Apple Pencil 3 just tipped for big upgrade ahead of new iPad launch

Apple Pencil USB-C
(Image credit: Tom's Guide)

Next week is Apple’s Let Loose event, where we’re expecting at least three new iPads — a pair of iPad Pros and a larger version of the iPad Air. Those iPads are also expected to coincide with new accessories, including the Apple Pencil 3 stylus, and now Mark Gurman at Bloomberg has revealed some of the new upgrades we might see.

Speaking in the latest edition of his Power On newsletter, Gurman claims that the new Apple Pencil should include haptic feedback. This is a first for an Apple Stylus, though Gurman didn’t go into much more detail than that.

It’s not clear how Apple is going to employ haptic feedback, though it should help add a little more realism to using the stylus. Right now using a lot of styluses is quite a bizarre experience. You’re holding a piece of plastic and writing on a smooth glass screen and you don’t get the same tactile feelings you would using a pen or pencil on paper.

Any haptic feedback that can try to help simulate that would give Apple Pencil 3 a big bonus over its predecessors. Especially if the feedback can try to simulate different types of real-world usage — like pen on paper or using art supplies.

Apple Pencil 3 squeeze gestures

iPadOS code has also suggested that the Apple Pencil 3 will support new gestures, specifically a new “squeeze” function. We don’t really know how it works, beyond detecting hand pressure, or even what functions each squeeze will trigger.

It’s been speculated that squeezing the Apple Pencil 3 could open a “contextual menu” that allows users to quickly perform certain actions — including adding shapes, stickers and text to a canvas. But it’s not entirely cldar. 

Whether we’ll see additional new gestures isn’t clear either. But even the single squeeze gesture would add a lot more functionality to the stylus. 

It’s also been rumored that the new Apple Pencil may offer interchangeable magnetic tips, depending on the kind of finesse you need. There’s been word that the Apple Pencil 3 may even be compatible with Apple Vision Pro at some point in the near future.

We’ll have to wait until the Let Loose event to find out more. In the meantime, check out our iPad Pro 2024 and iPad Air 2024 hubs for more information.  

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Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.