Apple will bring back UI navigation with Apple Pencil in the next iOS 9.3 beta

By , Feb 23, 2016

Apple iPad Pro Pencil

Well, that didn’t take long. In response to concerns that it is taking features away from the iPad Pro’s Pencil, Apple confirmed in a statement to The Verge that the next iOS 9.3 beta will reinstate the Pencil’s ability to be used as a finger replacement for the user interface navigation.

“We will add this functionality back in the next beta of iOS 9.3,” said a company spokesperson. Earlier today, MacRumors discovered that the most recent beta of iOS 9.3 has removed the ability for iPad Pro customers to use the Pencil to navigate the entirety of the iOS user interface.

“After the most recent iOS 9.3 beta removed the ability to navigate around iOS with the $99 add-on, marketed as a drawing tool more than a stylus, Apple’s confirmed with The Verge that all of those features will soon make a comeback,” wrote the publication.

“We believe a finger will always be the primary way users navigate on an iPad, but we understand that some customers like to use Apple Pencil for this as well and we’ve been working on ways to better implement this while maintaining compatibility during this latest beta cycle,” a spokesperson said. co-founder Myke Hurley said on a recent podcast, citing sources in the know, that Apple has intentionally removed this functionality and asserted the company will not be bringing it back for philosophical reasons.

“Removing the functionality of the Apple Pencil is a decision inside of Apple. It is not a bug they have overlooked for three betas,” he said. “It is a decision.”

Glad Apple proved him wrong.

Source: The Verge

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  • iByron

    They heard. They listened.

    Users rock.

    • That, or it was a bug and not a feature in the first place

      • JRDN

        I doubt that.. they clearly say “they understand some customers prefer using the Apple Pencil for navigation” which means they must have had some thought on its use.

      • John

        Or not.

      • iByron

        That Apple felt moved to comment before the fact means that they heard and listened to the users.

  • Steve Harvey

    I submitted multiple bug reports weeks ago for this.

    • Jamessmooth

      Oh Steve Harvey. Did you maybe accidentally send it to Google?

      • Steve Harvey

        I gotta apologize again!

  • Mr.Coolfreak

    Apple didn’t prove him wrong, Myke was right. But Apple saw how users were upset about this, so they decided to reverse their decision

    • James G


  • xoFoxtail

    Maybe bring it back with ‘3D Touch’ support.

    • John

      How? Explain how that will be done.

      Do you even know how 3D Touch works??

      • xoFoxtail

        You just push down a little harder on an app icon or whatever with the pencil. How do you not understand that?

      • John

        How cute. You think 3D Touch is in the Pencil… Sure. Okay.

        You’re totally right.

      • xoFoxtail

        Well… Yeah? How else will it work on the iPad Pro?

      • John

        It doesn’t. As I said before… You don’t know much about how 3D Touch works, do you?

        It needs to be built into the screen not the Apple Pencil.

      • xoFoxtail

        I know exactly how it works, which is why I had it in quotes in my original comment. I’m guessing you’re not aware that the Pencil is pressure sensitive.

        I doubt it’ll happen, but if I’m using the Pencil is my input, there’s no reason I couldn’t press down a little harder with it on app icons or other places to get some of the 3D Touch features found in my iPhone 6s. At this point, it’s just a software thing.

      • John

        Well, if you know how it works why would you make an air statement like that knowing that it’s not the input device but rather then screen?

        There’s no doubting about it, it won’t happen.

  • Newgunnerr

    There will be ANOTHER beta? UGH.

    • Elias Chao

      Maybe they don’t want to assure that the next release is going to be the golden master.

    • Tommy

      seems absurd that theyd have another beta for this, seems pretty polished to me. hopefully a gm. waiting for jb

    • John

      Clearly you have never beta tested before…or are you just impatient?

      • Zack Morris

        You’re kinda a jerk.

      • John

        And you’re kind of slow!
        You’ve obviously you’ve never read my replies before.

        What would you like me to say: Hi Newgunnerr, what’s wrong with having lots of beta versions? It is really a bad thing that Apple keeps pushing out all these different versions because it seems like to me they want to make sure it’s correct before putting out to heaps and heaps of people.

        Don’t like it, don’t read it and move on, not here to please you Zach…otherwise, if you are really crying over it, flag it.

      • Zack Morris

        Dude, you’re really aggressive. You seem like a very angry person. You can get your point across without being a jerk. I agree with what you’re saying, just bring it down a notch, that’s all. Clearly you have a double standard. You can completely trash someone but clearly don’t like the same treatment. Relax, take a deep breath, then go back to beating your wife and kids. Peace and love.

