If you're someone who owns an iPad and an Apple Pencil, you're no doubt already very aware of the panic that sets in whenever you want to use the two things together. Even if you have an iPad with magnetic Apple Pencil 2 support, it just never quite seems to be attached to the side of that tablet, does it? And if you think that your keys are great at hiding in the smallest of places, you haven't seen anything yet.
Losing an Apple Pencil between the sofa cushions is a regular occurrence for a lot of iPad users and that's if they're lucky. Other times that little white stylus could be just about anywhere, and usually is. So the idea of being able to quickly and easily locate it using Apple's Find My features is one that we can all get behind. The latest USB-C Apple Pencil doesn't have Find My support, unfortunately. But a future Apple Pencil 3 might just add it according to a new report.
That report comes thanks to the recent iOS 17.4 beta release with internal files apparently suggesting that a future Apple Pencil will have support for the Find My app on iPhones, iPads, Macs, and Apple Watches.
Lost and found
Reported by 9to5Mac, the additional Find My support could work in a similar way to other Find My-enabled accessories and devices like the AirTag and other item trackers. However, it isn't clear just how capable the Find My integration will be because we don't know if ultra wideband technology will be included. If it is, precise location information can be gathered and an iPhone with the same chip will be able to locate the Apple Pencil in the same way it can an AirTag.
However, if ultra wideband is not present the capabilities will be limited and may simply amount to the Apple Pencil making a sound when the owner presses a button in the Find My app. However, at this point, it seems unlikely that Apple would release a new $100+ product without UWB included, but time will tell.
The report also notes that the iPadOS 17.4 beta added a newly updated PencilKit API which will allow developers to make apps that make use of new Apple Pencil features. However, there is no indication of what features they will be just yet. However, the updated API does suggest that the new Apple Pencil 3 will have additional features rather than simply be a revamped Apple Pencil 2.
Previous rumors have claimed that the Apple Pencil 3 could have interchangeable magnetic tips to give creatives more flexibility, although we haven't heard much to that effect in a few months now.
2024 is shaping up to be a big year for the iPad as a whole. Not only are we expecting the entire lineup to be updated but a whole new 13-inch iPad Air is on the horizon. Couple that with new OLED iPad Pro models with superfast M3 chips and big things are expected of Apple's tablets this year. A refreshed 10.9-inch iPad Air is also touted with all four iPad Air and iPad Pro models expected to debut within months according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. If a new Apple Pencil really is in the works we could likely expect it to be announced alongside those new iPads, too.
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Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too.
Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.