Ahead-looking: Apple has patented a new model of keyboard for the iPad that works along side macOS-style software program to show it into a laptop computer. It has a extra pure look than the kickstand utilized by most present iPad keyboards, and considerably deeper software program integration as effectively.
If that sounds acquainted, you then’re most likely considering of Microsoft Floor gadgets. Microsoft markets the Floor Professional as a extra succesful model of the iPad Professional of their awkward however humorous adverts. iPad proponents say that Apple’s machine is best at what it does, even when it’s barely much less versatile.
A brand new iPad based mostly on this patent would reverse that paradigm. It will have a genuinely clamshell kind issue. Apple’s present Magic Keyboard is extra of a folding case and keyboard hybrid than a pure keyboard attachment.
This keyboard attachment is drawn connecting to the bottom of the iPad, very like the Floor Professional’s keyboard. It has “electromechanical” keys and the massive trackpad that MacBooks are well-known for. It may additionally, Apple’s patent says, have a slot for a stylus or a small touchscreen show much like a Contact Bar.
As it stands, you’ll be able to already get iPad keyboards with these options sans the Contact Bar from third-party producers like Logitech. Mixed with iPad OS, the iPad is already a succesful substitute for a laptop computer. This patent appears extra like Apple’s spin on an present thought than a redesign of the iPad, however it may additionally be a stepping stone to different upgrades.
Apple’s patent emphasizes the MacOS-like interface paired with the keyboard, although that software program is probably going outdoors the scope of this patent. Apple hasn’t dedicated to going on this route, however they have been heading in the direction of a extra conventional desktop since iPadOS, which launched two years in the past and can quickly enter its fourth iteration.
In the meantime, other Apple patents present the iPad getting in bolder instructions. A flexible connection port designed for a keyboard accessory may be used for different first-party or third-party equipment, like cameras or microphones, and even, as one patent describes, a secondary display screen.
It is cool to see Apple experimenting with new concepts for the iPad, however this would not be the primary time that Apple has patented something awesome and thrilling solely to get caught on the drafting board. So this product may not come to exist, however it could be cool if it did.
Masthead credit score: Maury Page