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App update suggests Apple Pencil support coming to rumored 9.7" iPad Pro

A Thursday update to popular iPad drawing app Astropad Graphics Tablet suggests Apple's next-generation 9.7-inch iPad, rumored to launch as a "Pro" model next week, will bring support for Apple Pencil.

In the notes for Astropad's version 1.4 release, developer Astro HQ claims "Apple pencil support for new iPads (Spring 2016)," a curious addition considering Apple's pressure-sensing stylus only works with the 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Apple launched iPad Pro alongside Apple Pencil in November.

While not solid evidence that Apple's rumored 9.7-inch iPad revamp will sport Apple Pencil compatibility, the update lines up with recent rumblings claiming much the same. Apple often grants certain developers pre-launch access to top secret hardware, allowing them to code demo apps later used to tout key features in an onstage debut.

Apple Pencil is currently relegated to the massive 12.9-inch iPad Pro, which comes with specialized internal components like a sampling subsystem capable of boosting scan rates to 240Hz when connected to the stylus, a feature designed to negate perceivable input lag.

According to the most recent rumors Apple's next-gen 9.7-inch iPad will come with a Smart Connector for attaching powered accessories, a rear camera flash and quad speakers for stereo sound in both landscape and portrait viewing orientations.

Apple is widely expected to debut a new 9.7-inch iPad Pro alongside a next-generation 4-inch iPhone at a media event on March 21.

Aside from the Apple Pencil revelation, Astropad version 1.4 comes with various stability improvements.