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Apple Designed the iPad Smart Cover You Really Want

Apple was granted a patent on Tuesday for a new type of tablet cover that would not only do all of the things users would expect, but it would also feature a flexible display providing everything from notifications to sketching support.

The patent, known simply as “Cover attachment with flexible display,” describes a cover that would look somewhat similar to the Smart Keyboard cover Apple (AAPL) currently sells with the iPad Pro. Like the Smart Keyboard, the patented case would feature a stand mode, the ability to protect the screen, and more.

However, when it’s in stand mode to prop up the screen to watch movies, the back of the cover would feature a display that shows information or notifications, giving users controls over what they’re looking at on-screen. In one instance, Apple describes the stand displaying Play and Pause buttons that users can press while they’re watching a movie on the iPad.

The patent was earlier discovered by Apple-tracking site 9to5Mac.

Based on the drawings and Apple’s description, when the invention is being used in a notebook-like mode with the screen propped up and the cover on the table, the cover would display a virtual keyboard and an area above the keys where users could sketch. The display could also feature icons for access to apps, among other features.

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Even when closed to protect the iPad’s screen, the cover could come in handy, displaying notifications, to-do lists, and other information. In essence, the case is one, big, protective, flexible screen that gives users far more flexibility and functionality than what’s currently available.

So-called “smart covers” have become commonplace in the tablet market. Apple’s Smart Keyboard, for instance, attaches to the company’s iPad Pro and in addition to protecting the screen, also includes a physical keyboard for typing out messages. Microsoft (MSFT) offers a similar keyboard-cover combo.

That said, Apple’s latest invention goes much farther. Rather than doing the basics, Apple has found a way to integrate flexible screens into its cover to make it far more useful.

So, when might we see this cover finally grace our iPads? That’s the issue.

For more about Apple’s iPad Pro, watch:

Apple, like many other major companies, patents technologies at a rapid rate. Often times, those technologies never come to the market and are purely concepts that the companies want to protect. They might also be used in patent litigation at some point down the line. So, while it’s possible that the company’s cover could eventually make its way to the market, it’s equally possible it won’t.

Still, it’d be nice to see a cover that goes far beyond what today’s decidedly simple “smart” covers can do.