Apple Pencil Navigation Functionality to Return in Next iOS 9.3 Beta

The early iOS 9.3 betas removed key functionality from the Apple Pencil, an unpopular move that eliminated its ability to be used for navigation. There were rumors suggesting the feature removal was intentional, but Apple today told The Verge that's not the case.

apple_pencil_white
Apple has confirmed that the features that have been removed in iOS 9.3 will be returning in the next beta, and that they have been temporarily pulled as the company works on improvements.

"We believe a finger will always be the primary way users navigate on an iPad, but we understand that some customers like to use Apple Pencil for this as well and we've been working on ways to better implement this while maintaining compatibility during this latest beta cycle," a spokesperson said. "We will add this functionality back in the next beta of iOS 9.3."

Since the first iOS 9.3 beta, the Apple Pencil has not been able to be used for tasks like selecting text, scrolling, swiping between apps, accessing menus, and general editing functions in non-drawing apps. These are all features that are available in iOS 9.2, and their absence from four betas in a row led customers to think the removal was both permanent and intentional.

The inability to use the Apple Pencil for navigating has been frustrating for iPad Pro owners, and many of our own MacRumors readers said they would not upgrade to the new operating system if it meant being unable to use the iPad Pro outside of drawing apps.

Related Roundup: iPad Pro

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
54 months ago
This is why it's good to complain people. Just don't sit there and take it.
Score: 18 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
54 months ago
Good to see public outcry influences Apple.
Score: 17 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
54 months ago
Wow, that is extremely weird of Apple to say something so exact like this, like "It's coming in next beta" rather than be all secretive and vague.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
54 months ago
That is good to hear. Now hopefully the feature will be compatible with iPad Air 3 :)
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
54 months ago

Where did you read that in the article?

Apple made the statement so fast because of the public outcry. When Macrumors, Serenity Caldwell, and John Gruber are writing their opinion on it, it's hit the Mac scene big.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Avatar
54 months ago
Good news.

"We believe a finger will always be the primary way users navigate on an iPad"

They would also believe that a finger will always be the primary way to respond to the FBI, were it not for the need to make those actual pesky legal argument things....
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Apple Acquires Weather App Dark Sky

Tuesday March 31, 2020 10:22 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has acquired weather app Dark Sky, Dark Sky's developers announced today. Dark Sky is one of the most popular weather apps on the App Store, known for its accuracy and storm warnings. Our goal has always been to provide the world with the best weather information possible, to help as many people as we can stay dry and safe, and to do so in a way that respects your privacy. There is no ...

Zoom Accused of Misleading Users With 'End-to-End Encryption' Claims Amid Other Security Issues [Updated]

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:47 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Zoom is facing fresh scrutiny today following a report that the videoconferencing app's encryption claims are misleading. Zoom states on its website and in its security white paper that the app supports end-to-end encryption, a term that refers to a way of protecting user content so that the company has no access to it whatsoever. However, an investigation by The Intercept reveals that...

Case for Upcoming Low-Cost iPhone Shows Up at Best Buy With Alleged April 5 Stock Date

Monday March 30, 2020 4:25 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple has a new low-cost iPhone in the works, which is supposed to be launching sometime in the first half of 2020. Given the ongoing situation in the United States and other countries, it's been unclear if the device is going to launch within the planned timeline, but there are signs that it could be coming soon. We started seeing cases for the new low-cost iPhone back in early February,...

Bloomberg: Apple's 5G iPhone Still on Schedule for Fall Launch, But Future Products Could Be Delayed

Monday March 30, 2020 2:40 am PDT by Tim Hardwick
Apple's 5G iPhone is still on track to launch within the company's typical annual fall release schedule, according to a new Bloomberg report on filed on Monday. Signs are that Apple's Chinese-centric manufacturing -- of which Hon Hai is the linchpin -- is slowly getting back on track. The next iPhones with 5G wireless capabilities remain on schedule to launch in the fall, partly because mass...

Testing Brydge's New Pro+ Keyboard With Trackpad for iPad Pro

Monday March 30, 2020 2:04 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Well ahead of when Apple introduced trackpad support in iOS 13.4, Brydge announced an iPad Pro keyboard with a built-in multi-touch trackpad. We have one of Brydge's new Pro+ keyboards on hand, and thought we'd check it out to see how it works with Apple's new 2020 iPad Pro models. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The Brydge Pro+ keyboard is similar in design to...

Apple's Work on New Upcoming Products Progressing Normally as Employees Adjust to Telecommuting

Monday March 30, 2020 11:58 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple's development of upcoming products is progressing as usual despite the fact that Apple employees around the world are working from home, according to a new report today out from Bloomberg. Apple is still working on new versions of the HomePod, Apple TV, MacBook Pro, budget iPads, Apple Watch, iPhone, and iMac, all of which could be released "as early as later this year" and have been...

Apple Releases ProRes RAW Beta for Windows

Monday March 30, 2020 9:33 am PDT by Juli Clover
Apple today released ProRes RAW for Windows in a beta capacity (via Mark Gurman), with the software designed to allow ProRes RAW and ProRes RAW HQ video files to be watched in compatible applications on Windows machines. According to Apple, the software will let the files be played within several Adobe apps: Adobe After Effects (Beta) Adobe Media Encocder (Beta) Adobe Premiere...

Apple Configurator 2 Updated With New Features, Including Support for Restoring Firmware on 2019 Mac Pro

Tuesday March 31, 2020 5:34 am PDT by Joe Rossignol
Apple Configurator 2 has been updated to version 2.12 with several improvements, including support for restoring firmware on the 2019 Mac Pro. The release notes:• Added support for restoring firmware on the 2019 Mac Pro • Allow access to websites using TLS 1.0 and 1.1 • VPN: Configure Provider Designated Requirement for Custom SSL connection type • VPN: Configure network options for ...

Seemingly Unreleased Version of Logic Pro X With Live Loops Appears on Apple's Education Site [Updated]

Sunday March 29, 2020 7:23 am PDT by Hartley Charlton
Update: Apple has replaced the Logic Pro X image with an older version. Original story follows. A seemingly unreleased version of Logic Pro X has appeared on Apple's education site, as spotted by a Reddit user. The image from Apple's education products page shows a 16-inch MacBook Pro running Logic Pro X, but with a familiar interface that looks extremely similar to GarageBand's Live Loops ...

Apple's 2020 MacBook Air vs. 2020 iPad Pro

Wednesday April 1, 2020 2:45 pm PDT by Juli Clover
Apple in March updated both the MacBook Air and the iPad Pro, and with the iPad Pro increasingly positioned as a computer replacement, we thought we'd compare both new machines to see how they measure up and which one might be a better buy depending on user needs. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. We're comparing the base model 12.9-inch iPad Pro and the base model...