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iOS 9.3 Beta 5 Is Out And Restores Apple Pencil Navigational Functionality: Here's What Else It Brings

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The fifth beta of Apple's iOS 9.3 update is now available to developers and public beta testers, and one of the greatest highlights is that it restores the navigational functionality of the Apple Pencil.

The new iOS 9.3 Beta 5 comes just a bit more than a week after Apple seeded the fourth beta to developers and beta testers, and roughly three months since iOS 9.2 became available to the public.

The first iOS 9.3 entered beta testing earlier this year, back in January, but one issue started raising controversy. More specifically, the first iOS 9.3 beta severely limited the navigational functionality of the Apple Pencil and Apple has not restored it until now.

At the time of the initial iOS 9.3 beta release, rumors hinted that Apple was in fact looking to limit the functionality of the Apple Pencil that comes with the iPad Pro. Once the first iOS 9.3 beta hit the scene, the Apple Pencil lost various functionality such as selecting text, swiping between apps, scrolling, accessing menu or performing even the most general editing functions in apps that did not involve drawing.

The same issue persisted in subsequent iOS 9.3 beta releases until this fifth beta, which became available on Tuesday. The fifth beta is now live either as an over-the-air (OTA) update or as a free download from the iOS section of Apple's Developers Center.

It took until March for Apple to make good on its previous promise, but iOS 9.3 Beta 5 finally restores full navigational functionality for the Apple Pencil.

Other than this much-requested feature, the latest iOS 9.3 beta also tweaks the Night Shift Control Center toggle to improve the experience. While this toggle previously offered a pop-up menu with "Turn on for now" or "Turn on until tomorrow" options, it now simply offers the option to turn Night Shift on or off with no additional time setting.

Apple's upcoming iOS 9.3 is expected to make its official debut later this month, when the company releases its 4-inch iPhone SE and 9.7-inch iPad Pro (previously referred to as the iPad Air 3).

The new mobile OS version will bring a number of new features and improvements to enhance the overall experience, but you might want to wait for the final release if you're not a developer or experienced beta tester. Beta builds can be buggy, as the Apple Pencil debacle clearly proved.

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