US20150205489A1 - Browser interface for installed applications - Google Patents

Browser interface for installed applications Download PDF

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Publication number
US20150205489A1
US20150205489A1 US13/110,776 US201113110776A US2015205489A1 US 20150205489 A1 US20150205489 A1 US 20150205489A1 US 201113110776 A US201113110776 A US 201113110776A US 2015205489 A1 US2015205489 A1 US 2015205489A1
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United States
Prior art keywords
browser application
internet browser
web applications
user interface
installed
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Abandoned
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US13/110,776
Inventor
Glen Murphy
Nicholas Jitkoff
Erik Kay
Aaron Boodman
Gregor Hochmuth
Finnur Thorarinsson
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Google LLC
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Google LLC
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Publication date
Priority to US34601310P priority Critical
Priority to US34599910P priority
Priority to US34600010P priority
Application filed by Google LLC filed Critical Google LLC
Priority to US13/110,776 priority patent/US20150205489A1/en
Assigned to GOOGLE INC. reassignment GOOGLE INC. ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: JITKOFF, NICHOLAS, MURPHY, GLEN, BOODMAN, AARON, THORARINSSON, FINNUR, HOCHMUTH, GREGOR, KAY, ERIK
Priority claimed from US13/481,660 external-priority patent/US20150207800A1/en
Publication of US20150205489A1 publication Critical patent/US20150205489A1/en
Assigned to GOOGLE LLC reassignment GOOGLE LLC CHANGE OF NAME (SEE DOCUMENT FOR DETAILS). Assignors: GOOGLE INC.
Application status is Abandoned legal-status Critical

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Abstract

A computer-implemented method includes providing a user interface in a browser application, displaying on the user interface one or more applications installed in the browser application and enabling interaction with the installed applications through the user interface in the browser application.

Description

    CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • This application claims the benefit, under 35 U.S.C. §119, of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/345,999 (titled “Installable Web Applications”), U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/346,000 (titled “Web Store for Digital Goods”), and U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/346,013 (titled, “Chrome Extensions”), all filed May 18, 2010. The disclosures of these provisional patent applications are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.
  • TECHNICAL FIELD
  • This description relates to a browser interface for installed applications.
  • BACKGROUND
  • Browsers typically enable users to interact with and experience many different types of content, usually over a computer network, and often in a visual or graphical manner. For example, users may install one or more internet browsers on a local computing device, and may thereafter utilize the internet browser to access content and/or functionality provided by a remote computing device.
  • SUMMARY
  • According to one general aspect, a computer-implemented method includes providing a user interface in a browser application, displaying on the user interface one or more applications installed in the browser application and enabling interaction with the installed applications through the user interface in the browser application.
  • In another general aspect, a computer-readable storage medium has recorded and stored thereon instructions that, when executed by a processor, cause the processor to perform a method, where the method includes providing a user interface in a browser application, displaying on the user interface one or more applications installed in the browser application and enabling interaction with the installed applications through the user interface in the browser application.
  • In another general aspect, an apparatus includes instructions stored on a computer-readable storage medium that are executable by at least one processor to execute a browser application and thereby provide a browser interface, where the apparatus includes a user interface configured to display one or more applications installed in the browser application and a management module configured to cause the at least one processor to enable interaction with the installed applications through the user interface in the browser application.
  • Implementations for each of the general aspects may include one or more of the following features. For example, control of one or more features of the installed applications may be enabled through the user interface in the browser application. Selection of a launch mode for each of the installed applications may be enabled through the user interface in the browser application. An option to uninstall each of the installed applications may be enabled through the user interface in the browser application. Control of declared permissions for each of the installed applications may be enabled through the user interface in the browser application. A search mechanism to search for installed applications may be provided through the user interface in the browser application. A review mechanism to enable submission of a review for each of the installed applications may be provided through the user interface in the browser application.
  • The details of one or more implementations are set forth in the accompanying drawings and the description below. Other features will be apparent from the description and drawings, and from the claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • FIG. 1 is an exemplary screen shot of a web page in a browser application.
  • FIG. 2 is an exemplary screen shot of a web page and an application management window in a browser application.
  • FIG. 3 is an exemplary screen shot of a web page and an application shortcut window in a browser application.
