The iPad Pro 2 is expected to be the headline act at Apple’s rumored spring event, and it sounds like the tablet might be able to fix some key complaints with the Apple Pencil. A series of new patents suggest that the iPad might one day be able to charge the stylus and even attach to it to keep it from getting lost, among other things.
Charging for the Apple Pencil 2 in the iPad Pro 2?
Patently Apple uncovered seven new Apple patents filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. They detail some fixes for common complaints about the Apple Pencil. Perhaps the most interesting one shows a stylus that’s being charged by an iPad. The stylus has a power connector that “electrically” connects with a tablet or other device’s external surface. This enables it to be charged by the device while it’s not being used.
This seems like such a simple, logical solution to the awkward way the Apple Pencil is charged. It keeps the stylus with the iPad, prevents it from being lost, and also charges it. In order to do this though, the iPad Pro 2 would need the external charging contacts to connect with the Apple Pencil. The Pencil would need them too, so there would need to be an updated stylus as well.
Patent also shows a holder for the Apple Pencil
In addition to the charging tech, the there’s also a patent for a simple holder for the Apple Pencil. It looks like a sort of cover for the iPad or iPhone that enables the stylus to be attached to the device using a simple stretchy loop on the side. A case like this would be a solution for those who already have a previous model Apple Pencil and iPad that don’t support the patented charging feature in the patent described above.
There’s also a patent for some sort of case that enables the Smart Keyboard to be attached to the iPad Pro for storage.
Will the patented tech make it into the iPad Pro 2, Apple Pencil 2?
Whether the technologies described in any of the seven patents uncovered by Patently Apple will be ready for launch with the iPad Pro 2 is questionable. Then again, we have heard that the Apple Pencil 2 could launch alongside the iPad Pro 2 this spring. In fact, the rumor goes back to at least January and not only suggests the spring launch but also a magnetic connector that would attach the stylus to the iPad Pro 2. We also heard as far back as June 2016 that Apple was working on some sort of smart connector for the two devices.
If the connector really does make it into the next version of the stylus, it could either be the charging connector described in the patent above, or it could be the first step toward a charging connector like it.