Hands-On With the New Scribble Feature in iPadOS 14

Apple's upcoming iPadOS 14 update has many of the same features that are available in iOS 14, but there are a handful of functions that are designed specifically for the larger display and the Apple Pencil, such as Scribble.


Scribble is one of the most notable new features in ‌iPadOS 14‌, and we checked it out in our latest YouTube video. With Scribble, you can use an ‌Apple Pencil‌ to write in any text field on the iPad, with the written text then converted to typed text.

The functionality lets you use the ‌Apple Pencil‌ throughout the operating system without having to swap over to a keyboard when you need to compose an email, write a Calendar event, visit a URL, send an iMessage, or conduct a search. You can, for example, go to Safari and write in MacRumors.com, and it'll convert to the proper URL so you can get to the site.

Scribble is decent at recognizing all kinds of handwriting, even when it's messy, but it does not work well with cursive. It interprets capitals and proper spacing, so once you get the hang of handwriting in text fields, it's a fairly seamless experience.

If you make a mistake when you're writing something, you can just scribble it out with the ‌Apple Pencil‌ and it deletes, which is a handy feature. If you need to select text, you can just circle it.

Scribble works in any text field as mentioned, but it's also been built into the Notes app. Just tap on the toolbar and select the pen that has the little "A" on it. This tool will convert all your handwritten text in notes to typed text.

To go along with Scribble, there are a few other useful tools. Smart Selection lets you select all of your handwritten text as if it was typed text, and if you copy it and paste it into an app that doesn't support handwriting, it will be converted into typed text.

You can also select handwritten text and paste it into other notes, or make changes to the style and the color of the written text. Handwritten phone numbers, links, addresses, and more also turn into clickable links like they do when typed. So if you write out a phone number, you can tap it to call it because the ‌iPad‌ is able to detect the numbers and convert them on the fly.

With a Shape Recognition tool, if you clumsily draw a standard shape like a circle or a star, ‌iPadOS 14‌ will recognize the shape you're trying to make and convert it into a perfect version, which is useful for note taking and diagrams.

With ‌iPadOS 14‌, the ‌iPad‌ can be used almost entirely with touch and tools, and there's little need to type. If you're someone who prefers writing by hand, ‌iPadOS 14‌ introduces tools that enhance the experience.

What do you think of Scribble and the other features in ‌iPadOS 14‌? Let us know in the comments, and for more on ‌iPadOS 14‌, make sure to check out our roundup.

Related Roundups: iOS 14, iPadOS 14

Top Rated Comments

gravityeyelids Avatar
11 months ago
So they resurrected old code from the Newton? ;)
Score: 23 Votes (Like | Disagree)
cmaier Avatar
11 months ago
They finally perfect the newton.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Mr. Awesome Avatar
11 months ago

Does this work with iMessage?
Yep, it does. In fact, it works in pretty much any text field in the system, even in third-party apps.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chris4565 Avatar
11 months ago
One less necessity to switch from the Apple Pencil to finger input when using it ? Now please let me invoke the notification and control center with the pencil, Apple.
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
nitramluap Avatar
11 months ago
Now I just need to upgrade my handwriting... ?
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)
chrism_scotland Avatar
11 months ago

Cool, I've been doing it for ages in my surface Pro, but this looks good cool and probably a more seamless integration.
I quite like the fact that the iPadOS implementation seems to allow you to write anywhere; I also use the Microsoft implementation and its sometimes annoying that the keyboard bar is still needed when your "handwriting" an input
Score: 7 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

Top Stories 57 Feature

Top Stories: Apple Event Next Tuesday, Mini-LED iPad Pro, iPhone Rumors

Saturday April 17, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
It feels like we've been waiting forever for new Apple products, but the wait is almost over as Apple has announced a media event for next Tuesday, so make sure to tune into MacRumors for full coverage of everything Apple announces. While that was the big news this week, we also got some new details on Apple's iPhone plans for 2022 and 2023 courtesy of analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, and we also saw...
flat imac 3d 3 teal

Reliable Leaker Hints Redesigned Colorful iMac to Debut at 'Spring Loaded' Event

Saturday April 17, 2021 4:43 am PDT by
Reliable leaker known as l0vetodream has hinted that Apple may debut its rumored redesigned and colorful iMac at its "Spring Loaded" event on Tuesday, April 20. In a tweet, the leaker posted an image of Apple's logo used for marketing the upcoming event and an image of the retro rainbow Apple logo alongside the colorful lineup of G3 iMacs. Apple leaker Jon Prosser previously reported that...
duan rui iphone 12 13 notch

