Apple Patent Suggests Two iPads Could Be Connected Together for Notebook-Style Computing

Apple is exploring use of an accessory that would allow two iPads to connect together for notebook-style computing, according to a new patent filing uncovered by AppleInsider.

36880 68946 apple patents ipad hinge 1 xl

The patent application titled "Modular multiple display electronic devices," filed today with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, explains that when two iPads or iPhones are connected together via an accessory, one could be used as the display, and the other as a dynamic keyboard.

The envisioned coupling accessory consists of two small connectors and a hinge, with mobile devices attaching mechanically to either side. The connector would facilitate data transfers between the devices so that they could work in unison as one system.

36880 68947 apple patents ipad hinge 2 xl

Images included in the patent application mainly suggest that this accessory would allow for a notebook-style setup, with one device flat on a surface, with the hinged connector accessory at the back, propping up a second mobile device, in either portrait or landscape orientations.

Use of a second display for a dynamic keyboard would offer several unique solutions, such as allowing functionality to change based on a users' needs, much like the MacBook Pro Touch Bar. Depth and tactile feedback, the likes of which is only achieved by a physical keyboard, would likely be absent, however.

In addition to the notebook-style set up, the patent suggests that if two devices were attached along their longest edges, they could also be used in a book-style setup. This seems to be similar to the layout of the Microsoft Surface Duo.

36880 68948 apple patents ipad hinge 3 xl

Second-screen devices have been the subject of numerous Apple patents, such as the application "System with multiple electronic devices," which describes how two or more devices could act as one when brought close to each other through the use of proximity sensors. While Apple files numerous patent applications on a regular basis and many never materialize practically, they can often offer an intriguing insight into Apple's current areas of research and development.

Tag: Patent

Top Rated Comments

Ubuntu Avatar
33 months ago
Complaint from many over the years: “we want multiple accounts for an iPad!”

Apple: “Sure, here’s your multiple iPads for a user ? “ ??‍♂️
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
boss.king Avatar
33 months ago
They'll really do anything to avoid selling a touchscreen laptop huh?
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
citysnaps Avatar
33 months ago
For the last two years Apple was granted around 2,000 patents per year. This is just another that will likely not see realization.
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SkyRom Avatar
33 months ago
I actually love this idea, and look forward to testing it out with my workflow, but I can't help but think of this iPad meme from back in the day...



Attachment Image
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
honglong1976 Avatar
33 months ago
Apple iPad DS :)

As much as I like using an iPad, typing is better on a keyboard. Also, iPad needs vibration, maybe then it can replicate a keyboard.
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
monarch757 Avatar
33 months ago
WTF. I can't justify an iPad Pro 11 512GB cellular with the keyboard case and pencil 2 at $2K after taxes and applecare+. How can I justify two iPads?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Apple Silicon Teal Feature

The Next Big Apple Silicon Device May Not Be a Mac or iPad

Wednesday February 1, 2023 3:57 am PST by
Apple's next device with an Apple silicon chip may not be a Mac or an iPad, but rather an advanced external display, according to recent reports. The display, which is rumored to arrive this year, is expected to sit somewhere between the $1,599 Studio Display and the $4,999 Pro Display XDR – but more exact information about the device's positioning and price point is as yet unknown. While ...
General iOS 16 Feature Yellow

Five New iOS Features Coming to Your iPhone Later This Year

Tuesday January 31, 2023 11:58 am PST by
Apple has previously announced several upcoming iOS features that are expected to be added to the iPhone this year. Some of the features could be introduced with iOS 16.4, which should enter beta testing soon, while others will arrive later in the year. Below, we have recapped five new iOS features that are expected to launch in 2023, such as an Apple Pay Later financing option for purchases ...
HomePod 2 White and Midnight Feature Purple Blue

Apple Explains Why HomePod Was Released Again, Wi-Fi 4 Limitation, and More

Thursday February 2, 2023 7:57 am PST by
Apple's VP of hardware engineering Matthew Costello and product marketing employee Alice Chan recently spoke with Men's Journal and TechCrunch about the new second-generation HomePod in wide-ranging interviews about the smart speaker. Apple discontinued the original full-size HomePod in March 2021 after multiple reports indicated that sales of the speaker were lackluster, but Chan told Men's ...
iOS 16

Apple Preparing iOS 16.3.1 Update for iPhone as Wait for iOS 16.4 Beta Continues

Thursday February 2, 2023 6:41 am PST by
Apple appears to be preparing an iOS 16.3.1 update for the iPhone, based on evidence of the software in our website's analytics logs this week. It's unclear when the update will be released, but it will likely be available at some point in February. The same logs have accurately foreshadowed the release of several previous updates, including iOS 16.0.3 and iOS 16.1.1 most recently, so they...
dewey airtag

Report Highlights Danger of Using AirTags for Tracking Dogs

Monday January 30, 2023 1:45 pm PST by
AirTags may be a convenient way for tracking dogs that might get off leash or otherwise lost, but there are dangers associated with the practice, as outlined by a report from The Wall Street Journal. At 1.26 inches in diameter, AirTags are able to fit easily on a dog's collar, but that size also makes the tracking devices small enough to swallow, at least for a medium to large-sized dog, and ...
MKBHD HomePod 2 White Ring Stain

New HomePod Can Still Stain Some Wooden Surfaces

Tuesday January 31, 2023 8:29 am PST by
When the original HomePod launched in 2018, it was discovered that the speaker can leave white rings on some wooden surfaces. Now, well-known YouTuber Marques Brownlee has confirmed that the issue persists to a lesser extent with the new HomePod. In a side-by-side test, he showed that the white second-generation HomePod left a white ring on the wooden surface that he placed the speaker on,...
Multi Display CarPlay 1

Apple Launching All-New CarPlay Experience Later This Year With These 5 Features

Sunday January 29, 2023 10:15 am PST by
In June 2022, Apple previewed the next generation of CarPlay, promising deeper integration with vehicle functions like A/C and FM radio, support for multiple displays across the dashboard, personalization options, and more. Apple says the first vehicles with support for the next-generation CarPlay experience will be announced in late 2023, with committed automakers including Acura, Audi,...
iOS 16

When Will the iOS 16.4 Beta Be Released?

Wednesday February 1, 2023 11:09 am PST by
It's been more than a week since Apple released the iOS 16.3 update, and typically, new iOS betas follow launches within a day or so. We were expecting Apple to provide the first beta iOS 16.4 on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday of this week, but that hasn't happened. Tuesdays are the days that we most often see betas, though Monday and Wednesday happen now and then, and most often betas come...