Apple is looking to protect technology that could be used in a multi-touch interface Mac, and the application diagrams show the concepts in use on a tablet-based device. The patent filing shows a device that appears to be a computer running Mac OS X instead of a stripped down OS for handheld devices, according to AppleInsider.
The patent describes an interface that looks like Mac OS X with components that grow and shrink in context of user actions. The window resize and close buttons, for example, expand when a useris finger slides over them.
Scrolling appears to work in a fashion similar to the iPhone and iPod touch where users "flick" the display to move the contents of a window up or down. The patent also shows a full-size digital keyboard, allowing users to enter data and type as they would with a physical keyboard.
While the patent filing will likely make for good fodder for everyone thatis certain Apple will release a tablet Mac each time the company holds a special event, it is not necessarily an indication of planned products. Companies routinely file for patents to protect ideas even if they donit plan on implementing them, and this could be what Apple is up to.
Apple does not comment on future products or rumors, so until the company makes an official announcement, the fabled Mac tablet will remain just a rumor.