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Apple patent: keyboard to transform iPad Pro into a Mac

Finally we will have the hybrid between iPad and Mac that we have been yearning for!

May 7, 2022
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Apple patent: keyboard to transform iPad Pro into a Mac

In short

Let's go deeper

Hold on tight.

You are not ready.

Calm down, take a deep breath.

FINALLY Apple has filed a patent to create the first hybrid iPad in history! My goodness what news, this changes everything.

Finally, everything will make sense. Everything.

After years of uncertainty, we will finally have a decent 'Pro' iPad without the unnecessary limitations of iPadOS.

But let's go in order, stop being a fangirl.

When was the hybrid iPad patent filed?

On 3 May 2022 on the site Patently Apple, which deals with analyzing all the patents submitted by Apple, an article appears about an alleged hybrid iPad, marked by the number 11.320.869 and with a release date of May 3, 2022 by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office but with request date of 29 July 2020.

This date is interesting, it makes us understand that it has already been in Apple's plans since before the presentation of the iPad Pro with M1 and, therefore, we could have some surprises.

But let's move on.

Patent details for the hybrid iPad

The patent filed by Cupertino shows, essentially, a new model of magnetically attached keyboard that, when connected to the iPad, transforms the interface into something very similar to MacOS, but without an application dock.

The keyboard consists of a base, which has all the mechanical keys typical of keyboards, and a locking mechanism, which can rotate, through which the iPad connects.

In short, you'll think of a trivial keyboard.

Instead, you are wrong.

In the patent Apple shows, when the iPad is connected to the keyboard, ainterface called “MacOS-like UI.

As can be seen from the name, the interface has all the classic macOS elements:

  • menu bar
  • status icons
  • notifications
  • app icons
  • window mode for applications, with the three keys to close, reduce or expand in Split View mode

And, as I said before, no dock.

But why no dock? Let's analyze this image together:

My assumptions are two:

  • There is no space, the magnetic attachment support could cover the very part of the interface where the dock should reside. Maybe we'll see something like a Touch bar?
  • Will there also be a redesign of MacOS, considering Apple's other patents for modular MacBooks, or can it be trivially moved to the side? Actually, if you think about it, a dock placed on the left or right side of a touch device would be ideal to reach, for example, with your thumb for super fast navigation!

Another peculiarity of this image is in the back of the magnetic attachment, which seems to provide a smart connector that would support the addition of other accessories such as a camera, a projector, a microphone or a light.

They are speculations about prototypes, let's take them with a grain of salt.

Will iPadOS 16 then have a desktop mode like Samsung DEX or will macOS have a tablet mode like Windows?

This is the typical million-dollar question.

Even if all Rumors cry out at the possibility of running MacOS on an iPad, thus activating a tablet mode when disconnected from the keyboard, seems quite unlikely to me.

Rather, I think the most attractive option is an iPadOS that, as happens in Samsung devices, changes the interface to something more similar to macOS when connected to a mouse and keyboard.

Apple, in fact, has always opposed the idea of a hybrid device between iPad and Mac.

But there is a catch.

In recent years, in terms of communication and advertising, Apple has always sold iPad as a replacement for a PC, designing accessories that, for all intents and purposes, make Apple tablets real laptops.

The difference, until now, has always remained in the operating system which, as we know, is decidedly more limited and mobile-oriented on the iPad.

The theory of a single OS on all Apple devices

In recent years, I have had an idea about the Apple situation.

In my opinion, With the advent of Apple Silicon M1 chips, Apple has started a process of unifying devices starting from the hardware and then arriving, of course, also to the software.

We have Macs with M1, iPad Pro - and Air recently - with M1 and nothing prevents us from seeing an iPhone 14 with M1.

Having devices that mount the same hardware leads to a conclusion as simple as it is trivial: they can share the same software.

And in fact, the glaring proof lies in the iPad applications that can be installed on MacBooks directly from the App Store. And nothing prevents you from doing the opposite operation, running Mac apps on iPadOS 16.

In my opinion The birth of Apple OS is getting closer, and the arrival of a hybrid device between iPad and Macbook - which will definitely cost a couple of kidneys - is the confirmation of all this.

I am confident, and very curious, to see what Apple has in mind and to try first-hand the technological innovation that began with the Apple Silicon M1 and that, surely, will make us dream.

And what do you think of all this? Comment that we will discuss it together.

written by human, not by AI

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