Apple is attempting to secure a patent for a resolution-independent user interface, while a new mobile network patent filed by Cingular hints at a link with the iPod creator.

Apple filed its patent for the resolution-independent UI that is part of Mac OS X 10.5 in July. It lets OS X draw user interface elements using a scale factor.

The technology means users will be able to choose between seeing more detail in the interface or employing a larger interface, but won't need to alter screen resolution. This is likely to be of most help to making Macs accessible.

A second patent, filed by US mobile network, Cingular, references Apple's iPod, saying: "Recently, music players that use MPEG-1 or MP3 technology, such as the various versions of Apple iPods offered by Apple Computer, have become extremely popular."

The patent application then describes a phone capable of wirelessly streaming content to a device in such a way that the technology could support music, video and iChat streaming. The patent lends a little more to the hubbub of iPhone speculation.