Apple has been awarded a patent for the loupe magnification tool in iOS. The tool is familiar to almost everyone who has ever used an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch. It’s the magnifying glass that pops up while you are positioning the cursor in a text field. The loupe tool also pops up when you are interacting with other various elements on screen.
The patent, titled “Device, method, and graphical user interface for management and manipulation of user interface elements,” was first noticed by AppleInsider. And while the patent can be seen as a significant one for Apple, it doesn’t actually protect the “magnifying glass” feature of the tool. What the patent protects is the way Apple has designed the tool to automatically appear when the user touches an object that meets a minimum size value. The auto-appearance of the loupe eliminates extra steps that the user would need to ordinarily take, like pinch to zoom, or tapping a separate button to enable the loupe tool.