Apple patent shows how an iPad can turn into a Mac with a keyboard › Macerkopf

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A new Apple patent suggests that a future iPad, or version of iPadOS, could offer the ability to turn the tablet into a macOS-like user experience when connected to an external keyboard.

Photo credit: Apple/USPTO

The iPad becomes the Mac

The patent goes very far in its possible implementation. Apple regularly patents dozens of ideas, very few of which see the light of day. Still, this patent describes an interesting basic device (eg, a keyboard) that could be paired with a computer (eg, an iPad) to provide a macOS-like experience.

Some images from the patent filing show how the device can be detached from the keyboard and used independently, similar to how users can currently detach the iPad from the Magic Keyboard, supporting the idea that the patent is a combination iPad and keyboard.

The patent could envision a future combination of MacBook and iPad, in which the two devices would merge into one. When detached from the keyboard, it serves as an iPad with the Apple Pencil. Then when attached to the keyboard, it transforms into a Mac with touchscreen capabilities. Apple has long said it’s not targeting a Mac with a touchscreen. So maybe an iPad/MacBook combo is an alternative to Apple’s traditional line of computers.

Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman had often toyed with the idea of ​​such a device. More recently, in his April 17 “Power On” newsletter, he speculated that the future of the iPad might consist of three modes: a touchscreen mode, an Apple Pencil-optimized mode, and a “Pro” which lights up when an external keyboard or display is connected. While this is pure speculation, Gurman also reported that Apple is planning a revamped multitasking experience for iPadOS 16, which could be a step in that direction.

iPadOS 16 is expected to be unveiled within a month at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, which runs from June 6-10. There, Apple will unveil not only iPadOS 16, but also iOS 16, which is rumored to include new health features, improved notifications, and more.

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