According to a new patent granted to Apple, the world’s largest tech corporation is mulling a hybrid future for its iPads, including a desktop interface. Apple was granted patent no. 11,320,869 this week, which details a “Hinged keyboard accessory having different installation modes for a tablet computer device,” according to Patently Apple. The device effectively converts the iPad into a hybrid laptop by adding the lower half of a MacBook to it.
Apple has filed a patent for a keyboard that converts the iPad to a MacOS-like interface!
Inserting an iPad into the device would not only provide access to a keyboard for typing and a touch pad for navigation, according to images included with the patent filing. Apple would also abandon the iPadOS interface in favour of a macOS-like interface. This could suggest that when a supported keyboard is identified, future iPad models will have a version of macOS accessible to load.
While Apple is unlikely to replace MacBooks and iPads with a single hybrid device, providing iPad owners with a better user interface when docked makes sense. When you consider in the performance of Apple’s M series CPUs, switching the iPad operating system to work that is better suited to the laptop form factor would be a welcome new option.
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.Abstract of the patent