In our regular trawl of the patent office we came across 2 patent applications by HTC which appear to apply to reflowing text to fit in a small screen width and allows reading without side-ways scrolling.
This handy feature has been present in every version of Opera Mobile shipping on HTC devices, and also in the webkit browser on their android devices, but strange absent of the generic version of Opera Mobile and also from the standard Android browser.
The two patent abstracts reads as below:
A method for displaying information is provided. A display area is provided for displaying at least a portion of an information page, wherein the information page includes at least an information column, and the information column is composed of a plurality of information units arranged along an arrangement direction. When a select event occurs in the information column, the information units in the information column are displayed according to a display size within a predetermined size range. Next, the layout of the information units in the information column is changed so that an arrangement length of the information units along the arrangement direction does not exceed the width of the display area.
A method and an apparatus for displaying information are provided. The information includes a word or a picture. The information is displayed with an original proportion. When receiving a first input signal, the information is displayed with a first proportion within a predetermined boundary, according to the first input signal. When receiving a second input signal, the information is arranged according to the second input signal so that the information is displayed with a second proportion within the predetermined boundary. Therefore, the information with adjusted proportion can be still displayed within the predetermined boundary.
It is rather unusual to have a software feature belong to a hardware OEM like this, but it provides a significant advantage to HTC, and in powerful devices such as the HTC HD2 may help turn the web browsing domination tide against devices such as the iPhone.