one or more aspects described herein.

[15] Figs. 4a and 4b illustrate user interfaces displaying a clock widget according to one or more aspects described herein.

[16] Figs. 5a and 5b illustrate a selection frame for selecting widgets according to one or more aspects described herein.

[17] Figs. 6a and 6b illustrate a system for sending a widget to another user according to one or more aspects described herein.

[18] Fig. 7 illustrates a user interface displaying teletext information according to one or more aspects described herein.

[19] Fig. 8 illustrates a system for facilitating the access of webpage content by a user according to one or more aspects described herein.

[20] Figs. 9a, 9b and 9c illustrate a sequence of user interfaces for accessing new feeds in a widget according to one or more aspects described herein.

[21] Figs. 10-14 illustrate user interfaces for accessing, viewing and managing widgets and various aspects thereof.

[22] Fig. 15 is a flowchart illustrating a method for generating and transmitting a recommended list of available widgets to a user's device.

[23] Fig. 16 is a flowchart illustrating a method for detecting new widget content and displaying an indicator for specifying that new information is available. [24] Fig. 17 is a flowchart illustrating a method for filtering content based on various factors according to one or more aspects described herein.

[25] Fig. 18 is a block diagram of a communications device in which one or more aspects described herein may be implemented.

[26] Fig. 19 is a block diagram of a server according to one or more aspects described herein.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[27] In the following description of the various embodiments, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part hereof, and in which is shown by way of illustration various embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and structural and functional modifications may be made without departing from the scope and spirit of the present invention.

[28] Fig. 1 illustrates a user interface for managing widgets and widget sets on a communication device such as mobile terminal of a personal data assistant (PDA). Widgets, as used herein, relate to user interface elements and/or applications that provide and convey information such as advertisements, weather information or other defined information from one or more content sources based on a variety of factors. User interface 100 may include a variety of options 105 such as Widget 105a, Client 105b, mode option 105d and Exit from Options 105c. Options 105 may be presented to a user as a list in a menu structure. Alternatively, options 105 may be displayed as multiple individual buttons (not shown). Widget option 105a may include one or more selectable actions or options such as reload and remove. The reload action or option may be selected by a user of the device to load a widget from a network server where the user has registered his device to get the selected widget and/or content associated with the widget. Alternatively or additionally, the reload option may be used by a user to re-download (e.g., refresh) the widget or content associated with the widget. For example, if a new version of the widget is available, the user may reload the widget to obtain the new version. In another example, if the ' widget's content is stale due to various circumstances, the user may request reloading of the widget to resume normal operation of the widget. The remove option, on the other hand, may be used by a user to delete a widget from their device and/or their account. In one or more configurations, the send, reload and/or remove options might only be provided if the user has not yet accessed the widget (e.g., accessing or opening the contents of the widget).

[29] Client option 105b may also include selectable actions or options such as Go offline, Settings and Mark all read. In particular, selecting Go offline may terminate the connection to the network. Further, the settings option may include modifiable setting attributes such as connection type, allow alerts, go online at start and mode. Connection type may define a manner in which the device connects with one or more content servers. Options for connection type may include socket and http. The allow alerts attribute may provide a user the option to activate and deactivate alerts. Alerts may include audio, video and/or tactile components and may be set based on user needs and preferences. For example, a user may set an alert if new content is available and if the new content contains a specific phrase. In another example, a user may create an alert for new content that is associated with a specified subject matter. In one or more configurations, if a user activates alerts, the user may be alerted to changes that occur in server feeds. For example, if change is found in content stored on a server, an alert signal may be issued to the user over the network connection to which the device and the server are connected. If the user's device includes multiple network interfaces (e.g., multiple air interfaces), a user may select the interface for receiving the server content and/or feed. Alternatively or additionally, only changes to content that are part of a server feed to the user's device may cause an alert to be issued to the user's device.

[30] Additionally, users may also select whether the device is to go online (e.g., establish a connection with a content server) immediately on start-up. The go online on startup option allows a user to select yes, no and ask. For example, if a user chooses the option to go online at startup, the device may establish connections with one or more servers from which the user wants to receive content feeds. Choosing the ask setting may cause the device to prompt the user at startup to determine whether the device is to go online. Various types of network interfaces and network protocols include BLUETOOTH™, wireless local area network (WLAN), cellular networks and the like. [31] The mode option 105d may allow a user to select between a full mode and a lite mode. A full mode may include options and/or features of the client or widget user interface that are not provided in a lite version. In addition, a full mode may involve more processing power and thus, battery power (for a mobile device) than a lite mode. Thus, if a user's device is low on batteries, the user may choose to enable a lite mode rather than the full mode to conserve battery life. A lite mode may also specify a maximum number of widgets to display on the interface and/or a maximum amount of data to receive and process from a content server. Exit from options option 105c may allow the user to exit from the menu screen and/or return to a previous user interface. Alternatively or additionally, a user may manually select (i.e., customize) the features and/or options associated with his or her interface. For example, the user may be offered the option to download images automatically or to download images only on request. A user may wish to download images only on request if, for example, his or her network connection has limited bandwidth. The option could e.g. be an option named "Download/Show images."

