US 20080214163 A1
In accordance with the invention, mobile phones and other electronic devices access content through links, rather than storing the content on the mobile phone or at a location under the control of a mobile phone operator. A user retrieves the content by accessing a link on the mobile phone, which results in transferring the content from a content-provider location directly to the mobile phone. In this way, the mobile phone operator does not have to reserve storage for the content, and the content provider, alerted that the user is restoring or otherwise requesting content, is able to offer the user upgrades, replacement content, and related content. To better offer a user relevant content, a history of purchases for the mobile phone, the user, or both is maintained.
1. A method of providing content to a mobile device comprising:
determining a source of the content; and
transmitting the content from the source to a storage location accessible to the mobile device.
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displaying an icon corresponding to the content on the mobile device; and
selecting the icon to thereby automatically transmit the content from the source to the storage location.
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16. A method of accessing content from a device comprising:
selecting on the device a link to content stored on a storage system; and
automatically accessing the content on the device in response to selecting the link.
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19. The method of
determining that the content is not stored on the storage system; and
receiving the content on the storage system.
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24. A method of offering content for a first device comprising:
storing a history of acquisitions associated with one or more entities; and
displaying on the first device offers for content based on the history.
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36. A method of offering content for a device comprising:
displaying a first list of content acquired for one or more entities; and
transmitting one or more items in the first list to a first mobile device.
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45. A method of configuring a device comprising:
constructing from a first device a link to content on a storage system; and
storing the link on a second device.
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51. A mobile device comprising:
a client module containing a link configured to access content and programmed to access the content using the link.
52. The mobile device of
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58. A content management system for a mobile device comprising:
a first content module containing content; and
a delivery interface programmed to transfer content from the content module to a mobile device.
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a multimedia content data store;
a user-generated content data store; and
an application data store.
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79. A method of storing content for use on a device comprising:
storing content on a storage system accessible to the device; and
storing a link on the device for automatically accessing the content.
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This application claims priority under 35 U.S.C. § 119(e) of both the co-pending U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/897,789, filed Jan. 26, 2007, and titled “CONTENT LOCKER, APPLICATION AND CONTENT BACKUP,” and the co-pending U.S. provisional patent application Ser. No. 60/937,314, filed Jun. 26, 2007, and titled “CONTENT LOCKER, APPLICATION AND CONTENT BACKUP,” both of which are hereby incorporated by reference in their entireties.
This invention is related to transmitting content to electronic devices. More specifically, this invention is related to systems for and methods of restoring content, updating content, storing equivalent content, and offering content for mobile devices such as mobile phones.
Mobile phones and other electronic devices contain ever increasing content, with upgrades, equivalents, and other content created for them each year. Mobile phones, for example, store address books, user-generated content such as digital images, and third-party content such as ringtones, wallpaper, and music files, to name only a few types of content. Content is not easily restored when the phone is deactivated. It is difficult for a user to remember what content was stored on the phone, the correct version of the content for a particular phone, or even where she acquired the content. Even if she can discover all this information, the process of restoring content to the phone is still time-consuming, error prone, and tedious.
When restoring content to a phone, the user is also unaware of upgrades to content. Unknown to the user, a content provider may have released a new version of content or an equivalent, more popular version. The user misses an opportunity to get upgraded, more desirable content, and the content provider misses an opportunity to sell, license, or offer a subscription to new content.
Users face these same problems when upgrading to a new phone or other device. The new phone may require different versions of content: a simple transfer of content from the old to the new mobile phone will not work.
In a first aspect of the present invention, a method of providing content to a mobile device includes determining a source of the content (e.g., a content provider) and transmitting the content from the source to a storage location accessible to the mobile device, such as directly on the mobile device. Preferably, the content is transmitted wirelessly. Mobile devices include, but are not limited to, mobile telephones, personal digital assistants, and personal computers. Content includes, but is not limited to, a mobile application program, a mobile ring tone, a mobile wallpaper, video data, audio data, a digital image, a ring back tone, or a combination of these.
