Apple patent (on-hold media sharing, drawing 003)

The experience of being on hold is ubiquitous. Sometimes the wait is accompanied by music, sometimes by ads, and other times just silence. Wouldn’t it be better to flip through photos from the recipient or listen to tunes you actually like? Apple thinks so.

That’s the idea behind a patent granted the iPhone maker Tuesday, replacing the standard on-hold message with content you’d like to share with people who call you at a busy time…

The 2011 filing describes sending a menu to the caller on hold, giving them options on what they’d like to do until you can come to the phone.

For instance, they could pick your latest vacation photos, or maybe a playlist of music, or even scan your calendar for a better time (don’t worry, your neighbor can’t skim through your latest tax returns while he’s on hold).

Apple patent (on-hold media sharing, drawing 001)

As is Apple’s fashion, there are personalized tweaks.

You can give family members access to items that otherwise you want to keep under wraps. It’s doubtful this sort of customized on-hold message will appear any time soon.

There are the security concerns about someone finding a way into your private documents. As well, since the sharing happens on your cellular dime, there could be a cost factor needing resolving.

Apple patent (on-hold media sharing, drawing 002)

However, does anyone want to sit on-hold for long, no matter how entertaining the wait?

The patent presupposes that I cannot put down my phone and call back when the line is free. Although I can imagine carriers would love to see their iPhone customers eating through their data allowance simply waiting.