Rumored Apple Pencil feature could be a game-changer for the iPad accessory

A second-generation Apple Pencil resting on an iPad Pro, with the Notes app open and a question mark drawn on the screen
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

A future version of the Apple Pencil could be upgraded with Apple’s handy Find My tech, allowing owners to locate the stylus if they misplace it.

According to a recent patent application unearthed by Patently Apple, the proposed Apple Pencil upgrade would have acoustic resonators built-in to alert users.

Because the design of the stylus doesn’t account for a speaker, Apple would put the resonator at the top part of the Pencil, under a cap housing a haptic module.

According to the patent: “The drive signal generated at the haptic module can be transferred to the acoustic resonators through a path of material that mechanical couples the acoustic resonators to the haptic module.”

This would allow the Pencil to create a sound and vibrate when a user needs to locate it.

Apple Pencil patent

(Image credit: USPTO)

The Apple Pencil is already equipped with Bluetooth, which is what would be used to determine its proximity. It doesn’t seem like there are plans to equip the Pencil with the same Ultra Wideband technology used in AirTags

The addition of Find My to the Apple Pencil seems like an obvious win. The sleek, all-white styluses are a must-have accessory for the iPad, but they’re also small and easy to lose. What’s more, at $130 each (for the Gen 2 model) they’re not a throwaway purchase. And if you’ve got more than one, it’s a fair bet you’re going to want to keep tabs on them. It could also help Apple further differentiate its product from the best Apple pencil alternatives out there.

Using Find My for the Apple Pencil would reportedly work the same as it does for any other Apple gadget; the Pencil would be listed under the Devices tab in the Find My app.

Of course, the usual caveat applies that, since this is a patent filing, there’s no guarantee it will ever make it into an actual product. Furthermore, there have been previous Apple Pencil filings (no pun intended) that haven’t, as yet, amounted to much.

In 2021, uncovered Apple patents suggested the Pencil could introduce functional tip modules that would be interchangeable and therefore introduce new sensors. Another suggested a light sensor system could be added inside the Apple Pencil tip, so you could "pull" color from one object and paint with it in an app.

iPad 2022 Apple Pencil

(Image credit: Apple)

While both of these features would be cool, we’d argue the addition of Find My to the Apple Pencil would be even more welcome among users. The ability to track down your Apple Pencil quickly if it’s fallen out of your bag or rolled away under some furniture is the kind of real-life problem that should be addressed as quickly as possible.

In the meantime, if the Apple Pencil you do own isn’t working, here’s a breakdown of the most likely causes.

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Jeff Parsons
UK Editor In Chief

Jeff is UK Editor-in-Chief for Tom’s Guide looking after the day-to-day output of the site’s British contingent. Rising early and heading straight for the coffee machine, Jeff loves nothing more than dialling into the zeitgeist of the day’s tech news.

A tech journalist for over a decade, he’s travelled the world testing any gadget he can get his hands on. Jeff has a keen interest in fitness and wearables as well as the latest tablets and laptops. A lapsed gamer, he fondly remembers the days when problems were solved by taking out the cartridge and blowing away the dust.