In one embodiment, the method also includes storing on the mobile device a selectable link for accessing the content on the storage location and storing data that associates the source with the content, the mobile device, or both. This data is used to determine what content has been acquired for the mobile device and the source (e.g., one or more content providers) that can be accessed to retrieve the content. The data includes a pathname to the source, such as one containing a Uniform Resource Locator, and identifiers for the content itself. The data is parsed to determine the source and the content. Preferably, the data is stored on a system remote from the mobile device, so that when the mobile device retrieves the content it contacts the system, which communicates with the source to transmit the content to the mobile device.
In one embodiment, the source is determined by querying one or more locations for the content, such as third-party content providers. The content providers respond by transmitting the content (e.g., wirelessly) to the mobile device. In one embodiment, a single aggregation interface is used to automatically retrieve content from multiple sources.
In a second aspect of the present invention, a method of accessing content from a device includes selecting on the device a link to content stored on a storage system and automatically receiving the content on the device in response to selecting the link. The storage system is remote to the device and when the link is selected, a copy of the content is transmitted from the storage system to the device.
Preferably, the content is accessed by determining that the content is not stored on the storage system and then receiving the content on the storage system. As one example, content is determined to be on the storage system using a hash. A list containing the hash for each content on the storage system is maintained. If it is determined that a hash for desired content is not in the list, it is determined that the content is not on the storage system and must be retrieved from a content provider.
In a third aspect of the present invention, a method of offering content for a first device includes storing a history of acquisitions associated with one or more entities and displaying on the first device offers for content based on the history. The one or more entities correspond to a user, to a mobile device, or to both. In other words, offers can be based on what was acquired for a particular mobile phone, for a particular user, or both. The offers are for purchasing, subscribing to, licensing, upgrading, or replacing content, or any combination of these.
Content is updated, in part, by transcoding or resizing using content in the history. In one embodiment, the method also includes automatically receiving replacement or updated content on the first device. Preferably, the history is stored at a content provider location but can be stored at other locations.
In one embodiment, the method also includes polling the content provider location for an acquisition associated with the one or more entities, automatically receiving notification from the content provider location of an acquisition for the one or more entities, storing metadata about content acquired by the one or more entities, or any combination of these. The metadata includes a name for content, a description of content, a size of content, a format of content, an encoding of content, an author of content, or any combination of these. The history includes a count of license usages.
In a fourth aspect of the present invention, a method of offering content for a device includes displaying a first list of content acquired for one or more entities and transmitting one or more items in the first list to a first mobile device. Preferably, from this first list, one or more of the items are selected for storing on the device.
In one embodiment, the first list is automatically transmitted to the first mobile device. The first list is displayed, and one or more items are selected from it and transmitted to the first mobile device from a location remote to the first mobile device. The method also includes selecting a second list of mobile devices and transmitting the one or more items to the mobile devices in the second list. The first list is generated from a history of acquisitions associated with a second mobile device.
In a fifth aspect of the present invention, a method of configuring a device includes constructing from a first device a link to content on a storage system and storing the link on a second device. Thus, the second device is configured to access the same content available to the first device. Preferably, storing the link includes storing the content and data for selecting the content. The link, the content, or both are wirelessly transmitted from the storage system to the second device during an initial configuration of the second device. Alternatively, the link, the content, or both are stored on the second device at predetermined time intervals.
In a sixth aspect of the present invention, a mobile device includes a client module containing a link and programmed to access content using the link, preferably wirelessly. The client module is programmed to display icons for selecting replacement content for replacing content acquired for the mobile device. The replacement content includes an upgrade to content acquired for the mobile device or a different version of the content acquired for the mobile device.
In a seventh aspect of the present invention, a content management system for a mobile device includes a first content module containing content and a delivery interface programmed to transfer content from the content module to a mobile device. The delivery interface is programmed to transfer content from the content module to a mobile device using a link to the content accessible to the mobile device.
