A patent application filed by Apple in September 2006 has recently been published
, revealing multi-touch technology aimed specifically at handling multitasking in gaming environments.
If it sounds wordy and confusing, it's because it's a patent. The technology described allows users to access a secondary application on a device without needing a second screen or overlay. If the user is tapping the screen, they're using the one interface, but if they're pressing down, they're accessing the other.
This would normally be a fairly unremarkable patent, except that the wording describes its usage as being specifically for "a game or gaming application." Our educated guess is that this patent is talking about games on the iPhone
and iPod Touch, especially considering the patent references the secondary application as a "media-player," and makes at least one reference to the gaming application possibly being a "music-based game." Of course, it could also be something entirely different, or an out-of-date idea, given that the patent application is over a year old. Still, at least we know that Apple
's thinking about it.