Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Apple Granted Patent on Account Portability via iPod/iPhone

On April 12, 2011, Apple was granted US Patent 7,925,712, titled "Method and apparatus for rendering user accounts portable."  The filing date for the application was April 28, 2008.  Inventors are Robert T. Bowers and Steve Ko.

According to the claims, when an iPod/iPhone-like device is connected, a decision is made as to whether to sync or obtain an OS profile from the iPod.  If a profile is to be obtained, the system accesses local account settings on the computer, receives information from the iPod about stored account settings, prompts the user regarding the two available accounts, and configures the system based on the user's selection.

 

Screen shot 2011 04 12 at 9 00 37 AM

 

Claim 1, for reference:

7,925,712 Full-Text Method and apparatus for rendering user accounts portable

Filed April 28, 2008

1. A method for operating a first computer system, comprising:

  • upon connection of a portable media device having media playing capabilities to the first computer system,
    • determining whether to synchronize media files on the portable media device with the first computer system or to obtain an operating system profile from the portable media device;
    • when it is determined to obtain an operating system profile from the portable media device: 
      • accessing, on a data store associated with the first computer system, a first account specifying a first operating system environment;
      • receiving information from the portable media device regarding a second account specifying a second operating system environment, wherein the portable media device is capable of being disconnected from the first computer system and operatively coupled to a second computer system;
      • providing a prompt including both the first account and the second account as possible selections;
      • receiving a selection of either the first account or the second account; and
      • configuring an operating system in the first computer system to utilize the first operating system environment or the second operating system environment based on the selection.

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