Apple stunned fans in late March 2019 by cancelling their multi-device wireless charging pad branded 'AirPower.' The pressure to get AirPower out the door to market was mounting and Dan Riccio decided to pull the plug on the project stating that "After much effort, we’ve concluded AirPower will not achieve our high standards and we have cancelled the project."
If the project was truly cancelled, then why did an Apple engineering team file a wireless charging pad patent just two months later? From the outside, you could go in circles like a cat trying to catch its own tail and get nowhere trying to understand the logic.
So, we'll just point out that Apple filed a new AirPower related patent titled "Wireless Power System with Device Priority" on May 23, 2019.
The patent technically is about a wireless power system has a wireless power transmitting device. The wireless power transmitting device uses coils to transmit wireless power to wireless power receiving devices placed on the wireless power transmitting device.
The wireless power receiving devices are placed on the wireless power transmitting device in an order. Batteries in the wireless power receiving devices are charged based at least partly on the order. Power allocation between multiple power receiving devices is based on utilization factor information in addition to information on the order in which the power receiving devices are placed on the wireless power transmitting device.
Apple's patent FIG. 1 below is a schematic diagram of an illustrative wireless charging system that includes a wireless power transmitting device and a wireless power receiving device; FIG. 2 is a top view of an illustrative wireless power transmitting device having a charging surface on which wireless power receiving devices are placed in.
Apple's patent application 20200059113 that was published today by the U.S. Patent Office was filed back on May 23, 2019. Considering that this is a patent application, the timing of such a product to market is unknown at this time.
A Few of Apple's Inventors
Srinivasa T A Pillai: Systems Hardware Engineer who worked on wireless power technology and product development (amongst other projects)
Daniel Ye: iOS Charging Systems Engineer; Develop IOKit drivers for battery and power management systems on iOS devices
Marco Rondinini: Firmware Engineer; Human Interface Device Software Team
New iPadOS Features Switching between Apps
Apple's iPadOS was officially launched in September 2019 and after a buggy start, the positive reviews rolled in from Digital Trends, PCMag and Engadget. Today, the U.S. Patent Office published Apple's patent behind much of the app switching features.
Apple's patent FIG.5B6 above illustrates an example process in which an iPad Pro navigates from a user interface displayed in a split-screen display mode to a full-screen application-switcher user interface (e.g., instead of to a split-screen application-switcher user interface) because criteria for navigating to the full-screen application-switcher user interface are met by the input (e.g., because the transitional navigation gesture traveled further from the edge of the display).
In the end, there are 361 patent figure pages to patent application 20200057555 and for those willing to wade through each one can do so here.