New iPad and Apple Pencil Features Discovered in iPadOS 17.5 Beta

Apple recently released the first iPadOS 17.5 beta, and it includes some hidden code changes that hint at new iPad and Apple Pencil features.

ipad pro 2022
iPadOS 17.5 will likely be released in May. Given that the update is still in beta, there is no guarantee that the features will end up launching, but code changes like these are typically a good indicator of upcoming software additions.

Battery Health Menu for Future iPads

iPad Battery Feature
The first iPadOS 17.5 beta includes several new references to a Battery Health menu on the iPad, but the feature is not actually visible yet. The menu is expected to show an iPad battery's maximum remaining capacity and cycle count.

A sample of the code strings added in the iPadOS 17.5 beta:

  • "iPad must be regularly used while not connected to power to show maximum capacity."
  • "This is the number of times iPad has used your battery's capacity."
  • "The iPad battery is performing as expected."
  • "iPad batteries, like all rechargeable batteries, have a limited lifespan and may eventually need to be serviced or replaced."
  • "The original battery was designed to retain X capacity at X cycles under ideal conditions. Actual battery performance depends on a number of variables, including how iPad is used and charged regularly. The one-year warranty includes service for defective batteries in addition to rights provided under local consumer laws."

There is no visible Battery Health menu on any existing iPad models on the first iPadOS 17.5 beta, leading us to believe that the menu may be limited to the new iPad Pro and iPad Air models that are rumored to launch in May, and likely other new iPads released in the future. Apple has shown battery capacity information on iPhones for many years, but cycle count information is currently limited to the latest iPhone 15 series.

New Apple Pencil

apple pencil
The first beta of iOS 17.5 potentially references a new fourth-generation Apple Pencil, amid rumors that the accessory will be updated soon.

The beta includes a hidden code reference to a "V4" version of the Apple Pencil:

NumberOfApplePencilV1ConnectionsCount
NumberOfApplePencilV2ConnectionsCount
NumberOfApplePencilV3ConnectionsCount
NumberOfApplePencilV4ConnectionsCount

A new Apple Pencil is rumored to launch alongside updated iPad Pro and iPad Air models in May. Apple refers to the USB-C version of the Apple Pencil released last year as the third-generation Apple Pencil in iOS code, so the fourth-generation model would be a new version that would likely succeed the second-generation Apple Pencil.

Additional code in the iOS 17.5 beta suggests that the Apple Pencil could gain a "squeeze" gesture for certain actions, but details are slim.

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