The rumored Apple Pencil 3 could make it easier than ever to draw on iPads

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Apple could unveil a new and improved Apple Pencil, equipped with a brand-new “squeeze” gesture, providing additional control without taking your hand off the pencil.

According to 9to5Mac, there are references to a new gesture called “squeeze” in the code for iPadOS 17.5 beta, which was recently released to developers. This gesture appears to be used to add shapes, signatures, stickers, or a text field, thereby saving time for those writing notes or quickly annotating a sketch or document. 

These squeeze gestures are unlikely to refer to the Apple Pencil 2, as it has pressure sensors only on its tip and not on the stylus’ surface. This suggests that the gesture is for an as-yet-unannounced Apple Pencil 3 that could launch alongside some new iPads rumored to launch in May.

Other indicators of a potential new model include mentioning the Apple Pencil being supported by the Find My app, as current Apple Pencils cannot be tracked via this app. This feature will allow you to find the Pencil, just like you can track AirPods and AirTags, which is handy for something so easily lost as a pen.

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Another possible clue that a new Apple Pencil is on the way is that iPadOS 17.4 has added an updated version of the PencilKit API, which developers use to make apps compatible with the Apple Pencil. However, the exact new features are unknown.

The Apple Pencil 3 will likely feature the return of pressure sensitivity, which was missing from the more scaled-down Pencil released in October 2023. This feature allows you to change the thickness of your strokes depending on how hard you press down on the screen and is invaluable for digital artists.

Tipster Majin Bu posted on X that the Apple Pencil 3 will come with interchangeable magnetic tips to aid drawing, technical drawing, and professionals such as digital artists and photo editors. While the most extreme rumor from MacRumors claims the Apple Pencil 3 will support the Apple Vision Pro and allow you to use your surroundings as a canvas instead of touching a tablet screen and will even still use pressure sensitivity. 

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Potential pricing is currently unknown but is expected to be similar to the Pencil 2 at around £139 / $129 / AU$199. Hopefully, Apple will opt for some color variations this time around rather than only having a white option, as we’d like to see black, silver, or gold options or any other color.

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The original Apple Pencil was released on November 11, 2015, while the second generation Pencil was released on November 7, 2018. On October 17, 2023, Apple launched an entry-level Pencil model for USB-C-equipped iPads.

However, we may not need to wait till November for Apple Pencil 3. Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has reported that the next generation of iPads is expected in early May, and the Apple Pencil 3 would likely launch alongside a new iPad Pro.

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