  • FIG. 4 is an exemplary screen shot of a web page and an application permissions window in a browser application.
  • FIG. 5 is an exemplary screen shot of a web page and a search field in a browser application.
  • FIG. 6 is an exemplary screen shot of a web page and a review field in a browser application.
  • FIG. 7 is an exemplary block diagram of a system.
  • FIG. 8 is a flowchart illustrating example operations of the system of FIG. 7.
  • FIG. 9 is a block diagram showing example or representative computing devices and associated elements that may be used to implement the systems and methods of FIGS. 1-8.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION
  • This documents relates to systems and techniques for a user interface surface integrated as part of a browser application for interacting with and managing applications installed in the browser application. The user interface provides an interactive interface to organize and launch the installed applications. The user interface also provides an interactive interface to manage functionality of the installed applications including, for example, launch modes, permissions, integration with the operating system, rating and reviewing an installed application and uninstalling an installed application. The user interface also provides a search interface to find and launch installed applications using a search query. In this manner, a single user interface integrated in the browser application provides multiple control and management features related to the applications installed in the browser application.
  • Throughout this document, the terms browser and browser application may be used interchangeably to mean the same thing. Also throughout this document, the terms web application and web app may be used interchangeably to refer to an application, including metadata, that is installed in a browser application. The terms extension application, web extension, web extension application, extension app and extension may be used interchangeably to refer to a bundle of files that are installed in the browser application to add functionality to the browser application. The term application, when used by itself without modifiers, may be used to refer to a web application and/or an extension application that is installed or is to be installed in the browser application.
  • An extension application may be a zipped bundle of files that adds functionality to the browser application. Extension applications may be webpages and may use all of the application programming interfaces (APIs) that the browser application provides to webpages. The extension application may include hypertext mark-up language (HTML), cascading style sheets (CSS), JavaScript, images, and other types of files and web-related computer languages and code.
  • In one exemplary implementation, an extension application may use a background element, which is an invisible element that may include the main logic or instructions related to the extension application. In this manner, the background element may function as a central hub for the functionality of the extension application. The background element may be associated with one or more visible elements of the extension application. Upon the launch or a triggering event such as, for example, logging into a computer or logging the browser application or launching the extension application, the background element launches and begins executing the instructions contained within the background element. In this manner, the extension application provides quick and fast access to content due to the fact that the background element is operating even when the visible elements of the extension are not being displayed. Upon invocation of a visible element of the extension, the background element provides content and information that has been collected in the background.
  • In another example, an installed application may be an installed web application. A web application may be a normal website that includes extra metadata that is installed as part of the browser application. Installable web apps may use standard web technologies for server-side and client-side code. The extra metadata associated with the installable web application affects the web application's interaction with the browser application. The web application also may be associated with a background element that is an invisible element in the browser application that includes instructions related to one or more visible elements of the web application in the browser application. Upon the triggering of an event such as, for example, launching the browser application or opening the web application, the background element may execute the instructions on its page to perform functions related to the one or more visible elements of the installable web application.
  • Referring to FIG. 1, an exemplary screenshot 1100 is illustrated. The screenshot 1100 illustrates an exemplary illustration of a browser application 1102. For example, in one exemplary implementation, the browser application 1102 may be the Google Chrome browser application. When a user selects to open a new tab 1104 in the browser application 1102, a user interface 1106 may generate and display the web applications 1108 that are installed in the browser application 1102.
  • For example, a user may have previously navigated the browser application 1102 to a web store, where the web store is a location on the Internet accessible by the browser application where a user can download applications, such as, web applications and extension applications that are integrated and downloadable as part of the browser application. For instance, the Google Chrome web store is a location on the Internet where users can download such applications and extensions. These installable web applications may be a normal website with some extra metadata. The installable web application and installable web extension applications may be built as a normal web application that uses standard web technologies for both server-side and client-side code. In addition to the normal web application, the installable web applications and extensions may include extra metadata that is associated with the application, which affects the web application's interaction with the browser application.
  • In this example, the user interface 1106 displays icons for the web applications 1108 that have been installed in the browser application 1102. A selection of one of the icons, for example, by a double-click of an input device or a by a touch on a touch screen interface, causes the installed application to launch, including opening a new tab in the browser application 1102 and directing the new tab to a website associated with the launched application. A selection of the icon 1109 may cause the browser application 1102 to open a new tab and to go to the Internet website for the web store, where a user may browse and install other web applications and extension applications.
