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It’s possible that we would have welcomed the Apple Pencil, or at least its second generation, even though the late Steve Jobs mocked the stylus of the past. It’s incredibly simple, and with the new models, it finally has a practical charging mechanism that isn’t hideous. But that ease of use might have come at the expense of some features that users have become accustomed to from digital pens in this market, particularly in terms of multi-functioning buttons. Along with other anticipated improvements that will help give Apple’s creativity and productivity tool an even greater edge, the 3rd generation Apple Pencil is rumored to expand on the double tap gesture that was fixed in the 2nd generation model.

The original Apple Pencil came with a cap covering its unsightly Lightning charging connector and a smooth, round barrel. In order to improve grip, the second version had a flat edge added, and wireless magnetic charging was used in place of a unibody design. Nevertheless, neither model had the conventional buttons found on styluses such as those made by Wacom and Samsung, so you were unable to perform a specific action immediately without first having to navigate the menus and settings of an application.

There is a touch-sensitive area on the Apple Pencil 2 that can be double-tapped to achieve the same result. That one gesture, however, is hardly sufficient for the majority of people who use iPads for creative work. The upcoming Apple Pencil, however, is rumored to include an additional action that will let you squeeze a different part of the barrel to initiate a different action. The feature may prove to be highly advantageous or highly inconvenient, contingent on its implementation and the sensitivity of the pressure sensor.

Another big update expected for the Apple Pencil 3 is an interchangeable nib system that uses magnets. It claims that users will be able to switch between different nibs with different point shapes by using simple yet strong magnets, as opposed to the current screw mechanism. This new system may feel a little more natural for different digital brushes that require finer or broader tips on the Apple Pencil, though its actual benefits are still unknown.

The Apple Pencil 3 is also expected to support Apple’s Find My network, which is a long-overdue feature that would have prevented many Pencils from disappearing forever. At least, that is what is hoped for. Since most of Apple’s wireless devices already support it, the Apple Pencil 3, which will probably cost more than the current $129, would not be able to track without this feature. Along with the new Apple Pencil, a new iPad Air and iPad Pro are expected to be announced next month.


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