It’s been a long time coming – and many, many third-party stylus designs have come and gone – but Apple is finally expected to release a 12.9″ iPad model designed for professional creatives under the presumed model name ‘iPad Pro’ in the very near future, according to reputable KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
While Apple has long supported the various sketching apps that have been built and optimized for their iPad displays, they have never fully reflected this in their hardware design – opting instead to let everybody from Wacom to budding entrepreneurs with a Kickstarter campaign develop stylus designs for the tablet computer.
Now, thanks to the company’s new Force Touch technology, it appears that the Cupertino company is developing their very first stylus design that will take advantage of the new touch-sensitive screen, which is already being used in the Apple Watch and is expected to be included in the upcoming iPhone 6S models, too.
According to the company, Force Touch uses tiny electrodes around the flexible Retina display to distinguish between a light tap and a deep press, and trigger instant access to a range of contextually specific controls. When used on the Apple Watch for example, pressing firmly on the screen brings up additional controls within apps and users are able to make commands within an app without the need to navigate to the button within the UI. It is also the most significant new sensing capability that has been including in the company’s products since Multi‑Touch.
Even if Apple didn’t create a 12.9″ iPad for creatives, the company’s commitment to keeping consistency across all of their devices means that Force Touch will likely be implemented into existing iPad sizes, too – meaning that whether Apple releases their own optimized stylus design or not, even third-party designers and manufacturers will theoretically be able to take advantage of the new sketch-friendly feature.
Unsurprisingly, Kuo believes that we’ll be hearing more about this at the upcoming Apple event in September. For those who have been waiting on the fence for a more robust iPad for sketching and other light design work, this just might be your model.