  • In other exemplary implementations, the user interface 1106 may display the installed applications in other ways. For example, the installed applications may be listed by name in a text listing. The installed applications may be grouped or organized in some manner using folders or other hierarchical-type interfaces. Multiple installed applications may extend onto multiple other pages, which may be considered part of the same user interface 1106 that just has extended onto other pages.
  • From this single user interface 1106, the user may interact with the installed applications 1108 such as, for instance, launching an installed application by selection of its icon. Also, from this single user interface 1106, the user may mange one or more of the functions associated with an installed application.
  • Referring to FIG. 2, an exemplary screenshot 2200 of the browser application 1102 is illustrated. In this example, one of the installed applications 1108 has been selected to manage functions and features associated with the installed application. In one example, a tool icon LL202 may be selected and a management window 2204 is generated and displayed. In another example, a user may right-click on the icon using an input device (e.g., a mouse) to generate and display the management window 2204.
  • The management window 2204 is part of the user interface 1106 that enables control of functions and features related to the installed applications. From the management window 2204, the user may control a launch mode for the web application. For instance, several launch mode options are provided including to open as a regular tab, open as a pinned tab, open as a window or open full screen. A selection of one of these launch modes controls how the application launches each time it is selected to launch. Other types of launch modes may be provided.
  • In another exemplary implementation, another launch mode may include a panel mode. By selecting the panel mode, the application may be launched in a small pop-up panel. In other exemplary implementations, other features related to the launch mode or related to the appearance and/or behavior of other features may be controlled by the user through the user interface 1106. For example, the behavior and/or appearance of the tab may be controlled as it relates to the launch of a specific application including features such as a larger icon, different tab placement, and different grouping behavior. The behavior and/or appearance of the window may be controlled as it relates to the launch of a specific application including removing the browser chrome and treating the application like a top-level application rather than a sub-window of the browser application. In other implementations, a launch mode may include launching the application as an invisible background service.
  • The launch modes may operate in a manner that is independent of any installed operating system. The browser application 1102 may be configured to operate with different types of operating systems and functionality of applications installed in the browser application 1102 may perform in a manner independent of the operating system.
  • The management window 2204 also enables a user to uninstall 2206 an installed application. If a user selects uninstall 2206, then the installed application will be uninstalled from the browser application 1102. To reinstall an uninstalled application, the user may navigate to the web store and select the application to be installed again in the browser application. In other implementations, the user may navigate to other application hosting providers or directly to a website for the application itself to download and install the application.
  • The management window 2204 also enables a user to create a new operating system-specific application specific shortcut 2208 (e.g., on the Windows desktop or the OS X dock) for the installed application. If the user selects shortcut 2208, then a new shortcut is generated.
  • Referring to FIG. 3, an exemplary screen shot 3300 illustrates the exemplary browser application 1102. In this example, the user's selection of shortcut (shortcut 2208 of FIG. 2) generates and displays a shortcut window 3302 in the single user interface 1106 in the browser application 1102. The shortcut window 3302 provides a point of enabling integration with the installed operating system by allowing options to create a shortcut in one or more locations controlled by the operating system. Shortcuts may be created on the desktop, in the start menu and/or in the quick launch bar. A selection of one or more of the check boxes causes a shortcut to be installed in the selected location. A selection of the shortcut from one of these locations launches the installed application and browser application, if the browser application is not already running.
  • In another exemplary implementation, the user interface 1106 in the browser application 1102 may provide an interface for the user to manage permissions associated with an installed application. Referring to FIG. 4, an exemplary screenshot 4400 illustrates the browser application 1102 with a permissions window 4402. The permissions window 4402 may be opened using the user interface 1106 and selecting one of the installed applications 1108, as discussed above. The permissions window 4402 provides an interface within the single user interface 1102 to enable the user to control and manage the permissions associated with an installed application.
  • The permissions may be a declaration of the access that is desired by the web application or extension application to device-side information, client-related information and/or server-side information associated with the client or device. One or more permissions may be declared and granted by the user as part of the installation process for the application. In this manner, developers of web applications and extension applications declare the desired permissions and associate the declared permissions as part of the application. This informs the user as to the access that is potentially being requested to specific information during the lifetime of the application while in use in the browser application.