      • John

        And you seem kinda like somewhere between really stupid and a troll. You could stop breathing but alas, it seems like neither of us are getting what we want today.

        As for the beating wife and kids comment, if you want to stoop as low as being someone who endorses domestic violence while bashing away at a keyboard, go for it warrior.

        I may be really aggressive but you’re really a troll.

      • Zack Morris

        I was joking earlier but I really do feel bad for you. You seriously have some issues being so angry on a blog. I really hope you get the help you need. I suggest you look in the mirror and ask yourself, “why am I so angry?-is it really people’s comments on this blog or something else?” Best of luck to you.

      • John

        Really appropriate to joke about shit like that dude, I guess you were one of the smarter ones in your class.

      • John

        The best thing about you, I don’t care about you. That’s all. You’re nothing, just a cowardly little troll so maybe it’s you who should be looking in the mirror and asking yourself “Why do I get off on trolling on blogs?”

        Maybe then you might also be able to answer that life long question “Why is it okay to joke about domestic violence?”

      • Zack Morris

        okay, you win.

      • John

        You’re still going on? You poor thing. You really must live a sheltered life if you haven’t dropped this subject already. What’s the matter mate? You okay?

        Perhaps, if you want to make assumptions, sorry “jokes” about domestic violence which really came from absolutely nowhere JUST MAYBE we can start making some assumptions about you and your username……..

      • Hitechcomputergeek .

        You sound like the troll here now.

      • John

        How cute, a new guy.

        Firstly, welcome.

        Secondly, you really need to look up the definition of a troll before making such outrageous comments. After all, I am not the one that’s hiding behind an online name with no photo.

      • John

        You’re new so I accept you don’t know me and how I operate but if I want to a insult someone because they are stupid, selfish, incompetent or just plain childish then I have no problems doing so regardless of what backlash I may receive.

        It comes from being adult enough to take whatever I can dish out.

        This conversation is over.
        You lost. Move on.

      • Hitechcomputergeek .

        You didn’t even address my comment.

      • John

        Uh huh. Sure.

        As previously reported.
        Move on.

      • Hitechcomputergeek .

        Whatever. You win. I’m the troll.

  • Gabriel Anaya

    9.3 beta 5 confirmed..?

    • BuBubbi

      And 9.3/5 = 1.86

      1+8-6 = 3!!

      Did Apple just confirm Half-Life 3?!?

      Oh my…… Jobs!!

  • Jamessmooth

    Thank goodness. I don’t use my Apple Pencil near as much as I thought, but if I couldn’t use it for navigation I wouldn’t use it at all.

    • John

      You’d buy an Apple Pencil ONLY for navigation? I call bullshit.

      • Jamessmooth

        No. Thought I’d use it more for other things but turns out I don’t. Having had if for a few months, I find navigation is now the only thing I use it for. If I couldn’t use it for that I wouldn’t use it at all.

  • John

    Let’s not kid ourselves here, Apple was well within their right to remove a non-advertised function…and not just are they within their right to do it I bet that most of the people bitching and crying and carrying on about it being removed don’t even have one to begin with.

    • Jonathan

      I have one and complained (to the extent of submitting a bug report). Removing this ability would have made multitasking a lot worse (e.g. writing notes, while reading a webpage/document side by side, you want to be able to quickly scroll the webpage/document with the pencil, rather than continuously changing how you hold the pencil to scroll with your finger)

      • John

        You must be a special case then mate, because I have no issue with holding the Pencil and scrolling/tapping with my finger as you can see by this uncomfortably massibe photo.

        Giving the idea that multitasking is A LOT WORSE is clearly an exaggeration, you had to live with scrolling before the Pencil was released and so it might be inconvenient but it’s not a lot worse.

  • James G

    Sounds like they have been re-engineering it in 9.3 code, took it out while they fork the code and make updates and will put it back in when the re-write is done.

    Settle down. It’s a beta.

    • John

      See…. There ARE smart people who frequent this site

      • James G

        Just takes a bit of experience working with betas at a major software company!

      • Hitechcomputergeek .

        They said it was a design choice themselves; I’d probably think this otherwise though.

  • the hood

    The Apple giveth and the Apple taketh away, then the Apple giveth again.

  • I told you!

  • John

    How quickly people forget, remember in iOS 8 beta 1 we could use the keyboard as a trackpad but it was taken out, right? It doesn’t matter how much people criiiiiied over that, Apple didn’t put it back in and I can promise you that would have affected more people than this Featureless-Pencil-gate bullsh** you drama queens are going on about.

  • Zack Morris

    I can think of other primary uses for my finger.

  • h4nd0fg0d

    No big surprise there. Cook gots to go!