News Column

"Background Application Management" in Patent Application Approval Process

February 6, 2014



By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at Politics & Government Week -- A patent application by the inventors Srour, Benjamin S. (Seattle, WA); Haveson, Ryan A (Woodinville, WA); Johnson, Jeffrey J. (Bellevue, WA); Satterfield, Jesse Clay (Seattle, WA), filed on July 12, 2012, was made available online on January 23, 2014, according to news reporting originating from Washington, D.C., by VerticalNews correspondents.

This patent application is assigned to Microsoft Corporation.

The following quote was obtained by the news editors from the background information supplied by the inventors: "Modern computing devices provide a range of functionality that enables users to interact with the computing devices in many different ways and perform many different tasks. Computing devices can be used for entertainment (e.g., gaming, playing media, etc.), to run utility applications (e.g., word processing applications, database management applications, etc.), for communication (e.g., web browsers, calling applications, etc.), and for other purposes. When a computing device is executing an application for a user, the user experience is typically focused on obtaining visual feedback in the way of an event, data, or other content. However, some applications may run in a background state and not be visible to the user. These are called background applications. Management of background applications has direct implications on use of battery power and processing performance of computing devices. In some situations, computing devices may not allow use of background application in order to save battery power or for other reasons.

"However, some applications may be helpful to users and warrant the ability to execute code in the background. Some platforms have taken a very constrained model that puts the onus on manual testing by an administrator to decide which applications are allowed to run in the background. Thus, these platforms decide for the user which applications are allowed to run in the background, and do not solicit user input. For example, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) applications often attempt to maintain a connection to a VoIP server to be able to receive a signal about an incoming phone call. Creating objective criteria that does not fall under scrutiny can be a challenge for administrators. Other platforms have taken the opposite approach and do not decide which applications are allowed to run in the background. This hands-off approach may allow developers to inundate a device with background applications, which may severely impact battery life and processing performance of the computing device.

"The reality is that most applications for modern computing devices do not need to run in the background. However, a class of applications exists that often do need some ability to run code in the background. These applications are typically in the real-time communications category such as electronic mail (email), VoIP and instant messaging. The back end servers which power these servers often desire immediate guaranteed delivery of notifications to their clients. Push notifications may be used, but there are no delivery guarantees for the notifications and there is no encryption or privacy. Given the privacy and latency concerns, many customers and application services may prefer to have a direct connection to their servers in the background to notify users when something happens."

In addition to the background information obtained for this patent application, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventors' summary information for this patent application: "The techniques and systems disclosed herein generally pertain to managing permissions for applications to allow the applications to run in a background state by an operating system. In some embodiments, user interfaces may be used to allow users to manage application permissions without requiring the user to understand specifics of background applications, but rather by providing a predetermined threshold number of permissions that the user can assign to applications. When the predetermined threshold number of permissions has been allocated and a subsequent application requests a permission, the user may replace or swap out an application that currently has a permission by transferring the permission to the requesting application.

"In various embodiments, a background application manager may receive a request for an application to run in a background state. The background application manager may determine whether a permission is available for allocation to the application. When the permission is available, the background application manager may permit the application to run in the background state following receipt of a user approval of the request. When the permission is not available, the background application manager may provide a user an option to reassign an issued permission that was granted to another application, the option enabling receipt of the user approval of the request. The background application manager may prevent the application from running in the background state after receipt of a user rejection of the request

"This Summary is provided to introduce a selection of concepts in a simplified form that are further described below in the Detailed Description. This Summary is not intended to identify key features or essential features of the claimed subject matter, nor is it intended to be used to limit the scope of the claimed subject matter.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

"The detailed description is described with reference to the accompanying figures. In the figures, the left-most digit(s) of a reference number identifies the figure in which the reference number first appears. The same reference numbers in different figures indicate similar or identical items.

"FIG. 1 is a schematic diagram of an illustrative computing architecture that provides management of background applications.

"FIG. 2 is a block diagram of an illustrative background application manager that provides management of background applications.

"FIG. 3 is a flow diagram of an illustrative process of managing permissions of background applications using a lock screen.

"FIG. 4 is a flow diagram of an illustrative process of allocating permissions for background applications using a threshold quantity of permissions.

"FIG. 5 is a flow diagram of an illustrative process of replacing a permission for an application when the threshold quantity of permissions has been reached or exceeded.

"FIG. 6 is an illustrative user interface (UI) that informs a user that an application is requesting to run in the background.

"FIG. 7 is an illustrative UI that shows a lock screen having badges that represent applications that have permission to run in the background.

"FIG. 8 is an illustrative UI that allows a user to manage permissions for applications that can run in the background.

"FIG. 9 is an illustrative UI that allows a user to replace a permission for an application when the threshold quantity of permissions has been reached or exceeded."

URL and more information on this patent application, see: Srour, Benjamin S.; Haveson, Ryan A; Johnson, Jeffrey J.; Satterfield, Jesse Clay. Background Application Management. Filed July 12, 2012 and posted January 23, 2014. Patent URL: http://appft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-adv.html&r=62&p=2&f=G&l=50&d=PG01&S1=20140116.PD.&OS=PD/20140116&RS=PD/20140116

Keywords for this news article include: Microsoft Corporation.

Our reports deliver fact-based news of research and discoveries from around the world. Copyright 2014, NewsRx LLC


For more stories covering the world of technology, please see HispanicBusiness' Tech Channel



Source: Politics & Government Week


Story Tools