Fans of Apple’s Pencil stylus can breathe a sigh of relief. Apple has confirmed to The Verge that it will restore full functionality to the $99 accessory in the next beta version of iOS 9.3.
“We believe a finger will always be the primary way users navigate on an iPad, but we understand that some customers like to use Apple Pencil for this as well and we’ve been working on ways to better implement this while maintaining compatibility during this latest beta cycle,” a spokesperson said. “We will add this functionality back in the next beta of iOS 9.3.”
In the first four beta editions of the software, including the new version that arrived yesterday, Pencil functionality was limited on the iPad Pro. Pencil users couldn’t open apps, scroll, and do general purpose navigation. Those features were available in iOS 9.2.
Our own Bryan M. Wolfe first pointed out the issue with the beta software back in late January, rightly noting:
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?
I’m definitely glad to hear that Apple will be adding the functionality back in iOS 9.3. The software should officially arrive to the public sometime next month.
For other recent news, see: Skype Qik will head into the sunset late next month, A former CIA and NSA director says the US is a ‘safer, more secure’ nation without back doors, and Tim Cook hints at an Apple car in a new interview.