Future iPhones and iPads may change the user interface based on what accessory is attached. Apple has filed for a patent (number ) for “dynamic user interface schemes for an electronic device based on detected accessory devices.”
About the patent filing
The patent filing involves electronic devices and accessories that use near-field wireless communication systems to dynamically alter the operation of the electronic devices. In the patent filing, Apple notes that handheld electronic devices such as iPhones and iPads provide numerous functions and features, and use graphical user interfaces to allow users to interact with and control those functions and features.
For example, handheld electronic devices display input objects such as icons, buttons, keys, and other graphical objects with which a user may interact to control the devices and their various functions.
The devices may also display output objects, such as text or images, that convey information to the user. Apple wants the iPhone and iPad to be able to change their user interfaces based on what accessory is attached.
Summary of the patent filing
Here’s Apple’s abstract of the patent filing: “A system may include an electronic device that includes an enclosure having a transparent cover. The electronic device may also include a display positioned below the transparent cover and configured to display a first graphical user interface and a second graphical user interface different from the first graphical user interface, and a touch sensor positioned below the transparent cover and configured to detect touch inputs applied to the transparent cover.
“The system may also include a protective case that includes a shell defining a cavity and configured to at least partially cover the enclosure of the electronic device when the electronic device is positioned in the cavity, and a near-field wireless communication antenna coupled to the shell and detectable by the electronic device. In response to detecting the near-field wireless communication antenna, the electronic device may be configured to switch from the first graphical user interface to the second graphical user interface.”