  • The permissions window 4402 allows the user to control the declared permissions associated with an installed application. Turning off one or more of the declared permissions may reduce and limit the performance of the installed application.
  • In another exemplary implementation, the permissions window 4402 allows the user to control opt-in permissions and the declared permissions. Opt-in permissions may be made optional to the user whereby opting in by the user grants the application one or more other permissions. In other exemplary implementations, the permissions window 4402 allows the user to control only opt-in permissions and not any declared permissions.
  • While the examples discussed above illustrate and describe the control and management of installed applications on an individual application basis, other exemplary implementations may provide an interface through the single user interface 1106 of the browser application 1102 to enable control of one or more features across multiple installed applications. For example, an interface for permissions related to multiple installed applications may allow a user to control a specific permission or permission type for all of the installed applications. In this manner, for instance, the user may control a geolocation permission or a background permission in a more global or universal manner across multiple installed applications. Other features including the launch mode, uninstallation feature and shortcuts may be controlled in a similar universal manner across multiple installed applications. For instance, an interface may enable the user to designate multiple or all of the installed application to launch in full screen launch mode.
  • The user interface 1106 also may provide a search interface to search for and launch an installed application. Referring to FIG. 5, an exemplary screen shot 5500 illustrates the browser application 1102 and a search window 5502. In one exemplary implementation, the search window 5502 may be referred to as an omnibox search window because it searches for information from multiple, different providers using a single search interface. For example, the search window 5502 may enable a user to enter a query or a partial query and results may be retrieved from multiple sources including, for instance, a search provider, a browser history, a desktop provider and installed application in the browser application. The search query or partial search query may begin to provide results as soon as the first character is entered in the search window 5502.
  • For the installed applications, the characters entered into the search window 5502 may be compared against the title of the installed application using a string match comparison. In FIG. 5, a user has enter the character “n” 5504 in the search window 5502. A search result window 5506 displays a list of results. The search result window 5506 includes an installed application 5508 in the list of results. A selection of the installed application 5508 from the search result window 5506 may cause the application to launch.
  • Referring to FIG. 6, an exemplary screen shot 6600 illustrates the browser application 1102 and a review window 6602. From the single user interface 1106 in the browser application 1102, a user can rate and write a review for an installed application 1108 using the review window 6602. The review window 6602 may be opened using the user interface 1106 and selecting one of the installed applications 1108, as discussed above. In this manner, the user can rate and review installed applications from this user interface instead of just at the web store website.
  • FIG. 7 is a block diagram of an example embodiment of a system 7500 in accordance with the disclosed subject matter. In various implementations, the system 7500 may include a client computer or other computing device (e.g., smart-phone, tablet computer, laptop, etc.) 7502 that executes an operating system 7506, and an application 7521 or window 7520. In one embodiment, the computer may include or be connected to a graphical display 7504 (e.g., a monitor, touch-screen, etc.) and receive input, at least in part, from a user 7590 interacting with the device 7502.
  • In one exemplary implementation, the device 7502 may be running or causing the operating system 7506 to execute the application 7521 or the window 7520. For purposes of illustration, the application 7521 may be a browser application that includes at least one window 7520. In various implementations, this window 7520 may include multiple panes or tabs 7522 a, 7522 b. The device 7502 may receive online content from one or more remote server computing devices (not shown) that may be connected to the client device 7502 though a network 7508 such as, for example, the Internet. The online content can be processed and displayed on the graphical display 7504 on a tab 7522 a or 7522 b in the browser application 7521. In one exemplary implementation, the window 7520 may include a user interface (e.g., user interface 1106 from FIG. 1) to interact with the installed applications.
  • The user 7590 may navigate to a web store on the Internet and download one or more web applications 7524 and/or extension applications 7526 to install in the browser application 7521. Prior to the installation of a web application 7524 or an extension application 7526, the browser application 7521 presents a notification that includes a request to confirm the installation of the application and that includes a listing of any permissions that are declared by the application. Upon receiving confirmation of the installation, the application is installed and the permissions are granted.
