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Apple Notes App Gains Support for Inking – Does That Suggest a New iPhone Model?

6259586582_6345054df7_bApple announced a hundred and one new features, apps, and services during its WWDC keynote today, but not all the news took place on stage.

Slashgear reports that the Apple Notes app was updated today. The version of the app bundled into my iPad Air isn’t showing any new features, but they say that the new version of the iPhone app now supports inking. This has led them to speculate that Apple’s going to include a stylus with the next iPhone:

As Apple does not yet have an official stylus, it’s been suggested – not by Apple directly – that a new type of iPhone might be coming in. With the iPhone 6 Plus already large enough to hold a stylus inside, why not? Can you imagine any reason why Apple wouldn’t want to put a stylus in their iPhone?

Imagine an iPhone 6 Plus with its own stylus. Imagine how awesome it’d be if the stylus wasn’t just included with the device, but was held by the device as well! Right up inside the side of the iPhone, there would be your perfect little iStylus. Or maybe iPen.

Only that’d be absolutely wild, pushing Samsung Galaxy Note owners and rabid fans directly out of their minds.

They could be reading too much into this, but it’s not entirely out of the question.

Steve Jobs absolutely hated styluses, as we all know, but even though his ghost lingers in Cupertino Apple has been steadily taking steps in this direction. Over the past 6 months Apple’s filed for two patents on stylus tech to add to its extensive patent portfolio.

While I normally regard patents as a sign of research efforts and not product development plans, in this case I would remind you that it wouldn’t take a lot of work for Apple to add a stylus to the iPhone. This is established tech, making it a fairly straightforward project.

What’s more, this is tech which Samsung has had for years. I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve read people gushing about the stylus features on the Galaxy Note. People love the stylus, and that strikes me as a good reason to add the feature to the next iPhone (even if it is literally over Steve Jobs' dead body).

I doubt I would buy the official stylus, but I have used a stylus in the past. There are any number of great stylus for capacitive touchscreens (I usually go for the cheap but decent ones, though; I keep losing them) which again tells us that there is a market for an Apple stylus – should Apple want to pursue it.

So tell me, would you use the official stylus if Apple released one?

image by Touchns


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Mackay Bell June 9, 2015 um 12:18 am

They’re not going to put a stylus in the iPhone. It’s the best selling phone in the world and it doesn’t need a silly gimmick like that. Yes, a small number of people like them. But most people don’t, and they get lost and dirt gets in the slot, and the resale value of the phone goes down without a stylus, etc.

There will be an optional stylus with the iPad Pro. And Apple probably will provide the same stylus as an accessory that works with the iPhone for those very few people that need them for their phone. A stylus for the iPad, for artists in particular, makes sense. But there won’t be a little hole to stuff it into. Apple doesn’t do that.

The Commons June 9, 2015 um 1:35 am

>Apple doesn’t do that.

They don’t do music subscriptions, either. Or video on iPods. Or small tablets. Or phablets. Or NFC payments.

But here we are.

Nate Hoffelder June 9, 2015 um 9:51 am

I don’t think NFC payments should go on that list, but other than that you’re right. Apple has gone against a number of Jobs' maxims since he died. He didn’t want a phablet or the iPad mini.

Nate Hoffelder June 9, 2015 um 5:52 am

It was also the best selling smartphone before the iPhone 6 was launched. There was no need for Apple to go for the gimmick of a larger screen ans yet Apple did so.

I agree with you on all the problems of a stylus (the lost + dirt issues are why Jobs hated them), but I would not be surprised if Apple solved the problem. You say they stylus will be optional with the iPad Pro; why not make it an optional accessory for the iPhone, and then bundle it with the case?

The Commons June 9, 2015 um 1:28 am

>The version of the app bundled into my iPad Air isn’t showing any new features, but they say that the new version of the iPhone app now supports inking.

It’s one of the pre-installed apps. Unlike with Android, pre-installed apps only get updated when iOS itself does as well. The new version is in iOS 9, which developers have access to as of today. So unless you sign up for a developer account or opt into the public beta (bad idea if you use your phone on a daily basis), you won’t see it for another three months.

Nate Hoffelder June 9, 2015 um 5:34 am

Okay, thanks.

Do you know how SG got it? They reported on the app before iOS 9 was announced.

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