Apple Online Store“While most of us were getting ready for the iPad’s arrival in January and Patently Apple hard at work preparing our major series called the Tablet Prophecies, a major iMac Touch patent was being quietly published in Europe,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

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“And while some of the graphic figures of today’s patent did slip out in Europe, we were never able to verify whether they were legitimate or not,” Purcher reports. “Well, today we finally get to post the Mother Lode of all information concerning the iMac Touch and it’s absolutely brilliant!”

Purcher reports, “The naysayers will have to eat crow on this one, because Apple’s method of transitioning from OS X to iOS is clearly outlined for both the iMac and MacBook – and it’s a grand slam home run. Imagine having an iMac on your desktop one minute and a gigantic iPad the next. Imagine playing iGames on this dream machine – Wow! Apple takes the mystery out of how OS X could finally co-exist with iOS on a Mac.

“Apple’s patent describes the transition process this way. When the iMac’s display is oriented upright and relatively far from you – the keyboard/mouse input mode could be selected and basically you’re operating in OS X mode,” Purcher reports. “Then to switch to a touch-based input, you’ll change the orientation of the iMac’s display so as to make touching the screen easier and more natural. For example, to enter touch input, you’ll want to pull the iMac’s screen closer to you while pushing the display screen down flat as if you were going to read a book, states the patent. In this orientation you’ll be able to select a corresponding UI which should translate to using iOS. In fact, the transition is really an automatic process.”

Purcher reports “Apple’s patent figure 11 is obviously a representation of a MacBook that could transition into a tablet and in doing so takes on the transition process as described pertaining to the iMac Touch. Meaning, as the display of the MacBook is turned into tablet mode – OS X will instantly transition into iOS mode.”

There’s much more, including multiple patent application illustrations, in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Uh, we’d kind of filed this one away in the “Discounted Rumors” folder, but now we wonder if it wasn’t just a bit early: “Get ready for Newton 2.0 MacBook touch?! So says our source — the same one who tipped us to wireless iTunes Store sales direct to iPod, iPhone a week before Apple debuted it — in staccato fashion: Think MacBook screen, possibly a bit smaller, in glass with iPhone-like, but fuller-featured Multi-Touch. Gesture library. Full Mac OS X. This is why they bought P.A. Semi. Possibly with Immersion’s haptic tech. Slot-loading SuperDrive. Accelerometer. GPS. Pretty expensive to produce initially, but sold at ‘low’ price that will reduce margins. Apple wants to move these babies. And move they will. This is some sick shit. App Store-compatible, able to run Mac apps, too. By October at the latest.” – MacDailyNews, July 22, 2008 (In later rumormongering, our same source indicated that there would no SuperDrive; it was only present on prototypes and not meant for any shipping product.)

Of course the above rumor may have been about iPad, but the name “Macbook touch” and the ability to run “full Mac OS X” along with being “App Store compatible” sure matches up better to this newly published patent application.