How do you comply with the Apple Pencil, arguably the ideal stylus in the earth proper now? We can’t wait around to obtain out. In this post we examine the most up-to-date leaks and rumours and go over the Apple Pencil 2’s likely release date, tech specs, new capabilities, style alterations and pricing.
You can purchase the present Apple Pencil for £99/$99 on Apple’s Store. But if you are looking for a less costly option, just take a glance at the twelve ideal styluses for iPad.
When will the Apple Pencil 2 be produced?
In an investor observe witnessed by AppleInsider, Rosenblatt Securities analyst Jun Zhang has predicted that a new Apple Pencil will be unveiled in autumn 2018, along with a decreased-rate edition of the HomePod. The analyst did not cite a source for this prediction, however – not even the typical “anonymous sources inside of the provide chain”.
The to start with Apple Pencil was unveiled along with the twelve.9in iPad Pro in September 2015, so the most noticeable time to anticipate an update was in autumn 2016. But 2016 (and 2017) came and went with no Pencil-associated news (apart from for the new capabilities unlocked by iOS eleven). We are beginning to truly feel that an update is overdue.
Style and design alterations
So considerably for the Apple Pencil 2’s release date. But what will the next Apple Pencil glance like?
Some momentum is making all around the rumour that the next Apple Pencil and the next iPad Pro will be equipped to attach to every other using magnets. Obviously this would be considerably more handy than the present state of affairs, the place the Pencil tends to roll off and get lost on the flooring.
The most up-to-date report to back again this principle comes from Letemsvetemapplem, who cite “information and facts directly from suppliers in China” and assert that “in accordance with the patent which Apple obtained in September previous yr, you [will be equipped to] attach a pencil to iPad using the magnet [just as] the first Apple iPad Intelligent Case addresses the display”. (The web page is in Czech equally estimates are based on Google Translate.)
On a related observe, the same web page promises that the Apple Pencil 2 will have a modest clip, considerably like a traditional pen. This will mean you can clip the Pencil to your pocket, of training course, but would seem more likely a basic alternative to the issue of the completely round pencil rolling across desks and not being in one area.
Apple Pencil 2 new capabilities
What new capabilities can we anticipate from the new stylus? Let’s glance at the prospects.
Capability to work on non-contact-sensitive surfaces
This is by far the most fascinating rumour we have listened to, and the ideal matter is that it truly is backed by patent action.
Patently Apple has spotted references to styluses currently being made use of on any metallic floor (this kind of as “the sides and/or back again floor of an electronic device”), which is intriguing more than enough but Apple’s ambitions could go further more nonetheless and extend to any non-contact-sensitive floor, this kind of as a desk. You would scribble absent with the Apple Pencil and its actions would be transmitted to an iMac or related device sitting down close by.
Compatibility with more applications
It’s desperately imprecise at the moment, but phrase on the road indicates Apple is focusing on increasing the assortment of purposes with optimised guidance for the Apple Pencil.
Wei Feng, the Chinese-language web page by now quoted in the release date part, writes: “The so-termed Apple Pencil 2 will have what form of attributes? According to the provide chain, the answer is ‘compatible with a big range of applications’.”
Like most tech journalists, I suspect that the progress and start of the twelve.9-inch iPad Pro was at least partly a response to the relative achievement of Microsoft’s Floor line of tablets, which also have big screens and latterly occur with styluses. (And are promoted at company consumers.) But the stylus for the Floor Pro 4, although weaker in many respects than the Apple Pencil, has one clear gain: the solution to purchase interchangeable alternative nibs of various sizes and designs. (You can purchase alternative nibs for the Apple Pencil but they’re always the same default size and form.)
An Apple patent has been identified, however, which indicates that long run Apple Pencils may well present a related element.
Patent 9,329,703, filed in 2011 and printed on 3 May 2016, describes an “clever stylus” the place every nib has its have sensor, which pairs with a different sensor in the entire body of the stylus.
“The stylus a hundred and ten can contain a number of sensors to deliver information and facts about its condition, the place the sensors can be selectively made use of alone or in various combinations,” reads the patent’s specific description. “The potential to deliver information and facts past simply just contact enter information and facts, specifically information and facts about the stylus’s condition that the stylus decides itself, presents this stylus an intelligence absent from a traditional stylus.”
Returning to patent 9,329,703, Apple also mentions the probability of turning the back again stop of the Apple Pencil into an eraser.
From the specific description: “For the supplemental make contact with/proximity sensor at the stylus non-tip stop, the MCU can determine the stylus’s condition at the non-tip stop as touching or hovering more than a floor, e.g., to emulate an eraser.”
Yet another Apple patent, initially filed in This autumn 2014 but printed in February 2017, reveals designs for an Apple pencil with a number of contact and drive sensors along the entire body of the device. The sensors could be made use of to detect contact gestures along the device, as effectively as when the Pencil is currently being rotated. They could also detect how considerably strain is currently being made use of in buy to command scrolling or zooming, or use pinching as a way to ‘pick up’ and transfer on-monitor objects.
A single previous titbit from patent 9,329,703’s specific description: “…the MCU [microcontroller device] can extract fingerprints from the contact measurement and can detect the person of the stylus. The MCU can transmit the person identification to the contact sensitive device. The contact sensitive device can then complete some motion based on the identification. For instance, the contact sensitive device can authenticate the person of the stylus and can accept stylus enter if the person is authenticated and deny stylus enter if the person is not. The contact sensitive device can also display or discuss the authentication outcome to the person.”
Seems like a stylus edition of Touch ID to us.
Mac trackpad enter
Yet another one from a patent filing. Patently Apple has cleverly spotted what it thinks to be a reference in a 2014 Apple patent filing to a stylus that can command the trackpad on a Mac. We’ve questioned for a although if the Apple Pencil will achieve the potential to command iPhones and other iPads other than the Pro styles, but the Mac assortment is a larger leap than most of us envisioned.
The patent, for a ‘Stylus With Inertial Sensor’, involves drawings that demonstrate what seems to be a Mac and trackpad setup:
It would seem not likely that we’ll see Apple Pencil compatibility on the Mac Magic Trackpad just before we see it on the iPad mini, for instance, but enjoy this area for further more developments.