Apple engineer talks iPadOS 14 Apple Pencil features and more in ‘Connected’ podcast interview

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Apple announced last week iOS 14, iPadOS 14, watchOS 7, tvOS 14, and macOS Big Sur during WWDC 2020. This week, Apple’s Jenny Chen and Stephen Tonna were interviewed in the Connected podcast to talk about the new tools available to Apple Pencil users on iPadOS 14.

Jenny Chen is an Apple engineer who works on Apple Pencil projects, while Stephen Tonna is part of Apple’s product marketing team. They joined Federico Viticci, Myke Hurley, and Stephen Hackett to talk about the changes made on iPadOS 14 to enhance the Apple Pencil experience, including the Scribble feature and more.

Chen, who presented a segment of the WWDC 2020 keynote, mentioned how the system is smarter about what users can do with the Apple Pencil. iPadOS 14 can recognize handwritten text, allowing users to select and copy it, in addition to an option that transforms handwritten text into typed text.

She mentioned that the team has created an experience that intelligently ignores the virtual keyboard while using the Apple Pencil, making everything more intuitive.

So that’s something we spent a lot of time refining, I’m sure as you’ve played with scribble, you’ve noticed how the keyboard interacts with it. And so, you know, when you start scribbling, the keyboard doesn’t start popping up, you stay in this scribble experience and there’s that little palette that shows Go and other quick actions that you may need without the keyboard popping out in your face.

Tonna points out that one of the best aspects of iPad is that the user interface does not change for each input method, keeping the experience consistent across touch, keyboard, mouse, and the Apple Pencil.

Actually I think that’s one of the main reasons people buy an iPad. It has this incredible versatility of inputs. It’s arguably the most versatile device we make at Apple. Without changing anything about the UI, and this is genuinely what I love about iPad, I can go with a device that’s touch first, that’s the center of gravity for us. Then I can put in the Magic Keyboard and use the cursor, and then I can use Apple Pencil in that same flow and I never once have to change the way the UI works.

It don’t go for some desktop mode to a touch mode. The OS just knows what I’m doing and it adapts to that. That’s what customers love about iPad.

The full interview brings even more details about the development of iPadOS 14 and the new features designed for the Apple Pencil. You can listen to the full Connected podcast on Relay FM website.

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