Will the Apple Pencil 2 Feature New Gesture Controls and a Special Button?

Apple Pencil 2 Credit: AppleiDesigner / Twitter
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Apple is less than 24-hours out from hosting its second fall 2018 special event, where the company is widely expected to take the wraps off a range of new MacBook, iMac, Mac mini and iPad Pro devices (among other new gadgets and accessories.)

Based on previous rumors, we can expect to see among those new offerings a refreshed version of the Apple Pencil, which will likely be named Apple Pencil 2, and boast a myriad of improved components, feature advancements and technologies in relation to its predecessor. 

Less than a day before its expected unveiling, we have more new information from some top iOS developers, who suggest Apple’s revamped stylus will not only include support for gesture input along its body, but also a new “button” allowing advanced interaction.

New Apple Pencil 2 Leaks

In the first Tweet, published on Sunday by Guilherme Rambo, the famed iOS developer speaks specifically of an “Apple Pencil 2” with the new model No. B332, as including support for gestures.

Notably, Apple Pencil in its current state lacks any form of touch or gesture-based input — features that would ultimately require the introduction of updated hardware.

Meanwhile, iOS developer Steve Troughton-Smith, in a series of subsequent Tweets published yesterday, noted various properties hidden in the latest iOS code — such as “UIPencilAdjustmentInteraction” — which could potentially enable the gesture feature on Apple Pencil 2. 

Further pointing out a variant ending with “DidTap:” and “didSlide:Phase:”, Troughton-Smith believes these markers are intended to serve as the “new favorite delegate methods” for developers of certain apps that rely on Apple Pencil input.

Interestingly, Troughton-Smith goes on to suggest there could ultimately be some sort of “button” integrated on Apple Pencil 2, which could either be clickable or responsive to Haptic feedback, and assist the stylus in performing various gestures.

Specifically, he suggests the button could be used to produce “radial contextual menus” — similar to how Samsung’s S-Pen stylus is designed to interact with its latest Galaxy Note devices via AirView — within select iPad Pro apps which offer extensive Apple Pencil input options.

While we obviously can’t confirm these latest leaks until further notice, it’s worth pointing out that this wouldn’t be the first time we’ve heard rumors of an Apple Pencil 2 boasting advanced touch-based input options.

Earlier this month, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office granted Apple a patent covering a next-generation ‘Ultrasonic’ touch input technology for Apple Pencil, which could very well be along the lines of what the company has in store for us tomorrow.

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