Mar 10, 2017 08:29 AM EST
Magnetic Apple Pencil 2 Attaches, Recharges Via iPad Pro 2's Smart Connector
Losing track of your Apple Pencil is a great inconvenience for iPad users. Fortunately, Apple seems to be working on resolving that problem.
This week, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office published Apple's patent filings with application numbers 20170068339 to 20170068342. The filings were filed on August 31 and Sept. 8, 2016 and bear the name "Stylus for Electronic Devices."
The patents describe how a stylus' movement can be identified via monitoring electric fields. Images from the filing showcased the purported Apple Pencil 2 attached to the iPad Pro's side, not via the Lightning connector but through the Smart Connector instead, Apple World Today reported.
The current Apple Pencil's Lightning connector resides inside the stylus' magnetic cap, and charges by plugging it into the iPad Pro. But with Apple's latest patent, charging the stylus is easier and requires less effort.
The iPad Pro's Smart Connector is a three-pin connection that attaches the tablet to Connector-enabled accessories, such as a keyboard, instead of through a Bluetooth. The Apple Pencil in the patent comes with three contact points in the middle to fit the Connector's.
Moreover, the patent showed that the Smart Connector as magnetized, meaning the stylus can attach onto the tablet easily and without fuss. A magnetic port is a great way of storage for the stylus, which is prone to rolling away or getting misplaced.
Apple wants the iPad Pro's Smart Connector to power or recharge the Apple Pencil. The tech giant is also hoping for the two devices to share data. How Apple plans to do that remains to be seen.
This isn't the first time that Apple came up with ways for better storage of the Apple Pencil. Earlier this month, another patent applied in August 2015 demonstrated retractable loops that can be placed within the iPad Pro's case and cover.
The loops will house the stylus when it's not needed and is located on the case or cover's side so it won't be a nuisance when the user is using the tablet normally. When not in use, the loop can be folded inside the case and hidden underneath the iPad Pro.
It's possible that the Apple Pencil 2 would be announced alongside the iPad Pro 2 this spring, probably in late March or early April. The tablet is expected to have a 12.9-inch screen, water resistance, an A10X processor and True Tone screen.
In keeping with the latest design taken up by upcoming mobile devices, the iPad Pro 2 will not have a physical home button and a 3.5mm headphone jack. Its top and bottom bezels will be trimmed for a larger display.