(19)
(11)EP 3 519 950 B1

(12)EUROPEAN PATENT SPECIFICATION

(45)Mention of the grant of the patent:
04.11.2020 Bulletin 2020/45

(21)Application number: 17702993.1

(22)Date of filing:  17.01.2017
(51)International Patent Classification (IPC): 
G06F 9/451(2018.01)
G06F 9/445(2018.01)
(86)International application number:
PCT/US2017/013731
(87)International publication number:
WO 2018/136030 (26.07.2018 Gazette  2018/30)

(54)

ASSISTIVE SCREENSHOTS

UNTERSTÜTZENDE SCREENSHOTS

CAPTURES D'ÉCRAN D'ASSISTANCE


(84)Designated Contracting States:
AL AT BE BG CH CY CZ DE DK EE ES FI FR GB GR HR HU IE IS IT LI LT LU LV MC MK MT NL NO PL PT RO RS SE SI SK SM TR

(43)Date of publication of application:
07.08.2019 Bulletin 2019/32

(73)Proprietor: Google LLC
Mountain View, CA 94043 (US)

(72)Inventors:
  • BAIG, Haroon
    Mountain View, CA 94043 (US)
  • FLIER, Holger-Frederik
    Mountain View, CA 94043 (US)

(74)Representative: Smith, Jeremy Robert 
Kilburn & Strode LLP Lacon London 84 Theobalds Road
London WC1X 8NL
London WC1X 8NL (GB)


(56)References cited: : 
EP-A1- 2 728 841
US-A1- 2011 199 313
WO-A2-2010/038985
US-A1- 2012 229 842
  
      
    Note: Within nine months from the publication of the mention of the grant of the European patent, any person may give notice to the European Patent Office of opposition to the European patent granted. Notice of opposition shall be filed in a written reasoned statement. It shall not be deemed to have been filed until the opposition fee has been paid. (Art. 99(1) European Patent Convention).


    Description

    FIELD OF TECHNOLOGY



    [0001] The present invention relates to methods, devices and computer programs for generation of one or more links provided on a user interface in response to a trigger event, with the link or links corresponding to a present state or mode of an application running on a computing device. More particularly, the present invention is concerned with the generation of one or more selectable links to different executable features of the application, in real-time upon the entry of a user input corresponding to a screenshot capture.

    BACKGROUND



    [0002] The background description provided herein is for the purpose of generally presenting the context of the disclosure. Work of the presently named inventor(s), to the extent it is described in this background section, as well as aspects of the description that may not otherwise qualify as prior art at the time of filing, are neither expressly nor impliedly admitted as prior art against the present disclosure.

    [0003] Currently available personal computing devices, such as smartphones, PDAs, etc., often include functionality for capturing an image of a screen that is being displayed on a display screen of the computing device. This image is typically referred to as a "screenshot." A user may obtain/capture a screenshot by entering a pre-defined input (e.g., a combination and/or sequence of physical keys) that is recognized by the computing device operating system (OS), and that is generally not dependent upon whether any particular application is, or has been, executed on the computing device. The computing device OS causes the captured screenshot image to be stored in a memory of the computing device, which allows the user to later retrieve the screenshot for various purposes. For example, a user might capture a screenshot of a particular website or application screen with the intention of transmitting the website or application screen image to one or more different applications or users, using known means of communication such as multimedia messaging service (MMS) messages, instant messenger (IM) messages, email messages, and so on. More generally, users tend to capture such screenshots in order to later access the image information (e.g., to avoid re-searching for the information, or to allow access to the information in the absence of Internet connectivity), or to share the image with other users.

    [0004] Some existing applications include the functionality of displaying to the user a menu of options each time the user obtains a screenshot while the computing device is executing the application, with the options allowing the user to manipulate or share the screenshot image. However, this technique is limited to manipulating or sharing only the screenshot image that has been captured.

    [0005] Others have proposed techniques by which an OS of a computing device uses its knowledge of which application is currently executing, along with image and text recognition techniques, to try to "guess at" the context and content of a particular screenshot. Options that are believed to be useful in view of the application and the context/content may then be presented to the user. However, the technique is generally limited to features the application makes available externally via an application programming interface (API). These features may be very limited in scope as compared to the full functionality of a given application. For example, applications that utilize sensitive data (e.g., user locations) may restrict the functions available via an API in order to help protect user privacy. Furthermore, the technique is reliant on provisions and assumptions made by the OS developer. The OS developer may lack knowledge of certain features of a given application, and/or lack knowledge of how commonly various features are used, and therefore may fail to fully leverage current features of the application when attempting to predict a user's intentions in capturing a screenshot while the application is running. International patent application WO2010/038985 describes a function execution method that includes displaying an application screen of an application running in the mobile terminal, capturing the application screen in response to a command, and identifying a function of the application associated with the captured application screen. The method further includes mapping the captured screen to the application and the function, and creating and displaying a macro icon representing the application and the function in the mobile terminal. United States patent application US2011/0199313 describes a handheld communication device having a logic to transfer information from a first application to a second application by using a user interface which displays a screen shot of the information gathered at the first application, and the interface also displays a list of icons indicative of other applications that is capable of receiving such information and using such information.

    [0006] Accordingly, there is a need for providing an improved user interface that enables the user to interact with and/or utilize additional functionality and/or content corresponding to the presently displayed screen, in real-time during execution of an application on a computing device.

    SUMMARY



    [0007] In some implementations described herein, an application executing on a computing device provides one or more selectable options/links to a user when the user attempts to capture a screenshot. At least some of the selectable options correspond to features supported by the application, with the features in turn corresponding to the type of information currently being displayed by the application (e.g., information associated with the current state or mode of the application). If the application is a mapping application displaying a transit route at the time the user attempts to capture the screenshot, for example, the selectable options may include a first option for saving non-image route information (e.g., data representing source location, destination location, and particular roads between the two) for later, offline use, a second option for sharing non-image route information to another user, and/or other options. As another example, if the application displays information about places of interest (e.g., restaurants, bars, museums, etc.) at the time the user attempts to capture the screenshot, a first option may be for saving a currently-displayed place of interest as a "favorite" location, a second option may be for sharing non-image information about the place of interest (e.g., place name, place address, etc.) with another user, and so on. In different implementations, storing and/or maintaining the screenshot image in memory may itself be presented as a selectable option, or the screenshot may be automatically stored and/or maintained in memory (e.g., if the design of the OS results in such images always being stored when the corresponding user input is entered). In some implementations, the application also, or instead, presents information designed to teach the user about the availability and/or use of application features that might be useful given the current state or mode of the application.

    [0008] In one example embodiment, a method is implemented in a computing device having a display and an operating system, where the operating system is configured to capture screenshot images of screens shown on the display in response to entries of a pre-defined user input. The method comprises (1) detecting, by an application executing on the computing device, an entry of the pre-defined user input by a user of the computing device, (2) identifying, by the application, one or more executable features of the application that each use information corresponding to a current state or mode of the application to perform a respective set of one or more functions, (3) generating, by the application, a selectable link for each of the identified executable features, and (4) presenting, by the application and on the display, the generated selectable links, such that a selection by the user of any one of the generated selectable links causes the respective set of functions to be performed.

