Apple Pencil could get a clever new feature to make it worth the upgrade

The latest iOS beta code reveals all

Apple Pencil USB-C
(Image credit: Apple)
Quick Summary

A new Apple Pencil model is expected to launch alongside the latest iPad Pro and iPad Air devices this May.

It will reportedly come with a customisable squeeze gesture – something that was discovered in the latest iOS beta code.

Along with new iPad Pro models and a larger iPad Air, Apple is expected to unveil a number of updated accessories during its next launch event – most likely in May.

One of those is tipped to be the Apple Pencil 3 – a refresh for the popular stylus that will work with the latest devices.

Like the most recent Pencil release, which costs less than its siblings, the new version  will almost certainly adopt USB-C. However, code found in the new iOS 17.5 beta suggests that's not the only new feature coming.

The Pencil 3 will reportedly also gain squeeze gesture support, with a new tactile option allowing users to assign quick interactions that can be activated through gentle pressure.

Discovered by 9to5Mac, there's a suggestion that this could include adding shapes to a drawing, placing a signature on a pdf, or creating a text field.

While the code doesn't mention a specific model of Pencil this new gesture could be for, the existing Apple Pencil 2 doesn't have the requisite sensors, so it's thought to be for a new model to be announced soon.

There has been talk of an Apple Pencil 3 for a while, with some claiming that the new version will also feature Apple Vision Pro motion support. That does make sense considering just how much of a push the mixed reality headset is getting right now, including a possible launch in the UK this year.

There's also the high probability that the new device will be the first Pencil to show up in the Find My, so you're less likely to lose one. Again, 9to5Mac found evidence of Pencil support in the app but the existing variants don't have the correct tracking tech inside.

As for a date for launch, Apple expert Mark Gurman recently said that the company plans to refresh its best iPads in "early May", so expect the new Apple Pencil to appear at the same time.

Rik Henderson
News Editor

Rik is T3’s news editor, which means he looks after the news team and the up-to-the-minute coverage of all the hottest gadgets and products you’ll definitely want to read about. And, with more than 35 years of experience in tech and entertainment journalism, including editing and writing for numerous websites, magazines, and newspapers, he’s always got an eye on the next big thing.

Rik also has extensive knowledge of AV, TV streaming and smart home kit, plus just about everything to do with games since the late 80s. Prior to T3, he spent 13 years at Pocket-lint heading up its news team, and was a TV producer and presenter on such shows as Channel 4's GamesMaster, plus Sky's Games World, Game Over, and Virtual World of Sport.