Apple granted patent for iOS app folders and ‘jiggle mode’ UI

 In News & Press Releases, Product Releases/ Updates

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Tuesday awarded Apple a patent for the implementation of app folders in iOS, including the signature icon “jiggle mode” users see when reconfiguring the user interface.


First seen in iOS 4, Apple’s U.S. Patent No. 8,423,911 for a “Device, method, and graphical user interface for managing folders” describes the key methods used to rearrange app icons in the mobile operating system.

The extensive and detailed document covers app icon manipulation as it relates to creating, rearranging and managing folders within the iOS environment. As noted by the patent background, the invention solves the need for a simple but powerful method of folder modification that requires only a few steps to reach the desired result.

From the patent background:

For example, using a sequence of inputs to create, modify and/or delete folders and content within folders is tedious and creates a significant cognitive burden on a user. In addition, existing methods take longer than necessary, thereby wasting energy.

IOS_jiggleIn the embodiments described, Apple’s app management system is outlined, from “jiggle mode” to the folder opening animation. Besides the ability to carry more apps in one folder, not much has changed since the system was introduction in 2010.

As described in the patent, a user selects an on-screen asset, such as an app or folder icon, until it starts to “jiggle.” This denotes that the UI is now in reconfiguration mode, which allow for folder creation, rearrangement of icons within folders, and moving folders to different screens, among other operations.

Key to the method is the detection of UI object detection. For example, when a user drags one app icon onto another app icon, thus causing them to overlap, the device creates a folder and displays an animation that denotes a folder is about to be created. In iOS 6, this is represented as a blinking container surrounding the target app, and the “shifting” of a first part of the background away from a second part in a splitting action. Read more…click here.


Article from, written by Mikey Campbell.