In the past, Apple had not been fond of stylus or pen-based input, but it seems that ignorance of the pen is nowhere to be found when it comes to tablets. This July, Apple filed a patent for pen-based input for tablets involving what they call “ink phrases.”
The patent details a different approach to handwriting recognition, from what I can gather. Instead of breaking down individual strokes, it attempts to recognize entire phrases. These could be converted into shortcuts, commands, or just plain handwriting recognition. Honestly, it’s not that interesting. If you don’t trust me, you can read the patent application for yourself.
What is interesting is that Apple’s former stance on pen-based input is no longer valid when we talk about tablets. While I’d probably agree that a pen might not be the best way of inputting data into a small screened device like the iPhone, I’m glad they have a different opinion when dealing with larger screens. I think it’s pretty obvious that people would want to take notes on a tablet device as if it were a tablet of paper. It’s only natural. It will be very interesting to see Apple’s take on the digital pen. Though, I suppose I should say that the Apple tablet is still a rumor, I think.