    [0009] In another example embodiment, a computing device comprises a display, one or more processors, and one or more memories. The one or more memories store instructions of an operating system configured to capture screenshot images of screens shown on the display in response to entries of a pre-defined user input, image data files, and instructions of an application. The instructions of the application, when executed by the one or more processors, cause the computing device to (1) detect an entry of the pre-defined user input by a user of the computing device, (2) identify one or more executable features of the application that each use information corresponding to a current state or mode of the application to perform a respective set of one or more functions, (3) generate a selectable link for each of the identified executable features, and (4) present, on the display, the generated selectable links, such that a selection by the user of any one of the generated selectable links causes the respective set of functions to be performed.

    [0010] In another example embodiment, a non-transitory, computer-readable medium stores instructions of an application that, when executed by one or more processors of a computing device, cause the computing device to (1) detect an entry of a pre-defined user input by a user of the computing device. An operating system of the computing device is configured to capture screenshot images of screens shown on a display of the computing device in response to entries of the pre-defined user input. The instructions cause the computing device to detect the entry of the pre-defined user input either by utilizing an application programming interface (API) of the operating system, or by determining that a new screenshot image has been stored in a memory of the computing device. The instructions also cause the computing device to (2) identify one or more executable features of the application that each use information corresponding to a current state or mode of the application to perform a respective set of one or more functions, (3) generate a selectable link for each of the identified executable features, and (4) present, on the display, the generated selectable links, such that a selection by the user of any one of the generated selectable links causes the respective set of functions to be performed.

    BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS



    [0011] 

    Figure 1 is a block diagram of an example system in which techniques for increasing utilization and/or awareness of application features may be implemented.

    Figure 2 depicts a display screen before and after a screenshot capture input, according to a first implementation and/or scenario.

    Figure 3 depicts a display screen before and after a screenshot capture input, according to a second implementation and/or scenario.

    Figure 4 depicts a display screen before and after a screenshot capture input, according to a third implementation and/or scenario.

    Figure 5 depicts a display screen before and after a screenshot capture input, according to a fourth implementation and/or scenario.

    Figure 6 is a flow diagram of an example method for increasing utilization and/or awareness of application features.


    DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS


    Overview



    [0012] In some implementations described herein, an application executing on a computing device provides a user a set (e.g., menu) of one or more selectable options/links when the user attempts to capture a screenshot during execution of the application (e.g., while a display of the application is being presented to the user). Each of at least some of the selectable options corresponds to one or more features/functions that are supported by the application, and that utilize at least one type of information corresponding to what is shown on the display at the time of the attempted screenshot capture. Thus, the present invention is concerned with presenting the user with options that relate to the current state or mode of an executing application, i.e., the current context of the application.

    [0013] For instance, if a user obtains a screenshot while using such an application, and the application is currently showing at least a portion of the fastest route between a source point "A" and a destination point "B," an aspect of the present invention may provide the user with selectable links or shortcuts to modules or features within the application that make use of the route and/or source/destination information. This, in turn, may enable the user to proceed more quickly along a path of the application that is associated with the present context. For example, the options provided to the user may include one or more of:
    1. (1) saving non-image data specifying the A-to-B route as a "favorite" route;
    2. (2) sharing non-image data specifying the A-to-B route with one or more other users; and/or
    3. (3) sharing updates of the user's progress along the A-to-B route (and/or the user's estimated time of arrival) with one or more other users in real-time.


    [0014] In this example, the options may be generated based solely on the state or mode of the application at the time of capturing (or attempting to capture) the screenshot. For instance, the application may provide some or all of the options enumerated above in response to detecting a screenshot capture while the application is in a particular navigation or transit mode (e.g., while the application is displaying a transit route after a source and destination have been entered or selected by the user).

    [0015] As another example, if a screenshot capture (or the action of triggering the screenshot) occurs when the user is viewing a particular place of interest (e.g., a tourist attraction or a restaurant) using a mapping or other application, the options provided to the user may include one or more of:
    1. (1) saving the displayed place of interest as a "favorite" location, or other location type;
    2. (2) sharing non-image data specifying the displayed place of interest with one or more other users; and/or
    3. (3) calculating and displaying the fastest route (and/or fastest public transport, etc.) from the current location of the computing device to the displayed place of interest.


    [0016] As is evident from the above examples, the list of possible options/links to display when a screenshot is taken generally includes options/links that correspond specifically to features of the particular application being executed, and to the present context (state or mode) of that application. Therefore, the invention has advantages over the existing techniques, described in the Background section above, that only allow the use or manipulation (i.e., storing, sharing, or editing) of a screenshot image, irrespective of the types of information contained within that image.

    [0017] Moreover, the present invention has advantages over other existing techniques (also described in the Background section above) by not relying on the computing device operating system (OS) to interpret or guess at the meaning of the information being shown by a particular application when a screenshot capture is attempted, and by not relying on the limited set of features (if any) that are externally provided by the application via an application programming interface (API), and not relying on the limited set of features (if any) that are known to the OS.

    [0018] The present invention thus provides an improved, efficient interactive interface for enabling a user to navigate more quickly and easily to one or more features of an executing application, based upon an attempted screen shot capture and in real-time. By providing options that are based on the current context of the application presenting the information captured in a screenshot, the present invention may also improve the accessibility and usability of application features. Further, by avoiding the need for image and/or text recognition capabilities (and related processing) to determine which options may be relevant to a user for a given screenshot, the present invention may reduce the need for processing resources and/or reduce processing time.

    Example system



    [0019] Figure 1 illustrates an example system 10 in which techniques for increasing utilization and/or awareness of application features may be implemented. The example system 10 includes computing devices 12 (each of which corresponds to a respective user), a map server 14, and a network 16. Map server 14 is remote from each of computing devices 12, and is communicatively coupled to computing devices 12 via network 16. Network 16 may include any suitable combination of wired and/or wireless communication networks, such as one or more local area networks (LANs), metropolitan area networks (MANs), and/or wide area network (WANs). As just one specific example, network 16 may include a cellular network, the Internet, and a server-side LAN. In some implementations, the portion(s) of network 16 used by one of computing devices 12 (e.g., computing device 12A) to communicate with map server 14 may be wholly or partially separate from and independent of the portion(s) of network 16 used by another of computing devices 12 (e.g., computing device 12B) to communicate with map server 14. It is understood, however, that in some implementations and/or scenarios, computing devices 12 do not require connectivity (Internet or otherwise) with map server 14 in order to implement the present invention.

    [0020] While shown in Figure 1 as having a smartphone form factor, each of computing devices 12 may be any mobile, portable, fixed location, or semi-fixed location computing device with wired and/or wireless communication capability (e.g., a smartphone, a tablet computer, a laptop computer, a desktop computer, a wearable device such as smart glasses or a smart watch, a vehicle head unit computer, etc.). In other implementations, the components and functionality of one or more of computing devices 12 are distributed among two or more devices, such as a smartphone and a smart watch of the target person.

    [0021] In the example implementation of Figure 1, computing device 12A includes a processor 20, a memory 22, a user interface 24, and a network interface 26. Processor 20 may be a single processor (e.g., a central processing unit (CPU)), or may include a set of processors (e.g., multiple CPUs, or a CPU and a graphics processing unit (GPU), etc.).

    [0022] Memory 22 is a computer-readable storage unit or device, or collection of units/devices, that may include persistent (e.g., hard disk and/or solid state) and/or non-persistent memory components. Memory 22 stores instructions that are executable on processor 20 to perform various operations, including the instructions of various software applications. Memory 22 may also store the data that is generated and/or used by such applications.

