iPhone may soon challenge Galaxy Note with Apple Pencil support

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Apple Pencil
Apple Pencil won't be exclusive to iPad Pro for long.
Photo: Apple

Apple Pencil has become such an essential accessory for iPad Pro owners that Apple is working on bringing it to the iPhone.

New patents again reveal the company’s work on making the iPhone compatible with its beloved stylus, just a day after Samsung announced its new Galaxy Note 8, a smartphone that has become so popular thanks to its S Pen.

There was a time when Apple — or at least Steve Jobs — didn’t believe in styluses. iOS was designed to be used with our fingers. But over the years, Apple realized that there are genuine use cases for a more precise pointing device.

Since it launched Apple Pencil for iPad Pro in 2015, Apple’s tablet has become an even more powerful tool for sketching and taking hand-written notes. Now it seems the company is warming to the idea that the same should be possible on the iPhone.

Apple CEO Tim Cook has already suggested that Apple Pencil is being tested on iPhone internally. “If you’ve ever seen what can be created with that pencil on an iPad or an iPhone, it’s really unbelievable,” he said last September.

Since then, Apple patents have revealed its work on making iPhone displays Pencil-compatible. Two new filings were this week discovered by Patently Apple — both of which mention the iPhone when talking about new Pencil technologies.

“In patent application 20170242499 titled “Noise Correction for a Stylus Touch Device,” Apple notes that their patent figure 1 shows a touch screen such as a ‘smartphone or tablet’,” reads the report.

“The patent later specifically clarifies that the smartphone and tablet are indeed an iPhone and iPad.”

iOS 11, which will rollout to everyone this fall, comes with a number of nice new features that are improved by Pencil, like the ability to markup emails, screenshots, webpages, and more. Many will want to do these things on the iPhone, as well as iPad.