• Apple is upgrading the Apple Pencil's usefulness in iPadOS 14
  • The new iPadOS version includes a new Scribble function
  • It also includes other advancements that will help the iPad distinguish writing from other things

Announced last month, iPadOS 14 contains new features and enhancements meant to give users the best iPad experience they can have yet. These include new features that will turn the Apple Pencil into an even more powerful tool – so powerful that users might not need to use the on-screen keyboard at all.

With iPadOS 14, Apple introduces the new Scribble function that allows the Apple Pencil to be used anywhere there's a place to input text (i.e., a text field). The feature will let users write what they want instead of having to tap on the on-screen keyboard or pressing on the keys of a physical keyboard connected to the iPad.

Apple said that with the new Scribble function, users will be able to write anything on any text field, and the iPad will convert what they write to text form. iPhoneHacks noted that the iPad is “quite accurate at transcribing the text,” which means it will be able to convert written input into typed text with less error.

This feature means users will be able to do certain things, such as replying to an iMessage, doing searches in Safari, looking for files and documents using the Universal Search function, searching locations via Apple Maps and filling up forms easier.

Users won't need to switch to typing if they're already holding the Apple Pencil in hand. All they need to do is to write on a text field on the screen.

iPadOS 14's Scribble function lets users write any input on any text field in any app, including Apple Maps. Apple

All handwriting conversions to text happen on-device, Apple said. This means users won't have to worry about servers keeping records of what they write. Privacy and security are ensured.

Scribble also offers support for several gestures that will make it easy for users to edit what they wrote, especially in the event that something goes wrong with conversions.

Scratching out words or sentences, for example, tells iPadOS 14 to delete them. Slicing between words that were mistakenly joined together (by writing two words too close to each other, for instance) puts a space between them to separate them. Encircling a word or paragraph, on the other hand, highlights them so that users can do other things with them, like copy, look up or share.

The new Scribble function also works with the Notes app. It initially works with both English and Chinese (traditional or simplified) letters or words. Users who know the two languages can write in both without having to switch.