iPad Smart Keyboard Folio features gesture controls in Apple’s latest patent

Patently Apple

New patents registered by Apple means new ideas that we might see in future products . Although the brand registers dozens of patents a month, some are really curious and worth highlighting, such as today’s, where we see an iPad keyboard that could also be a kind of trackpad.

iPad Smart Keyboard Folio features gesture controls in Apple’s latest patent
iPad Smart Keyboard Folio features gesture controls in Apple’s latest patent

The Folio Smart Keyboard is the ideal keyboard for iPad if you need something comfortable and thin. As a keyboard it works perfectly, but is there anything else you can add to it? Maybe a kind of cursor or trackpad . That’s what we see in a new patent registered by Apple with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

The idea would be to equip the keys with tactile sensors capable of registering the user’s gestures and how he moves his fingers around the keyboard. In other words, a kind of giant trackpad. But of course, what about the keys? To avoid friction, Apple’s patent also suggests the use of flatter keys with less travel, which could take advantage of other Apple technologies to continue to provide a touch-sensitive feel, such as haptic response.

The cursor arrived on the iPad in the middle of this year with the introduction of iPadOS 13. Finally, and after some requests for years, Apple has incorporated the option to use a mouse with the iPad. But… is it useful? Not much, it has just been used demonstrating once again that often what users ask for is not always what they really need.

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“Not used because iPadOS is not adapted for use with a pointer” is the argument that comes up most often. Well, maybe the pointer is not adapted to iPadOS. Apple’s operating system was designed to be used with hands, gestures and on touch surfaces . In that sense, a touch surface that recognizes gestures is much more useful than traditional mice. And for years we’ve seen this subtle migration in Apple products, with the increasingly popular trackpad even switching from MacBook to desktop Macs via an external accessory. Seeing it better incorporated into iPads via a Smart Keyboard Folio Touch wouldn’t be out of place.

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