    [0023] User interface 24 includes hardware, firmware and/or software configured to enable a user to interact with (i.e., both provide inputs to and perceive outputs of) the computing device 12A, including at least a display 30 for providing visual outputs. Display 30 may be a touchscreen with both display and manual input (touch sensing) capabilities, or user interface 24 may include a separate mechanism for accepting user inputs (e.g., a keyboard and/or microphone, with associated processing components). Display 30 may include hardware, firmware and/or software conforming to any suitable type of display technology (e.g., LCD, LED, OLED, etc.).

    [0024] Network interface 26 includes hardware, firmware and/or software configured to enable computing device 12A to wirelessly exchange electronic data with map server 14 via network 16. For example, network interface 26 may include a cellular communication transceiver, a WiFi transceiver, and/or transceivers for one or more other wireless communication technologies.

    [0025] In the example implementation of Figure 1, memory 22 stores at least an OS 31 and a mapping application 32. OS 31 may include the instructions of any suitable operating system, such as an Android or iOS, for example. OS 31 includes instructions that define which input can be entered by a user to capture screenshot images. This user "input" may be vendor-specific, and may be the entry of a single physical or virtual key, for example, or the entry of any suitable combination and/or sequence of physical or virtual keys. In some implementations (e.g., certain implementations where computing device 12A is a wearable device), the user input may be a voice command or series of commands. The user input is generally not dependent on what application(s), if any, is/are currently executing on computing device 12A. OS 31 may also include instructions that cause screenshot images to be generated and saved to memory (e.g., a part of memory 22, or another suitable memory) when the pre-defined user input is detected. In some implementations, OS 31 exposes an API function that applications can invoke in order to determine when an entry of the pre-defined user input has occurred. In other implementations, OS 31 does not support such a function.

    [0026] A mapping application 32 is stored in memory 22. Generally, mapping application 32 is executed by processor 20 to provide the user with one or more user interface screens (presented on display 30) that enable the user to access the services provided by map server 14. For example, mapping application 32 may enable a user to enter or select an address, cause network interface 26 to transmit the address to map server 14, receive responsive map data (e.g., map tile data, map element labels, point of interest images, etc.) from map server 14 via network interface 26, and cause display 30 to present a digital map to the user based on the received map data. As another example, if mapping application 32 includes navigation features, mapping application 32 may enable a user to enter or select source and destination addresses, cause network interface 26 to transmit the addresses to map server 14, receive responsive route/direction data from map server 14 via network interface 26, and cause display 30 to present the corresponding route (e.g., on a digital map and/or in text) to the user.

    [0027] Mapping application 32 may also enable the user of computing device 12A to obtain other, related services. For example, mapping application 32 may enable users to determine a best/fastest mode of public transit between a source and destination that were entered or selected by the user, and/or enable users to obtain information (e.g., user reviews) about particular places of interest. Moreover, computing device 12A may also include other units not shown in Figure 1, such as a GPS unit to assist in the positioning of computing device 12A.

    [0028] While being executed, mapping application 32 can be in one of a number of different modes and/or states at any given time. For example, mapping application 32 may have a map mode, a transit route mode, and a places mode. Some or all of the modes may also be associated with a number of different states. For example, a first state of mapping application 32 while in a map mode may correspond to a user interface screen in which the user is prompted to enter a physical address (or select "Current Location," etc.), a second state may correspond to a user interface screen in which a map including the entered or selected location is presented to the user, and so on. In some implementations, the states may also depend upon what information, if any, the user has entered on a particular user interface screen. For example, a first state may correspond to a screen in which no physical address has been entered, and a second state may correspond to the same screen after the physical address has been at least partially entered. Generally, the modes and/or states of mapping application 32 are at least partially determinative of the types of information being shown on display 30 at any given time.

    [0029] Mapping application 32 supports a number of different user-selectable features that may not be critical to basic mapping (or routing, etc.) operations, but expand the functionality of mapping application 32 in potentially useful ways. These features may not always be immediately apparent to the user, and their utilization may require that the user enter certain pre-defined user inputs (defined and recognized by mapping application 32) to progress along respective paths of mapping application 32. A "path" of an application, as used herein, refers to a particular sequence of user selections and/or entries as the user navigates through options of the application, with the starting point of the path being the current mode and/or state of the application.

    [0030] For example, a feature that enables the user to save a currently displayed/mapped area for later, offline use may require the user to first select a particular menu icon that is displayed on the map, and then select an "Offline Areas" menu item. As another example, a feature that enables the user to share displayed transit route information with another user may require that the user first select a particular menu icon that is displayed along with the route information, and then select a "Share Directions" menu item. Examples of additional features are discussed further below in connection with various implementations of the present invention.

    [0031] In addition to any other units (not shown in Figure 1) that support the above types of functions and features of mapping application 32, mapping application 32 includes a screenshot detection unit 34 and a link generation unit 36. As the name suggests, screenshot detection unit 34 is generally configured to detect when a user of computing device 12A has attempted to capture a screenshot image. Depending upon which operating system is used for OS 31, screenshot detection unit 34 may use different techniques to detect a screenshot capture attempt. If OS 31 provides an API function that can be invoked by applications to determine when a screenshot capture is attempted, for example, screenshot detection unit 34 may call the API function to determine whether a new screenshot image file has been saved (or to determine whether a user entered a pre-defined user input, etc., depending upon the precise function of the API function).

    [0032] In other implementations, OS 31 may not provide such an API function, and/or such an API function may not be invoked by mapping application 32. However, OS 31 may save all screenshot images to a known folder or file location, and/or using a known file naming convention. In one such implementation, screenshot detection unit 34 checks for new files in the known folder/location, and/or for new files that use the known file naming convention. The folder/location and/or naming convention may depend upon the vendor of computing device 12A and/or OS 31.

    [0033] Screenshot detection unit 34 may implement a background process (e.g., a "service," if OS 31 is an Android operating system) to detect new screenshot capture attempts. For example, API calls (or checks for new screenshot image files) may be conducted periodically, or on another suitable basis, while mapping application 32 executes other functions and/or processes. In other implementations, mapping application 32 may "subscribe" to information using an API function of OS 31, after which OS 31 pushes indications of new screenshot capture attempts to mapping application 32.

    [0034] Link generation unit 36 is generally configured to identify and generate an appropriate set of one or more links to various features of mapping application 32. The link or links is/are generated when screenshot detection unit 34 signals that a new screenshot capture attempt has been detected. Link generation unit 36 may identify the appropriate link(s) based upon the current mode and/or state of mapping application 32, which in turn dictates the type or types of information currently being displayed (e.g., a digital map of an area, and/or a route description, etc.). In some implementations, each of at least some of the identified and generated links, if selected, corresponds to a particular feature of mapping application 32 that can act upon the displayed information (e.g., a feature that can share with another user a route that is at least partially displayed), or upon related information (e.g., a feature that can share a street address associated with a location displayed only as a marker on a digital map).

    [0035] In general terms, these links may correspond to different paths associated with the current state or mode of mapping application 32. That is, each of at least some of the links may, if selected, activate a feature that the user could have activated in another way (i.e., by another sequence of entries and/or selections starting from the current state or mode), without having first attempted a screenshot capture. Thus, the act of attempting to capture a screenshot may provide a shortcut to activating particular features, and/or may enable the user to activate the feature(s) even if he or she does not know the sequence or combination of inputs that would activate the feature without having attempted the screenshot. Some specific examples are provided below in connection with Figures 2 through 4.

    [0036] Each of computing devices 12B and 12C may be the same as, or similar to, computing device 12A. While Figure 1 shows only computing devices 12A through 12C, it is understood that map server 14 may be in communication with any number (e.g., thousands) of computing devices that are similar to one or more of computing devices 12A through 12C.

