Latest patent counsel Apple won’t be ditching the Contact Bar in any case

Why it issues: I really feel critics have principally misunderstood the Contact Bar. I discover it fairly handy and intuitive, and the truth that the controls change dynamically relying on window focus makes it very versatile. That stated, my chief criticism is its placement. I’ve all the time felt that the graphical display screen would have been better-suited below the monitor relatively than above the keyboard. It seems that Apple agrees.

Final month, famend Apple analyst Ming-Chi Kuo predicted that beginning with 2021 fashions, MacBook Professionals would lose the extremely criticized Contact Bar characteristic. Apple will reportedly use the additional inner actual property so as to add extra ports. However it seems that Cupertino won’t be ditching the Contact Bar altogether.

Patently Apple uncovered greater than 70 patents lately awarded to Apple by the US Patent and Trademark Workplace (USPTO). Amongst these have been two reconfigurations (patent #10,921,854) of the MacBook Professional’s Contact Bar that engineers is likely to be contemplating.The 2 redesigns place the Contact Bar nearer to the display screen than the keyboard. The primary (Fig. 6) reveals it roughly in the identical place (perhaps barely greater) as it’s on present Contact Bar fashions. Nevertheless, it provides a second show in a extra seen location proper beneath the display screen.

The second chance (Fig. 7) makes use of a redesigned doglegged lid, with the angled portion close to the hinge housing the characteristic. This configuration locations the Contact Bar nicely out of attain of the keyboard whereas additionally making it extra seen. nevertheless, this odd design additionally makes it unclear how the MacBook lid will fold flush with the keyboard. Regardless, both of those concepts would alleviate my major Contact Bar criticism. If Cupertino can see match so as to add an HDMI and a minimum of one USB-A port, I might be much more glad.

As all the time, patents are by no means ensures of coming options. Apple could need to be safeguarding itself in opposition to opponents arising with a greater concept for its expertise. As a basic rule, I have a tendency to provide Kuo’s predictions of upcoming Apple gadgets extra credence than Apple patents.

Picture credit score: Noah Densmore

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