Apple has filed for a patent (number 20200019367) that shows the company is at least considering Mac laptops with touchscreens despite its constant denial that it plans such a device.
Dubbed “cross device interactions,” it doesn’t directly address such a portable, but the images and details in the filing offer hints. For example, “electronic device 5012” is for a laptop display with a touchscreen.
In the patent filing, Apple notes that a user sometimes interacts with multiple devices to access content stored on or accessible through the respective devices. However, some devices have or are connected to displays that are less optimal for viewing content.
What’s more, Apple says the user is sometimes more comfortable with using certain input devices to interact with content. The tech giant says it wants to improve methods for performing these navigations and animating the transition between related user interfaces
This isn’t the first Apple patent involving touchscreen Macs. In May 2019 Apple was granted patent number 10,296,126 for a shape detecting input” device that hinted at an iMac with a touch screen.
Here’s the summary of the latest patent filing: “The present disclosure generally relates to engaging in cross device interactions. The method includes at a first device with a first display, while a second device having a second display is placed over a first region of the first display, detecting, via input devices of the first device, a first input. In response to detecting the first input and in accordance with a determination that the first input occurred while focus was directed to the second device, the method includes causing a response to the first input to be displayed on the second display.
“In response to detecting the first input and in accordance with a determination that the first input occurred while focus was directed to the first device, the method includes displaying, on the first display, a response to the first input without causing a response to the first input to be displayed on the second display.”
Of course, Apple files for lots of patents that involve technology for products that may never see the light of day.