Apple patents a keyboard that switches the iPad to a macOS-like interface

A new patent granted to Apple suggests the world’s biggest tech company is considering a hybrid future and a desktop interface for its iPads.

Like Apple is obviously pointing outApple was awarded patent no. 11,320,869 this week, which describes an “articulating keyboard accessory with multiple installation modes for a tablet computer.” The accessory effectively adds the bottom half of a MacBook to the iPad, turning it into a hybrid laptop.

Images included with the patent filing reveal that inserting an iPad into the accessory would not only provide access to a keyboard for typing and a trackpad for navigation. Apple would also switch from the iPadOS interface to a macOS-like user interface. This could mean that future iPad models will have a version of macOS available to load when a supported keyboard is detected.

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While it’s highly unlikely that Apple wants to replace MacBooks and iPads with a single hybrid device, it makes perfect sense to give iPad owners a better user interface when connected. Add to that the performance of Apple’s M-series processors and the rapid shift in the iPad’s operating system to work better suited to the laptop form factor would be a welcome new feature.

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