Image: miles goscha/mashableBy Monica Chin2018-03-16 15:08:43 UTC

You’ve probably forgotten amidst all this hype about iPhones, but Apple still occasionally makes computers and tablets. And a new patent application reveals that its next ones might have an interesting feature. 
The patent, first reported by Patently Apple, would be for technology that can make an onscreen keyboard (like that on an iPad) feel like a real keyboard. 

According to the patent application’s images, Apple has in mind a touchscreen device that could display a keyboard, or other buttons such as music and volume controls. The device will sense when you pressed each key and provide haptic feedback — that is, you’ll feel like you’re pressing a physical key. 

Image: screenshot: monica chin/apple/us patent and trademark officeIt seems versatile — the patent application’s images show such a keyboard paired with a laptop, a desktop, and an iPad. 
The company claims that such a keyboard would have an advantage over physical keyboards in that it could adapt its layout to different user preferences, or be customized for multiple use cases. 
Since this is just a patent application, there’s no telling yet if or when such a product will reach the market. Still, such a feature could make Apple’s rumored upcoming releases, including a cheaper MacBook Air and two new iPads, even more exciting. And this technology, alongside a recent patent for crumb-resistant keyboards, gives the typists among us a lot to look forward to. 




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