    [0037] Map server 14 may be associated with (e.g., owned and/or maintained by) a mapping service provider, and includes a network interface 40, a processor 42, and a memory 44. While referred to herein as a "server," map server 14 may, in some implementations, include multiple co-located or remotely distributed computing devices. Network interface 40 includes hardware, firmware and/or software configured to enable map server 14 to exchange electronic data with computing devices 12 via network 16. For example, network interface 40 may include a wired or wireless router and a modem.

    [0038] Memory 44 is a computer-readable storage unit or device, or collection of units/devices, that may include persistent (e.g., hard disk and/or solid state) and/or non-persistent memory components. Memory 44 stores instructions of a mapping unit 46 and a navigation unit 48. In some implementations, navigation unit 48 is not included in map server 14. Moreover, in some implementations, map server 14 also includes one or more other units, such as a positioning unit that assists computing devices in self-locating, and/or a unit that collects and provides crowd-sourced user reviews and other information relating to particular places. Alternatively, mapping unit 46 includes these other units, and/or includes navigation unit 48.

    [0039] Mapping unit 46 is generally configured to provide client devices, such as computing devices 12, with mapping services that are accessible via client device mapping applications, such as mapping application 32. For example, mapping unit 46 may receive via network 16 a location (e.g., physical address or coordinates) that was entered by the user via mapping application 32, retrieve map information (e.g., data indicating roads, water and land areas, place names, etc.) for the geographic area of the entered location and its surroundings from a database 50, and cause network interface 40 to transmit the retrieved map information to computing device 12A via network 16. Database 50 may comprise one or more distinct databases, and may be stored in one or more memories (e.g., memory 44 and/or another memory).

    [0040] Navigation unit 48 is generally configured to provide navigation services to client devices, such as computing devices 12. For example, navigation unit 48 may receive via network 16, or from mapping unit 46, source and destination locations that were entered by a user of computing device 12A via mapping application 32, generate preferred route information for traveling between the route and destination (e.g., data indicating which roads to take, estimated time of arrival, traffic information for preferred routes, etc., for one or more modes of transit), and cause network interface 40 to transmit data indicative of the preferred route(s) to computing device 12A via network 16.

    [0041] In some implementations, server 14 and application 32 are not used for mapping services. For example, server 14 and application 32 may be dedicated solely to providing best/fastest modes of public transit, or solely to providing crowd-sourced reviews of particular places (e.g., restaurants), etc.

    [0042] Different aspects of the operation of system 10 will now be described with reference to examples of various implementations and/or scenarios, as shown in Figures 2 through 5. Figures 2 through 5 depict various user interface screens presented by display 30 in computing device 12A of Figure 1, with each screen being generated by processor 20 when executing mapping application 32. In other implementations, however, the screens of Figures 2 through 5 may correspond to entirely different implementations and applications (e.g., with application 32 being a transit application for the implementation of Figure 2, a mapping application for the implementation of Figures 3 and 5, and a user review application for the implementation of Figure 4).

    [0043] Referring first to Figure 2, display screens 110A through 110C correspond to an implementation in which mapping application 32 provides transit-related services/functionality. Display screen 110A represents the content of display 30 at a time just before the user enters a pre-defined user input that is recognized, by OS 31, as an input for triggering a screenshot capture or capture attempt. As seen in Figure 2, display screen 110A also corresponds to a mode of mapping application 32 in which a transit route is displayed to the user. Specifically, in the scenario of Figure 2, display screen 110A presents a route between the user's current location 102 and a destination 104 (here, "Bahnhof Basel SBB"). The displayed route is associated with an estimated time of arrival ("ETA") 106 of 6:53PM, which is also shown in the upper right corner as a 1 hour and 14 minute time until arrival. As used herein, an ETA may refer to an absolute time (e.g., "6:53PM" or "18:53") and/or a relative time (e.g., "1 hr 14 min" or "74 min"). As seen in Figure 2, display screen 110A may also show ETAs for interim transit stops and/or stations on the route, and/or times of departure for certain portions of the route.

    [0044] Display screen 110B represents the content of display 30 at a slightly later time, just after the user enters the pre-defined user input that is recognized by OS 31 as corresponding to a screenshot capture attempt (e.g., during the brief time period while processor 20 is busy generating the screenshot image and/or performing other processing). Display screen 110C represents the content of display 30 at a still later time, after screenshot detection unit 34 has detected that a screenshot capture has been attempted, and after link generation unit 36 has identified and generated links which are then presented in a pop-up menu 112 as options 114A through 114E.

    [0045] In the example menu 112, a user selection of option 114A causes the screenshot image to be saved and/or retained in memory. In some implementations, failure to select option 114A causes mapping application 32 to instruct OS 31 (via an API function) to not save the screenshot image, or causes the saved screenshot image to be deleted. In other implementations (e.g., some implementations where screenshot detection unit 34 detects capture attempts by way of checking for new screenshot image files), the screenshot capture automatically occurs and cannot be reversed by mapping application 32, and option 114A is therefore omitted.

    [0046] Option 114B corresponds to a feature of mapping application 32 that enables the user to save information defining the depicted route for later, offline use (e.g., at a time when no Internet connection is available to the user). This feature may be one that the user could have instead accessed in a different manner, without entering the predefined-user input corresponding to a screenshot capture attempt (e.g., by opening one or more menus and making a number of menu item selections). The route information saved for offline use includes at least some non-image data, and may include different types of data in different implementations. For example, the saved route information may include data indicating the source location, destination location, transit stations/lines, and so forth.

    [0047] Option 114C corresponds to a feature of mapping application 32 that enables the user to share ETA 106 (or other expression of ETA, such as relative time) with one or more other users, such that the other user(s) receive(s) real-time updates of the ETA as the user associated with computing device 12A moves about. Again, this feature may be one that the user could have instead accessed in a different manner, without entering the predefined-user input corresponding to a screenshot capture attempt (e.g., by opening one or more menus and making a number of menu item selections). The shared information includes at least some non-image data, and may include different types of data in different implementations. For example, the shared ETA information may include ETA 106 and/or a relative time equivalent thereof (e.g., "1hr 14 min"), and possibly other information (e.g., destination, current location of the user, etc.).

    [0048] Option 114D corresponds to a feature of mapping application 32 that enables the user to share information defining the (at least partially) depicted route with one or more other users. Once again, this feature may be one that the user could have instead accessed in a different manner, without entering the predefined-user input corresponding to a screenshot capture attempt (e.g., by opening one or more menus and making a number of menu item selections). The shared route information includes at least some non-image data, and may include different types of data in different implementations. For example, the shared route information may include data indicating the source location, destination location, transit stations/lines, and so forth.

    [0049] A user selection of option 114E causes the menu 112 to disappear, returning the user to display screen 110A without any other action being taken. In other implementations, menu 112 includes additional and/or different options, and/or the options 114 are presented in a different manner.

    [0050] Referring next to Figure 3, display screen 120A represents the content of display 30 at a time just before the user enters a pre-defined user input that is recognized, by OS 31, as an input for triggering a screenshot capture or capture attempt. As seen in Figure 3, display screen 120A also corresponds to a mode of mapping application 32 in which a digital map 122 is displayed to the user.

    [0051] Display screen 120B represents the content of display 30 at a slightly later time, after the user enters the pre-defined user input that is recognized by OS 31 as corresponding to a screenshot capture attempt, and after link generation unit 36 has identified and generated links which are then presented in a pop-up menu 124 as options 126A through 126C.