[32] In one or more arrangements, a user may select options using one or more soft keys associated with the communication device. For example, each option may correspond to a different number key on a number pad of a mobile telephone. In another example, soft keys may be positioned adjacent to a display screen (not shown) displaying user interface 100. The soft keys may correspond to one of options 105 based on an alignment between the keys and options 105. A user may further interact with options 105 using voice commands and/or input through a touch sensitive display surface.

[33] Fig. 2 illustrates a user interface associated with selecting a widget or widget set. When opening a widget or widget set, e.g., by selecting an icon, a user interface may be displayed showing selectable options for viewing and/or choosing new widgets 205, accessing an inbox 210, monitoring traffic 215 and/or viewing user info 220. Option 205 for viewing and/or choosing new widgets may provide a user with information associated with new and/or popular widgets available on a server associated with a currently open widget or widget set and that have not been downloaded by the user or user's device. This allows a user to retrieve new and/or popular content to the user's device. In one or more instances, popularity of content or of a widget may be determined based on a number of downloads by other users of the service. Demographics may also be used in suggesting new and/or popular content to a user.

[34] Inbox option 210 provides the user with information and messages that may relate to the service/system from which the user is obtaining widgets or that are otherwise associated with one or more widgets. For example, upon registering with a particular widget service, the user may receive a welcome message (e.g., "Welcome you have successfully registered widgets from WidgetService in your phone"). A widget related message may include information about updates to the widget or related widgets that may be available. Traffic monitor option 215, on the other hand, may be used to access information about widgets downloaded to the user's device and the sizes associated with those downloaded widgets. For example, each widget may be identified by a content name and content size which may be recorded upon download. Traffic information may also be recorded or monitored for a particular widget. For example, the amount of content downloaded through a widget may be tracked. In one or more arrangements, the traffic information may be monitored and stored in the content server. As such, the traffic information may be loaded from the content server to the user's device over existing interfaces in the user's device. In one example, a content server may store the content name and content size in association with the user's device or the user's account. Upon a request from a user, the content server may retrieve the traffic information from storage and send the information to the user's device. Alternatively or additionally, the user's device may store traffic information locally.

[35] Fig. 3 illustrates a user interface displaying a list 300 of the widgets that may be downloaded to a user's device. The widgets displayed in list 300 may be selected for inclusion on list 300 based on the user's activity, the user's preferences and/or a user profile. Alternatively or additionally, the widgets displayed in list 300 may be identified based on their popularity amongst other users registered with the service. From list 300, a user may select one or more of the presented widgets for download. Upon selecting one or more of the widgets included in list 300, the content server may add the widget to the feed or feeds already established or registered with the device. According to one or more aspects, the selected widgets may be synchronized to one or more other widgets that already exist on the user's device and that are receiving content through the one or more feeds. Synchronization may relate to the timing of updating content displayed by the widgets and/or a sequence in which the widgets are displayed to the user.

[36] FIG. 15 is a flowchart illustrating a method for determining a list of new or additional widgets for a user or user's device. In step 1500, a widget service provider may determine that new or additional widgets are available for a subscriber's device. For example, the widget service provider may be notified of new widgets from a content source. In another example, a widget service provider may periodically or aperiodically scan for widgets that have not been downloaded to various devices or user's accounts. In step 1505, the widget service provider may formulate a list of one or more widgets from a master list of new or additional widgets for notifying a user. That is, the widget service provider may send a list of new or additional widgets that may be of interest to the user. The formulation of the list may include selecting widgets from the master list based on a variety of factors including user preferences (e.g., widgets the user has downloaded in the past), demographics, popularity of the widgets and the like. In step 1510, the widget service provider may transmit the list to the user's device. In step 1515, the widget service provider may receive a request for one or more of the widgets in the list. The widget service provider may then register the widget with the user's account and transmit the widget to the user's device in steps 1520 and 1525, respectively. Further, the widget service provider may synchronize the updating or transmission of data to the selected widget with one or more other widgets already on the user's device in step 1530.

