Scribble Away with Apple Pencil on Your iPad
If you’re a fan of the Apple Pencil, iPadOS 14 is going to change the game entirely, to the point where you may not need to reach for your keyboard nearly as often as you used to.
This is all thanks to a new handwriting recognition feature that Apple is calling “Scribble.” We actually saw Apple’s first baby steps into this feature on the Apple Watch a few years ago, letting users jot out quick text message replies with their fingers instead of their voice, but on iPadOS 14, it’s all grown up, and it’s very cool.
iPadOS 14 will offer to take you through a tutorial as soon as it detects your Apple Pencil after the update, but you can also access the same tutorial from the Apple Pencil section in the iPadOS Settings app.
Basically, this feature will let you write with the Apple Pencil, in normal handwriting, in just about any text field — even on web pages. We were able to not only use it in the Safari address field, but even within the search field on Amazon’s home page, and it recognizes both print and script style handwriting, so it’s pretty amazing what Apple has done here. This isn’t like the days of the Newton where you had to learn a specific handwriting style — Scribble lets you write as you normally would and then turns that into straight text.
It also goes beyond handwriting as well, with Apple Pencil gestures to erase words or whole lines of text by “scratching them out,” selecting text by drawing a circle around it, and even gestures for inserting new text or joining and breaking up words. It’s one of these features that have to be experienced, and we’d recommend budgeting for an Apple Pencil when iOS 14 comes out — chances are you’re going to want one once you’ve tried Scribble.