    [0052] In the example menu 124, a user selection of option 126A causes the screenshot image to be saved and/or retained in memory. Option 126A may be similar to option 114A of Figure 2, for example. In other implementations (e.g., some implementations where screenshot detection unit 34 detects capture attempts by way of checking for new screenshot image files), the screenshot capture automatically occurs and cannot be reversed by mapping application 32, and option 126A is therefore omitted.

    [0053] Option 126B corresponds to a feature of mapping application 32 that enables the user to download and save map data for the depicted area (and possibly also other, surrounding areas) for later, offline use (e.g., at a time when no Internet connection is available to the user). As with option 114B of Figure 2, this feature may be one that the user could have instead accessed in a different manner, without entering the predefined-user input corresponding to a screenshot capture attempt (e.g., by opening one or more menus and making a number of menu item selections). The map data downloaded and saved for later/offline use includes at least some non-image data, and may include different types of data in different implementations (e.g., map tile data, map label data, point of interest image and/or other data, and so forth).

    [0054] A user selection of option 126C causes the menu 124 to disappear, returning the user to display screen 120A without any other action being taken. In other implementations, menu 124 includes additional and/or different options, and/or the options 126 are presented in a different manner.

    [0055] Referring next to Figure 4, display screens 140A and 140B correspond to an implementation in which mapping application 32 provides services/functionality relating to particular places of interest. Display screen 140A represents the content of display 30 at a time just before the user enters a pre-defined user input that is recognized, by OS 31, as an input for triggering a screenshot capture or capture attempt. As seen in Figure 4, display screen 140A also corresponds to a mode of mapping application 32 in which various types of information about a particular place 142 (here, "Old Crow") are displayed to the user. While Figure 4 shows information that includes a photograph of the interior of place 142, an average or overall user review of place 142, characteristics or categories of place 142 (e.g., "outdoor seating"), an ETA for arriving at place 142 from the user's current location, and particular other types of information and links, other implementations may include more, fewer, and/or different types of information and/or links.

    [0056] Display screen 140B represents the content of display 30 at a later time, after the user enters the pre-defined user input that is recognized by OS 31 as corresponding to a screenshot capture attempt, and after link generation unit 36 has identified and generated links which are then presented in a pop-up menu 144 as options 146A through 146D.

    [0057] In the example menu 144, a user selection of option 146A causes the screenshot image to be saved and/or retained in memory. Option 146A may be similar to option 114A of Figure 2, for example. In other implementations (e.g., some implementations where screenshot detection unit 34 detects capture attempts by way of checking for new screenshot image files), the screenshot capture automatically occurs and cannot be reversed by mapping application 32, and option 146A is therefore omitted.

    [0058] Option 146B corresponds to a feature of mapping application 32 that enables the user to save information about place 142 to a list (e.g., to a list of "favorite" places). Again, this feature may be one that the user could have instead accessed in a different manner, without entering the predefined-user input corresponding to a screenshot capture attempt (e.g., by opening one or more menus and making a number of menu item selections). The place information saved includes at least some non-image data, and may include different types of data in different implementations (e.g., data indicating the name of place 142, the address of place 142, and so forth).

    [0059] Option 146C corresponds to a feature of mapping application 32 that enables the user to share information about place 142 with one or more other users. Again, this feature may be one that the user could have instead accessed in a different manner, without entering the predefined-user input corresponding to a screenshot capture attempt (e.g., by opening one or more menus and making a number of menu item selections). The shared place information includes at least some non-image data, and may include different types of data in different implementations. For example, the shared place information may include data indicating the name of place 142, the address of place 142, and so forth.

    [0060] A user selection of option 146C causes the menu 144 to disappear, returning the user to display screen 140A without any other action being taken. In other implementations, menu 144 includes additional and/or different options, and/or the options 146 are presented in a different manner.

    [0061] Generally, at least some of the options presented in the menus of Figures 2 through 4 (e.g., options 114B through 114D in menu 112, option 126B in menu 124, and options 146A and 146B in menu 144) correspond to actions that a user would likely be hoping to accomplish by capturing a screenshot. With reference to Figure 2, for example, it is likely that a relatively large percentage of users attempting to capture screenshots of routes (e.g., the route shown on display screen 110A of Figure 2) are doing so with the intention of having offline and/or easy access to the route information, and/or with the intention of sharing a real-time ETA and/or the route information with others. Thus, options corresponding to those functions/features (options 114B through 114D) are presented in menu 112. As another example, with reference to Figure 3, it is likely that a relatively large percentage of users attempting to capture screenshots of digital maps (e.g., the map shown on display screen 120A of Figure 3) are doing so with the intention of having offline access to the map. Thus, an option corresponding to that function/feature (option 126B) is presented in menu 124.

    [0062] The provision of links/options corresponding to various application features may benefit the user of computing device 12A (and any other user with whom information is shared) in various ways. For example, route, place, or other information may be shared in a manner that is more useful to the receiving user(s) (e.g., by allowing each receiving user to not only view static information about the route/place/etc., but also save the route/place/etc. as a "favorite" route/place/etc., or call up a map showing the route/place/etc., and so on). As another example, the links/options may point out to the user of computing device 12A functionality of mapping application 32 of which he or she was previously unaware, or did not know how to access. As yet another example, the links/options may provide a shortcut to various features (e.g., if the user of computing device 12A otherwise would have had to navigate through several screens or menus to get to a desired feature).

    [0063] In some implementations, mapping application 32 instead, or additionally, provides the user of computing device 12A with a tutorial about certain features of mapping application 32 that the user may wish to access. Figure 5 depicts display screens 160A through 160C corresponding to one such implementation. Display screen 160A (showing a digital map 162) and display screen 160B (showing options 164A through 164C) may be similar to display screens 120A and 120B of Figure 3. However, whereas the user's selection of option 124B in Figure 3 activated the feature of mapping application 32 that downloads/saves map data for later, offline use, the user selection of option 164B instead causes display screen 160C to be presented to the user.

    [0064] As seen in Figure 5, display screen 160C instructs the user how to download an offline area via the "standard" path (i.e., sequence of inputs/selections starting at the mode or state of screen 160A) for doing so. In some implementations, the download feature is automatically executed when the user selects option 164B (e.g., just before the display screen 160C is shown, or concurrently with showing display screen 160C). In other implementations, display screen 160C is shown without executing the download feature (i.e., the user must follow the instructions shown on display screen 160C to execute the download feature).

    Example method for increasing utilization and/or awareness of application features



    [0065] An example method 200 for increasing utilization and/or awareness of application features is discussed next with reference to Figure 6. The method 200 may be implemented by one or more processors of a computing device of a user (e.g., by processor 20 of computing device 12A in Figure 1) when executing instructions of an application stored on a computer-readable medium (e.g., instructions of application 32 stored in memory 22 in Figure 1).

    [0066] At block 202, the application detects an entry of a pre-defined user input by the user of the computing device. The pre-defined user input may be an input that is recognized by the OS of the computing device (e.g., OS 31 of Figure 1) as a trigger for the OS to capture a screenshot image of what is currently shown on a display of the computing device (e.g., on display 30 of Figure 1). The pre-defined user input may be the entry of a single physical or virtual key, the entry of any suitable combination and/or sequence of physical and/or virtual keys, or another suitable set of one or more inputs (e.g., a voice command).

