Apple may add cellular voice capabilities to iPad via a new wireless headset

“On August 20, 2015, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that reveals that Apple is serious about trying to provide the iPhone with a next-gen wireless headset that supports Voice over LTE or VoLTE,” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple.

“Better yet, Apple is going to bring voice calls to the iPad via the wireless headset,” Purcher reports. “This is a feature that is long overdue, with several competitors already offering this feature. Although you can answer calls today on your iPad, it’s reliant on your iPhone being nearby. This invention appears to go one step further.”

Purcher reports, “The headset is a headphone combined with a microphone, or it may be a pair of headphones with a microphone, or any personal listening electronic device that can provide the equivalent functionality of a telephone handset but with hands-free operation.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: We can certainly see the usefulness of this in business settings for iPad-equipped workers.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]

16 Comments

    1. Yes, Apple FINALLY has invented a bluetooth headset. This is the sole reason that Apple hasn’t been able to add this capability to the iPad, that there simply was no way for people to get audio into and out of an iPad.

      This article is beyond ridiculous. 10 year old bluetooth earpieces “support” [assuming they can still connect to the iPhone] VoLTE.

      If anything, this is just about Apple patenting a headset that has support higher-quality audio. The rest of the ‘analysis’ is beyond ridiculous.

    2. My iPad Mini is the perfect traveling computer. For its size is better than iPhone 6 Plus and battery lasts longer too. Where the iPad is juts too big to port everywhere and clumsy for most part – so I prefer it to be the house hold computer — taking it room to room. Trouble is, iPad mini has no real – ready – out of the box telecommunication system. Without Viber the device is crippled. Why Apple chose to create a divice crippled is beyond me. Mini Tablet — silly customers know well iOS is fully capable of all great things… why kill the biggest feature on others. No one wants to hold a iPad up to their heads to take calls… how stupid… a bluetooth ear set has always been the solution for that. Next Apple just needs to accept that Phablets are very useful and needed devices… as Apple has learnt that biggers screens were also part of the market they screwed up with.

  1. If they made a phone in a headset why sell the iPhone? Just have the iPod Touch and then any Apple device becomes your phone when paired with your headset.

    1. exactly.

      Apple should simplify their product offerings to ONE device.

      Yet offer it in four sizes.
      An iPhone with a Big, Medium, Small or Tiny screen.
      If you do not need or wish an iPhone and do not need Cellular connectivity then customers have the option of a WIFI only device… hence called iPad.

      For iPhones that are too large to hold to the head and make calls — Apple provides a Bluetooth ear Bud.

      Simple is Better.

      1. I quite like the idea of a “dongle” that provide cellular connectivity (maybe also a battery pack) to any device that you connect to it. You could then use your iPod/iPad/Mac/Apple Watch as your phone depending on what you had with you and what you wanted to use. It would be an extra device, but it wouldn’t need to be large as it wouldn’t have a screen, you wouldn’t be holding it to your head either.

    1. Oh please, stop thinking you have such grand vision. You are no SJ. It was me, who suggested Apple simplifies the enter line of iOS devices to Big, Medium and Small Screens and that all sizes are phone offerings, wifi only defined what a tablet was… extending my explanation with the idea of using bluetooth ear set of course, Apple branded, for those people who where saying at the time, that hold an iPad up to their head making calls was a ridiculous concept. Totally silly, KingMel. And you pooh poohed my thoughts with a degrading comments at the time too.
      I wait to see what Apple really will do.

      1. That would be perfect. The cellular phone transceivers could be in whichever device you prefer (for me that would be the phablet/mini tablet since of the devices I carry with me it’s the one with the biggest battery) and all of your other devices would behave exactly like phones or phablets, connecting, if it doesn’t have a cellular transceiver of its own, through whichever of your devices has a cellular transceiver and the longest remaining bAttery life, using Bluetooth or wifi.

        If the Apple Watch can solidly and reliably connect to your iPhone to make phone calls, iPads, iPods, and other iPhones can be designed to do so too.

        No compromises, fully connected. You pick whichever device or device combination makes the most sense to you–without being forced to choose somebody else’s preferred compromise.

  2. This is huge for me. I have an iPhone plus, and there is no way I’m going to try to digit out of my briefcase to make a call. Even if I happened to have it out, I feel like a moron holding a tablet phone up to my face. Right now I can use the iPod touch as an iPhone handset using continuity/handoff but it doesn’t always wok reliably, and I can’t rely on the wireless hotspot feature staying reliably connected. If cellular data were on the iPod touch as a backup, I think that would solve all the problems I’m having.

    And yeah I suppose you could just use the iPod touch as your phone although I think there are good reasons you want to have a real cellphone at the same time (of course the iPhone plus is the best phablet in the universe and will be until the 6s+ comes out).

    1. Agree and disagree.
      iPad mini with telephone capability would be the best iPhone ever. Equip iPad mini with a Bluetooth ear phone and I will gladly sell my iPhone 6 Plus. I do not wish to hold the iPad mini to my head… or take it out of my suitcase until I need to create anything with my fingers. Controlling it with Siri and replying to emails through a Bluetooth ear set even kills off the idea of me getting an Apple Watch. I am so very pleased to hear this news.

      1. Yes, exactly. But you forgot to mention which part you disagreed with.

        I think iPad Mini size, or perhaps just as long as the iPad mini but narrower (“widescreen” instead of “square”) is about the best size for the iPhone 6 plus. But since the iPhone plus does not currently have an iPad Mini-sized version, the current iPhone plus is currently the best phablet in the universe. 🙂

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