Apple Patent Shows New Immersive 3 Dimensional Desktop UI

A new Apple patent has emerged that shows a new, more immersive 3D desktop GUI, which looks essentially like cover flow but for applications instead of just for items within Finder windows. It also seems like an incredibly obvious (though no less attractive and innovative) evolution of displaying open applications, and it will certainly allow users to increase the speed of their workflow.

It appears that you can click (or swipe?) your way through open applications that are presented as a series of windows, and whichever application is front and center is the currently active app. You can work with a given application without leaving the cover flow environment, which is a nice touch, and if you prefer you can switch back to the traditional 2D desktop environment any time.

Apple Mac OS X 3D GUI desktop
A new way of viewing and organizing open applications

It reminds us of one of Windows 8/RT’s redeeming features, which is the ability to swipe from the left to quickly bring up other applications you’re using. If Apple was ever going to adapt an idea from Microsoft, that’s not a bad one to snag.

Apple Mac OS X desktop
The old way of viewing and organizing open applications

From the patent, it’s clear that this is designed for the Mac OS X desktop environment as opposed to necessarily iOS, but it wouldn’t be out of the question for Apple to implement this elsewhere, such as on the iPad. We also wonder if this new 3D GUI portends future touchscreen capabilities on its Mac OS X-based machines.