Apple just unveiled the new iPad Pros a couple of weeks ago now, but a patent granted to the company today points to a potentially big change coming to future tablets. The patent depicts a TrueDepth camera that is centered on the top of the iPad in landscape orientation rather than the now-familiar portrait orientation (via PatentlyApple).
Given the prevalence of apps that optimize for landscape mode on the iPad, and the frequency with which the company depicts the iPad in that orientation in marketing materials, it wouldn't be too shocking to see a move to landscape mode.
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The images associated with the patent application show a notch allowing for the TrueDepth camera. It's worth noting that the patent states the camera could also be embedded in the bezel.
As always with patents, it is important to remember that the company is covering all of its bases to avoid restricting itself to an extremely specific implementation. This patent was originally filed all the way back in Q2 of 2017 before the iPhone X was even released.
Whether Apple will actually implement this new camera placement in the new iPads that are reportedly still coming later this year remains a mystery for now. But as the iPads come closer to being laptop replacements, the move to landscape orientation for its front-facing camera seems only logical.
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Sean Riley has been covering tech professionally for over a decade now. Most of that time was as a freelancer covering varied topics including phones, wearables, tablets, smart home devices, laptops, AR, VR, mobile payments, fintech, and more. Sean is the resident mobile expert at Laptop Mag, specializing in phones and wearables, you'll find plenty of news, reviews, how-to, and opinion pieces on these subjects from him here. But Laptop Mag has also proven a perfect fit for that broad range of interests with reviews and news on the latest laptops, VR games, and computer accessories along with coverage on everything from NFTs to cybersecurity and more.