  • A memory 7532, or other non-transitory computer-readable storage medium, may store instructions and code that are executed by at least one processor 7530. The instructions may include any instructions or code related to the browser application 7521 and the process of installing applications in the browser application, including the notification and granting of permissions associated with the applications. The processor 7530 may execute any code or instructions provided on any background element associated with a web application and/or an extension application.
  • The browser application also may include a management module 7534. In one exemplary implementation, the management module 7534 is associated with and part of the code associated with the browser application 7521. In other exemplary implementations, the management module 7534 may be a separate component that interacts with the browser application 7521.
  • The management module 7534 may be configured to cause the at least one processor 7530 to generate and display a management window (e.g., management window 2204 of FIG. 2) to enable a user to interact with and control one or more of the features of an installed application. The management module 7534 enables a user to manage the features of an installed application including the launch mode, the uninstall feature, the permissions feature, the rating and review feature and the shortcut feature.
  • In one exemplary implementation, the management module 7534 interacts with the operating system 7506 to install a shortcut for the installed application in a location controlled by the operating system 7506. The locations may include the desktop, the start menu and/or the quick launch bar.
  • The browser application also may include a search module 7536. The search module 7536 may be configured to provide a search window (e.g., search window 5502 of FIG. 5) to enable a user to enter a search string and to display results in a search results window (e.g., search results window 5506 of FIG. 5). The search module 7536 may be configured to interface with multiple providers, where the providers may include an Internet search provider, a browser history module and the list of installed applications in the browser application.
  • Referring to FIG. 8, an exemplary process 8400 that illustrates techniques related to the system of FIG. 7. Process 8400 includes providing a user interface in a browser application (8410). For example, a user interface 1106 may be provided in the browser application 1102, as discussed in detail above. One or more applications installed in the browser application may be displayed on the user interface (8420). For example, web application 1108 are displayed on the user interface 1106 in the browser application 1102.
  • Process 8400 includes enabling interaction with the installed applications through the user interface in the browser application (8430). For example, the user interface 1106 provides an interaction area in the browser application 1102 to interact with the installed applications 1108. In this manner, an installed application may be launched from the user interface 1106 in the browser application 1102.
  • As discussed above in detail, the user interface 1106 enables control of one or more features of the installed applications in the browser application. For example, through the user interface 1106, a user may control the launch mode for each installed application and declared permissions for each installed application. Also, a user may use the user interface to uninstall one of the installed applications and to create one or more shortcuts for each of the installed applications.
  • FIG. 9 shows an example of a generic computer device 900 and a generic mobile computer device 950, which may be used with the techniques described here. Computing device 900 is intended to represent various forms of digital computers, such as laptops, desktops, workstations, personal digital assistants, servers, blade servers, mainframes, and other appropriate computers. Computing device 950 is intended to represent various forms of mobile devices, such as personal digital assistants, cellular telephones, smart phones, and other similar computing devices. The components shown here, their connections and relationships, and their functions, are meant to be exemplary only, and are not meant to limit implementations of the inventions described and/or claimed in this document.
  • Computing device 900 includes a processor 902, memory 904, a storage device 906, a high-speed interface 908 connecting to memory 904 and high-speed expansion ports 910, and a low speed interface 912 connecting to low speed bus 914 and storage device 906. Each of the components 902, 904, 906, 908, 910, and 912, are interconnected using various busses, and may be mounted on a common motherboard or in other manners as appropriate. The processor 902 can process instructions for execution within the computing device 900, including instructions stored in the memory 904 or on the storage device 906 to display graphical information for a GUI on an external input/output device, such as display 916 coupled to high speed interface 908. In other implementations, multiple processors and/or multiple buses may be used, as appropriate, along with multiple memories and types of memory. Also, multiple computing devices 900 may be connected, with each device providing portions of the necessary operations (e.g., as a server bank, a group of blade servers, or a multi-processor system).
  • The memory 904 stores information within the computing device 900. In one implementation, the memory 904 is a volatile memory unit or units. In another implementation, the memory 904 is a non-volatile memory unit or units. The memory 904 may also be another form of computer-readable medium, such as a magnetic or optical disk.