[37] In Figs. 4a and 4b, for example, a clock widget 405 is selected by the user and added to the user's device. The widget may include functionality such as changing from a digital clock to an analog readout upon a user's interaction. For example, if a user clicks or selects clock widget 405 in Fig. 4A, widget 405's display may change from analog in Fig. 4A to digital in Fig. 4B. Clock widget 405 may be implemented using application protocol interfaces such, as JAVA Mobile Information Device Profile (MIDP). In particular, clock widget 405 may be coupled to JAVA MIDP services running on the user's device upon download. [38] Figs. 5a and 5b illustrate a series of user interfaces 500 and 501 for displaying widgets such as widget 505. A selection frame such as frames 510 and 511 may be used to select a widget in interfaces 500 and 501. When focused on a particular widget, the frame may be displayed and/or applied as a border to the widget. The frame may further be colored to stand out from the coloring of the widgets. Alternatively or additionally, the frame's shape and size may be automatically modified to suit the shape and size of the widget on which the frame is focused. In Fig. 5a, widget 505 is partially off of user interface 500 and is not within selection frame 510. The device may allow a user to navigate the selection frame 510 to an area not having any widgets to show that no widgets are currently in focus. If no widgets are in view of user interface 500, selection frame 511 may display an arrow indicating the direction in which widgets may be found. For example, in Fig. 5b, selection frame 511 includes an arrow that indicates that widgets may be found to the left of frame 511.

[39] A widgets interface may allow a user to select a widget to send, reload and/or remove through the user's device. Fig. 6a and 6b illustrates two communication systems that may be used to perform a transfer of widgets. In Fig. 6a, if a user wishes to share a widget, e.g., widget X 640, with another person, e.g., a friend, the user may use the send option on user's device 660 to transmit widget X 640 to the other person's device 670. When the send option is selected by the user, the user may be prompted by device 660 for the destination (i.e., device 670) phone number to which widget X 640 is to be sent. A user may manually enter a phone number into user's device 660 or, alternatively, may access a phonebook to identify and select the friend's number. After entering the phone number and sending the send request to server 610, the user may receive, on user's device 660, a confirmation that widget X 640 was sent and/or received by the other party (i.e., the friend).

[40] A request message may be sent using a variety of networking protocols and over a variety of type of network connections. Further, a message containing widget identification information corresponding to widget X 640 may be sent rather than widget X 640 itself. Alternatively or additionally, the message may include widget X 640. hi one example, a message may be sent over a GPRS connection using an embedded TCP/IP stack to remote server 610 from user's device 660. Upon server 610 receiving the message, server 610 may check whether the destination phone number sent in the message corresponds to a pre-existing user in. user registration database 620. If the phone number is not known in server 610, a new account 630 for the friend to whom widget X 640 is being sent may be created. Server 610 may also identify the widget (e.g., widget X 640) that is being sent to the friend. Server 610 may then send a message including information such as a user ID and/or password associated with new account 630 and/or an address where the friend or other user may obtain widget X 640. The message may be sent from server 610 using, for instance, a short messaging service (SMS) provided through SMS aggregator 650. Server 610 may further send an SMS message including download and/or installation information associated with a widget client that may be used to view and/or manage widget X 640. Thus, the other user or friend, upon receiving the SMS message may access server 610 to obtain the widget client and/or widget X 640. In one or more arrangements, the widget being shared may be included in the client download.

[41] Alternatively, if server 610 identifies that the destination friend or other user is registered in registration database 620, as illustrated in Fig. 6b, server 610 may send widget X 640 to the destination friend's device 670 by placing widget X 640 in or associating widget X 640 with the destination user/friend's account (not shown). The destination friend's account may refer to a portion of server 610's database where updates and widget information is stored for a particular user. Thus, when destination friend's device 670 updates and/or synchronizes with server 610, widget X 640 may be downloaded to device 670. Alternatively, the destination friend or user may initially be notified of widget X 640 and be allowed to decide whether or not they want widget X 640. For example, the destination user may receive a message in their widget inbox that user 660 wishes to share a new widget. A message notifying the destination user's device 670 of a new widget may further be sent to device 670 using short range messaging. In response to the message, a widget client runrdng on device 670 may automatically update and synchronize with server 610. Alternatively, the destination user may manually update widget information and synchronize with server 610. [42] Fig. 7 illustrates a teletext page that may be broadcast over a vertical blanking interval in a signal transmitted to a television. According to one or more embodiments, however, the teletext information portion of a television signal may also be accessed on web pages (e.g., www.yle.fi/tekstitvV Generally, different broadcast channels have different content on their pages. For example, CNN text TV may include different content than the content of yle (Finnish broadcast television) text TV. Thus, a user's device may allow the user to view the teletext content provided by various broadcast channels. In interface 700, for example, a list of available content pages such as weather information on page 101, NHL season information on page 201 and yesterday's results on page 230 may be displayed to the user. In one or more arrangements, pages may be used as a title or content listing page where the pages and content currently available are displayed to the user. Pages may further be categorized according to one or more attributes such as subject matter. Thus, in one example, all entertainment news may be located in the 400-series of pages while sports news may be found in the 200-series of pages.

