February 25, 2024

When Apple first unveiled the Smart Cover for iPad 2 it was pretty great, but four years later the tablet accessory may be due for an upgrade. Now, a new Apple patent outlines how the company could introduce some impressive new features with future iPads and a smarter Smart Cover.

Imagine if you could peel back just a section of the iPad’s cover and peek at your notifications or a quick control panel. Pull back a single segment and tweak the volume and brightness. Pull back a second segment and you could even watch a video on the device. That’s what the company may have planned based on a patent filed back in 2013 and published on Thursday.

The trick may actually be in upgrading Apple’s iPad software and tweaking its sensors. Including extra magnets in the design of future tablets could allow the device to recognize exactly how much of the screen is covered, and then respond accordingly.

With Apple’s rumored 12-inch iPad Pro still on the horizon, the technology described here may not be that far off. The upcoming tablet is expected to offer some sort of side-by-side multitasking, so adding the ability to use just a part of the screen for certain applications might make sense too.

Of course, just because Apple patents an idea doesn’t mean it will become a reality. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see.