  • The storage device 906 is capable of providing mass storage for the computing device 900. In one implementation, the storage device 906 may be or contain a computer-readable medium, such as a floppy disk device, a hard disk device, an optical disk device, or a tape device, a flash memory or other similar solid state memory device, or an array of devices, including devices in a storage area network or other configurations. A computer program product can be tangibly embodied in an information carrier. The computer program product may also contain instructions that, when executed, perform one or more methods, such as those described above. The information carrier is a computer- or machine-readable medium, such as the memory 904, the storage device 906, or memory on processor 902.
  • The high speed controller 908 manages bandwidth-intensive operations for the computing device 900, while the low speed controller 912 manages lower bandwidth-intensive operations. Such allocation of functions is exemplary only. In one implementation, the high-speed controller 908 is coupled to memory 904, display 916 (e.g., through a graphics processor or accelerator), and to high-speed expansion ports 910, which may accept various expansion cards (not shown). In the implementation, low-speed controller 912 is coupled to storage device 906 and low-speed expansion port 914. The low-speed expansion port, which may include various communication ports (e.g., USB, Bluetooth, Ethernet, wireless Ethernet) may be coupled to one or more input/output devices, such as a keyboard, a pointing device, a scanner, or a networking device such as a switch or router, e.g., through a network adapter.
  • The computing device 900 may be implemented in a number of different forms, as shown in the figure. For example, it may be implemented as a standard server 920, or multiple times in a group of such servers. It may also be implemented as part of a rack server system 924. In addition, it may be implemented in a personal computer such as a laptop computer 922. Alternatively, components from computing device 900 may be combined with other components in a mobile device (not shown), such as device 950. Each of such devices may contain one or more of computing device 900, 950, and an entire system may be made up of multiple computing devices 900, 950 communicating with each other.
  • Computing device 950 includes a processor 952, memory 964, an input/output device such as a display 954, a communication interface 966, and a transceiver 968, among other components. The device 950 may also be provided with a storage device, such as a microdrive or other device, to provide additional storage. Each of the components 950, 952, 964, 954, 966, and 968, are interconnected using various buses, and several of the components may be mounted on a common motherboard or in other manners as appropriate.
  • The processor 952 can execute instructions within the computing device 950, including instructions stored in the memory 964. The processor may be implemented as a chipset of chips that include separate and multiple analog and digital processors. The processor may provide, for example, for coordination of the other components of the device 950, such as control of user interfaces, applications run by device 950, and wireless communication by device 950.
  • Processor 952 may communicate with a user through control interface 958 and display interface 956 coupled to a display 954. The display 954 may be, for example, a TFT LCD (Thin-Film-Transistor Liquid Crystal Display) or an OLED (Organic Light Emitting Diode) display, or other appropriate display technology. The display interface 956 may comprise appropriate circuitry for driving the display 954 to present graphical and other information to a user. The control interface 958 may receive commands from a user and convert them for submission to the processor 952. In addition, an external interface 962 may be provide in communication with processor 952, so as to enable near area communication of device 950 with other devices. External interface 962 may provide, for example, for wired communication in some implementations, or for wireless communication in other implementations, and multiple interfaces may also be used.
  • The memory 964 stores information within the computing device 950. The memory 964 can be implemented as one or more of a computer-readable medium or media, a volatile memory unit or units, or a non-volatile memory unit or units. Expansion memory 974 may also be provided and connected to device 950 through expansion interface 972, which may include, for example, a SIMM (Single In Line Memory Module) card interface. Such expansion memory 974 may provide extra storage space for device 950, or may also store applications or other information for device 950. Specifically, expansion memory 974 may include instructions to carry out or supplement the processes described above, and may include secure information also. Thus, for example, expansion memory 974 may be provide as a security module for device 950, and may be programmed with instructions that permit secure use of device 950. In addition, secure applications may be provided via the SIMM cards, along with additional information, such as placing identifying information on the SIMM card in a non-hackable manner.
  • The memory may include, for example, flash memory and/or NVRAM memory, as discussed below. In one implementation, a computer program product is tangibly embodied in an information carrier. The computer program product contains instructions that, when executed, perform one or more methods, such as those described above. The information carrier is a computer- or machine-readable medium, such as the memory 964, expansion memory 974, or memory on processor 952, that may be received, for example, over transceiver 968 or external interface 962.
