If you’re an iPad Pro owner who uses the Apple Pencil with your device, and were saddened to learn that its ability to be used for navigation around the iPad’s screens was gone in the iOS 9.3 betas, take heart. Apple says it will be back in the next beta.
… Apple has confirmed with The Verge that all of those features will soon make a comeback. “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,” a spokesperson said. “We will add this functionality back in the next beta of iOS 9.3.” Unlike in iOS 9.2, where the Pencil can be used like a stylus throughout the operating system, these early 9.3 betas have limited its utility to drawing apps.
Apple’s full statement:
“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.”
Apple Pencil users, who had used the accessory for tasks such as selecting text, scrolling, swiping between apps, accessing menus, and editing functions under iOS 9.2, found the Pencil no longer worked for those functions under any of the four iOS 9.3 beta releases. The absence of the features under four straight betas led those users to think Apple had removed them permanently.
It appears Apple had simply removed them in the interest of compatibility, while working to improve them. This will come as a relief to users who said they would not upgrade to iOS 9.3 if it meant losing use of the Pro’s Pencil outside of apps specifically designed for use with the accessory.