Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

Apple wants to make iPad even better with help of a smarter accessory

Updated 4 years ago
Published Jan 22nd, 2015 5:15PM EST
Apple iPad Smart Cover
Image: Zach Epstein, BGR

Apple is considering adding various new features to future versions of the Smart Cover, a protective accessory specifically developed for the iPad, according to a new patent discovered by AppleInsider.

FROM EARLIER: New patent shows how bending iPhones could one day be a feature, not a bug

Titled “Device Input Modes With Corresponding User Interfaces,” the patent application describes various new features that would be available to iPad Smart Cover users, which could let users further customize their tablet experiences without needing special physical buttons on the tablet to do so.

The patent describes ways for the tablet to recognize various gestures, and provide contextual menus depending on how many sections of the Smart Cover actually cover the screen.

In one instance, users could partially open the Smart Cover to quickly access toggles or menus for various settings that could then be changed without unlocking the device.

Gestures such as swiping laterally or vertically on a partially uncovered part of the display could also be recognized by the iPad as a way to adjust brightness or change the volume.

In addition to quick access to certain settings and notifications, opening more than one section of the iPad could let users access specific apps, such as email clients, and expand email notifications to fill the available uncovered screen real estate. Again, unlocking the iPad would not be required.

Playing a video on the iPad, and then covering part of the display with a Smart Cover, might automatically adjust the size of the app to fit the uncovered portion of the display.

To implement smarter Smart Cover features like these, Apple might make use of additional magnetic sensors, ambient light sensors and even the built-in iSight camera on its tablets.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he closely follows the events in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises. Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.