The system also includes a data store of acquired content, a replacement module for mapping acquired content to replacement content, and an interface programmed to receive content from one or more sources and to poll the one or more sources to determine content acquired from the one or more sources. The interface includes a connection module for connecting to sources using Uniform Resource Indicators to the one or more sources. In one embodiment, the system also includes a parser for parsing the content to thereby determine the one or more sources. Preferably, the one or more sources are third-party sources.
In one embodiment, the system also includes an offer module for generating offers for replacement content on the mobile device. The offer module is programmed to transmit data associated with the offers to the mobile device and the mobile device is programmed to display and select the offers. The offer module is also programmed to generate the offers from a history of acquisitions for one or more entities such as users or mobile phones.
Preferably, the system also includes a metadata store containing metadata about content. Metadata includes information indicating a manufacturer of a mobile device, a version of a mobile device, operating capabilities of a mobile device, or any combination of these. The operating capabilities include a screen size, a number of pixels, or both.
In one embodiment, the system also includes a Web-based interface coupled to the content manager and programmed to manage the content, a multimedia content data store, a user-generated content data store, and an application data store.
Embodiments of the present invention are directed to restoring, updating, and offering content on electronic devices, such as mobile telephones, personal digital assistants, personal computers, and the like.
Different embodiments of the present invention are able to restore content to an electronic device in different ways. In one embodiment, a link to content is stored on a mobile phone, allowing the mobile phone to automatically access multiple content stored at one or more remote (e.g., third-party) locations. In this way, content is accessed and stored on the mobile phone only when needed, thus using memory on the mobile phone more efficiently.
Other embodiments ensure continued access to subscribed content, even when the mobile phone is deactivated. For example, when a mobile phone is deactivated and then reactivated, or when service to one mobile phone is migrated to another mobile phone, the user is able to seamlessly restore access to the subscribed content.
Other embodiments allow a user to substitute content on a mobile device. As one example, when a mobile phone is reactivated, the mobile phone is restored with an upgrade of content previously stored on the mobile phone or its equivalent. The content provider thus increases its opportunities to sell to customers content or subscriptions to content, and gives customers opportunities to get the latest version of content.
In general, the present invention ensures the integrity of customer purchase data, restores already purchased content when a handset is restored, provides customers the opportunity to upgrade applications previously stored on a handset, conserves bandwidth since content is transferred only when restored on a handset, and allows users to transfer content, upgrades, or equivalent content on new handsets. Content includes, but is not limited to, address book contact data, user-generated pictures and sound recordings, ringtones, wallpapers, and videos purchased or subscribed from third-party content provides, and Binary Runtime Environment for Wireless (BREW) applications purchased through a Content Provider BREW mobile shop.
During device set up, a user purchases or otherwise acquires content for the mobile phone 101. When the purchase is made, the user record 115 is added to the platform 110, and the content provider 120 records that the user (identified, for example, by the telephone number of the mobile phone) has purchased the content. Any license usage counts are initialized at this stage, so that the user is able to retrieve the content 105 only the allowed number of times. An icon is stored on the mobile phone 101 to access the platform 110 and thus ultimately the content provider 120, as described herein.
Advantageously, the mobile phone 101 and the platform 110 do not require extra storage for the content 105, storing only links to it. Preferably, content is stored at a content provider, from which the content is retrieved. This structure allows the content provider to keep track of and notify the user that updates and equivalent content, which are generally under the control of the content provider, are available. The content provider 120 is also able to substitute equivalent or updated content when available. In alternative embodiments, the content 105 is stored on the platform 110, from where it is transmitted to the mobile 101.
Preferably, the platform 110 is coupled to the multiple content providers 120A-D through an aggregator 140, which receives a request for content from the platform 110 and routes the request to the appropriate one of the multiple content providers 120A-D containing the content sought. Alternatively, the aggregator 140 queries all content providers 120A-D, and the one content provider hosting the content sought transmits it to the mobile phone 101. In a preferred embodiment, the aggregator 140 is part of the platform 110; in an alternative embodiment, the aggregator 140 and the platform 110 are separate components.