  • Device 950 may communicate wirelessly through communication interface 966, which may include digital signal processing circuitry where necessary. Communication interface 966 may provide for communications under various modes or protocols, such as GSM voice calls, SMS, EMS, or MMS messaging, CDMA, TDMA, PDC, WCDMA, CDMA2000, or GPRS, among others. Such communication may occur, for example, through radio-frequency transceiver 968. In addition, short-range communication may occur, such as using a Bluetooth, WiFi, or other such transceiver (not shown). In addition, GPS (Global Positioning System) receiver module 970 may provide additional navigation- and location-related wireless data to device 950, which may be used as appropriate by applications running on device 950.
  • Device 950 may also communicate audibly using audio codec 960, which may receive spoken information from a user and convert it to usable digital information. Audio codec 960 may likewise generate audible sound for a user, such as through a speaker, e.g., in a handset of device 950. Such sound may include sound from voice telephone calls, may include recorded sound (e.g., voice messages, music files, etc.) and may also include sound generated by applications operating on device 950.
  • The computing device 950 may be implemented in a number of different forms, as shown in the figure. For example, it may be implemented as a cellular telephone 980. It may also be implemented as part of a smart phone 982, personal digital assistant, or other similar mobile device.
  • Various implementations of the systems and techniques described here can be realized in digital electronic circuitry, integrated circuitry, specially designed ASICs (application specific integrated circuits), computer hardware, firmware, software, and/or combinations thereof. These various implementations can include implementation in one or more computer programs that are executable and/or interpretable on a programmable system including at least one programmable processor, which may be special or general purpose, coupled to receive data and instructions from, and to transmit data and instructions to, a storage system, at least one input device, and at least one output device.
  • These computer programs (also known as programs, software, software applications or code) include machine instructions for a programmable processor, and can be implemented in a high-level procedural and/or object-oriented programming language, and/or in assembly/machine language. As used herein, the terms “machine-readable medium” “computer-readable medium” refers to any computer program product, apparatus and/or device (e.g., magnetic discs, optical disks, memory, Programmable Logic Devices (PLDs)) used to provide machine instructions and/or data to a programmable processor, including a machine-readable medium that receives machine instructions as a machine-readable signal. The term “machine-readable signal” refers to any signal used to provide machine instructions and/or data to a programmable processor.
  • To provide for interaction with a user, the systems and techniques described here can be implemented on a computer having a display device (e.g., a CRT (cathode ray tube) or LCD (liquid crystal display) monitor) for displaying information to the user and a keyboard and a pointing device (e.g., a mouse or a trackball) by which the user can provide input to the computer. Other kinds of devices can be used to provide for interaction with a user as well; for example, feedback provided to the user can be any form of sensory feedback (e.g., visual feedback, auditory feedback, or tactile feedback); and input from the user can be received in any form, including acoustic, speech, or tactile input.
  • The systems and techniques described here can be implemented in a computing system that includes a back end component (e.g., as a data server), or that includes a middleware component (e.g., an application server), or that includes a front end component (e.g., a client computer having a graphical user interface or a Web browser through which a user can interact with an implementation of the systems and techniques described here), or any combination of such back end, middleware, or front end components. The components of the system can be interconnected by any form or medium of digital data communication (e.g., a communication network). Examples of communication networks include a local area network (“LAN”), a wide area network (“WAN”), and the Internet.
  • The computing system can include clients and servers. A client and server are generally remote from each other and typically interact through a communication network. The relationship of client and server arises by virtue of computer programs running on the respective computers and having a client-server relationship to each other.
  • A number of embodiments have been described. Nevertheless, it will be understood that various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
  • In addition, the logic flows depicted in the figures do not require the particular order shown, or sequential order, to achieve desirable results. In addition, other steps may be provided, or steps may be eliminated, from the described flows, and other components may be added to, or removed from, the described systems. Accordingly, other embodiments are within the scope of the following claims.

Claims (28)

1. A computer-implemented method comprising:
providing a user interface in a single tab of an internet browser application;
displaying on the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application one or more web applications installed in the internet browser application, wherein the installed web applications include metadata that integrates the installed web applications with the internet browser application and the installed web applications include executable instructions that, when executed, cause a launch of a selected web application for display using the internet browser application; and
enabling interaction with the installed web applications through the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application including both launching the installed web applications and enabling control of multiple features of the installed web applications through the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application.
