Get ready to multi-squeeze the Apple Pencil 3 as multiple new gestures are set to be introduced with new iPad stylus

A first generation Apple Pencil drawing on an iPad
(Image credit: Apple)

We’ve just got our best evidence yet that the Apple Pencil 3, a new stylus for iPad devices, is on the way.

Diving into the code present in the iPadOS 17.5 beta reveals that Apple is set to introduce new stylus-based gesture controls that would not be possible with the current generation Apple Pencil 2 device, adding weight to growing rumors that a refresh of its stylus line-up is coming.

As first spotted by 9to5Mac, the Apple Pencil 3 will be able to identify if a user gives the barrel of the stylus a long squeeze or a ‘double squeeze’, presumably assigning different shortcut commands to each action.

These two gestures are in addition to the previously-reported ‘Squeeze’ gesture uncovered recently, suggesting Apple expects its new pen to be smart enough to discern different squeeze interactions and intentions.

Though it can identify pressure levels in its tip, the Apple Pencil 2 does not have pressure sensitivity in its casing, so these gestures must be intended for an all-new device.

Not just a full iPad line-up refresh

The Apple Pencil 3 is therefore expected to land alongside the long-awaited iPad line-up refresh. It’s been a record-breaking 18-months at the time of writing since Apple last revealed new iPads, with an OLED iPad Pro, iPad Air 6 and iPad Mini 7 all expected to launch at some point this year. 

The larger iPads are expected imminently, with a May 2024 launch window pencilled in, while the Mini 7 will likely follow later in the year. More evidence of that iPad Pro’s OLED screen — a first for Apple’s tablet line-up — can also be found in the iPadOS 17.5 beta.

But if you think the wait for iPads has been long, it’s been an even longer wait for a true successor to the Apple Pencil 2, which launched in November 2018 — almost five and a half years ago. And while a USB-C variant was introduced in November 2023, it was functionally the same as the 2nd-gen stylus, with the exception of the more modern charging port.

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Gerald Lynch
Editor in Chief

Gerald Lynch is the Editor-in-Chief of iMore, keeping careful watch over the site's editorial output and commercial campaigns, ensuring iMore delivers the in-depth, accurate and timely Apple content its readership deservedly expects. You'll never see him without his iPad Pro, and he loves gaming sessions with his buddies via Apple Arcade on his iPhone 15 Pro, but don't expect him to play with you at home unless your Apple TV is hooked up to a 4K HDR screen and a 7.1 surround system. 

Living in London in the UK, Gerald was previously Editor of Gizmodo UK, and Executive Editor of TechRadar, and has covered international trade shows including Apple's WWDC, MWC, CES and IFA. If it has an acronym and an app, he's probably been there, on the front lines reporting on the latest tech innovations. Gerald is also a contributing tech pundit for BBC Radio and has written for various other publications, including T3 magazine, GamesRadar,, Real Homes, MacFormat, music bible DIY, Tech Digest, TopTenReviews,, Brandish, Kotaku, Shiny Shiny and Lifehacker. Gerald is also the author of 'Get Technology: Upgrade Your Future', published by Aurum Press, and also holds a Guinness world record on Tetris. For real.