While it's undoubtably one of the most useful iPad accessories out there, the Apple Pencil 2 is starting to look a little long in the tooth (or nib, rather). First released in 2018, the second-generation stylus is nearly 5 years old – but if new reports are to be believed, its successor could be worth waiting for.
A new Apple patent filing has been spotted depicting an Apple Pencil that could sample colours from real-world surfaces. Yep, like a real-life Photoshop eyedropper tool. (Don't fancy waiting? Check out the best Apple Pencil deals available now.)
As spotted by PatentlyApple (opens in new tab), the patent, catchily titled Apple Pencil with Optical Sensor For Sampling Surfaces (we have a feeling that might get shortened to Apple Pencil 3), describes an Apple Pencil with colour sensors embedded in the tip itself, capable of scanning both colours and textures.
In order to sample colours and textures, the device could feature a light ambient sensor, light emitter and light detector – which sounds like a lot of work for that tiny nib (let's hope this one's a little less easily misplaced). But then again, with seemingly magic new features like hover coming to the Apple Pencil last year (which, incidentally, we first saw as a patent like this one way back in 2019 (opens in new tab)), the stylus is only becoming more impressive.
Time will tell whether the real-world eyedropper will become a reality. As with all Apple Patents, this one needs taking with a grain of salt – but if you want to experience the power of features like hover and Scribble, take a look at today's best Apple Pencil 2 deals below.