Menus and toolbars are one in the same. If you’ve seen them on one operating system, you are probably not shocked by what you see elsewhere. However, a new patent by Apple filled in the EU is revealing details of a new system that could change how we think about them forever.
While the details are hard to envision from only a picture, it appears that Apple is attempting to remove the need for the menu/toolbar, which appears at the top of Mac OS X. This is interesting because Apple appears to be planning this implementation for Mac OS X and iOS, which will further unify the two platforms.
What is more interesting, however, is that I believe this is yet another hint that Mac OS X and iOS will eventually merge. Given that Apple is planning on removing the traditional menu system, it would seem that the new implementation, as it looks from the patent filings, would be much better suited for touch-based interfaces.
Regardless, Apple is continuing to “Think Different” about how we use a computer, and this patent is just another testament to how far the company is willing to prove it.