Paint 3D
Apple could be developing its own version of Microsoft’s Paint 3D. Reuters/Lucas Jackson

Apple is believed to be working on an iOS version of Microsoft’s 3D Paint app. This assumption was made after the Cupertino giant’s new patent application became public.

The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office recently published a patent application from Tim Cook’s company, containing what appears to be a confirmation that Apple is developing its answer to Microsoft’s Paint 3D, which is the more advanced spinoff of Microsoft Paint.

There are details in the patent that mention how Apple is planning to introduce new features to its Apple Pencil peripheral. Among these features is one that will allow users to create 3D images on their iPad tablet. What’s more is that Apple could be developing this feature as an app with its highly anticipated mixed reality headset in mind. There’s mention of the app working hand-in-hand with the headset, according to Patently Apple.

Microsoft launched Paint 3D last year, alongside the Windows 10 Creators update. Aside from packing Microsoft Paint’s features, the app also has a 3D builder that provides users with a hybrid 2D-3D editing experience. Not only can users create their own 3D objects using the app, they can also modify some creations found in the Remix 3D catalogue with it.

Based on the new Apple patent, the company is developing an app that will enable the Apple Pencil to be used in virtually drawing three-dimensional objects in space. Therefore, users will have the unique ability of creating illustrations while motioning them in free space.

The patent mentions a virtual reality headset that consumers can use alongside the Apple Pencil’s new feature. The headset will be the one to render the visual display to the user during a drawing session, so the device could be designed to communicate with the Apple Pencil.

The rest of the patent delves deeper into a new Apple Pencil that will be enhanced by the inclusion of new sensors and components that are corollary to what Apple is planning to do with the new app and other features.

It’s quite interesting to note that the patent’s emergence comes just days ahead of the new 9.7-inch iPad’s launch. The new education-centric tablet comes with Apple Pencil support, but it’s not clear if this is a precursor to what the company could be working on based on the new patent.