Apple’s third and latest Pencil, which was announced last month, has received its first firmware update.
Twitter user @aaronp613 spotted the release, which has, he reports, the version number 35347.35347.16 and the build number 10M5164. At this point it’s unclear what issues, if any, the update fixes. Macworld hasn’t heard of a single bug with the device, so it’s unlikely that Apple was pushed into the update by bad PR; it seems more likely to be a routine release with minor tweaks.
It’s a small thing, but fellow Apple nerds may share my enjoyment of a quirk in the labeling of the update. It’s called “Apple Pencil Gen 3 Firmware,” even though Apple never publicly uses that generational label for the device itself. In the original press release, the company kept calling it the “new Apple Pencil”–shades there of the notoriously confusing “new iPad” branding from 2012–while the Apple Store calls it “Apple Pencil (USB-C).”
As AppleInsider observes, the naming conventions will only become an issue if and when the company releases another premium model with a full feature set. At that point, does Apple admit this was the third Pencil and call that the 4th-gen? Or act as if this was only ever a stopgap? The new software’s label suggests that the former may now be more likely.
Installing new firmware on an Apple Pencil isn’t a procedure you really “do” in any kind of manual sense, but if you connect your 3rd-gen/USB-C Pencil to a powered-on iPad it should grab the new software without any further user intervention.