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Maybe $100 was too much to pay for an Apple Pencil

Maybe $100 was too much to pay for an Apple Pencil

January 29, 2016

Earlier this week, Cupertino released iOS 9.3 beta 2 to developers. This update features the f.lux-like Night Shift feature, which I recently praised. It seems the new beta also contains one of Santa’s leftover pieces of coal.

Both iOS 9.3 and iOS 9.3 beta 2 remove useful navigation capabilities for the Apple Pencil on the iPad Pro. These include the ability to use the tool to open apps, scroll, and do general purpose navigation.

These omissions might be temporary, of course. We are talking about beta software here. Or this might have been Apple’s plan all along.


In November, Jony Ive, Apple’s chief designer, explained to Wallpaper his vision for the Apple Pencil:

I think there’s a potential to confuse the role of the Pencil with the role of your finger in iOS, and I think it’s very clear the Pencil is for making marks, and the finger is a fundamental point of interface for everything within the operating system. And those are two very different activities with two very different goals.

Read this part of the quote again: “two very different goals.”

I’m going to assume that Apple Pencil’s iOS navigation capabilities will return once iOS 9.3 arrives. Thinking otherwise ticks me off.

I love my iPad Pro. As I said in November, however, Apple’s accessory rollout for the device was a trainwreck.

The iPad Pro was easy to find to buy when it launched. However, there were long delays for the $100 Apple Pencil and $169 Smart Keyboard. At the time, this was somewhat hilarious given that Apple CEO Tim Cook was telling the world how the iPad Pro was about to replace laptops – in large part because of accessories such as the Apple Pencil.

So let’s flash forward a few weeks. The $100 Apple Pencil could soon become less functional because Apple’s chief design architect would rather we use our fingertips to open apps? Makes absolutely no of sense, right?

We’ll keep following this story and be on the lookout for iOS 9.3 beta 3.

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