A rumor claims the Apple Vision Pro headset will one day support a future model of the Apple Pencil. This news comes from MacRumors, who got their information from an anonymous “source familiar with the matter,” so we'll take it with a grain of salt. Details on the update are scarce as you can imagine, but if it is indeed real, it could quite literally turn the world into your personal canvas.

The report states the upcoming Apple Pencil could be used on flat surfaces, like a desk, “complete with pressure and tilt sensitivity” to accurately display your artistic vision on one of the headset’s illustration apps. Support for a stylus would require a software upgrade, “but it is unclear which version” of visionOS will see the patch. MacRumors points out the first beta for visionOS 1.2 could come out this week  with the Apple Pencil support. However, nothing can be said with total confidence. We can only surmise that testing is currently ongoing internally.

No word on when the update will roll out, if at all, and it’s entirely possible this will never see the light of day. However, MacRumors seems to believe we could see something during the expected reveal of visionOS 2 at WWDC 2024 this June.

It is worth mentioning an Apple Pencil refresh is supposed to come out alongside new iPads models very soon. Whether or not this refresh and a Vision Pro update are one and the same remains to be seen. 

Analysis: Picking up the digital pen

Assuming this is all true (and fingers crossed that it is), an Apple Pencil on the Vision Pro would do wonders for achieving precise control. The hands-free control scheme is one of the main selling points for the headset. You don’t need special controllers to navigate the user interface. Thanks to an array of cameras and sensors, owners can simply use their eyes and hands to command the software. This method of navigation is fine for most things, but when it comes to drawing, it turns into a nightmare.

TechRadar’s Editor At Large Lance Ulanoff dealt with this first hand when he tried to illustrate on the Vision Pro. He ended up calling the whole experience “insanely frustrating and difficult.” The main problem is that the gaze controls clash with the hand gestures. If your eyes move between a reference image and the digital canvas, the art piece falls apart because the headset prioritizes what you’re looking at. Then there are other problems, like the numerous bugs affecting the current slate of art apps.

The hope with the future Apple Pencil is it’ll help keep the canvas steady. That way, there isn’t this weird back and forth between the two methods of controls.

If you're looking to pick up illustration as a hobby, check out TechRadar's list of the best free drawing software for 2024.

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