A sizeable number of Apple Pencil fans have been waiting impatiently for iPhone support ever since Tim Cook apparently let slip that it was on the way …

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We’ve seen a succession of Apple patent applications for the idea, and a new one has been published today.

The patent itself is a pretty technical one on an efficient method of identifying the position of the pencil on a touchscreen, where the device first identifies the approximate position and then activates smaller sensors in that region to provide the precision needed for a pencil.

The touch sensing system may perform one or more coarse input device sub-scans to determine a coarse location of the input device. The coarse location can be used to select one or more touch sensors (or sensor channels) to sample for decoding data encoded in the stimulation signals from the input device. During one or more fine input device sub-scans, the touch sensing system can determine a fine location of the input device and decode the data from the input device sampled from the selected touch sensors (or sensor channels).

The patent also talks in generic terms about touchscreen devices, but a couple of the drawings (above) are immediately recognizable as iPhones, one of them even specifically labelled as a mobile phone.

One report went as far as suggesting that Apple may bundle a smaller Apple Pencil with a 2019 iPhone, though that idea seems far-fetched. But support for use of an Apple Pencil on a future iPhone does, to me, seem more likely than not – even if the primary use is annotation rather than drawing or writing.

Via Patently Apple


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