It will be appreciated that although
As discussed above, in one embodiment, the aggregator 140 of
In other embodiments, discussed below, if neither previously acquired content nor an upgrade is available, equivalent content is transmitted to the mobile phone 101 in the step 257. In still other embodiments, the user of the mobile phone is given the option of acquiring an upgrade or equivalent content.
The system must ensure that equivalent or other replacement content is selected so that it is compatible with the mobile device. Thus equivalent content must be selected so that its binary, image size and device form factor, and its encoding format are all suitable for the mobile device. To this end, content providers (or intermediate platforms) maintain mapping databases that map content suitable for one device to content suitable for another device.
Preferably, a history of purchases, subscriptions, and other acquisitions are generated for the mobile phone 101. As discussed below, this history is used to determine upgrades or equivalent content for the content acquired for the mobile phone 101. Based on this history, the user of the mobile phone 101 is offered upgrades and equivalent content for content previously acquired for the mobile phone 101, as well as offers for content similar or related to previously purchased content.
It will be appreciated that embodiments of the present invention are able to be used, not only to restore content to a mobile phone, but also to migrate content from one mobile phone to another. Thus, for example, a user may upgrade his mobile phone and wishes to transfer content from the mobile phone to a new one.
In still other embodiments of the invention, a mobile phone is programmed to store content efficiently. In one embodiment, rather than store links to content on a remote platform (e.g., platform 110,
As one example, the link 401A associated with the icon 401 is the URL, contentprovider.com/tertris/4.0/15555551212, which contains the Web address of the content provider (contentprovider.com), the name of the content to be retrieved (Tetris), the version of the content (4.0), and the phone number of the mobile phone (5555551212). When contacted, the content provider parses this URL, determines what content to store on the mobile phone 400, and then, using the phone number of the mobile phone, transmits the content to the mobile phone 400. Preferably, once the content is no longer used on the mobile phone 400 (e.g., the application is closed), it is removed from the mobile phone 400. In this way, because the mobile phone 400 does not persistently maintain all the content it has access to, it can access content larger than its available memory.
In an alternative embodiment, once the content is retrieved from the content provider, it is stored on both the mobile phone 400 and on an intermediate storage location. In this way, any future retrieval of the content (which may be deleted on the mobile phone after use) is from the intermediate storage location, which functions as a proxy server. In this embodiment, the link 401A is updated to refer to the intermediate storage location.
In one embodiment, the content is not automatically deleted from the mobile phone after it is used. Instead, the content is removed manually and remains of the mobile device for future use. Again using the icon 401 and its associated link as an example, when the icon 401 is selected, the mobile device 400 is programmed to first determine whether the associated content is available on the mobile phone 400. Preferably, the mobile phone 400 stores a hash of the content as part of the metadata about the content. The mobile phone 400 compares this hash against the hashes of all other content stored on the mobile phone 400. If the mobile phone 400 determines that it does not contain the content, it will retrieve the content from the content provider, as described above. Alternatively, the content is stored on an intermediate platform, which stores and uses a hash to determine available content in a similar manner.
It will be appreciated that features of each embodiments described in this application can be used on other embodiments. For example, the link 401A is able to include metadata similar to the metadata 200, which also contains an address of a third-party content provider (element 203). Similarly, when updating or changing mobile phones, the icons 401-403 and associated links 401A-403A are all able to be transferred to the new mobile phone. This may occur during an initial configuration of the new mobile phone.
As illustrated in
One popular trigger for a mobile device restore is the initiation of the on-device mobile shop. The mobile shop application can be configured to launch the restore process when it is launched for the first time on a device. Alternatively, a stub application may be preloaded onto the device. The stub application will launch shortly after the mobile phone is activated and provisioned and will prompt the user to restore applications and purchased content.
Any business logic desired may be implemented in the client: application or content-specific rules may be applied and an appropriate user interface displayed to the user. Examples of these rules and user-interfaces include automatic no-fee download and installation of subscription-based applications, reduced-fee “repurchases” prompt for pay-per-download applications and content, no-fee download of operator-determined number of previously purchased ringtones, special reduced fees for particular previously purchased ringtones, reminders about previously downloaded but deleted applications, offers to continue previously initiated but subsequently canceled application subscriptions, and simple reminders (or recommended alternative applications) detailing what content the user had previously.
