Apple wins a Patent that advances their Evolutionary Multi-iPad Concept that's been in the works since 2013
For years Apple's engineers have envisioned various concepts of dual iPad configurations that could mimic a book or create a dual iPad notebook-like product using a virtual keyboard or a MacBook with a display acting as a virtual Keyboard. Below is an Apple patent figure from a March 2020 granted patent illustrating the concept of two iPads held together with a series of magnets that could also form a note-book like device. Apple's work on this actually began way back to a 2013 patent report where patent FIG. 4 illustrated two iPads side-by-side.
Apple's patent FIG. 3 below, from our March report presents an illustration of a pair of adjacent electronic devices that could be folded; FIG. 4 is a side view of a pair of electronic devices supported by a bendable case with an internal hinge structure; FIG. 6 is a side view of a pair of electronic devices in a case that has been folded back on itself.
Today Apple was granted yet another patent that supports the evolution of the modular system concept supporting the use of multi-iPad-like devices together. Although iPads are the main focus, there is a hint that another kind of display could be added to this modular system to give user's an option depending on how they want to configure their multi-device.
Apple's patent FIG. 3 below illustrates a future iPad that could use a standard Magic Keyboard and trackpad that could use an Apple Pencil as we reported on back in May. FIGS. 4A and 4B illustrates two iPad connected via a desktop dock to use as a mini desktop; FIGS. 8 and 9 expands on the docking system.
Apple's patent FIGS. 12B, 16 and 17 below illustrates optional configurations for two iPads working together. One illustrates one iPad in a Portrait mode with another iPad as the keyboard; another illustrates being able to create a notebook-like device with the help of an accessory to hold the displays in place correctly and adds a kickstand; lastly, the idea of a book-like configuration supports multi-user FaceTime calls.
Apple's granted patent 10,725,722 was originally filed in Q3 2018 and published today by the US Patent and Trademark Office.
What's possibly even more interesting is what processor and OS will these configurations support. Apple's iPadOS would be the most logical to be sure. However, over time with Apple Silicon, that could change. Apple could technically create a new modular system using a hybrid processor that could run MacOS for enterprise or professional users. Of course, it's too early to dive into that pool, so we'll leave it for another day. For now, it's food for thought.