It’s hard to believe that only now Apple is discovering a few basic technologies that have been available on rival products for a while now. For example a patent has just surfaced, detailing handwriting recognition technology for the Apple iPad.

If you remember, Apple actually had a handwriting recognition capable device before, the Newton. That one was available in the 1990s, but it was quickly canned by Steve Jobs. He disliked styli and also projects started by John Sculley even more. Fast forward a decade or two and we’ve got styli on the iPads, but no handwriting recognition. Well, that one is also coming, according to one of the new patents.

The new documents surfaced online and mention handwriting recognition via stylus or hand input. The patent was actually filed by Apple in USA last February and it’s pompously titled “Managing Real Time Handwriting Recognition”. The patent application has do with Chinese language first and foremost. It mentions real time stroke order and stroke direction independent handwriting recognition.

It also supports multi character or sentence level Chinese handwriting recognition. The application shows using the iPad to write in English or Chinese and also using the finger or stylus. This is merely a patent, so there are no guarantees, but it would make sense for Apple to implement that, in order to conquer the class rooms and meeting rooms even more.

I suspect that 2019 or 2020 iPad Pro will feature this technology.