New Apple patent describes an iPad Smart Cover with a flexible screen

apples ipad smart cover patent looks to bend the rules for displays apple feature
Did you think Apple’s iPad Smart Cover was the pinnacle of the Cupertino, California, company’s accessorial ingenuity? Not quite, if a new patent’s any indication. Today, the U.S. Patent and Trademark office approved Apple’s filing for a “cover attachment with flexible display” — basically, a next-gen Smart Cover with a built-in screen.

Though a “cover attachment” may sound mundane on the surface, Apple’s patent describes something genuinely innovative: a bendable display that acts as a sort of digital extension of the iPad to which it’s attached. The theoretical Smart Cover could support Wacom-style styluses for the purpose of scribbling and doodling, Apple notes, and might even be used to accommodate app interfaces that stretch beyond the iPad’s display. The company envisions notifications and reminders appearing in the cover’s top-right corner, for instance, and multimedia playback controls summoned by on-screen videos and music.

One thing’s for certain, of course: such a cover would require a heck of a lot more juice than the current, screen-less crop of Smart Covers. Apple’s solution? A beefed-up, four-pin variant of the iPad’s Smart Connector accessory, and a number of energy-saving steps to mitigate the increased power draw. Apple proposes an AMOLED display that shuts off pixels not in use, a small battery that recharges independent of an iPad, and even an integrated array of solar panels.

Patents, of course, remain firmly in the theoretical realm; there’s no telling when, if ever, a bendable iPad Smart Cover will hit Apple Store shelves. But scientifically speaking, such a cover’s well within the realm of possibility — Samsung’s planning to commercialize foldable displays as soon as 2017, and LG’s expected to follow suit. The screens expected to feature in new tablets and smartphones, mainly, but there’s no technological reason they couldn’t appear in an iPad cover. Here’s hoping Apple feels the same.

Product Review

Sleek and expensive, the Apple TV 4K will still delight the Apple faithful

Is Apple’s latest streaming set-top box a revolution, or too little too late? Find out in our Apple TV 4K review, and learn how this device wins in some big categories, but falters in others.
Home Theater

Apple is arming up to redefine TV just like it did the phone

Curious about what Apple's answer to Netflix will be? Us too. So we combed through some patents, and looked at the landscape, to come up with a bold prediction: Apple's streaming service will be way bigger than anyone thinks.
Computing

Microsoft could be planning a laptop with foldable screen, hints patent filing

Filed in late 2017 and titled "Bendable device with Display in Movable Connection With Body," the patent filing explains a new mechanism for laptops which can eliminate a hinge and allow the screen to fold shut from the inside,
Mobile

The 2019 iPhone could put a charge into your other Apple gadgets

While it's not been long since the last iPhones launched, rumors for the next iPhone are already surfacing. Apple's 2019 flagship could include a variety of upgrades ranging from a new design to enhanced features.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S10 vs. Google Pixel 3: Can Samsung beat the stock Android king?

The Samsung Galaxy S10 is here, offering modern specs, a beautifully high-resolution display, and an edge-to-edge design with a small cutout in the display for the front-facing camera. But can the phone take out the Google Pixel 3?
Deals

Protect your iPhone or iPad with the IPVanish VPN, on sale through February

One of our favorite virtual private networks for iPhones and iPads, IPVanish, is now offering a huge discount on its two-year subscription as part of its 7th-birthday promotion. Read on to find out more about how this VPN works and how you…
Mobile

Samsung’s wide range of Galaxy products means there’s something for everyone

Samsung launched a host of new products on February 20, with prices ranging from just $35, all the way up to nearly $2,000. This was not by chance, and the company believes it has something for everyone in 2019.
Mobile

Verizon is launching real standards-based 5G in 30 cities in 2019

Verizon is in the midst of a massive 5G rollout. In addition to fixed 5G service, it will also begin deploying mobile 5G in the coming months. Here's everything you need to know about Verizon's 5G network and when it will be in your town.
Deals

Stay fit and save cash with our top 10 affordable Fitbit alternatives

As much as we love Fitbits, they're rather expensive. If all you want is a simple activity tracker, however, then check out these great cheap Fitbit alternatives. With offerings from brands like Garmin, you don't need to pay full price.
Mobile

Samsung Galaxy S10e vs. OnePlus 6T: Can the Flagship Killer survive?

The Samsung Galaxy S10e is the new affordable flagship on the block, but at $750, it's $200 more than the OnePlus 6T. Does the Flagship Killer stand a chance against the new generation of flagship devices? Let's take a closer look.
Deals

Make some time for the best smartwatch deals for February 2019

Smartwatches make your life easier by sending alerts right on your wrist. Many also provide fitness-tracking features. So if you're ready to take the plunge into wearables and want to save money, read on for the best smartwatch deals.
Product Review

Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are a brilliant combination of value and comfort

With six hours of battery life, an extremely comfortable fit, sweatproofing, and a very palatable price tag, Samsung’s Galaxy Buds are putting all other true wireless earbuds on notice.
Deals

Amazon drops a sweet deal on the Kate Spade Scallop smartwatch for women

Unlike many other smartwatches geared toward women, the Kate Spade Scallop offers a more chic and minimalistic look. With this Amazon sale going on right now, you can get it for $109 off its retail price.
Cars

Lyft’s Shared Saver service offers cheaper rides, but you’ll have to walk a little

Lyft has launched a new ride option called Shared Saver that offers cheaper rides if you're willing to walk a little. Shared Saver designates a nearby pick-up point and drops you off a short distance from your final destination.