An Application Programming Interface (API) on a pen enabled device provides applications with a low latency rendering path for quickly updating a display in response to pen input, for example from a capacitive or resistive digitizer. The API allows applications to define a hardware overlay that bypasses standard rendering pipeline steps such as graphics processing unit (GPU) rendering, multi-buffering, and operating system compositing. Combined with input prediction, the API enables applications to provide low or near zero latency for pen input. Accordingly, pen enabled applications can provide a higher quality user experience that more closely matches traditional pen and paper. Since the API can be used without changes to underlying hardware, reduced latency is possible even for commodity off-the-shelf parts, obviating the need for costly specialized hardware such as high refresh rate displays.

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