New Patent Suggests Future iPhones and iPads May Feature the Iconic Apple Watch Digital Crown

Future iPhones and iPads May Feature the Iconic Apple Watch Digital Crown
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It’s a long-held sentiment up at 1 Infinite Loop that simply taking successful interface elements from one product, and then trying to somehow reconfigure them into another, isn’t particularly the ideal recipe for a successful product.

Even Apple’s late co-founder, Steve Jobs, would often joke, back in the day, that this is the reason you don’t see an iPhone using an iPod click wheel to place calls — even despite the fact that such a contraption was, at one point in time, an actual prototype that Cupertino was working on.


In any event, back to that Digital Crown.. So, word on the street, according to information detailed in a recently published patent application, is that Apple is seriously considering incorporating a Digital Crown, similar to that of the company’s Watch, onto devices such as the iPhone or iPad.

The patent application details a plethora of ways in which the iOS-specific Digital Crown could be used to control the host device. Such instances include, among other things, controlling the volume, zooming in on photos, videos, resizing text, and more.

Sounds pretty interesting, huh? Well there’s actually a lot of other ways in which a Digital Crown could be used to control various elements of the iPad or iPhone.

We must suggest, of course, that you take all this in with a heaping grain of salt — at least for the time being.

And while the potential implications of an iOS-dedicated Digital Crown look light and bright on paper, it’s obviously important to realize that this is just a patent — not a guarantee of any forthcoming product — and so there’s no telling if Apple will ultimately pursue anything like this in the future.

It’s an interesting prospect to consider, sure — all the potential implications of a Digital Crown-controlled iPhone or iPad. For starters, as a whole new element for interacting with iOS, Apple’s Digital Crown could help differentiate certain devices — such as the iPad — from smaller-screened devices like the iPhone.

Not to mention, by incorporating new UI elements into other products, Apple would effectively be creating a form of design unity between its smaller and larger devices. Such transparency, in turn, could potentially help the Silicon Valley tech-giant sell more products from different product categories.

Of course, who even knows what Apple is thinking, right? I suppose we’ll just have to give this one up to time, as usual, and I’m sure we’ll find out, soon enough, whether or not this patent leads to a functional product.

Would you buy a Digital Crown-equipped iOS device? Let us know in the comments!

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