MacPad? Apple granted a patent for a dual display MacBook or future-gen iPad Pro

“The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially published a series of 26 newly granted patents for Apple Inc. [on Tuesday],” Jack Purcher reports for Patently Apple. “Apple’s granted patent [is] titled ‘Dual display equipment with enhanced visibility and suppressed reflections.'”

“The device presented in Apple’s patent figure below illustrates a dual display notebook that eliminates a physical keyboard or Trackpad,” Purcher reports. “This way the second display could also be used as a sketch pad, gaming controls and more as discussed in past patents.”

“Apple notes that in one version, a hinge is permanently holding the two displays together to form a new kind of MacBook,” Purcher reports. “In a second or alternative version, Apple notes that the hinge could be designed with magnetics so that it becomes a classic 2-in-1 device or second-gen iPad Pro so that the upper display could be detached and used as a standalone iPad.”

Apple granted a patent for a dual display MacBook or future-gen iPad Pro

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we’ve asked many times over the past few years: “Who’s in the market for a 12.9-inch device that’s an OS X-powered MacBook when docked with its keyboard base and an iOS-powered iPad Pro when undocked?”

As we wrote just over a year ago:

Here’s an idea: Apple could sell iPad Pros as they do now, and for those wanting a “Mac,” Apple could sell them the macOS-powered display-less keyboard/trackpad/cpu/RAM/SSD/battery base unit. Attach your iPad for the display and off you go, you Mac-headed truck driver! Plus, you get to use the iPad’s battery, too, extending battery life to provide a truly all-day battery for portable Mac users. Detach the display and you get your iOS-powered iPad back, same as always.

Too outside the box? We’d love to be able to take our 12-inch iPad Pro, mate it with this theoretical Mac base unit, and turn it into a portable Mac. Right now, we carry 12-inch iPad Pros and MacBooks in our backpacks. Guess what’s redundant? Right, the displays. We don’t need to carry two screens on the road. The iPad Pro’s screen would do just fine, thanks.

Buy the Mac base on its own (for those who already have 12.9-inch iPad Pros) or buy it as part of a package (get a new 12.9-inch iPad Pro at a nice discount when you buy it with the Mac base). Imagine if Apple had unveiled this headless MacBook that you use with your iPad at their iPad event last fall. How many more 12-inch iPad Pro sales would such a product have generated? Enough to return iPad to unit sales growth, we bet. And, how many more Macs would have been sold, too?

Illustration from Apple's hybrid Mac-iPad patent application
Illustration from Apple’s hybrid Mac-iPad patent application

Project Marzipan: Can Apple succeed where Microsoft failed? – December 21, 2017
Apple is working to unite iOS and macOS; will they standardize their chip platform next? – December 21, 2017
Why Apple would want to unify iOS and Mac apps in 2018 – December 20, 2017
Apple to provide tool for developers build cross-platform apps that run on iOS and macOS in 2018 – December 20, 2017
The once and future OS for Apple – December 8, 2017
On the future of Apple’s Macintosh – February 6, 2017
Tim Bajarin: I see Apple moving many users to an iOS-based mobile device over the next 3-4 years – November 7, 2016


  1. I’ve emailed Steve Jobs, Tim Cook and even Steve Balmer many times about this design. The most important aspect is the ability to customize the keyboard area with menus, tools. sizable keys, etc, freeing valuable real estate on the screen.

      1. Surface user’s reply: Yeah don’t do it Apple. We don’t need you – our Surface is AWESOME. Everyone knows it with the exception of certain sheep that parrot mindless criticisms about it.

  2. It’s good to get patents as you lock in your rights.

    But right now the technology is too far out, I’ll settle for easier ways to sync Macs to iPads, more advanced filing system etc. From last I checked I couldn’t even easily transfer standard things like pdfs, you need an iOS app like iBooks or similar, and for more complex file formats it’s even more tedious.

    (I have MBP and a 12.9 iPad Pro. Use the iPad everyday when I go out. )

      1. You mean Google Drive. Don’t use iCloud. Just because Apple’s idiot managers have no strategic understanding, doesn’t mean that Apple users should choose to fund the direct competition. There are better storage solutions that don’t send your data and money to Google and Amazon. The fastest and best ones put you in charge if your data and encryption keys, not some lamebrain in Cupertino that Apple wants you to blindly trust.

      2. ICloud drive is great for certain things but SOMETIMES when I’M working on a complex project like a 3d scene i don’t ALWAYS want to icloud it. I just want to be able to shove particular items from my Mac to my iPad to work on them. I got terabytes connected to 3 mac pros. Sending stuff to the cloud to move from a mac to an iPad sitting nearby seems redundant in some cases — you’ve got wifi , cable connect speeds and then you need to clear up the cloud drive if your files are big.

        i don’t even want to keep all my pdfs ( which are relatively simple docs) in the cloud , they’re systemically filed in hierarchical file folders sometimes in complex project folders in my macs.

        Perhaps my examples in my first post isn’t the best but basically what i’m saying is that before we think of MaciPads, iPads and Macs today should work as easily as Mac to Mac on a network.

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