KEY POINTS

  • Apple fans have been waiting for the company to bring Apple Pencil to the iPhone
  • A new patent application shows that Apple is working on adding that functionality to the smartphone
  • It remains unknown at the moment when Apple will launch Apple Pencil compatibility for iPhones

Apple may soon grant fans' longtime request to add Apple Pencil functionality to the iPhone.

Apple's stylus allows iPad users to do a lot of things on their tablets, such as using creativity apps, performing writing tasks and more. The stylus, however, seemed designed for the iPad in mind. A new patent application published recently shows that it may soon work on the iPhone as well.

The patent application is a continuation of an earlier one that Apple won. That patent, released years ago, talked about an Apple Pencil that could be used on a future iPhone model. The latest patent builds on that and adds a specific use for the stylus on the iPhone: adding events to the iOS Calendar.

The new patent's title, “Devices and Methods for Creating Calendar Events Based on Hand-Drawn Inputs at an Electronic Device with a Touch-Sensitive Display,” indicates that Apple is developing a way for users to create iOS Calendar events using the Apple Pencil.

Several patent illustrations show how the stylus can be used to do that. One illustration shows that users can schedule an event simply by scribbling lines on specific times and dates while in weekly view. Another illustration shows the Calendar app automatically creating a “Book Club” event based on the user's handwritten input.

See image below:

Apple Pencil iOS Calendar Handwritten input Fig. 29D (left) shows the user creating an event by hand; Fig. 29E (right) shows iOS automatically converting handwritten user input into a Calendar event. Photo: Apple/USPTO

While the patent images show the feature working on the iPad, Patently Apple noted that this feature could also make its way to the iPhone by way of the PencilKit feature MacRumors reported about in March.

The new feature, per the report, will allow users to tap into a Messages text field using the Apple Pencil, then write a message by hand using the stylus. The device will automatically convert handwritten input into typewritten text and will allow users to send it to others.

The PencilKit feature will work on any text input field available in iOS, which means it will be compatible with Messages, Notes, Reminders, Calendar, Mail and others.

The new patent, as well as the PencilKit feature, indicates that Apple is looking to add Apple Pencil compatibility to iPhones. A release date, however, remains unknown at the moment.