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New multi-iPad concept is one of Apple's best yet

apple hinge
The vertical configuration, with the hinge in the middle (Image credit: Apple/USPTO)

Why use just one device at a time, when you could be using two? That's the thought behind Apple's recent patent – a hinge-like accessory designed to join two devices together and enabling them to work as one.

The popularity of dual-screen devices has been gathering traction recently, with a range of dual screen laptops and tablets on the cards, not to mention the reboot of foldable phones (see the best flip phones in 2020). A second digital workspace is super-useful for organising your workflow, especially for creatives who have a few things on the go at once.

It's a subject that Apple has remained fairly quiet on, though it did cause a stir recently with its idea for a hinged foldable iPhone. But this new patent could be Apple's answer to the trend, in a slightly different format.

Apple hinge

How the devices would join together horizontally (Image credit: Apple/USPTO)

The patent is titled 'Modular multiple display electronic devices', and is for a connector, which could hinge the two devices together horizontally (see picture above) or vertically (check out the image at the top of the page). The accessory (below) would allow for data transfer, enable you to work across the two devices or use one device as a keyboard. 

Crucially, you'd have to actually own two Apple devices already (or, buy a second one) but as the patent appears to be non-size specific, this could mean connecting an iPad and an iPhone, or two iPads, and so on. Though this is potentially game-changing for users with multiple devices, in practice it could be a little awkward if the sizes are different.

Apple hinge

How the hinge would look (Image credit: Apple/USPTO)

Of course, as Apple are constantly filing patents that never see the light of day (check out our favourites here), there's nothing to say this idea will amount to anything. But for those addicted to a second screen, this accessory could be a brilliant addition to their existing Apple kit, without having to commit to a two-screen device all the time. Though, if you want consistency of size, it may just mean you'll have to buy another iPad. Which we're sure Apple won't mind.

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