Early Apple patent shows the iPad could’ve had an iPod-like virtual click wheel

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The iPod’s click wheel was a rather iconic design element and user interface. It looks like Apple wanted it to have a life beyond the iPod, though. A recently uncovered patent filing on Google Patents shows that the iPad could’ve had a click wheel implementation, although it looks like Apple wanted a software UI implementation rather than a hardware click wheel.

The patent, uncovered by u/PurplrIsSus1985 on Reddit, shows a detailed implementation of a click wheel for iPad. There are a lot of use cases and implementations noted in the patent filing, which dates back to 2005, likely during the very early development stages of the iPad.

We could’ve seen a click wheel UI across Apple products



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