[43] A user may access other or additional pages by using navigation options 710. Options 710 may include Next page, Last page, Next downpage, First page, Jump and Channel. In addition to navigation option 710, the user may input a page number, using e.g. a keypad or a touch-sensitive UI of the device, to fetch and display the specified page. The user could e.g. input channel number 201 to fetch the contents of the NHL Season page, for example. The jump option may present the user with a list 715 of existing pages that include content the user may find interesting or relevant. List 715 may be generated based on pages that the user has previously visited, user profile information and/or manual selections made by the user. List 715 may be structured as a root index type structure. The user may then select one of the pages listed in list 715. In response, the content associated with the selected page may be displayed to the user. Next page and Last page options may allow a user to navigate the next and previous pages while first page may provide a user with direct access to the first page. Next downpage may be used to navigate to the next story or content section in the series of pages. For example, a 5 page story about hockey may be followed by a story about stocks. If a user finishes reading page 2 of the hockey story and decides they want to move on to the next story (i.e., the stocks story), they may select the Next downpage option. [44] In one or more embodiments, the Channel selection option allows a user to view pages based on channel categories. For example, pages may be grouped according to whether they are associated with channels such as YLE, MTV3, CNN, BBC, and TV4. Thus, if a user likes one news station better than another, they may directly access the pages associated with the more appealing news station.

[45] Examples of teletext addresses:

[46] YLE:

[47] http://www.γle.fi/cgi-bm/tekstitv/ttv.cgi/html?PAGE=10Q

[48] MTV3:

[49] http://www.mtv3.fi/cgi-bin/mtv3tekstikanava get?sivu=200 (search page 200) http://www.mtv3tekstikanava.fi/tekstikanava/automated/20Q.htm (page 200)

[50] Channel information may be configured according to a configuration of the widget client. A script function may be executed based on the channel information, e.g. channel name is MTV3. The logic and algorithms for processing teletext channel information and selections maybe stored in a middleware server that aggregates the selected teletext services (e.g. YLE, MTV3 etc. in Fig. 7) and outputs them to user devices upon request.

[51] Referring to Fig. 8, a system for storing and providing webpage information to users is illustrated. The system may include a server 810, a database 880, fetcher 830 and webpage 890. Database 880 may store text 885 included in webpage 890 while storing links 886 to images associated with the text and/or displayed in webpage 890. They may conserve space in database 880 and allow a user to view at least the text while images may be downloading or being transferred. If the user requests access to the page, an image of linked page 890 may be retrieved and displayed to the user, hi one or more configurations, fetcher 830 that may check pages of the selected web pages such as webpage 890 (e.g., in XML format) and if the webpages have been changed, fetcher 830 may update server 810 with the updated or changed information. That is, fetcher 830 may replace old content stored in database 880 with new content published in page 890. Fetcher 830 may check both text and images associated with webpage 890 for changes.

[52] In one or more arrangements, when retrieving data from webpage 890 to be stored in database 880, fetcher 830 may check an data feed such as an XML feed and separate the text and images by adding a mark to the text where the images are located. Fetcher 830 may further record the image link to the database 880. The location of the image within the text may be recorded into the text (e.g., with tags such as image 1, image2, image3, etc. or image link with progressive numbering) so that when the image and text are combined and presented to the user, the images and the text are displayed in their intended locations. In one example, in response to a user's request for webpage 890, server 810 may retrieve the text from database 880 and download the images using the stored link from webpage 890. Upon retrieving the text and the images, server 810 may combine the text and images using the tags in the text to place the images. The combined page is then transmitted and displayed to the user. In one or more arrangements, fetcher 830 may be used to retrieve the images from webpage 890. Additionally or alternatively, the information stored in database 880 may be updated automatically at periodic intervals or in response to a user's request. If several downloads requests are made for the same page (e.g., page 890), a proxy may be provided so that the page data (i.e., text and images) is downloaded a limited number of times. For example, the proxy may download the images associated with the requested page so that the images do not need to be downloaded multiple times from the page.

[53] According to one or more embodiments, content may be downloaded and displayed without displaying and/or downloading the images contained therein. The images may, in such embodiments, be downloaded' and display on the user interface if the link (e.g. imagel, or a text link) is selected. The user may also be offered the option to download images automatically or to download images only on request or approval. This allows a device and user to save bandwidth and thus possibly costs related to data transmission. Again, such an option may be a "Download/Show images" option.

[54] Fig. 9a illustrates a Rich Site Summary (RSS) widget 905 displayed in user interface 901 of a device. Widget 905 may include a symbol or indicator to indicate that new feed is available. For example, widget 905 may include an indicator 910 such as a '+' symbol if a new feed is available. The symbol may be a '+' or any other character, image, text and the like. Further, notification of new or additional content (e.g., feed information) may also include images, audio, video, tactile feedback, and the like. Upon a user selecting or clicking widget 905 and/or indicator 910, the new feed information is retrieved by synchronizing the widget client (not shown) of a device with a server (e.g., server 810 of FIG. 8) and information stored in a database such as database 880 of FIG. 8. A time stamp may also be used by either the server or the client or both to identify the time at which the last update occurred. Using a time stamp may limit downloads to the new or updated content (from the time stamp). A server may further enforce other limitations such as only information from today is downloadable etc. in order to limit the download traffic. According to one or more embodiments, when a user selected a webpage or other content, the user might initially only receive titles 920 of the downloadable objects in the feed as shown in Fig. 9b. When the user requests further information (e.g., full text of an article) the server may provide the text 925 and image(s) 930 as shown in Fig. 9c. When more than one image is linked in the text, the text and image may be parsed and presented according to the order in which a fetcher recorded the text and images.

