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Apple exploring new iPad Smart Case with integrated multitouch keyboard

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 
iPad owners might soon have a new, more compact option when choosing a keyboard to pair with their tablet as Apple is contemplating a redesigned iPad Smart Case with an integrated, multitouch keyboard.

Patent


Apple revealed the invention in a patent application uncovered by AppleInsider and entitled "Cover for electronic device." The proposed case appears to be a combination of the company's existing Smart Case and Smart Cover, with the addition of a thin touch-sensitive keyboard.

Unlike similar products, Apple's design does not use the keyboard to form part of the exterior of the case. Instead, the keyboard is a separate piece that can be detached while still allowing the iPad to be fully ensconced in the case.

While the current Smart Case and Smart Cover use magnets to stay in position, Apple envisions several other options for the new design. Buttons, snaps, buckles, Velcro, and "other types of mechanical enclosures" are among the options mentioned.

According to Apple, the keyboard could connect to the iPad either wirelessly or via a physical plug. Most third-party iPad keyboards today connect via Bluetooth, as does Apple's own popular aluminum wireless keyboard.

Apple credits John G. Elias with the invention of U.S. Patent Application No. 13/624868.
post #2 of 28
Yes. But will it have the Microsoft click-clack attachment? /s
post #3 of 28

I would really like for them to do this. Being in a school, typing on the touchscreen isn't always easy, especially if you're using the iPad for any period of time and typing a lot, say like in Pages or something like that. Sure, you can get a case with one integrated, or get the Apple Bluetooth keyboard but it would be nice to have an Apple supported case with one integrated in. 

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Mac Mini (Mid 2011) 2.5 GHz Core i5

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post #4 of 28
The one thing Microsoft got right. A keyboard that runs off of the device's battery and is part of the case.
post #5 of 28

I've always been reluctant to have a keyboard on my iPad. I don't even like cases or anything else for my iDevices. I like them naked.

 

My GF got an iPad and insisted on a keyboard. I must admit it is pretty cool. It's a Logitech with a fabric orange outside and a white rubbery keyboard. She loves it and says it's the best laptop she's ever had.

 

When I met her she had POS Windows laptop that had to be plugged in all the time b/c the battery would not hold a charge. I let her use my white MacBook. Then got her the iPad.

 

It's light, it's simple to operate, it syncs with her iPhone and it has all her stuff backed up with iCloud and Dropbox. She couldn't be happier.

 

Oh, and it prints, wirelessly to our Brother printer.

 

P.S. I have to believe Apple can do a better job than Logitech when it comes to designing the iPad KB.

 

Best.

post #6 of 28
What here is worthy of a patent ? Velcro, buckles, buttons, snaps; oh yea, that's what Apple will use. Really ?
post #7 of 28
For me, when I use a physical keyboard I'm expecting a pointer on the screen, which iOS doesn't have. We've seen lots of Smart Cover patents for different things but none of them have made their way to a product yet. If Apple is planning something I hope it's not just a copy of what Microsoft did with Surface.
post #8 of 28

The one thing that seemed attractive about the Surface was that keyboard case. I'm sure Apple could pull off an even better version.

 

It might really be the answer for improved productivity where a keyboard is necessary. Most people do want a $99+ heavy hardshell keyboard case....but a smart case with soft keys built in would appeal to a much wider audience.

post #9 of 28
I would like to see this be a sapphire coated touch panel keyboard without moving parts.
post #10 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

For me, when I use a physical keyboard I'm expecting a pointer on the screen, which iOS doesn't have. We've seen lots of Smart Cover patents for different things but none of them have made their way to a product yet. If Apple is planning something I hope it's not just a copy of what Microsoft did with Surface.

Remember, Apple and Microsoft have a broad patent sharing arrangement...

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Proud AAPL stock owner.

 

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post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

Remember, Apple and Microsoft have a broad patent sharing arrangement...
I know, but I'd rather see something original from Apple. Like I said though there have been numerous Smart Cover patents for different things but none of them have found their way into an actual product yet. Clearly Apple is testing lots of stuff in their design labs so I would imagine at some point these things will find their way into a product.
post #12 of 28

Apple plants stories like these (and files bogus patents) just to mislead the competition into copying things that will never exist.  A page ripped out of Eisenhower's D-Day invasion plans.  Mislead the enemy, have them planing for one thing while you do something completely different.  I feel the "iWatch" is another misleading tactic.

post #13 of 28
Microsoft implementation was really a good find. Simple and effective. Not super-useful but if someone wants a keyboard with their tablet, their solution is the best.
post #14 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by bennettvista View Post

Apple plants stories like these (and files bogus patents) just to mislead the competition into copying things that will never exist.  A page ripped out of Eisenhower's D-Day invasion plans.  Mislead the enemy, have them planing for one thing while you do something completely different.  I feel the "iWatch" is another misleading tactic.