Premium content is restored 620 by getting a purchase premium content list 621, delivering premium content to the device 623, and displaying application and content specific repurchase user interface 630. Premium content is delivered to the device 623 by looking up equivalent premium content 625 and delivering premium content to the device 627. Premium content is delivered to the device 627 by checking a content delivery policy 629.
An application is restored 640 by displaying an application and content specific repurchase user interface 630, getting a purchased application list 641, getting a subscribed application list 645, and delivering the application to the device 650. Both the cases of getting a purchased application list 641 and getting a subscribed application list 645 are extended by querying the application state database 643.
Applications are delivered to a device 650 by looking up equivalent applications 651, checking the application delivery policy 653, and updating the application state database 655.
An application is backed up 603 by registering a purchased application 660, registering a subscribed application 665, and backing up multimedia content 670. A purchased application is registered 660 and a subscribed application is registered 665 by updating the application state database 655. Multimedia content is backed up 670 by registering multimedia content purchase, which is extended by updating the multimedia content state database 673.
The acquisition table 690 includes rows 691-694. The row (also referred to as a “record”) 691 is used, among other things, to identify the mobile phone 101. The record 691 contains a telephone number 691A (15555551212) of the mobile phone 101, a name (e.g., owner) 691B associated with the mobile phone (“Joe Smith”), and an Internet address 691C associated with the mobile phone “Address@domain.com”). The telephone number 691A, the Internet address 691C, or both can be used to transmit content to the mobile phone 101 in accordance with the present invention.
The records 692-694 all contain information about previously acquired content. For example, the record 692 indicates that the game Tetris (692A), version 3.0 (692B), for the phone brand Phonemaker1 (692C) was acquired for the mobile phone 101. Thus, for example, when Tetris 3.0 is purchased for the mobile phone 101, the record 692 is added to the acquisition table 690. In a similar manner, the record 693 indicates that Chessgame (693A), version 1.0 (693B), for the phone brand Phonemaker1 (693C) was acquired; and the record 694 indicates that the application “Train schedule” (694A), version 3.0 (694B), for the phone brand Phonemaker1 (694C), was also acquired.
It will be appreciated that the acquisition table 690 is only illustrative. Those skilled in the art will recognize that acquisition tables containing other information can also be used in accordance with the present invention.
The backup client is preloaded on the mobile device and is programmed to implement the client-side business logic required for an application and content backup and restore system. The client's primary function is to present a user interface to the user which allows the user to backup content on the device, and in the case of a device migration or new device, retrieve the content to the new device.
This is a server-side interface that provides programmed retrieval of the applications and premium content from a server-side database. Preferably, HTTP with a simple protocol encoded in it is used. The interface may also use opaque tokens, such as used with the Application/Multimedia Purchase and Restore Manager. Preferably, this interface is also be programmed to parse metadata to determine the source of content. Application/Multimedia Purchase and Restore Manager This manager interfaces with the application billing system to determine which applications a user has purchased, subscribed to, or both, what equivalent application is appropriate for a given device, and a mechanism to push that application to the backup client. Preferably, this manager generates data for offers of new content from user purchase histories and transmits these offers to the backup client. Preferably, the Restore Manager communicates with the mobile phone using a wireless protocol such as Wireless Application Protocol (WAP).
An extended version of the currently available datastore, which shows which applications supersede existing applications, and which application binary is appropriate for a given mobile device. Preferably, the mapping database is populated by entries from the content providers when they submit content for inclusion on the application/content catalog and may be updated as new versions of applications are provided for new platforms.
These databases map from a particular piece of content (e.g., “Who Let the Dogs Out” ringtone) to a number of platform-specific formats. The mapping datastore is utilized by the portability interface to report which instance of a piece of content is appropriate for a given platform. Preferably, if a piece of content is not available for a given platform, the mapping datastore recommends a substitute content instance, if appropriate.