[55] Figs. 10-14 illustrate communication devices displaying user interfaces for viewing, accessing and managing widgets, widget clients and various aspects thereof. For example, in FIG. 10, a user may access various options by selecting options button 1005. Upon selecting options button 1005, menu 1010 may be displayed including options for accessing widgets (i.e., option 1015), accessing a widget client (i.e., option 1020) and exiting (i.e., option 1025). Various widgets may be displayed in the background 1030. Scroll arrows 1035 may be used to browse through the various widgets available on the device.

[56] In one or more embodiments, widget client option 1020 may be selected to create, modify and/or customize widgets. For example, a user may specify a color, shape, size and image to apply to a widget. The user may also specify specific feeds and content to download through the widget. Fig. 11 illustrates a customization interface 1100 for customizing attributes of a widget. For example, the alert tone and volume settings may be selected or specified for alerting the user upon receipt of new content. The alert may be specified through input field 1110 and volume may be designated in field 1115. Fields 1110 and 1115 may be drop-down menus, text entry fields, radio button selection lists and the like. Search tags could be specified for the content as well in tags field 1120, so that an alert is given if content matches the specified search tags. In customizing the widget, a user may also be given the option (e.g., option 1105) to test the alert. This may include testing the sound selected as well as the designated volume. A scroll option 1125 may be used to access additional options not currently within the display screen (i.e., overflow portion of a customization screen).

[57] Figs. 12-14 illustrate a series of interfaces where new content for a widget (e.g., widget 1205) is indicated on user interface 1200 with a symbol 1210. The symbol may comprise a variety of characters, text and/or images including a '+' symbol, the text "More..." and/or an arrow image. Upon selecting, e.g. clicking or otherwise, widget 1205 or symbol 1210 associated therewith, the content may be displayed as illustrated in interface 1300 of FIG. 13. Option bar 1310 provides various options including option menu 1315, back option 1320 and scroll control 1305. Scroll control 1305 might only be displayed if the contents of a widget (e.g., widget 1205) are not able to fit on one screen. Scroll control 1305 allows a user to scroll through the entire document even if the documents do not fit. FIG. 14 illustrates interface 1400 with additional content after scrolling the contents.

[58] FIG. 16 is a flowchart illustrating a method for receiving new or additional information through a widget. In step 1600, a communication device may receive notification of new or additional information (e.g., a new information feed) corresponding to a widget. The notification may be received as part of a periodic or aperiodic synchronization/updating with a widget service provider. Alternatively, a user may command the communication device to check for updates. In step 1605, the new or additional information may be downloaded by the widget running on the communication device. Once downloaded, the communication device may display widget with an indicator specifying that new information is available for that widget in step 1610. An indicator may include a symbol, text, images and the like. In one example, the symbol may include a '+' sign. In step 1615, the communication device may receive input corresponding to an interaction with the indicator. In response, the communication device may display the new or additional information in step 1620. If the new or additional information is too large for one screen, the communication device may further include one or more scroll controls for viewing the entire contents.

[59] FIG. 17 is a flowchart illustrating a method for filtering and transmitting information to a communication device. In step 1700, for example, a service provider may receive new content (e.g., a new information feed) for a widget. In step 1705, the service provider may identify one or more accounts that have downloaded or are using the widget. The service provider may keep track of what widgets have been downloaded to what accounts/devices through a user account database or the like. In step 1710, the service provider may determine account preferences for receiving content. Account preferences may include whether or not to include images, types of information to transmit, limits on content sizes, support for video and the like. In step 1715, the service provider may filter the new content for transmission to devices associated with the identified one or more accounts in accordance with the determined account preferences. The filtering may include, for example, stripping the content of images and replacing the images with image links and video with video links. This may help some devices reduce the amount of bandwidth (and in some cases costs) associated with receiving new content. Filtering may also include determining whether the type or category of content is within a user's desired or preferred categories and, in some cases, removing portions of the content not meeting a user's preferences. In step 1720, the filtered content may then be transmitted to a user's device.