I think the same thing, but I was proven wrong when the iPad came out (everyone got the name wrong, but most of the rumors were correct).

I actually can imagine a Fitbit-like band loaded with sensors, forget about the watch part.

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post #15 of 28

Is the iPad in this patent application 12"? :) Just sayin...

post #16 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

If Apple is planning something I hope it's not just a copy of what Microsoft did with Surface.

 

MS copied Apple with their keyboard cover.  Apple has a patent for them which means they invented them.  /s

post #17 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post
 

 

MS copied Apple with their keyboard cover.  Apple has a patent for them which means they invented them.  /s

 

Patent application occurred after the release of the Surface Touch Cover 2.  I struggle to find anything in this patent application that doesn't already exist in a shipping product - including gestures over the keyboard area (yes, Touch Cover 2 supports a small set of gestures over the keyboard area).   That says to me prior art - patent invalid.

post #18 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by gumbi View Post

Patent application occurred after the release of the Surface Touch Cover 2.  I struggle to find anything in this patent application that doesn't already exist in a shipping product - including gestures over the keyboard area (yes, Touch Cover 2 supports a small set of gestures over the keyboard area).   That says to me prior art - patent invalid.

To be fair I think the velcro thing is an original idea. I've never seen that implemented in current devices.
post #19 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post


To be fair I think the velcro thing is an original idea. I've never seen that implemented in current devices.


You know, you maybe on to something there!

post #20 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by gumbi View Post
 

 

Patent application occurred after the release of the Surface Touch Cover 2.  I struggle to find anything in this patent application that doesn't already exist in a shipping product - including gestures over the keyboard area (yes, Touch Cover 2 supports a small set of gestures over the keyboard area).   That says to me prior art - patent invalid.

I know it supports touchpad gestures, but I had no idea there was anything for the keyboard. What do they do?

 

Anyways, it's just an application. There's no indication it will be granted yet.

post #21 of 28
Originally Posted by DroidFTW View Post
To be fair I think the velcro thing is an original idea. I've never seen that implemented in current devices.
Originally Posted by gumbi View Post
You know, you maybe on to something there!

 

And then Apple partners with Kit Kat and does a series of commercials where the velcro rips make up a jingle.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #22 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post
 

 

And then Apple partners with Kit Kat and does a series of commercials where the velcro rips make up a jingle.

Huh?

post #23 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Emes View Post
 

I know it supports touchpad gestures, but I had no idea there was anything for the keyboard. What do they do?

 

Anyways, it's just an application. There's no indication it will be granted yet.


The Touch Cover 2 supports 3 or 4 two-finger gestures (at least one with a control key modifier) that allow for quick cursor movement and text selection in documents.  I don't own a Touch Cover, so I can't be more specific than that  - though, I do believe there is  youtube video out there that shows the feature being demonstrated.

post #24 of 28
Apple has patented everything since Microsoft screwed them with their first Windows in the 80s. But this patent is sad in a way, as it shows Apple copying Microsoft and patenting it. But this and the multitasking with the snap-to-the-side thing in Windows 8 are the only two advantages the surface has over the iPad and if Apple can fix it, the sure as hell will sell a lot more iPads and start replacing the need for Notebooks for some customers.
post #25 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogifan View Post

I know, but I'd rather see something original from Apple. Like I said though there have been numerous Smart Cover patents for different things but none of them have found their way into an actual product yet. Clearly Apple is testing lots of stuff in their design labs so I would imagine at some point these things will find their way into a product.

I'd rather see a tactile keyboard, similar to the Bluetooth keyboard covers made by Logitech, Zagg, and others. I'm sure Apple could find a way to make it thinner and lighter, and with higher quality. If its not tactile, I might as well type on the screen and carry my iPad naked.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #26 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by unknwntrr View Post

But this patent is sad in a way, as it shows Apple copying Microsoft and patenting it.

You can patent an improvement on another patent (or patents). In fact, this is extremely common because patents almost never appear out of the vacuum.

"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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"Apple should pull the plug on the iPhone."

John C. Dvorak, 2007
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post #27 of 28
Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post
Huh?

 

I’ve always thought the tearing of velcro sounds a fair bit like a Kit Kat being crunched.

Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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Originally posted by Marvin

Even if [the 5.5” iPhone exists], it doesn’t deserve to.
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post #28 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by gumbi View Post
 


The Touch Cover 2 supports 3 or 4 two-finger gestures (at least one with a control key modifier) that allow for quick cursor movement and text selection in documents.  I don't own a Touch Cover, so I can't be more specific than that  - though, I do believe there is  youtube video out there that shows the feature being demonstrated.


Ah thank you

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