Apple has reportedly tested a version of its Pencil stylus that can be used with its Vision Pro headset to draw in spatial apps.

Male hand holding the USB-C Apple Pencil, set against a dark purple gradient background
Apple Pencil is currently iPad-only | Image: Apple

A source tells MacRumors that a future Apple Pencil will work with Vision Pro in drawing apps like Pixelmator and Apple Freeform.

Now, the rumors claim that the next Pencil and OLED iPad Pros will be announced in April, but MacRumors doesn’t clarify whether the Pencil launching next month will include Vision Pro or if that’s something that’s planned for a future model.

Apple Pencil could get Vision Pro support

The report is slim on details so we know nothing about what Pencil features visionOS might support. Will we “draw” in spatial apps by making air gestures with our Pencil or use an iPad as a graphics tablet for drawing in visionOS apps?

Joe Rossignol, MacRumors:

No specific details are known about this project, but one possibility is that users would be able to draw with the Apple Pencil on a desk or another flat surface, and the drawing would appear in the open visionOS app. This would essentially turn a person’s surroundings into a giant canvas, complete with pressure and tilt sensitivity.

We’ll find out details when Apple unveils the next Pencil and iPad Pro models in April (MacRumors hasn’t confirmed whether it will support Vision Pro).

Apple currently offers three Apple Pencil models that differ from one another in terms of features, design and price. They’re compatible with specific iPad models, but none works with iPhones.

No Pencil references in the current visionOS code

No Apple Pencil references are found in the current visionOS software. Provided the MacRumors report is accurate and Apple does intend to release an Apple Pencil with visionOS support, we should discover more clues about it in the visionOS 1.2 code that Apple will soon start testing with its developers.

Another possibility is that Apple Pencil support is planned for visionOS 2. Apple will preview visionOS 2 at the upcoming WWC24 in June, but the update isn’t expected to become publicly available until September at the earliest.

According to hints in the iPadOS 17.4 code, the next Apple Pencil should support other features, too, like Apple’s Find My network, which would let you track the location of a lost Pencil in the Find My app. In the future, Apple Pencil could get optical sensors that would enable you to easily sample surface color and texture.

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