Apple Says Apple Pencil Navigation Functionality will Return in iOS 9.3 Betas

| Product News

Apple said in a statement Tuesday that missing functionality for Apple Pencil on iPad Pro will return in the next beta of iOS 9.3. The ability to use Apple Pencil to navigate the iPad Pro had disappeared from early beta releases of iOS 9.3, but Apple said the feature would return.

Apple Pencil and iPad Pro

Apple Pencil and iPad Pro

Apple has taken a hard line stance against styluses for its tablets and smartphones, with the late Steve Jobs once quipping people have ten of them on their hands. The finger, Apple has long maintained, is the best way to navigate and use an iOS device.

In 2015, however, Apple introduced Apple Pencil, one of the most capable styluses on the market. Officially aimed at artists—the fly in the all-you-need-is-your-fingers ointment—Apple Pencil has been warmly embraced by fans, many of whom use it as their input device outside of the scope of drawing and painting, which worked quite well in iOS 9.2.x.

When betas of iOS 9.3 hit the streets, however, that ability was absents, sparking a hue and outcry from many. In a rare move on Tuesday, Apple released a statement to TheVerge saying that the feature would return, and intimating it was always a temporary issue while the company worked through the development process.

The statement in full:

Apple Pencil has been a huge hit with iPad Pro users, who love it for drawing, annotating and taking notes. 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. We will add this functionality back in the next beta of iOS 9.3.

So put aside your angst, Apple Pencil users, and spend your time awaiting the next beta release of iOS 9.3.

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