2. (canceled)
3. The computer-implemented method of claim 1 further comprising enabling selection of a launch mode for each of the installed web applications through the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application.
4. The computer-implemented method of claim 1 further comprising enabling an option to uninstall each of the installed web applications through the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application.
5. The computer-implemented method of claim 1 further comprising enabling control of declared permissions for each of the installed web applications through the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application.
6. The computer-implemented method of claim 1 further comprising providing a search mechanism to search for installed web applications through the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application.
7. The computer-implemented method of claim 1 further comprising providing a review mechanism to enable submission of a review for each of the installed web applications through the user interface in single tab of the internet browser application.
8. A non-transitory computer-readable storage medium having recorded and stored thereon instructions that, when executed by a processor, cause the processor to perform a method, the method comprising:
providing a user interface in a single tab of an internet browser application;
displaying on the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application one or more web applications installed in the internet browser application, wherein the installed web applications include metadata that integrates the installed web application with the internet browser application and the installed web applications include executable instructions that, when executed, cause a launch of a selected web application for display using the internet browser application; and
enabling interaction with the installed web applications through the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application including both launching the installed web applications and enabling control of multiple features of the installed web applications through the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application.
9. (canceled)
10. The computer-readable storage medium of claim 8 further comprising enabling selection of a launch mode for each of the installed web applications through the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application.
11. The computer-readable storage medium of claim 8 further comprising enabling an option to uninstall each of the installed web applications through the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application.
12. The computer-readable storage medium of claim 8 further comprising enabling control of declared permissions for each of the installed web applications through the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application.
13. The computer-readable storage medium of claim 8 further comprising providing a search mechanism to search for installed web applications through the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application.
14. The computer-readable storage medium of claim 8 further comprising providing a review mechanism to enable submission of a review for each of the installed web applications through the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application.
15. An apparatus including at least one processor and instructions stored on a non-transitory computer-readable storage medium and executable by the at least one processor to execute an internet browser application and thereby provide a browser interface, the apparatus comprising:
a user interface configured to display one or more web applications installed in the internet browser application in a single tab of the internet browser application, wherein the installed web applications include metadata that integrates the web applications with the internet browser application and the installed web applications include executable instructions that, when executed, cause a launch of a selected web application for display using the internet browser application; and
a management module configured to cause the at least one processor to enable interaction with the installed web applications through the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application including both launching the installed web applications and enabling control of multiple features of the installed web applications through the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application.
16. (canceled)
17. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein the management module is configured to enable selection of a launch mode for each of the installed web applications through the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application.
18. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein the management module is configured to enable an option to uninstall each of the installed web applications through the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application.
19. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein the management module is configured enable control of declared permissions for each of the installed web applications through the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application.
20. The apparatus of claim 15 further comprising a search interface module that is configured to providing a search mechanism to search for installed web applications through the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application.
21. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein the management module is configured to provide a review mechanism to enable submission of a review for each of the installed web applications through the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application.
22. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein the management module is configured to create one or more shortcuts for each of the installed web applications through the user interface in the single tab of the internet browser application.
23. The computer-implemented method of claim 1 wherein enabling control of multiple features of the installed web applications comprises invoking a context menu in the single tab of the internet browser application for one of the installed web applications, wherein the context menu includes a list of options to control the selected installed web application.
24. The computer-implemented method of claim 23 wherein the list of options in the context menu comprises options for selecting a display mode for the selected installed web application.
25. The computer-readable storage medium of claim 8 wherein enabling control of multiple features of the installed web applications comprises invoking a context menu in the single tab of the internet browser application for one of the installed web applications, wherein the context menu includes a list of options to control the selected installed web application.
26. The computer-readable storage medium of claim 25 wherein the list of options in the context menu comprises options for selecting a display mode for the selected installed web application.
27. The apparatus of claim 15 wherein enabling control of multiple features of the installed web applications comprises invoking a context menu in the single tab of the internet browser application for one of the installed web applications, wherein the context menu includes a list of options to control the selected installed web application.
28. The apparatus of claim 27 wherein the list of options in the context menu comprises options for selecting a display mode for the selected installed web application.
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