Apple has published multiple patent applications for keyboard covers for its iPad that sort of resemble what Microsoft did in its keyboard cover for Surface. Until now, however, Apple has relied on third-party vendors like Logitech, Zagg (who has already announced a new iPad 5 keyboard case) and Belkin to provide these covers. Logitech and Zagg have had keyboard covers for the iPad since before both the patent application above and Microsoft’s Surface announcement.

But today, Jamie Ryan, who lists Apple Developer Relations as a recent job, says that Apple has been working on a prototype of such a device and could release it at tomorrow’s event. He thinks it could be Bluetooth 4.0 to save power and was ‘told other cover like accessories are also being looked at.’

The patent shown above also includes other innovations such as solar power, big media control buttonsmulti-touch, wireless charging and even a second display

Apple’s ‘We still have a lot to cover‘ invitation has led some to believe that the iPad cover would also be seeing some innovation as well.

Apple currently offers its desktop Bluetooth keyboard for those interested in using a keyboard but had originally offered the iPad with a keyboard stand (below).

Screen Shot 2013-10-21 at 8.11.05 AM

Of course, we’ll be giving the play-by-play of all of tomorrow’s announcements so check back in 24 short hours. [via Giz]

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24 Responses to “Former Apple employee: Apple worked on Surface-style keyboard cover for iPad, could announce at ‘haven’t covered everything’ event”

  1. RP says:

    ..and it’s only a matter of time until we get a surface-like mac. The rumored larger 12′ ipad may just be it.

  2. rogifan says:

    If Apple does this I hope it’s more than just a surface like keyboard/cover. Even though Apple has had patent applications going back to 2011 everyone would scream its a Microsoft ripoff.

  3. I would seriously slap that former employee real hard.

    He’s such a big F spoiler. As much as I want to learn about Mac stuff and what should be coming out when, it’s a real bastard when you’ve read about all the event’s contents before the event actually takes place.

    Thanks for being the first to nail all the contents down, 9to5Mac… Thank you

    • Let’s see:

      You come to a website known to post articles on Apple rumors and news.

      You read the articles on Apple rumors and news

      You complain about having read those articles.

      Got it.

      • Ummm, ya. But they could refrain from being total spoilers, you know. It’s called ethics, you know, and it’s a thin line between doing your thing as a journalist and being something else.

      • ??? Should they say spoiler alert at the beginning of every post that reveals anything of substance so that you know not to read it?
        You do realize that a lot of what is leaked is planted by Apple in advance to moderate and shape expectations for events.
        And someone answering a reporter’s question, honestly and candidly, without compromising the competitive advantage a company has or breaching any non-disclosure agreement they may have signed is in no way unethical! Lying, stealing, rape, murder, those things are unethical, unknowingly crushing someone’s dreams of being surprised by a tech company keynote by sharing potential spoilers with a reporter whose job description is writing about Apple even spoilers on a site that does a pretty good job of it? I’d say that fits well within the realm of ethical.

        PS: if you don’t like spoilers, you should probably stay off the Internet till you’ve seen what you don’t want spoiled… can’t rely on the shady ethics of people these days…

    • It’s an Apple event, not the Breaking Bad finale. Get a grip on your sanity.

  4. PMZanetti says:

    Either its bad idea because it will be vamped as a ripoff of an otherwise failed competitor…

    Or its a great idea to bring the one good idea Microsoft had in the Surface department, to the iPad space, for Apple’s good tablet to take advantage of…

    I don’t know. I’ve only ever seen one ‘soft’ keyboard in my life and it was terrible.

    • thejuanald says:

      The Surface touch keyboard is amazing. The surface is an amazing device that blows the iPad out of the water in terms of functionality. The surface has plenty if “good ideas” such as the keyboard, USB 3.0, full OS, Haswell, a real stylus with digitizer which immediately makes the surface a real productivity device instead of a toy, Word, etc.

      • Right, but it runs Windows 8, which brings it back to the productivity value of a flip phone.

      • PMZanetti says:

        I don’t see any of those as advantage, except perhaps ‘USB 3.0″, although I wouldn’t even want it in the sense that surface implements it…I would only want the Lightning connector to support USB 3.0 transfer speeds…but then again, it is rare that my cable ever does anything but charge the iPad. With iCloud and every other cloud service, my iPad is never plugged in for data transfer…

        And I wouldn’t consider Windows 8, Haswell, a stylus, or anything else it possesses as advantage over the iPad…more like severe disadvantages.

      • Except when you look at the surface from Apple’s more forward thinking perspective, you’ll see all the ports are there for 20th century file transfer ways instead of using the power of wireless and the internet. What’s a “full OS” these days? The unusable desktop is the most shameful interface ever on a touch device, and the modern UI has a Store with skype (why not included!?) is about the best and most functional app.

        Yes app sidesnapping is neat (and necessary because win8 apps use the screen real estate very poorly) but without great apps, its nothing but “potential”.

        iWork has been on iPad ever since, and there’s a crapload of external accessories like real keyboards and incredible stylus from industry leading companies like wacom. Oh and even if, for some reason, you depend on MS Office, even thats coming to the iPad, as MS confirmed.

      • thejuanald says:

        Please explain to me how you take notes using your ipad? I have tried several times and bought several stylii (adonit jot pro, wacom bamboo stylus etc.) with several different apps (notes plus, penultimate, etc.) and it’s terrible. I tried taking notes in One Note on my surface pro and it’s amazingly easy and accurate. How do you type documents, make presentations, or edit spreadsheets on your ipad? I have tried Apple’s terrible iWork apps and they are a joke. How do you use software that is required in your profession, like CAD, Mathematica, MatLab (the iOS version is a fucking joke), Vector NTi, etc? How do you draw with pressure recognition on your ipad? The only app that I’ve seen that’s worth a damn for drawing is Paper. Try Sketchbook Pro on an iPad and then on a surface pro and see how ridiculous the difference is. How do you play AAA games on your ipad? Compare Infinity Blade with it’s on rails swipe gameplay with a real game like xcom, Dota2, TF2, League of Legends, or Bioshock.

        I want one device that can do everything from productivity to playing games to doing actual work. In addition to my Surface Pro I have an iPad and a Macbook Air. The iPad is not used, ever, and the macbook air is used maybe once a month for software that is OS X only and I haven’t found a windows alternative yet. I bought my iPad to be a productivity device. The first time I tried taking notes with it during the end of my Master’s degree I realized it was a dumb buy. It’s a device to browse the internet, read email, browse facebook, and play Candy Crush. It was a complete waste of money.

      • thejuanald says:

        @CharilaosMulder are you kidding me? Transferring things to my ipad and iphone is a ridiculous task that takes way too much effort for something so simple. I have to use itunes and sync with a playlist that I have made just for the iphone in order to make it even remotely usable. If I want to transfer pdfs of journal articles to the ipad using iannotate I have to either go into itunes, find the stupid app, browse for the file and then add it using the stupid itunes dialog box, or I can go on my laptop, upload it to dropbox, then go to my ipad, open dropbox, find the article, click open in iannotate, then go to iannotate and save it in that app. How is that forward thinking at all? That’s horrible

        On my surface pro I can go straight to the article, click download and place it in any folder I want and then open it. See that difference having an actual file system makes?

  5. thejuanald says:

    Apple innovates again!

  6. callmetripod says:

    good artists copy, but great artists steal. I know cliche, but its the name of the game.

  7. Van Du Tran says:

    So will Microsoft be paying Apple because of this patent?