KEY POINTS

  • Apple may introduce onscreen backlit keyboard in its future iOS and Mac devices

  • The latest information is based on the patents submitted by Apple

  • Apple aims that the backlit onscreen keyboard could also help provide feedback to users

The Cupertino tech giant Apple may introduce keyboards with colored backlight in the future that could offer user feedback. Although color backlit keyboards are common these days, it appears that Apple is studying how to use these colors in a dynamic way on each keyboard key to providing feedback to the user. The Cupertino company's plan was recently discovered in a patent filing.

A new Apple patent application reveals that the Cupertino company is looking into onscreen keyboards on future iOS or Mac that could provide backlights as helpful feedback tools instead of solely serving as illumination. "While some conventional keyboards may include internal illumination for keys," states Apple in US Patent No 10,528,152. The patent further states that "such conventional keyboards typically do not offer the ability to dynamically control lighting schemes, such as color or tone, for each of the keys individually." 

The Apple patent also notes that "to provide improved user experience and increase the potential for feedback to a user, it would be helpful to have keys of keyboards, or other input devices, with individually controllable variable internal illumination." The Apple patent also states that the "mixed input lighting using multiple light sources with switchable operational state" patent details many different types of keyboard or device that could use this functionality, including "desktop or tablet computers, instrument displays, and cell phones." 

It is worth noting that these are just patents, which may or may not enter into production. Tech companies like Apple have a habit of filing patents, which most often stay as patent and do not reach the consumers. But, it is interesting to know that Apple is looking into this kind of potential feature that could help its users.

In other Apple news, several sites are anticipating that the Cupertino company might release a new 13-inch MacBook Pro this year. It is worth noting that the last time Apple launched the 13-inch MacBook Pro was in 2016, making it four years old this year. Last year, Apple released the 16-inch MacBook Pro, which surprised many professional users, considering that it features a new scissor-switch type keyboard, beefed-up processor and graphics, and a lot more.

A new report states that Apple might release a new 13-inch MacBook Pro in 2020 with perhaps a new set of scissor-switch keyboard and an upgraded processor as part of its hardware upgrades and internal improvements. It is highly unlikely that the Cupertino company will retain the Butterfly keyboard on its upcoming MacBook Pro releases considering the headache it gave the company in the past. Apple could also enhance the display of the next-generation 13-inch MacBook Pro with a more efficient screen panel that could further enhance the graphics quality.