Tag Archives: stylus

Taking the Apple Pencil with you

One of the best pieces of advice that I never followed very well is that if you want to be a better artist, always have a sketchbook with you. That’s why I’ve been so excited about the Apple Pencil, since it transforms the tablet you might already have with you into a great sketchbook too. There’s only one problem: you have to actual remember to bring the Apple Pencil everywhere.

Myke Hurley gave an overview on his blog about some of the additions he’s purchased to customize his Apple Pencil, like a clip, stickers, and this loop to hold it to the iPad Pro:

Wherever my iPad Pro goes, I want the Pencil to be with it. So to make sure I didn’t have yet another thing to remember, I decided that I had to find a way to attach the Pencil to the iPad. And that’s when I came across the Leuchtturm1917 Pen Loop.

And on the latest The Talk Show, Serenity Caldwell shares the tip of buying a $2 Micron pen and snapping off the clip to use on the Apple Pencil. See this tweet for what it looks like.

Lately I had been carrying the iPad Pro around without a bag. This also meant leaving my Apple Pencil at home. While I don’t use my Apple Pencil every day, I want to. With a bag I can carry the iPad more easily and also always have a spot for headphones and the Apple Pencil.

I ordered the Tom Bihn Daylight Briefcase and I’ve been using it all week. You can see it in this photo I took while setting up to work at a library the other day. I haven’t used a messenger-style bag in a long time, maybe in forever. (Apple handed out one to WWDC attendees years ago before they transitioned to the jackets phase of WWDC of freebies, but I gave most of my bags away.)

So far I’m really enjoying having a bag that doesn’t feel oversized for the iPad Pro. It’s much smaller than my full backpack. I expect that it will be perfect not just around town but also for traveling light.

Apple Pencil, for real

As we talk about on Core Intuition episode 208, I finally got an Apple Pencil. It’s great. My experience matches Gus Mueller’s, about how good the Apple Pencil is after years of using Wacom tablets and third-party iOS styluses:

“I find that when using the HB Pencil in Procreate, I get something that is very, very close to what I feel when I’m drawing in my sketchbooks. But of course now I’ve got layers and many colors and a perfect eraser to work with. And endless pages. I love it.”

On the question of whether it’s a “stylus”, Ben Brooks sums it up this way:

“That’s the question I get asked a lot from people — my wife especially. Apple will tell you it is not a stylus because it is so much better than any other stylus, it clearly is something else. So, instead, I’ll tell you that it is very much a stylus — it just so happens to be the best stylus I have ever encountered on any device.”

I’ve also been improving the Apple Pencil support in an iPad app I’m working on. I haven’t completely finished reading Russ Bishop’s article on supporting the Apple Pencil, but looks like it has a bunch of additional tips in it that I’d benefit from. It covers not just the API changes to UITouch, but also gestures, coalescing, and predictive touches.

The incomplete iPad Pro

I ordered my iPad Pro online and picked it up in the store today. My excitement for this device is all about the Pencil, which doesn’t ship for a few more weeks. The store didn’t receive any and employees have no idea when they will get it. They didn’t receive any Apple keyboards either, so I left with the only remaining accessory in stock: the white smart cover.

I don’t think I’ve ever been less excited to walk out of a store with a brand new $800 gadget. The iPad Pro has so much potential. I think it’s going to be a success and I’m building apps for it. But without the Pencil and keyboard, a significant part of the appeal is missing. And worse, developers who need a Pencil to start testing their apps — especially those apps like the one I’m working on that already supports third-party stylus pressure — are put at a month-long disadvantage compared to Adobe and the other early partners.

I enjoyed reading the iPad Pro reviews this morning, especially from Daring Fireball and MacStories. But those reviews describe a product that just doesn’t exist today. The iPad Pro as advertised on Apple’s web site and in beautiful marketing videos isn’t ready, and I wish Apple had delayed the whole launch until they could deliver these important accessories for a complete user experience.