[60] Fig. 18, describing one embodiment of the invention, is a block diagram of a communication device including processor 1828 connected to user interface 1830, memory 1834 and/or other storage, and display 1836. Communication device 1812 may also include battery 1850, speakers) 1853 and antennas 1854. User interface 1830 may further include a keypad, touch screen, voice interface, one or more arrow keys, joy-stick, data glove, mouse, roller ball, touch screen, or the like. Mobile terminal 1812 may comprise a computer, PDA, mobile telephone and the like. [61] Computer executable instructions and data used by processor 1828 and other components within communication device 1812 may be stored in a computer readable memory 1834. The memory may be implemented with any combination of read only memory modules or random access memory modules, optionally including both volatile and nonvolatile memory. Software 1840 may be stored within memory 1834 and/or storage to provide instructions to processor 1828 for enabling communication device 1812 to perform various functions. Alternatively, some or all of communication device 1812 computer executable instructions may be embodied in hardware or firmware (not shown).

[62] Communication device 1812 may be configured to receive, decode and process digital radio or television broadcast transmissions that are based, for example, on the DVB (Digital Video Broadcasting) standards, through a specific DVB receiver 1841. The mobile device may also be provided with other types of receivers for digital broadcast transmissions, such as MediaFLO, DMB (Digital Multimedia Broadcasting), ISDB (Integrated Services Digital Broadcasting), HDTV (High- definition television), DAM (Digital Audio Broadcasting), DRM (Digital Radio Mondiale), etc. Additionally, communication device 1812 may also be configured to receive, decode and process transmissions through FM/AM Radio receiver 1842, WLAN transceiver 1843, and wireless telecommunications transceiver 1844. Transceivers 1843 and 1844 may, alternatively, be separated into individual transmitter and receiver components (not shown). In one example, transceiver 1844 may include a broadcast receiver (not shown) and a backward channel receiver (not shown) for communicating over the broadcast channel and the backward channel, respectively. In one aspect of the invention, communication device 1812 may receive Radio Data System (RDS) messages. Other transmission and reception systems may also be used including BLUETOOTH®, WiMAX (Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access) i.e., Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) 802.16 standard, and/or UWB (Ultra- wideband) transceivers. In one or more instances, signals may be transmitted to and received from another mobile terminal (not shown). For example, audio, video and other signals may be transmitted between two communication devices using various transmissions protocols such as wireless local area networks (WLANs), General Packet Radio Service (GPRS), third generation mobile system technology (3G), Bluetooth and/or Universal Plug and Play (UPnP). Such networks may be used to access or support local networks or remote networks such as the Internet.

[63] Fig. 19 is a block diagram of a server according to one or more aspects described herein. Server 1900 includes a variety of components including a widget database 1905, a user account database 1910, a processor 1915, a network interface 1920, recommendation generation component 1925 and filter module 1930. Functions performed by server 1900 may be processed, at least in part, by processor 1915. The widget database 1905 may store widgets and/or information associated therewith. For example, widget database 1905 may store either the widget itself or an address or location for accessing the widget or both. Account database 1910, on the other hand, stores information relating to users, their devices and/or activities of the user or device. For example, database 1910 may store a widget download history for each user account and/or store the limitations or capabilities of a user's device.

[64] Additionally, communications to and from server 1900 may be facilitated by network interface 1920. Network interface 1920 may coordinate communications from multiple senders and to multiple recipients. For example, content sources may send information updates through interface 1920, which may then be used to transmit the information updates to one or more devices. Recommendation generation component 1925 may be configured to formulate a list of recommended widgets for a given user or device according to the methods and aspects described herein. Filter module 1930, on the other hand, may be configured to filter content prior to transmission to a receiving device, as discussed herein. The components of server 1900 may include firmware, software, hardware and/or combinations thereof. Various other components may also be used in conjunction with or as an alternative to the components described. Further, server 1900 may be a distributed computing system with components spread out over multiple locations. Alternatively, server 1900 may be a single integrated unit.

[65] The methods and features recited herein may further be implemented through any number of computer readable media that are able to store computer readable instructions. Examples of computer readable media that may be used include RAM, ROM, EEPROM, flash memory or other memory technology, CD-ROM, DVD or other optical disk storage, magnetic cassettes, magnetic tape, magnetic storage and the like.

[66] Additionally or alternatively, in at least some embodiments, the methods and features recited herein may be implemented through one or more integrated circuits (ICs). An integrated circuit may, for example, be a microprocessor that accesses programming instructions and/or other data stored in a read only memory (ROM). In some such embodiments, ROM stores programming instructions that cause IC to perform operations according to one or more of the methods described herein. In at least some other embodiments, one or more the methods described herein are hardwired into IC. In other words, IC is in such cases an application specific integrated circuit (ASIC) having gates and other logic dedicated to the calculations and other operations described herein. In still other embodiments, IC may perform some operations based on execution of programming instructions read from ROM and/or RAM, with other operations hardwired into gates and other logic of IC. Further, IC may output image data to a display buffer.

[67] The present invention includes any novel feature or combination of features disclosed herein either explicitly or any generalization thereof. While the invention has been described with respect to specific examples including presently preferred modes of carrying out the invention, those skilled in the art will appreciate that there are numerous variations and permutations of the above described systems and techniques. Thus, the spirit and scope of the invention should be construed broadly as set forth in the appended embodiments.