Content and application providers provide and maintain mapping and equivalence databases, which contain information allowing the client to retrieve the device-appropriate version of an application or premium content. These datastores are queried at restore time before downloading an application or instance of premium content.
This is the third-party implementation of a specified interface that allows the synchronization platform to determine which of the third-party's content a given user has purchased, metadata about the content in question (e.g., ringtone title and description), which equivalent content should be provided to the device, and a URL that the synchronization platform can access to retrieve the content from the third party.
When contacted by the backup client at restore time, the synchronization server connects to each third-party content provider and queries its content portability interface to determine which content belonging to the provider should be restored to the handset. The appropriate content is retrieved over the same interface and provided to the backup client, which installs it on the handset to complete the restore process.
The synchronization server provides a standardized interface to Web sites (such as an operator's customer-facing Web sites), which enables the Web site to provide information and actionable interfaces pertaining to the user's content.
This layer is a conduit that connects to each of the third-party content suppliers and uses their interfaces to implement the business logic in accordance with the present invention. This layer is also able to poll content providers to determine what content was provided to a particular user or mobile phone.
The content provider purchase history databases are populated by queries by the server-side components in the course of determining which applications may be offered to a user when restoring to the new device.
In operation, when content is restored to the mobile device 705, the backup client 709 sends a request to restore data to the content delivery interface 721. The Application/Multimedia Purchase and Restore Manager 723 queries the user purchase history databases 730 to determine what the user has previously subscribed to (using the datastore 731) or purchased (using the datastores 733 and 735). The manager 723 also queries the multimedia content/application mapping datastores 740 to determine any equivalent content, and also generates new offers, if applicable. The content delivery interface 721 responds to the mobile device 705 with a list of content to be restored, including upgrades, updates, equivalents, and new offers, if any. The client 705 responds with a list of content to be restored. The platform 720 responds with user-generated content and applications settings (to ensure that the content is formatted for use on the mobile phone), as well as the multimedia content (from the datastore 753) and the application (from the datastore 755).
Preferably, the content-delivery interface 721 and the backup client communicate using HTTP. It will be appreciated, however, that other protocols such as HTTPS (HTTP Secure) and Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) can also be used.
The system 800 in
The third-party content/application catalog components 810 includes the content delivery interface 721, the application datastore 755, the multimedia content datastore 753, the “Equivalent Application” mapping datastore 741, the “Equivalent Multimedia Content” mapping datastore 743, and a third-party mapping interface 845.
As shown in
In operation, the mobile device 705 communicates with the content delivery interface 721, which recognizes the mobile device 705 by the URL used to request content, such as described above. The components 810 store applications and multimedia (755 and 753), from which some requests for content can be satisfied. When content requested is not hosted on the components, the components 810 determine equivalent content, if any, using the mapping data stores 741 and 743, and then communicate with the synchronization server platform 850 using the third-party mapping interface 845. The synchronization server platform responds by transmitting the requested content, or its equivalent, to the mobile device 705, such as described above.
Later, when the device is to be restored, such as when it has been deactivated and is to be reactivated, in the step 1155, the client notifies the server to restore the device. In the step 1160, the device sends a command to query the subscriptions that have been acquired for the device. In the step 1165, the server retrieves a list of subscribed applications, including equivalents, and returns this list to the client in the step 1170. In the step 1175, the client presents this list to the user, allowing her to select the content that she wants. In the step 1180, the client requests the applications (original, equivalent, upgrades, etc.), which are returned to the client in the step 1185. In the step 1190, the applications are installed on the device. In the step 1195, the mobile device requests the settings for the applications, which are retrieved in the step 1195 and installed on the device in the step 1199.
As discussed above, third-party content providers support a queryable interface, which allows the synchronization platform to retrieve, for a given user, a list of previously purchased content, metadata about items in the content catalog, equivalency data about previously purchased content, and a mechanism for retrieving equivalent content on a new handset.
