Apple has been making several design changes in its Mac lineup over the past few years. Some things, such as bezels around the display, are getting thinner but others such as a thicker body for a bigger battery were welcome changes. Apple also brought back the much-requested ports in its new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro models. Now, it looks like one long-lost MacBook feature is likely to make a comeback. The much beloved glowing Apple logo on the MacBook could mark a return years after the company switched it off.
A newly published patent hints at the return of the iconic backlit Apple logo in the future. A patent filed by Apple in May 2022 was published last week by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The patent spotted by MacRumors and Patently Apple summarises various implementations of electronic devices with backlit partial mirror structures. While this might not give a clear example, an illustrated example will make the patent and Apple’s implementation of the idea a lot easier to understand.
Glowing Apple Logo in MacBook Patent
An Apple patent filed in May 2022 has been published by the USPTO, and it suggests that the iconic glowing logo could mark its return soon. “An electronic device such as a laptop computer or other device may have a housing. Components such as a display and keyboard may be mounted in the housing. The rear of the housing may be provided with a logo. The logo or other structures in the device may be provided with a backlit partially reflective mirror. The mirror may provide the logo or other structures with a shiny appearance while blocking interior components from view. At the same time, the partial transparency of the mirror allows backlight illumination from within the device to pass through the mirror.”
The patent document further states that “one or more thin-film layers may be configured to provide the partially reflective mirror with desired visible light reflection spectrum, a desired visible light transmission spectrum, and a desired visible light absorption spectrum. The reflectivity of the mirror may be configured so that the mirror serves as a one-way mirror for the logo or other structure. The mirror may have a neutral colour such as light gray or may have a non-neutral colour such as gold.”
While patents do not necessarily confirm a particular feature, it is likely that the glowing Apple logo could make a comeback since the iPhone maker has been focusing on bringing things back. Apple removed the glowing logo from the 12-inch MacBook, which came in a new gold, non-lit logo. The company then started removing the glowing logo one after the other, and now, all Macs have the reflective logo which does not illuminate.
The glowing logo was a visually defining feature of the Mac. People could easily recognise the machine as a Mac because of the glowing logo. Now that the patent has been filed and passed, we can hope Apple to bring the glowing logo back soon. Apple, while you are at it, how about bringing touch ID back like how you have it on the iPad?