Claims

We claim:
1. A method comprising: receiving, at a communications device, a list of one or more widgets available for download, wherein the list of one or more widgets available for download is a subset of a set of available widgets larger than the list of one or more widgets and wherein the one or more widgets are configured to operate on the communications device and to convey information from one or more content sources to the communications device; and storing the list of the one or more widgets available for download.
2. The method of claim 1, wherein the list of one or more widgets is selected from the set of available widgets based on one or more widgets stored in the communication device.
3. The method of claim 1, wherein the list of one or more widgets is selected based on popularity of the one or more widgets.
4. The method of claim 1, wherein the list of one or more widgets is selected based on a demographic associated with a user of the communications device.
5. The method of claim 1, wherein the communications device is a mobile communications device.
6. A method comprising: determining whether a first set of one or more new widgets are available, wherein the one or more new widgets are configured to convey information to one or more communication devices; in response to determining that one or more new widgets are available, selecting a second set of one or more widgets from the first set of one or more new widgets; and transmitting a widget list to a remote communications device, the list identifying the one or more widgets included in the second set.
7. The method of claim 6, further comprising: receiving a selection of a first widget from the list; transmitting the first widget to the remote communications device; and synchronizing a first information feed associated with the first widget with a second information feed corresponding to a second widget stored on the remote communications device.
8. The method of claim 7, wherein synchronizing the first information feed with the second information feed includes scheduling a transmission of the first information feed and the second information for the same time.
9. The method of claim 6, wherein the second set of one or more widgets is selected based on popularity.
10. The method of claim 6, wherein the second set of one or more widgets is selected based on a demographic associated with a user of the remote communications device.
11. The method of claim 6, wherein the second set of one or more widgets comprise applications executable on the remote communications device.
12. The method of claim 6, wherein the second set of one or more widgets is selected based on demographics.
13. A method comprising: receiving, from a first device, a request to send a widget to a second device, wherein the widget is configured to convey information from one or more content sources to the second device; and determining whether a user of the second device has an account; in response to determining that the user of the second device does not have an account, creating an account for the user of the second device; and transmitting a message to the second device including widget access information.
14. The method of claim 13, wherein the widget access information includes an address from which the widget can be downloaded.
15. The method of claim 13, wherein the message is a short message service (SMS) message.
16. The method of claim 13 , wherein the message further includes access information for a widget client configured to manage the widget.
17. A method comprising: receiving, at a device, a new information feed through a widget, the widget configured to operate on the device and to convey information from one or more content sources to the device; displaying the widget with an indicator indicative of new information available; receiving a selection of the indicator; and in response to the selection of the indicator, displaying the new information feed.
18. The method of claim 17, further comprising: deteimining whether images in the new information feed are to be displayed; and in response to determining that images are not to be shown, converting images in the new information feed to image links.
19. The method of claim 18, wherein the determination of whether images of the new information feed are to be displayed includes determining at least one of a user preference and a capability of the device.
20. The method of claim 17, wherein the indicator comprises a symbol.
21. A method comprising: receiving a new information feed from one or more content sources associated with a widget configured to convey information from one or more content sources to the device; determining a user account having the widget; determining one or more characteristics of at least one of: the user account and a device corresponding to the user account; modifying the new information based on the one or more characteristics; and transmitting the modified new information feed to a device associated with the user account through the identified widget.
22. The method of claim 21 , wherein the new information feed includes text and images and wherein the images are converted to image links based on the one or more characteristics.
23. The method of claim 21 , wherein the modified new information feed is transmitted to the device at predefined synchronization time.
24. The method of claim 21, wherein the one or more characteristics includes user preferences.
25. A method comprising: detecting traffic associated with a widget configured to operate on a device and to convey information from one or more content sources to the device through the widget. determining traffic information including one or more attributes of the detected traffic; and storing said traffic information.
26. The method of claim 25, wherein the detected traffic corresponds to a transmission of content and wherein the one or more attributes includes at least one of a content name and a content size of the transmitted content.
27. The method of claim 25, further comprising: receiving a request for the traffic information from the device; and in response to the request, sending the requested traffic information to the device.
28. The method of claim 25, further comprising determining traffic information corresponding to a plurality of widgets associated with the device.
29. An apparatus comprising: a receiver configured to receive a list of one or more widgets available for download, wherein the list of one or more widgets available for download is a subset of a set of available widgets larger than the list of one or more widgets and wherein the one or more widgets are configured to operate on the apparatus and to convey information from one or more content sources to the apparatus; and memory configured to store the list of the one or more widgets available for download.
30. The apparatus of claim 29, wherein the list of one or more widgets is selected from the set of available widgets based on one or more widgets stored in the memory.
31. The apparatus of claim 29, wherein the list of one or more widgets is selected based on popularity of the one or more widgets.
32. The apparatus of claim 29, wherein the list of one or more widgets is selected based on a demographic associated with a user of the apparatus.
