Earlier this year Tim Cook appeared to let slip that the company was looking at the possibility of bringing the Apple Pencil to the iPhone.
“If you’ve ever seen what can be created on an iPhone or an iPad with that pencil, it’s really unbelievable,” the Apple boss said in an interview.
While there’s been no official word on the possibility of Apple expanding the Pencil’s capabilities beyond the iPad Pro, Cook’s comments, together with a recently published patent from the company, suggest the move is likely to happen sooner or later. Which could mean a Galaxy Note 8 rival is in the works.
Published this week by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office and spotted by Patently Apple, the filing, titled Devices and Methods for Manipulating User Interfaces with a Stylus, shows how the Pencil could be used with a handset, as well as with a wider range of apps for both Apple’s iPhone and iPad Pro.
For example, one part of the patent illustrates how a stylus could be used with Apple’s iMessage app, which had a major makeover with the latest iOS release. It’s certainly easy to see how such a device could be useful here, now that the revamped app lets you send your own sketches and other visuals alongside text. It also includes notes on Pencil functionality for iMovie – Apple’s consumer-level video-editing software – and explores other ways it might broaden the device’s use for additional apps.
However, a number of illustrations in the filing point to the idea that a future iPhone may support stylus interaction.
The tech giant has long gotten over the once-uttered insistence of the late Steve Jobs that “if you see a stylus, they blew it,” though we’ll have to wait and see if and how it finally pairs up the Pencil with the iPhone.
One of the popular features of Samsung’s Galaxy Note series is its stylus, which when not in use slots into a compartment inside the device. As Samsung preps the Note 8 following the disaster that was the Note 7, Apple may be considering a new iPhone design with an internal holder in a bid to win over disillusioned users of Samsung’s canceled handset, while at the same time offering existing iOS users more possibilities when it comes to interacting with their phone.