May 16, 2022

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Apple iPad patent shows Microsoft Surface Pro-Like Keyboard

Apple iPad patent shows Microsoft Surface Pro-Like Keyboard

iPad Magic Keyboard

picture: Caitlin McGarry/Gizmodo

When Apple released a file magic keyboardIt essentially gave iPad owners the ability to turn their tablet into a laptop. At least, from a hardware perspective.

However, it is not a perfect solution. The accessory is heavy, it does not allow you to use the iPad as a standalone tablet, and the viewing angles are limited. Apparently taking a page from Microsoft Surface Pro Hardware, Apple could one day release a more traditional detachable keyboard accessory with more tablet mode options, at least if it was A new patent has been revealed forward.

In the patent (via Apple from the inside), Apple describes a tablet accessory with a core and a “coupling mechanism”, which will fit alongside a keyboard that uses Electromechanical switches. Apple describes several iterations of this detachable concept, each giving users the flexibility to position the iPad in different directions.

There are some pretty weird apps hereincluding a little bit that would make people confused and a little bit of that Seems somewhat intuitive. In one scenario, Apple describes a “coupling mechanism,” or hinge, that overlaps the tablet’s back panel and has its own help screen that shows a custom message, battery levels, date and times, etc. It reminds me of a tablet on Asus Zenbook 14X OLED Space Edition I recently checked.

Photo of the article titled Apple Patent reveals the Surface Pro-Like Keyboard for iPad — with a huge notch

picture: USPTO

Having the screen on the back of the tablet so that you can view important information when the device is closed can be somewhat useful. I’m less excited about what happens when you flip the tablet over. In this setup, the hinge will overlap the tablet screen, creating a large rectangular slit with a compact front where the tablet would be The menu bar will be present. One of the versions does not have its own “graphical interface,Another uses the front notch as a pen holder. When the pen is removed, the screen underneath can show the editing tools.

Interestingly, the user interface that appears on the screen of this tablet is a desktop operating system similar to macOS. Apple has She held her position again and again That the iPad will remain the iPad, meaning will assume Always He is A mobile device that does not share the same operating system with its laptop or desktop computers. This, however, indicates otherwise.

Apple iPad keyboard

picture: USPTO

The more traditional hinged keyboard accessory looks similar to the Surface Pro, The tablet rests in a keyboard attachment on the bottom edge and closes like a book. In one concept, the hinge supports additional accessories, such as a camera, projectors, or microphone. Again, Apple isn’t exactly known for modularity, So this seems like a long shot.

Apple iPad keyboard

picture: USPTO

Anyway, here’s how Apple explains the detachable accessory, In typical patent language:

An accessory device may include a coupling mechanism for coupling the primary portion of the accessory device to a Tablet PC in several different mounting positions. The coupling mechanism may include an additional width to provide graphic output along the surface of the coupling mechanism. In addition or alternatively, the coupling mechanism may include a Respite to receive a pen.”

As with all patents, we shouldn’t read much into any of this, although it does reveal some unique ways Apple has been thinking about developing the tablet form factor after launching the Magic Keyboard for the iPad Pro and now iPad Air models. This patent was applied for in July 2020 and is granted today. It is possible, even possiblethat these never escape the Cupertino spaceship, but at least they give us a glimmer of hope in a future where the iPad is a real alternative to the Mac.

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