33. The apparatus of claim 29, further comprising: a transmitter configured to transmit a selection of a first widget from the list of one or more widgets available for download to a service provider; and wherein the receiver is further configured to receive the first widget in response to the transmission of the selection of the first widget
34. One or more computer readable media storing computer readable instructions that, when executed, cause a processor to perform a method comprising: receiving, at a communications device, a list of one or more widgets available for download, wherein the list of one or more widgets available for download is a subset of a set of available widgets larger than the list of one or more widgets and wherein the one or more widgets are configured to operate on the communications device and to convey information from one or more content sources to the communications device; and storing the list of the one or more widgets available for download.
35. The one or more computer readable media of claim 34, wherein the list of one or more widgets is selected based on a demographic associated with a user of the communications device.
36. A method comprising: determining that a first set of widgets are available to a first device, the first set of widgets are configured to operate on the first device and to convey information from one or more content sources to the first device; generating a list comprising a second set of widgets selected from the first set of widgets based on one or more characteristics of at least one of: the first device and a user of the first device; and transmitting the list to the first device.
37. The method of claim 36, wherein the one or more characteristics includes a limitation of the first device.
38. The method of claim 36, wherein the second set of widgets is smaller than the first set of widgets.
39. An apparatus comprising: a processor; and memory configured to store computer readable instructions that, when executed, cause the processor to perform a method comprising: determining whether a first set of one or more new widgets are available, wherein the one or more new widgets are configured to convey information to one or more communication devices; in response to determining that one or more new widgets are available, selecting a second set of one or more widgets from the first set of one or more new widgets; and transmitting a widget list to a remote communications device, the list identifying the one or more widgets included in the second set.
40. The apparatus of claim 39, wherein the memory is further configured to store instructions for: receiving a selection of a first widget from the list; transmitting the first widget to the remote communications device; and synchronizing a first information feed associated with the first widget with a second information feed corresponding to a second widget stored on the remote communications device.
41. The apparatus of claim 40, wherein synchronizing the first information feed with the second information feed includes scheduling a transmission of the first information feed and the second information for the same time.
42. An apparatus comprising: a processor; and memory configured to store computer readable instructions that, when executed, cause the processor to perform a method comprising: receiving, from a first device, a request to send a widget to a second device, wherein the widget is configured to convey information from one or more content sources to the second device; and determining whether a user of the second device has an account; in response to determining that the user of the second device does not have an account, creating an account for the user of the second device; and transmitting a message to the second device including widget access information.
43. The apparatus of claim 42, wherein the widget access information includes an address from which the widget can be downloaded.
44. An apparatus comprising: a processor; and memory configured to store computer readable instructions that, when executed, cause the processor to perform a method comprising: receiving a new information feed through a widget, the widget configured to operate on the apparatus and to convey information from one or more content sources to the apparatus; displaying the widget with an indicator indicative of new information available; receiving a selection of the indicator; and in response to the selection of the indicator, displaying the new information feed.
45. The apparatus of claim 44, wherein the memory is further configured to store instructions for: determining whether images in the new information feed are to be displayed; and in response to determining that images are not to be shown, converting images in the new information feed to image links.
46. An apparatus comprising: a processor; and memory configured to store computer readable instructions that, when executed, cause the processor to perform a method comprising: receiving a new information feed from one or more content sources associated with a widget configured to convey information from one or more content sources to the apparatus; determining a user account having the widget; determining one or more characteristics of at least one of: the user account and a device corresponding to the user account; modifying the new information based on the one or more characteristics; and transmitting the modified new information feed to a device associated with the user account through the identified widget.
47. The apparatus of claim 46, wherein the new information feed includes text and images and wherein the images are converted to image links based on the one or more characteristics.
48. An apparatus comprising: a processor; and memory configured to store computer readable instructions that, when executed, cause the processor to perform a method comprising: detecting traffic associated with a widget configured to operate on the apparatus and to convey information from one or more content sources to the apparatus through the widget. determining traffic information including one or more attributes of the detected traffic; and storing said traffic information.
49. The apparatus of claim 48, wherein the detected traffic corresponds to a transmission of content and wherein the one or more attributes includes at least one of a content name and a content size of the transmitted content.
50. An apparatus comprising: a processor; and memory configured to store computer readable instructions that, when executed, cause the processor to perform a method comprising: determining that a first set of widgets are available to a first device, the first set of widgets are configured to operate on the first device and to convey information from one or more content sources to the first device; generating a list comprising a second set of widgets selected from the first set of widgets based on one or more characteristics of at least one of: the first device and a user of the first device; and transmitting the list to the first device.
51. The apparatus of claim 50, wherein the one or more characteristics includes a limitation of the first device.
EP07858842A 2006-09-19 2007-09-12 System and method for managing and using electronic widgets Withdrawn EP2069900A2 (en)

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