How to Use the New Scribble Feature in iPadOS 14

There was a lot of focus on the iPhone and Mac updates coming this year during the WWDC 2020 Keynote. But the iPad got some love too, bringing many of the same features over from iOS 14, and then some.

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The Apple Pencil has become an invaluable tool, even for those who don’t use it on a day-by-day basis. With iPadOS 14, we are getting some new functionality that is very welcome.

What’s new in iPadOS 14

iPadOS 14 Apple iPad

As we stated above, there are not too many “ground-breaking” features with iPadOS 14. However, many of the same features that are making iPhone owners ecstatic are also coming to the iPad this Fall.

Notably, Apple announced WidgetKit which brings a slew of newly-created widgets for your most-used apps. With WidgetKit, developers will be able to create sleek and useful widgets for your favorite apps. However, unlike the iPhone, these widgets will continue to live in the Today View, and cannot be placed anywhere on your Home Screen.

Along with the new widgets, Apple introduced redesigns for many common applications. These include Files, Music, and Photos, and bring a new sidebar for you to interact with your apps without losing your place in the app itself. Plus, there are new drop-down menus offer additional functionality, making it easy to move files around without leaving the folder you are in.

Scribble away

Scribble on iPadOS 14 in Notes App

Arguably the biggest feature coming to iPadOS 14 is all about the Apple Pencil. Scribble is a new app that can potentially change the way that you take notes, and generally interact with your iPad.

On the surface, Scribble now allows you to just write in any text field and your writing will automatically be converted to text. The best part about this is that you aren’t limited to just using Apple’s own apps for Scribble to work. Any app that has a text field input can take advantage of this.

Scibble in Apple Maps iPadOS 14

One example used during the keynote was writing “Coffee” into the search bar for Apple Maps. Your iPad then automatically recognized what was written and then performed the search. But Apple even opted to take this a step further when it comes to annotating notes and documents.

If you need to “doodle” or draw out shapes in your notes, Scribble recognizes that. Then, after your shape is completed, Scribble will turn that into a geometrically perfect shape, leaving you with a clean looking note. Plus, you’ll be able to easily highlight and select shapes and groups of text and move them around freely.

Contact information Scribble iPadOS 14

One more amazing feature about Scribble is what you can do with handwriting that is not automatically converted to text. If you write down an address, that Scribble converts that into a clickable link. Tap on it with your Apple Pencil and Apple Maps takes you where you need to go. Capturing someone’s phone number for use later? Tap on it when you’re ready and make that phone call, right from your iPad.

You can even write down a calendar event right in the Calendar app. Scribble recognizes everything that you’ve written and enters the event without any other input required. As of right now, Scribble is only compatible with English, Traditional, and Simplified Chinese. But you can write in both English and Chinese in the same line, and Scribble takes care of the rest.


The iPhone and Mac may have stolen the show at WWDC 2020, but the iPad and Apple Pencil got its fair share of love too. It’s extremely obvious that iPadOS 14 is Apple’s way of providing a more streamlined and fine-tuned experience for users.

We are excited for Scribble to make its way to the iPad this Fall when it launches. But we are even more excited to see how this will be implemented by our favorite apps like Drafts and other note-taking apps.

Let us know what you think of Scribble and if you think it’s going to change how you enter text on your iPad.

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