This keyboard would provide more flexibility for users with multiple installation modes. It also illustrates a MacBook-like device where an iPad with macOS-like UI attaches magnetically to this keyboard.
The patent also suggests the keyboard’s hinge may magnetically support the Apple Pencil. Patently Apple believes the hinge may even support additional accessories like a camera, projector, or microphone – it’s also likely the form-factor of the iPad will be refreshed alongside this accessory.
Noted in the patent, the accessory has both a base portion and a coupling mechanism; the base portion could include a keyboard with a set of electromechanical keys. The coupling mechanism could be on the side of the keyboard or on the base portion of the iPad.
So it seems there is a possibility that Apple is considering a MacBook/iPad hybrid device. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman recently mentioned his view on Apple creating an iPadOS Pro concept with multiple Mac-like modes – while most users don’t need the power of a Mac in their iPad, many power users beg to differ.
The iPadOS experience has been lacking for many, so the power of MacOS in the iPad form-factor would be a welcomed new product. With iPadOS 16 expected to arrive this year, there is quite a long wish list of items we at 9to5Mac hope to see unveiled soon.
Do you think we will ever see a MacBook/iPad hybrid?
Only time will tell if this patent comes to fruition. We do expect more new Macs announced this year at the upcoming Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) in June.
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