According to a new patent application published by the US Patent and Trademark Office which was uncovered by the guys over at AppleInsider this week, Apple is looking at a system that detects external devices and then comes up with recommendations of compatible apps for it from the App Store.
The patent which has the title "Method and System for Locating an Accessory and an Application for Use With a User Device" describes a sort of plug-and-play system. When a user connects to an accessory, a list of compatible apps is automatically generated. The invention could be used to work in the other way as well - in order to allow easy discovery of hardware accessories that bear any compatibility with apps you already have on your device.
Apple's patent even talks about a possible future scenario where a kiosk in a store could connect to the user's iPhone and analyse the applications installed on it; from there, the user could get a list of compatible accessories and their location in the store, giving aisle number etc. Which could come in pretty handy.
"With the number of available accessories growing at an exponential rate," the filing reads, "it is often trying for a user to determine which accessory supports which software application and vice versa."