Apple Vision Pro support for the Apple Pencil is reportedly in testing ahead of WWDC's visionOS 2 preview

Apple Vision Pro with the included cover.
(Image credit: Brady Snyder / Future)

The Apple Vision Pro is, Apple believes, the future of computing and we're still learning what that will mean for users. The spatial computer is still very much in its infancy, but Apple is reportedly already working on a next-generation product as well as a cheaper version, while a new report suggests that Apple intends to repurpose an old accessory for use with the current model sooner rather than later.

According to that report, Apple is already testing the Apple Vision Pro with a future Apple Pencil, although it isn't year clear what that actually means in terms of potential features. However, it's suggested that the testing is being done with the visionOS 2 software update in mind which might give us a rough timescale for when things might come to a head. Apple is expected to release the first visionOS 1.2 beta soon, but it's more likely that Apple will add such functionality as part of the visionOS software update. That update isn't expected to debut until June's WWDC event before being released to the public this fall.

Such a timescale would give Apple time to release an updated Apple Pencil accessory if required, something that has already been rumored. The Apple Pencil 3 is expected to arrive alongside the oft-rumored OLED iPad Pro and M2 iPad Air, tablets that are thought to be ready for an April launch. If that's the case, it's unlikely Apple would out the new Apple Vision Pro support at that time, however.

Testing underway

The testing of Apple Pencil support with the Apple Vision Pro was reported by MacRumors, and it's possible that art apps could be the major beneficiary here. And while there are no firm details on how an Apple Pencil might work with a spatial computer, the possibilities are obvious.

"No specific details are known about this project, but one possibility is that users would be able to draw with the Apple Pencil on a desk or another flat surface, and the drawing would appear in the open visionOS app," the report notes. "This would essentially turn a person's surroundings into a giant canvas, complete with pressure and tilt sensitivity."

However, it's important to note that Apple can and often does make changes to its plans and it's always possible that could be the case here, too. Apple tests lots of things and not all of them turn into products or features, much like its patents.

Big things are already expected from this year's WWDC event, visionOS notwithstanding. The iOS 18 and macOS 15 updates are expected to bring sizeable Apple AI improvements including new generative AI features, but again we won't be able to make use of those until much later in the year. It's also possible that an additional AI component might have to wait until the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro models are announced this fall, too.

As for the Apple Vision Pro, that's still only available in the United States but Apple CEO Tim Cook recently confirmed that a Chinese launch will take place before the end of this year.

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Oliver Haslam
Contributor

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.