    [0067] The application may detect the entry of the pre-defined user input indirectly, particularly in implementations where the pre-defined user input utilizes keys that cannot be customized, and are directly consumed by the OS (e.g., "power + volume down" or "power + home" key combinations). For example, the application may invoke a function of an API of the OS to detect the entry, or may check to see whether a new image has been added to a particular file location (e.g., folder), and/or using a particular naming convention, that is reserved for screenshot images. The application may implement a background process (e.g., a "service" of an Android OS) to check for new screenshot images, either periodically or on another suitable basis.

    [0068] At block 204, the application identifies one or more executable features of the application that each use information corresponding to a current state or mode of the application to perform a respective set of one or more functions. In some implementations, the application identifies the appropriate application feature(s) by first determining the current state or mode (e.g., by checking a particular data field value). In other implementations, the instructions used to implement block 204 are part of a software module that is only executed when the application is in a particular state or mode, and thus there is no need to explicitly check the current state or mode.

    [0069] Each of the features identified at block 204 may be one that the application is configured to make available in response to a respective sequence of one or more user inputs being entered starting when the application is in the current state or mode. In one example, if the current state or mode is a state or mode that presents a geographical area on the display (in a digital map), the identified features may include a feature that downloads and/or saves non-image map data corresponding to the geographic area (e.g., the displayed area only, and/or surrounding areas) for later, offline access by the user.

    [0070] As another example, if the current state or mode is a state or mode that presents a transit route on the display, the identified features may include a feature that saves non-image data specifying the transit route (e.g., source location, destination location, transit station/stop names, etc.) for later access by the user, a feature that shares with one or more other users the non-image data specifying the transit route, and/or a feature that shares with one or more other users, over a period of time, real-time information concerning progress of the user along the transit route (e.g., an ETA that is updated in substantially real-time).

    [0071] As yet another example, if the current state or mode is a state or mode that presents information concerning a place indicated on the display (e.g., by a label or other marker), the identified features may include a feature that saves non-image data specifying the place (e.g., place name, place address, etc.) for later access by the user (e.g., saving the place to a "favorite" place list), a feature that shares with one or more other users the non-image data specifying the place, a feature that identifies and displays a route to the place from a location of the computing device, and/or a feature that identifies and displays a type of public transport that the user can use to reach the place from a location of the computing device.

    [0072] At block 206, the application generates a selectable link for each of the executable features identified at block 204. For example, the application may generate a number of displayable objects that each provide a direct link to the respective feature when selected (e.g., via a mouse click or finger tap).

    [0073] At block 208, the application presents, on the display, the selectable links generated at block 206. The links are presented in such a manner that a selection by the user of any one of the generated selectable links causes the respective set of functions to be performed (e.g., by the application, and/or by other software modules in communication with the application, etc.). Block 208 may include causing the display to show the generated selectable links in a menu list, for example. Each set of functions includes the operations needed to fulfill the purpose of the respective feature (e.g., packaging data, storing data, transmitting data, etc.).

    Example aspects of the invention



    [0074] Although the foregoing text sets forth a detailed description of numerous different aspects and embodiments of the invention, it should be understood that the scope of the patent is defined by the words of the claims set forth at the end of this patent. The detailed description is to be construed as exemplary only and does not describe every possible embodiment because describing every possible embodiment would be impractical, if not impossible. Numerous alternative embodiments could be implemented, using either current technology or technology developed after the filing date of this patent, which would still fall within the scope of the claims.

    Other considerations



    [0075] The following additional considerations apply to the foregoing discussion. Throughout this specification, plural instances may implement components, operations, or structures described as a single instance. Although individual operations of one or more methods are illustrated and described as separate operations, one or more of the individual operations may be performed concurrently, and nothing requires that the operations be performed in the order illustrated. Structures and functionality presented as separate components in example configurations may be implemented as a combined structure or component. Similarly, structures and functionality presented as a single component may be implemented as separate components. These and other variations, modifications, additions, and improvements fall within the scope of the subject matter of the present disclosure.

    [0076] Unless specifically stated otherwise, discussions in the present disclosure using words such as "processing," "computing," "calculating," "determining," "presenting," "displaying," or the like may refer to actions or processes of a machine (e.g., a computer) that manipulates or transforms data represented as physical (e.g., electronic, magnetic, or optical) quantities within one or more memories (e.g., volatile memory, non-volatile memory, or a combination thereof), registers, or other machine components that receive, store, transmit, or display information.

    [0077] As used in the present disclosure any reference to "one implementation" or "an implementation" means that a particular element, feature, structure, or characteristic described in connection with the implementation is included in at least one implementation or embodiment. The appearances of the phrase "in one implementation" in various places in the specification are not necessarily all referring to the same implementation.

    [0078] As used in the present disclosure, the terms "comprises," "comprising," "includes," "including," "has," "having" or any other variation thereof, are intended to cover a non-exclusive inclusion. For example, a process, method, article, or apparatus that comprises a list of elements is not necessarily limited to only those elements but may include other elements not expressly listed or inherent to such process, method, article, or apparatus. Further, unless expressly stated to the contrary, "or" refers to an inclusive or and not to an exclusive or. For example, a condition A or B is satisfied by any one of the following: A is true (or present) and B is false (or not present), A is false (or not present) and B is true (or present), and both A and B are true (or present).

    [0079] Upon reading this disclosure, those of skill in the art will appreciate still additional alternative structural and functional designs for increasing utilization and/or awareness of application features through the disclosed principles in the present disclosure. Thus, while particular embodiments and applications have been illustrated and described, it is to be understood that the disclosed embodiments are not limited to the precise construction and components disclosed in the present disclosure. Various modifications, changes and variations, which will be apparent to those skilled in the art, may be made in the arrangement, operation and details of the method and apparatus disclosed in the present disclosure without departing from the scope defined in the appended claims.


    Claims

    1. A method implemented in a computing device (12) having a display and an operating system, wherein the operating system is configured to capture screenshot images of screens shown on the display in response to entries of a pre-defined user input, and wherein the method comprises:

    executing an application in a current state or mode, in which an application screen is shown on the display,

    detecting, by the application (32), an entry of the pre-defined user input by a user of the computing device (12);

    identifying, by the application (32), one or more features that:

    (i) are supported by the application (32);

    (ii) are at least partially determined by the current state or mode of the application; and

    (iii) can use at least one type of information displayed by the application screen to perform a respective set of one or more functions;

    generating, by the application (32), a selectable link for each of the identified features; and

    presenting, by the application (32) and on the display, the generated selectable links, such that a selection by the user of any one of the generated selectable links causes the respective set of functions to be performed.


     
    2. The method of claim 1, wherein detecting an entry of the pre-defined user input includes:
    determining, by a background process of the application (32), that a new screenshot image has been stored in a memory of the computing device (12).
     
    3. The method of claim 1, wherein detecting an entry of the pre-defined user input includes:
    utilizing, by a background process of the application, an application programming interface (API) of the operating system to determine that the pre-defined user input was entered.
     
    4. The method of claim 1, wherein the application is configured to make each of the one or more features available in response to a respective sequence of one or more user inputs being entered starting when the application (32) is in the current state or mode.
     
    5. The method of claim 1, wherein the application (32) is a mapping application.
     
    6. The method of claim 5, wherein:

    the current state or mode of the application (32) is a state or mode that presents a geographic area on the display; and

    identifying one or more features of the application (32) includes identifying a feature of the application that downloads and saves non-image map data corresponding to the geographic area for later, offline access by the user.


     
    7. The method of claim 5, wherein the current state or mode of the application (32) is a state or mode that presents a transit route on the display.
     
