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
15 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
15 months ago
They'll really do anything to avoid selling a touchscreen laptop huh?
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
citysnaps Avatar
15 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
15 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
15 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
15 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)

Top Stories

m1x mac mini screen feature

High-End 'M1X' Mac Mini With New Design and Additional Ports Expected to Launch in the 'Next Several Months'

Sunday August 22, 2021 5:59 am PDT by
Apple can be expected to launch an updated high-end Mac mini with a new design and a faster "M1X" Apple silicon processor in the "next several months," Bloomberg's Mark Gurman reports. In the latest publication of his Power On newsletter, Gurman writes that a new high-end Mac mini, which has previously been reported to feature a new design with additional ports, can be expected to replace...
mac scanner permission error

Apple Says Fix Planned for 'You Do Not Have Permission to Open the Application' Error When Using a Scanner on Mac

Saturday August 14, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
In a newly published support document on its website, Apple has acknowledged an error that some users may receive when they try to use a scanner with a Mac in the Image Capture app, Preview app, or the Printers & Scanners section of System Preferences. A screenshot of the error message from the HP Support Community When attempting to use a scanner with a Mac, Apple said users might get an...
macbookpro13large

macOS Big Sur Update Bricking Some Older MacBook Pro Models

Sunday November 15, 2020 5:33 am PST by
A large number of late 2013 and mid 2014 13-inch MacBook Pro owners are reporting that the macOS Big Sur update is bricking their machines. A MacRumors forum thread contains a significant number of users reporting the issue, and similar problems are being reported across Reddit and the Apple Support Communities, suggesting the problem is widespread. Users are reporting that during the...
original iphone

Phil Schiller Says iPhone Was 'Earth-Shattering' Ten Years Ago and Remains 'Unmatched' Today

Monday January 9, 2017 7:15 am PST by
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of the iPhone, Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller sat down with tech journalist Steven Levy for a wide-ranging interview about the smartphone's past, present, and future. The report first reflects upon the iPhone's lack of support for third-party apps in its first year. The argument inside Apple was split between whether the iPhone should be a closed...
m1 imac orange

New iMac Tidbits: Headphone Jack on Side, Ethernet Port on Power Adapter, Spatial Audio and WiFi 6 Support, No SD Card Slot

Wednesday April 21, 2021 6:38 am PDT by
Apple yesterday announced a completely redesigned 24-inch iMac with the M1 Apple silicon chip. The new iMac, the first major redesign of the Mac desktop computer since 2012, has several changes compared to the previous generation. In the aftermath of the event, a few new features and tidbits may have slipped under the radar, so we’ve compiled this list of some of the less-talked-about...
omg lightning cable comparison

Security Researcher Develops Lightning Cable With Hidden Chip to Steal Passwords

Thursday September 2, 2021 6:59 am PDT by
A normal-looking Lightning cable that can used to steal data like passwords and send it to a hacker has been developed, Vice reports. The "OMG Cable" compared to Apple's Lightning to USB cable. The "OMG Cable" works exactly like a normal Lightning to USB cable and can log keystrokes from connected Mac keyboards, iPads, and iPhones, and then send this data to a bad actor who could be over a...
Top Stories 75 Thumbnail

Top Stories: Last-Minute iPhone 13 Rumors, Apple Announces App Store Changes, and More

Saturday September 4, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
The finish line is in sight! Apple's annual iPhone event is likely just a week or so away and all eyes will be on the company as it unveils the next version of its most popular product line. With any luck, we'll also see the next-generation Apple Watch and perhaps even some new AirPods. Other news this week saw Apple making some more changes to its App Store policies in response to a...
General YouTube Feature 1

YouTube Premium and Music Surpass 50 Million Subscribers

Friday September 3, 2021 2:19 am PDT by
YouTube says it has passed 50 million subscribers for its Premium and Music subscriptions, making it the "fastest growing music subscription" service in the world, according to YouTube's global head of music, Lyor Cohen. YouTube says that it has more than 50 million paying subscribers collectively across YouTube Premium and YouTube Music. The Google-owned service says it attributes this...
iPhone 13 Dummy Thumbnail 2

Full iPhone 13 Feature Breakdown: Everything Rumors Say We Can Expect

Tuesday August 31, 2021 7:50 am PDT by
With the launch of Apple's iPhone 13 lineup believed to be just a few weeks away, we have compiled all of the coherent rumors from our coverage over the past year to build a full picture of the features and upgrades coming to the company's new smartphones. For clarity, only explicit improvements, upgrades, and new features compared to the iPhone 12 lineup are listed. It is worth noting that...
apple wallet drivers license

Apple Announces First U.S. States That Will Let You Add Your Driver's License to Your iPhone

Wednesday September 1, 2021 6:15 am PDT by
Apple today announced the first U.S. states that will be rolling out the ability for residents to add their driver's license or state ID to the Wallet app on the iPhone and Apple Watch. Arizona and Georgia will be the first states to support the feature, with Connecticut, Iowa, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Utah to follow, according to Apple. Apple said select TSA security checkpoints in ...