Apple patents Surface-style tablet and keyboard cover

The multi-touch keyboard could communicate wirelessly with an iPad
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Apple has filed a patent for a new tablet smart cover that also features a keyboard, reminiscent of Microsoft's Surface tablets.

However, Apple's keyboard has multi-touch gesture support which can turn the whole cover into a trackpad - a 'smooth surface that overlays the plurality of keys'.

There is also part of the cover that can fold up to stand an iPad up, like Apple's current smart covers which are already on the market. Like the existing cover, the new one would also use embedded magnets to click into place at certain points.

Initial patent drawings show how the cover can fold up to protect both sides of an iPad or potentially other tablets. 

So the smart cover's keyboard can communicate with the iPad wirelessly, meaning the user can control the iPad using its own touch-screen or the keyboard itself.

Apple's patent states that a gesture may involve the user pinching, sliding, swiping, rotating, flexing, dragging, tapping, pushing and releasing the keyboard, or doing other motion using their fingers or other object.

More pictures and details can be found on the US Patent and Trademark Office website.

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