The list of previously purchased content can include a unique identifier that the synchronization platform presents to the content provider on subsequent calls to these interfaces, which provides an instance of content (e.g., “Who Let The Dogs Out Ringtone in MP3 @ 128 kbps). Metadata can include information such as the name, description size, and format of a particular content item in the catalog. Equivalency data can include, given a previously purchased content ID, new content ID appropriate for a given BREW platform ID. A preferred mechanism for retrieving equivalent content includes an interface that returns an HTTP Uniform Resource Locator (URL) via which binary data can be retrieved. When this interface is accessed, a third-party content provider can apply any digital rights management (DRM) desired, such as the remaining number of downloads allowed. It will be appreciated that mechanisms other than HTTP are able to be used in accordance with the present invention.
Third-content providers are able to be queried in many ways. As one example, a third-party content provider is queried by accessing it using a URL that contains the query command. In this example, the URL contains a base URL path (here, “/la/fl cpi”) and a string that includes an operation code, an operation version number, and a user telephone number. The URL has the general form:
https://address/base URL path/cpi?op=operationcode&v=versionnumber&u=telephonenumber
Thus, for example, if the address of the third-party content provider is “contentprovider.com,” the query is to retrieve a list of user content purchased by the user (operationcode=1), the operation version is 1, and the user is identified by the telephone number 15555551212, then the querying URL is
https://contentprovider.com/al/fl cpi?op=1 &v=1 &u=115555551212
Accessing the third-party content provider using the URL will return results such as a list of persistent, unique content instance identifiers.
In another example, the query is to retrieve content details such as metadata about a particular instance on content owned by a third-party content provider. In this example, the querying URL is given as:
https://contentprovider.com/al/fl cpi?op=2&v=1 &cid=A1123897ADFAD
In a similar manner, using an appropriate operation code and associated parameters, a content portability interface can be queried to return a list of correct equivalent content and to return content URLs usable by the synchronization platform to download the appropriate version of a particular premium content item.
Embodiments of the present invention provide an interface for configuring or updating mobile devices to access content available to other mobile devices.
In one embodiment, the system 1200 is programmed to receive icons and associated links from any one of the Mobile phones 1-3. As one example, the system 1200 receives an icon and related link from the Mobile phone 1. The icon is then displayed on the system 1200, alone or in a list of other icons. The icon and associated link are then selected and transferred to the Mobile phones 2 and 3, as discussed above.
It will also be appreciated that while the system 1200 is programmed to transfer content to mobile phones, the system 1200 can also be used to offer new content for the Mobile phones 1-3. These new offers can be based on previous acquisitions for any one or more of the Mobile phones 1-3, such as found in purchase history databases discussed above. The system 1200 can be programmed to offer content, list prices for content, and transmit content to mobile phones. In accordance with one embodiment, links to content are automatically and periodically transferred from one mobile device to another so that the two are synchronized.
In operation, links to content are stored on a platform remote to a mobile phone. When content is to be restored on the mobile, the mobile phone communicates with a platform that associates the content with one or more content providers. The platform contacts the one or more contact providers, which directly transmit the content to the mobile phone. Replacement content, such as upgrades, equivalent content, related content, and the like, can be offered to the mobile phone user, who can then select the replacement content, for a regular fee, a reduced fee, or even for no fee. Replacement content can be determined from a history of the user's past purchases, which is stored and used for this purpose.
In the operation of other embodiments, a link to content is stored on the mobile phone; when an icon on the mobile phone is selected, the mobile phone communicates directly with the content provider, which transmits the content to the mobile phone. In the operation of still other embodiments, links to content are stored on a central device and transmitted to selected mobile phones. In this way, a mobile phone can be configured so that it can access content previously accessible to another mobile phone.
It will be appreciated that while many of the examples included in this application refer to mobile phones, other electronic devices are able to use embodiments of the present invention including, but not limited to, personal digital assistants and personal computers.
It will be readily apparent to one skilled in the art that various modifications may be made to the embodiments without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention as defined by the appended claims.