    8. The method of claim 7, wherein identifying one or more features of the application (32) includes one or more of:

    identifying a feature of the application (32) that saves non-image data specifying the transit route for later access by the user;

    identifying a feature of the application (32) that shares, with one or more other users, non-image data specifying the transit route; and

    identifying a feature of the application (32) that shares, with one or more other users over a period of time, real-time information concerning progress of the user along the transit route.


     
    9. The method of claim 1, wherein the current state or mode of the application (32) is a state or mode that presents information concerning a place on the display.
     
    10. The method of claim 9, wherein identifying one or more features of the application (32) includes:
    identifying a feature of the application (32) that saves non-image data specifying the place for later access by the user.
     
    11. The method of claim 9, wherein identifying one or more features of the application (32) includes:
    identifying a feature of the application (32) that shares, with one or more other users, non-image data specifying the place.
     
    12. The method of claim 9, wherein identifying one or more features of the application (32) includes:
    identifying a feature of the application (32) that identifies and displays a route to the place from a location of the computing device.
     
    13. The method of claim 9, wherein identifying one or more features of the application (32) includes:
    identifying a feature of the application (32) that identifies and displays a type of public transport that the user can use to reach the place from a location of the computing device.
     
    14. A computing device comprising:

    a display;

    one or more processors;

    one or more memories storing (i) instructions of an operating system configured to capture screenshot images of screens shown on the display in response to entries of a pre-defined user input, (ii) image data files, and (iii) instructions of an application, wherein the instructions of the application, when executed by the one or more processors, cause the computing device to carry out the method of any one of the preceding claims.


     
    15. A non-transitory, computer-readable medium storing instructions of an application that, when executed by one or more processors (20) of a computing device (12), cause the computing device (12) to carry out the method of any one of claims 1 to 13.
     


    Ansprüche

    1. Verfahren, das in einer Rechenvorrichtung (12) implementiert ist, die eine Anzeige und ein Betriebssystem aufweist, wobei das Betriebssystem konfiguriert ist, um Screenshot-Bilder von Bildschirmen zu erfassen, die auf der Anzeige als Reaktion auf Einträge einer vordefinierten Benutzereingabe gezeigt werden, und wobei das Verfahren Folgendes umfasst:

    Ausführen einer Anwendung in einem aktuellen Zustand oder Modus, in dem ein Anwendungsbildschirm auf der Anzeige gezeigt wird,

    Erfassen eines Eintrags der vordefinierten Benutzereingabe durch einen Benutzer der Rechenvorrichtung (12) durch die Anwendung (32);

    Identifizieren eines oder mehrerer Merkmale durch die Anwendung (32), die:

    (i) von der Anwendung (32) unterstützt werden;

    (ii) zumindest teilweise durch den aktuellen Zustand oder Modus der Anwendung bestimmt werden; und

    (iii) mindestens einen Informationstyp verwenden können, der von dem Anwendungsbildschirm angezeigt wird, um einen entsprechenden Satz von einer oder mehreren Funktionen auszuführen;

    Erzeugen einer auswählbaren Verknüpfung für jedes der identifizierten Merkmale durch die Anwendung (32); und

    Darstellen der erzeugten auswählbaren Verknüpfungen durch die Anwendung (32) und auf der Anzeige, sodass eine Auswahl einer der erzeugten auswählbaren Verknüpfungen durch den Benutzer bewirkt, dass der entsprechende Satz von Funktionen ausgeführt wird.


     
    2. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Erfassen eines Eintrags der vordefinierten Benutzereingabe Folgendes einschließt:
    Bestimmen durch einen Hintergrundprozess der Anwendung (32), dass ein neues Screenshot-Bild in einem Speicher der Rechenvorrichtung (12) gespeichert wurde.
     
    3. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei das Erfassen eines Eintrags der vordefinierten Benutzereingabe Folgendes einschließt:
    Verwenden einer Anwendungsprogrammierschnittstelle (API) des Betriebssystems durch einen Hintergrundprozess der Anwendung, um zu bestimmen, dass die vordefinierte Benutzereingabe eingegeben wurde.
     
    4. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Anwendung konfiguriert ist, um jedes der einen oder mehreren Merkmale als Reaktion auf eine entsprechende Folge von einer oder mehreren Benutzereingaben verfügbar zu machen, die eingegeben werden, beginnend, wenn sich die Anwendung (32) im aktuellen Zustand oder Modus befindet.
     
    5. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei die Anwendung (32) eine Abbildungsanwendung ist.
     
    6. Verfahren nach Anspruch 5, wobei:

    der aktuelle Zustand oder Modus der Anwendung (32) ein Zustand oder Modus ist, der ein geografisches Gebiet auf der Anzeige darstellt; und

    das Identifizieren eines oder mehrerer Merkmale der Anwendung (32) das Identifizieren eines Merkmals der Anwendung einschließt, das Nicht-Bildkartendaten, die dem geografischen Gebiet entsprechen, für einen späteren Offline-Zugriff durch den Benutzer herunterlädt und speichert.


     
    7. Verfahren nach Anspruch 5, wobei der aktuelle Zustand oder Modus der Anwendung (32) ein Zustand oder Modus ist, der eine Transitroute auf der Anzeige darstellt.
     
    8. Verfahren nach Anspruch 7, wobei das Identifizieren eines oder mehrerer Merkmale der Anwendung (32) eines oder mehrere der Folgenden einschließt:

    Identifizieren eines Merkmals der Anwendung (32), das Nicht-Bilddaten speichert, die die Transitroute für einen späteren Zugriff durch den Benutzer spezifizieren;

    Identifizieren eines Merkmals der Anwendung (32), das mit einem oder mehreren anderen Benutzern Nicht-Bilddaten teilt, die die Transitroute spezifizieren; und

    Identifizieren eines Merkmals der Anwendung (32), das über einen Zeitraum mit einem oder mehreren anderen Benutzern Echtzeitinformationen über das Vorankommen des Benutzers entlang der Transitroute teilt.


     
    9. Verfahren nach Anspruch 1, wobei der aktuelle Zustand oder Modus der Anwendung (32) ein Zustand oder Modus ist, der Informationen bezüglich eines Ortes auf der Anzeige darstellt.
     
    10. Verfahren nach Anspruch 9, wobei das Identifizieren eines oder mehrerer Merkmale der Anwendung (32) Folgendes einschließt:
    Identifizieren eines Merkmals der Anwendung (32), das Nicht-Bilddaten speichert, die den Ort für einen späteren Zugriff durch den Benutzer spezifizieren.
     
    11. Verfahren nach Anspruch 9, wobei das Identifizieren eines oder mehrerer Merkmale der Anwendung (32) Folgendes einschließt:
    Identifizieren eines Merkmals der Anwendung (32), das mit einem oder mehreren anderen Benutzern Nicht-Bilddaten teilt, die den Ort spezifizieren.
     
    12. Verfahren nach Anspruch 9, wobei das Identifizieren eines oder mehrerer Merkmale der Anwendung (32) Folgendes einschließt:
    Identifizieren eines Merkmals der Anwendung (32), das eine Route zu dem Ort von einem Standort der Rechenvorrichtung aus identifiziert und anzeigt.
     
    13. Verfahren nach Anspruch 9, wobei das Identifizieren eines oder mehrerer Merkmale der Anwendung (32) Folgendes einschließt:
    Identifizieren eines Merkmals der Anwendung (32), das eine Art von öffentlichen Verkehrsmitteln, die der Benutzer benutzen kann, um den Ort zu erreichen, von einem Standort der Rechenvorrichtung aus identifiziert und anzeigt.
     
