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.

Cars

Volvo invented the three-point seat belt, and it might be the company that kills it

Volvo didn't invent the seat belt, but the firm patented the three-point configuration found in every new car in 2019. Autonomous technology will force automakers to rethink how they keep motorists pinned to their seats, and Volvo is…
Computing

A dual-screen device from Microsoft is in the works. Here's what we know so far

Would you be interested in a dual-screen Surface computer? The Surface Centaurus is a Microsoft project working on just that -- and Microsoft already has a prototype. Here's all the important information on Centaurus!
Gaming

Sony patent for PS5 could eliminate loading screens altogether

Game developers have found ways to mask loading screens, and a new Sony patent for the PS5 could take things another step. This patent shares a method that change how we experience the moment-to-moment traversal in video games.
Deals

Amazon deal cuts prices on the latest 11-inch Apple iPad Pro tablets

The Apple iPad Pro has been among our favorite tablets since its initial release in 2018. While Amazon and Samsung offer powerful products, no tablet can touch the iPad Pro's power and productivity. Score yours now on Amazon for just $699.
Mobile

Hackers conduct prolonged cyberattack against phone network, says security firm

A security company says a prolonged cyberattack against global phone networks, where hackers have apparently collected data related to phone conversations and even the physical location of the device, has taken place.
Mobile

Having problems with your OnePlus 7 Pro? Check out these workarounds and fixes

Every phone has issues that require some tweaking to sort out. Here are the most common OnePlus 7 Pro problems that people are talking about with advice on how you can work around them or fix them and get on with your day.
Mobile

Here are 5 things I’d like to see in the Samsung Galaxy Note 10

It's important that smartphones continue to improve and evolve or they risk stagnation and may alienate potential buyers. Here are five changes and new features I'd like to see in Samsung's forthcoming Galaxy Note 10 smartphone.
Music

How much is Spotify Premium, and how can you get it at a discount?

Having access to millions of songs comes at a price -- albeit, a pretty small one. Before you figure out how much Spotify Premium is going to cost, you will want to see if you qualify for a discounted (or even free) subscription.
Photography

Create apocalyptic A.I. world with this camera app that removes people from pics

What would the shots in your camera roll look like without any people? Bye Bye Camera is a new iOS app that uses artificial intelligence to remove all people from the photo., but it's not designed for practical applications.
How-To

Optimize your new Apple AirPods with these tips and tricks

Here are some tips, tricks, and lesser-known features from Apple's first pair of fully wireless earbuds, allowing you to get the most out of the company's world of cordless sound.
Android

Samsung's Galaxy S10 5G is coming to T-Mobile on June 28

Samsung's Galaxy S10 5G is the flagship of the S10 line, and it's expensive at $1,300. But, it's the only one of Samsung's latest phones that can connect to a 5G network. It's available from Sprint and Verizon, and now T-Mobile.
Mobile

The best gardening apps help you watch your garden grow

It takes work, commitment, and smarts to cultivate a beautiful garden or grow your own food, so you need all the help you can get. The best gardening apps can identify plants and pests and assist with garden care and planting schedules.
Mobile

iOS 13 is here. Here's how to get it on your iPhone or iPod Touch

The iOS 13 public beta has been released, giving you a chance to try out iOS 13's new features. But how do you download Apple's latest software? Here's our guide on how to download the iOS 13 public beta.
Mobile

Here's how to download iPadOS on your favorite Apple tablet

Interested in getting the latest and greatest software on your iPad? If you want iPadOS, you'll need to be okay with using the public beta, which is likely to have bugs. Here's how to install iPadOS on your iPad.