Apple is possibly introducing a new lineup of iPads this April. And while everyone is paying attention to the rumored specs and features of the new tablets, the Cupertino giant appears to be silently working on a new Apple Pencil that could debut alongside the touchscreen devices or at a later date.
This Thursday, Apple was awarded by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office new patents that contain information on what the company is working on for the iPad writing and sketching tool. The two new patents, with application numbers 20170068342 and 20170068339, are entitled “Stylus for electronic devices.” Both primarily detail a new user input system for a stylus that is presumed to work with Apple’s iPads.
What’s striking about the new Apple patents, however, is not the more new user input mechanism, but the attached illustrations on how the Apple Pencil could recharge its built-in battery using the Smart Connector on the side of the iPad Pro. If this is indeed the direction Apple is taking its technologically advanced pencil, then it’s clear that it wants to do away with the the use of the Lightning connector to refuel the Apple Pencil on the said iPad model.
The Apple Pencil in the patents is described as a peripheral that gets its power from the iPad Pro. In addition, there is also mention of magnets that would make it possible for the touch contacts of both the writing tool and the tablet to always correctly line up for charging purposes. This way, users won’t have to worry about having to put the Apple Pencil in a particular position just to make the charging mechanism work.
The images depicting the matching Smart Connector port on the Apple Pencil and the iPad were first spotted by Apple World Today. The publication also noted how the application filings for the new patents contained information about a “laptop with a touch screen” and an “active stylus precision tip.” This new information further suggests that the next Apple Pencil installment could come with new features or an improved functionality overall.
Apple Insider says the new patents seem to corroborate a previous rumor that claims Apple is working on the next-generation Pencil that could magnetically attach to the iPad Pro for safekeeping. What that rumor didn’t mention is the possibility that the magnetic system could also provide a new means of charging the new Apple Pencil.
It’s not uncommon for Apple to be awarded with new patents. The company has already trademarked numerous inventions. Unfortunately, not all of them see the light of the day. It’s good if these new patents will reach their fruition and materialize into a new product this year or the near future.