    14. Rechenvorrichtung, umfassend:

    eine Anzeige;

    einen oder mehrere Prozessoren;

    einen oder mehrere Speicher, in denen (i) Anweisungen eines Betriebssystems, das zum Erfassen von Screenshot-Bildern von Bildschirmen konfiguriert ist, die auf der Anzeige als Reaktion auf Einträge einer vordefinierten Benutzereingabe gezeigt werden, (ii) Bilddatendateien und (iii) Anweisungen einer Anwendung gespeichert sind, wobei die Anweisungen der Anwendung, wenn sie von dem einen oder den mehreren Prozessoren ausgeführt werden, bewirken, dass die Rechenvorrichtung das Verfahren nach einem der vorhergehenden Ansprüche ausführt.


     
    15. Nicht flüchtiges, computerlesbares Medium, das Anweisungen einer Anwendung speichert, die, wenn sie von einem oder mehreren Prozessoren (20) einer Rechenvorrichtung (12) ausgeführt werden, bewirken, dass die Rechenvorrichtung (12), das Verfahren nach einem der Ansprüche 1 bis 13 ausführt.
     


    Revendications

    1. Procédé mis en oeuvre dans un dispositif informatique (12) possédant un dispositif d'affichage et un système d'exploitation, ledit système d'exploitation étant configuré pour capturer des images de capture d'écran d'écrans présentés sur le dispositif d'affichage en réponse à des entrées d'une entrée utilisateur prédéfinie, et ledit procédé comprenant :

    l'exécution d'une application dans un état ou un mode actuel, un écran d'application étant présenté sur le dispositif d'affichage,

    la détection, par l'application (32), d'une entrée de l'entrée utilisateur prédéfinie par un utilisateur du dispositif informatique (12) ;

    l'identification, par l'application (32), d'une ou plusieurs caractéristiques qui :

    (i) sont supportées par l'application (32) ;

    (ii) sont au moins partiellement déterminées par l'état ou le mode actuel de l'application ; et

    (iii) peuvent utilisées au moins un type d'informations affichées par l'écran d'application pour réaliser un ensemble respectif d'une ou plusieurs fonctions ;

    la génération, par l'application (32), d'un lien pouvant être choisi pour chacune des caractéristiques identifiées ; et

    la présentation, par l'application (32) et sur le dispositif d'affichage, des liens pouvant être choisis générés, de sorte qu'un choix par l'utilisateur de l'un quelconque des liens pouvant être choisis générés entraîne la réalisation de l'ensemble respectif de fonctions.


     
    2. Procédé selon la revendication 1, ladite détection d'une entrée de l'entrée utilisateur prédéfinie comprenant :
    la détermination, par un processus d'arrière-plan de l'application (32), qu'une nouvelle image de capture d'écran a été stockée dans une mémoire du dispositif informatique (12).
     
    3. Procédé selon la revendication 1, ladite détection d'une entrée de l'entrée utilisateur prédéfinie comprenant :
    l'utilisation, par un processus d'arrière-plan de l'application, d'une interface de programmation d'application (API) du système d'exploitation pour déterminer que l'entrée utilisateur prédéfinie a été entrée.
     
    4. Procédé selon la revendication 1, ladite application étant configurée pour rendre disponible chacune de la ou des fonctionnalités en réponse à une séquence respective d'une ou plusieurs entrées utilisateur qui sont entrées, commençant lorsque l'application (32) est dans l'état ou le mode actuel.
     
    5. Procédé selon la revendication 1, ladite application (32) étant une application de cartographie.
     
    6. Procédé selon la revendication 5,
    ledit état ou ledit mode actuel de l'application (32) étant un état ou un mode qui présente une zone géographique sur le dispositif d'affichage ; et
    ladite identification d'une ou plusieurs caractéristiques de l'application (32) comprenant l'identification d'une caractéristique de l'application qui télécharge et enregistre des données de carte non-image correspondant à la zone géographique pour un accès hors ligne ultérieur par l'utilisateur.
     
    7. Procédé selon la revendication 5, ledit état ou ledit mode actuel de l'application (32) étant un état ou un mode qui présente un itinéraire de transit sur le dispositif d'affichage.
     
    8. Procédé selon la revendication 7, ladite identification d'une ou plusieurs caractéristiques de l'application (32) comprenant une ou plusieurs parmi :

    l'identification d'une caractéristique de l'application (32) qui enregistre des données non-image en spécifiant l'itinéraire de transit en vue d'un accès ultérieur par l'utilisateur ;

    l'identification d'une caractéristique de l'application (32) qui partage, avec un ou plusieurs autres utilisateurs, des données non-image spécifiant l'itinéraire de transit ; et

    l'identification d'une caractéristique de l'application (32) qui partage, avec un ou plusieurs autres utilisateurs sur une période de temps, des informations en temps réel concernant la progression de l'utilisateur le long de l'itinéraire de transit.


     
    9. Procédé selon la revendication 1, ledit état ou ledit mode actuel de l'application (32) étant un état ou un mode qui présente des informations concernant un lieu sur le dispositif d'affichage.
     
    10. Procédé selon la revendication 9, ladite identification d'une ou plusieurs caractéristiques de l'application (32) comprenant :
    l'identification d'une caractéristique de l'application (32) qui enregistre des données non-image en spécifiant le lieu en vue d'un accès ultérieur par l'utilisateur.
     
    11. Procédé selon la revendication 9, ladite identification d'une ou plusieurs caractéristiques de l'application (32) comprenant :
    l'identification d'une caractéristique de l'application (32) qui partage, avec un ou plusieurs autres utilisateurs, des données non-image spécifiant le lieu.
     
    12. Procédé selon la revendication 9, ladite identification d'une ou plusieurs caractéristiques de l'application (32) comprenant :
    l'identification d'une caractéristique de l'application (32) qui identifie et affiche un itinéraire vers le lieu à partir d'un emplacement du dispositif informatique.
     
    13. Procédé selon la revendication 9, ladite identification d'une ou plusieurs caractéristiques de l'application (32) comprenant :
    l'identification d'une caractéristique de l'application (32) qui identifie et affiche un type de transport public que l'utilisateur peut utiliser pour atteindre le lieu à partir d'un emplacement du dispositif informatique.
     
    14. Dispositif informatique comprenant :

    un dispositif d'affichage ;

    un ou plusieurs processeurs ;

    une ou plusieurs mémoires stockant (i) des instructions d'un système d'exploitation configuré pour capturer des images de capture d'écran d'écrans présentés sur le dispositif d'affichage en réponse à des entrées d'une entrée utilisateur prédéfinie, (ii) des fichiers de données d'image, et (iii) des instructions d'une application, lesdites instructions de l'application, lorsqu'elles sont exécutées par le ou les processeurs, amenant le dispositif informatique à effectuer le procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications précédentes.


     
    15. Support non transitoire lisible par ordinateur stockant des instructions d'une application qui, lorsqu'elles sont exécutées par un ou plusieurs processeurs (20) d'un dispositif informatique (12), amènent le dispositif informatique (12) à effectuer le procédé selon l'une quelconque des revendications 1 à 13.
     




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    Cited references

    REFERENCES CITED IN THE DESCRIPTION



    This list of references cited by the applicant is for the reader's convenience only. It does not form part of the European patent document. Even though great care has been taken in compiling the references, errors or omissions cannot be excluded and the EPO disclaims all liability in this regard.

    Patent documents cited in the description