Apple has been granted a patent (number 11,320,869) for a “hinged keyboard assessors having multiple installation modes” for the iPad. What’s really interesting is the graphics accompanying the patent, which shows some very Mac-like features in iPadOS, including a Finder.
About the patent
In the patent, Apple says that tablet computing devices are becoming ever more powerful and useful in a wide range of activities. The tech giant adds that, in some situations, it is desirable to use a keyboard or other auxiliary input device in addition to build-in input devices of a tablet computing device.
However, Apple says that many traditional auxiliary input devices are difficult to use and undermine the advantages provided by a tablet. The company wants to change this.
And if the accompanying images, such as those included in this article, are any indication, Apple might bring more Mac-like features to the iPad along with new keyboards. Perhaps Apple is considering a table with three “iPad Pro modes” as suggested by Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman.
Summary of the patent
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent with technical details: “An accessory device for a tablet computing device may include a base portion having one or more input devices (e.g., keyboards, trackpads, touchscreen displays, and the like) for providing inputs to the tablet computing device.
“The accessory device may include a coupling mechanism for releasably coupling the base portion of the accessory device to a tablet computing device in multiple different installation modes. The coupling mechanism may include an auxiliary display for providing a graphical output along a surface of the coupling mechanism. Additionally or alternatively, the coupling mechanism may include a recess for receiving a stylus.”