Archived Post

Apple patent filing hints at Apple Pencil support for iPhones AND Apple Watches

There’s been rumors that Apple would bring Apple Pencil support to iPhones. A new patent filing (number 20200057556) for “handwriting keyboard for screen” — hints that this may happen — as well as Apple Pencil support for the Apple Watch.

In the patent filing, Apple notes that some wearable devices include touch sensitive surfaces, but the screens are of such small size that it’s difficult to enter text on the device directly. Other methods of data entry, such as dictation are possible but have downsides as well. In the case of messaging, predefined messages are of some use for are only appropriate when one of the limited number of predefined messages applies the current situation. 

Apple adds that some techniques for handwriting on small screens using electronic devices, however, are generally cumbersome and inefficient. For example, some existing techniques use a complex and time-consuming user interface, which may include multiple key presses or keystrokes. Existing techniques require more time than necessary, wasting user time and device energy. 

Apple thinks it has a better solution. It doesn’t specifically mention the Apple Pencil, but the patent filing shows the Pencil in some of its images. The info also mentions other input methods, such as inputting characters via the Digital Crown.

Here’s the summary of the patent filing: “The present disclosure generally relates to handwriting on touch sensitive surfaces. In some examples, text suggestions strokes entered on a touch sensitive surface are viewed and selected in response to a rotatable input mechanism. In some examples, text determined from a set of strokes on the touch sensitive surface is revised based on a subsequently entered stroke on the touch sensitive surface. 

“In some examples, a determination is made whether to include a stroke in a set of strokes based a time between the stroke and the previous stroke. In some examples, determining text based on a set of stroke is interrupted to determined revised text based on the set of strokes and a second stroke.”

Dennis Sellers
the authorDennis Sellers
Dennis Sellers is the editor/publisher of Apple World Today. He’s been an “Apple journalist” since 1995 (starting with the first big Apple news site, MacCentral). He loves to read, run, play sports, and watch movies.