iPadOS 17.5 hints at new ‘squeeze’ gesture for Apple Pencil 3

As Apple is expected to introduce new iPad Pro and iPad Air models soon, we’ve also heard rumors about the company working on new accessories for its tablets. 9to5Mac has now found evidence that corroborates the development of a new Apple Pencil 3 – and that it will feature a new “squeeze” gesture.

Apple Pencil 3 may feature new ‘squeeze’ gesture

Multiple pieces of evidence found in the code of iPadOS 17.5 beta, which was released to developers on Tuesday, point to a new gesture called “squeeze” for Apple Pencil. The gesture can be used for quick interactions such as adding shapes, signatures, stickers, or a text field. Presumably, the gesture will be triggered by pressing the Apple Pencil surface.

Apple Pencil 2 only supports a double-tap gesture to switch between different tools in certain apps and, as far as we know, has no pressure sensors on its surface – only on the tip. This strongly suggests that the new “squeeze” gesture found in the iPadOS 17.5 beta is for an unreleased Apple Pencil 3.

Interestingly, Apple has also updated the interface for pairing an Apple Pencil for the first time to support new, non-existent hardware. Earlier this year, 9to5Mac had already found evidence of Apple Pencil support in the Find My app. Currently, there’s no Apple Pencil model that can be tracked via the Find My network.

To add fuel to the fire, iPadOS 17.4 has introduced a new version of the PencilKit API, which developers can use to make their apps compatible with Apple Pencil. However, Apple is yet to reveal what new capabilities PencilKit 3 adds for users. Some rumors suggest that Apple Pencil 3 will support interchangeable magnetic tips.

iPad mini 6 with Apple Pencil

Latest iPad rumors

According to a recent Bloomberg report, Apple plans to introduce new iPad models at the beginning of May. Along with the new iPads, the company will also announce Apple Pencil 3 and a redesigned Magic Keyboard that will make the iPad look more like a traditional laptop.

When it comes to the new iPads, the iPad Pro is expected to get a slimmer design with OLED display for the first time, as well as the M3 chip. iPad Air, on the other hand, will keep the same design – but now with the M2 chip. Apple is also rumored to introduce a larger 12.9-inch iPad Air for the first time.

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