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iOS 9.3 Public Beta Removes Apple Pencil Support for UI Interactions

If you have an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil (and really, if you have an iPad Pro, you need an Apple Pencil), you too might be tremendously disappointed to find that the iOS 9.3 Beta removes the ability to use the Pencil as a generic stylus. Tapping the Pencil on the glass will trigger the appropriate actions, but dragging the Pencil to swipe between home screens or drag around in a scrolling pick list completely fails.

I know I’ve submitted a Feedback Report on this; removing Apple Pencil support as a traditional stylus severely reduces my satisfaction with the damned thing. If it was already in your hand, it was very convenient to use as a generic tap/swipe device. If it wasn’t already in your hand, keeping the screen fingerprint-free was a worthwhile reason to put it in your hand. (I really don’t like fingerprints.)

I really hope that this is simply a bug in the Beta, though not being resolved by the current Beta 3, that seems doubtful. It creates a conflict in my head the way it is now—”Can I use my Pencil here? Oh, no, wait, I have to use my finger (or another stylus). But I can use my Pencil here, right? Let me change that option, oh wait, I need to put down the Pencil.” This is so frustrating that I might end-up selling the Apple Pencil if the final version of 9.3 doesn’t support using it everywhere, like it did in iOS 9.2.