PencilKit in iPadOS 14 will allow Apple Pencil text recognition in almost any app

in iPad edited March 2020
New features delved out of a build of iPadOS 14 suggests that users with an Apple Pencil will be able to write in text fields in just about any app, and have it translated to text in near-real time.

iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil
iPad Pro with an Apple Pencil

A code delve into iOS 14 has shown a new version of "PencilKit" in the forthcoming operating system for the iPad. PencilKit at present appears to work with Apple's apps, and perhaps any app that has been coded to properly interface with the new API. It isn't yet clear if it will require an iPad Pro, or will work on any iPad that can use an Apple Pencil.

Additional features spotted include a "Magic Fill" feature, which will apply texture or color to a shape drawn by the user, not unlike the fill tool in paint applications. It isn't clear why this has been added, or the full extent of the feature.

The introduction of the new PencilKit was first spotted by MacRumors on Monday night. It isn't yet clear if the feature will roll out at the launch of iOS 14, or at a future date.

Apple is expected to roll out a beta of iOS 14 and iPad OS 14 in the early summer. Both would normally be unveiled at the annual WWDC in early June, but the impact on the event from the ongoing coronavirus isn't yet clear.


  • Reply 1 of 7
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 2,393member
    Yes please.
    Time to take the gloves off iPadOS and give it some real love.
    They should called it iPadOS 2.0 as a clear indication they aren't going to let it be hamstrung by iOS no more.
  • Reply 2 of 7
    This has been on my wishlist since the Apple Pencil was introduced! This will make working on spreadsheets a real breeze!
  • Reply 3 of 7
    mbenz1962mbenz1962 Posts: 172member
    This will really push the usefulness of the Pencil forward for "the rest of us".  The pencil is already great for people in the visual arts and production realms; for me as someone who doesn't do any visual production (photos, design, drafting, etc.), the pencil hasn't been as useful as I'd hoped. 

    I like it for taking notes, but I needed to buy a note taking app that would turn my scribbles into text so that I could read what I wrote later.  I would love the ability to get some light writing (like outlining or short one page documents) done with the pencil in Pages since my note taking app is poorly suited for creating documents. 

    A big advantage that the pencil would bring over a keyboard is mobility for document creation.  It is much easier to write in bed or on a bus or park bench with a pencil in one hand and the iPad in another than it is with a keyboard that needs some sort of stable, flat surface for stability.  I really hope this rumor pans out!
  • Reply 4 of 7
    I would appreciate text language translation to be implemented on system level a easily usable much much more.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    steveausteveau Posts: 301member
    23 years since the Newton 2100! See:
  • Reply 6 of 7
    I truly hope this includes cursive handwriting recognition (not just printing recognition). I've been waiting 20 years for this feature to return to an Apple tablet! I loved my MessagePads (120 and 2000) and took nearly all my college notes on them. It would be fantastic to go back to taking notes this way in my adult work life!
  • Reply 7 of 7
    mrrmrr Posts: 69member
    Bring it on! Plus don’t stop there, bring that AND Apple Pencil support to the iPhone. 
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