New Images Show Smaller iPhone 13 Notch Compared to iPhone 12

Saturday April 17, 2021 11:38 pm PDT by
Leaker known as "DuanRui" has shared more images that could give us our best look yet at Apple's redesigned notch for the iPhone 13. The new pictures follow similar images shared by the leaker last week, but the latest shots include a comparison with the existing iPhone 12 notch. DuanRui posted three images on Twitter that apparently originate from Weibo, although source details remain...
iPad Pro Feature Orange

Wedbush Analysts Say 'Spring Loaded' Event Will Debut New iPads With 'Modest Price Increase,' Along With 'a Few Surprises'

Monday April 19, 2021 6:37 am PDT by
Apple is planning to launch a new entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and iPad Pro at its "Spring Loaded" event tomorrow, along with "a few surprises," according to Wedbush analysts. In a new note to investors, seen by MacRumors, Wedbush analysts Daniel Ives and Strecker Backe explained that the iPad will be the main focus of Apple's "Spring Loaded" event, with new entry-level iPad, iPad mini, and ...
important battery message iphone 11

Some iPhone 11 Users Seeing Increased Battery Health Percentages After iOS 14.5 Recalibration Process

Friday April 16, 2021 6:32 am PDT by
In the sixth beta of iOS 14.5, Apple introduced a recalibration process for the battery health reporting system on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max to address inaccurate battery health estimates for some users. Apple said this process might take a few weeks to be completed, and now that two weeks have passed since the sixth beta of iOS 14.5 was released, some users are...
third gen Apple pencil leaked video

Video of Alleged Third-Generation Apple Pencil Leaks Ahead of Apple Event

Friday April 16, 2021 6:13 am PDT by
A video purporting to be of the third-generation Apple Pencil has today been shared online, showing a glossy finish that mirrors previous leaks. New ✏️ ready to 🚢 #AppleEvent @TommyBo50387266 pic.twitter.com/s4RCDwDi5M— 漢尼斯·拉斯納 🇨🇳 (@ileakeer) April 16, 2021 The brief video from Twitter account @ileakeer, spotted by 9to5Mac, shows an Apple Pencil with a glossy finish much like the...
iPad Pro

New 12.9-Inch iPad Pro Will Be 0.5mm Thicker to Accommodate Mini-LED Display

Monday April 19, 2021 11:30 am PDT by
The upcoming 12.9-inch iPad Pro will be thicker than the previous-generation version, likely due to the inclusion of the mini-LED display. We've heard several rumors about the change in thickness, and now leaked design images have confirmed it. A source that designs accessories for Apple devices sent MacRumors a series of photos that feature exact dimensions for the new iPad Pro models, and...
parler app

Apple Approves Parler to Return to App Store

Monday April 19, 2021 7:51 am PDT by
Following the removal of the app in January, Apple will now allow the social media app Parler to return to the App Store following changes to how the social media network moderates content, CNN reports. On April 14, in a letter to Sen. Mike Lee and Rep. Ken Buck obtained by CNN, Apple said that the app has improved the way it moderates content, and says those changes are "sufficient" for it...
iphone 12 120hz thumbnail feature

LTPO Displays Supporting 120Hz Refresh Rates Again Rumored for iPhone 13 Pro Models

Friday April 16, 2021 10:01 am PDT by
The two higher-end "iPhone 13 Pro" models that are coming in 2021 are expected to use LTPO display technology to enable 120Hz refresh rates, according to display analyst Ross Young. Young reaffirmed the detail in a tweet that said he'd heard rumors about only one model featuring LTPO, which he says is inaccurate. Heard some rumors in the industry and media that there would only be one ...
maxresdefault

Hands-On With Anker's MagSafe-Compatible Battery Pack

Thursday April 15, 2021 9:39 am PDT by
Anker, a company known for its range of accessories designed for Apple products, recently came out with one of the first MagSafe-compatible battery packs, so we thought we'd check it out to see how it compares to a standard battery pack. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. Design wise, Anker's power bank looks like a typical battery pack, but it has magnets built in...