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Apple Testing Keyboard Case for Potential Release Alongside iPad 5

ipad_smart_cover According to ex-Apple Developer Relations employee and industry analyst Jamie Ryan (via Gizmodo UK), Apple has been testing a first-party keyboard case to be potentially released alongside the upcoming fifth-generation iPad. The case itself would reportedly be similar in nature to Microsoft's Touch Cover, which is made for the Surface line of tablets.
I’ve been speaking to a couple of people at Apple for the last few days and they have told me that a case for the full size iPad that mimics Microsofts touch cover has been prototyped. It’s not clear whether the process is far enough along to make this Tuesdays event but they did say a few different styles had been in testing for a while.
Ryan also adds that the primary motivation behind the development of the case is that Apple's current Bluetooth keyboard is not as integrated as Microsoft's Touch Cover, and that Apple is interested to create a better keyboard solution for the full-size iPad in order to distinguish it from the iPad mini. The analyst also adds that other cover-like accessories are also being looked at for release.

However, Ryan stresses that the covers being tested are prototypes that may not be released at all, as it is expected for Apple to disregard various mock-ups during the development of a product. Apple's ideas for enhanced Smart Covers including not only keyboard functionality but also solar cells or secondary displays have previously surfaced in patent applications.

Currently, Apple sells the Smart Cover and the Smart Case for the full-sized iPad, which both emphasize the ability to act as stands and protective covers, but do not include other features such as keyboard integration.

Apple will hold a media event this Tuesday, October 22 where it is expected to announce a number of hardware and software products, including the fifth-generation iPad and the second-generation iPad mini, as well as Haswell MacBook Pros, Mavericks, revamped versions of iLife and iWork for both Mac and iOS, the redesigned Mac Pro, and possibly a new display to go with it. A minor update to the Apple TV may also be included, with an update to the Mac mini also possible.

Related roundup: iPad Air

Top Rated Comments

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27 weeks ago
A lot to cover... a keyboard cover!:D

Rating: 40 Positives
27 weeks ago
Apple has patents going back to 2011 on this. Maybe something will finally get released.

This first one is from early 2011 and covers a lot of different features;
http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2012/08/apple-invents-mind-boggling-next-generation-smart-cover-with-multi-touch-flexible-display-solar-panels-built-in-keyboard.html

Thumb resize. Thumb resize.

And here are some others:

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2013/03/apple-invents-a-few-more-features-for-the-ipad-smart-cover.html

Thumb resize.

http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2013/03/apple-invents-ipad-smart-cover-with-built-in-inductive-charging.html

Thumb resize.
Rating: 25 Positives
27 weeks ago
"But if Apple did this I'd bet it would be better than Microsoft's implementation."

So typical - pooh-poohed when Microsoft puts it out BUT deemed brilliant when Apple takes it market.

The fanboyz rhetoric is tiresome, ain't it.
Rating: 22 Positives
27 weeks ago
Lol, where are all the "COPYERZZZZZZ" post?

Apple is clearly copying The Surface, but I'm sure the fanboyz will find a way to justify it.

But we all know when another phone with a finger scanner comes out everyone's going to be like "THESE PPL ALWAYS COPY APPLE!?!"
Rating: 20 Positives
27 weeks ago

Lol, where are all the "COPYERZZZZZZ" post?

Apple is clearly copying The Surface, but I'm sure the fanboyz will find a way to justify it.

But we all know when another phone with a finger scanner comes out everyone's going to be like "THESE PPL ALWAYS COPY APPLE!?!"


Microsoft just built a Smart Cover and slapped a keyboard on it. If apple takes it a step further and adds a new great feature, it's not copying. It's just friendly competition, and without competition, there's no innovation.
Rating: 13 Positives
27 weeks ago
ONCE AGAIN, Apple no longer leaders NOW only followers - just playing catch-up.
Rating: 11 Positives
27 weeks ago

"But if Apple did this I'd bet it would be better than Microsoft's implementation."

So typical - pooh-poohed when Microsoft puts it out BUT deemed brilliant when Apple takes it market.

The fanboyz rhetoric is tiresome, ain't it.


I'd take it a step further with "the my is better than yours" rhetoric is tiresome... I read it here from Mac/iOS nerds and I hear it at the office from Linux/Android nerds...

At the end of the day, it just a ****ing phone/tablet/computer and these companies don't need to be defended by a bunch of whiny nerds...

I cringe when I read forums (any forums!)... But yet I still read them... so it is my fault if I'm annoyed....
Rating: 10 Positives
27 weeks ago

isn't it already patented by Microsoft for its Surface tablet ?


If I remember well, the surface cover is under a license agreement with Apple and Microsoft
Rating: 10 Positives
27 weeks ago

Lol, where are all the "COPYERZZZZZZ" post?

Apple is clearly copying The Surface, but I'm sure the fanboyz will find a way to justify it.

But we all know when another phone with a finger scanner comes out everyone's going to be like "THESE PPL ALWAYS COPY APPLE!?!"


Actually you are wrong, and Microsoft had to license this from Apple.

Not your finest hour...
Rating: 10 Positives
27 weeks ago
Last time I checked, the Surface products were not the first with detachable keyboards -- so they're not copying Microsoft so much. Microsoft just has the most marketing dollars behind their push, and is the most recent "new" thing with it.

If I recall correctly, right after the iPad came out, there were some third-party keyboard cases that started cropping up, long before the Surface was even a thing. I know there were a few models of those before the Surface came out, mostly made by Belkin, Logitech, et al.

If I'm mistaken on timing on that, then we should remember ASUS beat them both to the punch, since the Transformer Android line had the snap-in keyboards at their first release.

Apple usually takes an idea, improves it, and iterates on it until it's a great experience. That's not necessarily a bad thing, it's very hard (and rare) to come up with something perfect out of thin air, but iterating and improving something that already exists is much more feasible, and shouldn't be frowned upon.
Rating: 9 Positives

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