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iPad Pro Apple Pencil as mouse "replacement"

keviig

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 7, 2012
498
225
I've searched the forum but haven't been able to find any posts regarding this sort of Apple Pencil usage.

I currently have a Macbook and a self built windows gaming PC. However, i'm looking to sell the macbook, seeing as i only use it as a consumption device. All the work is being done on the windows desktop, as the 28" 4K screen is an absolute beast for productivity.

I have had iPads before, but I've always found things like selecting text, clicking on small buttons etc. a little too unprecise. Hence why i went back to using a Macbook with its terrific touchpad.

My question is, will buying an Apple Pencil help me close the gap between the precision of a finger and a touchpad/mouse? I will not be using it for drawing or note taking.
 

Beavix

macrumors 6502a
Dec 1, 2010
675
509
Romania
will buying an Apple Pencil help me close the gap between the precision of a finger and a touchpad/mouse?

In my opinion, no. At least not at this time, though I doubt things will change soon.

As long as all the UI controls are designed to work with the most imprecise tool available (i.e. the finger), the Pencil precision does not help much.

It can help when tapping on really small links/buttons on web pages, but that's rarely an issue on an iPad.
 
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maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
67,142
34,262
Boston
It's not a full pointing device replacement, which is too bad, because I think that would definitely increase the power and flexibility but then iOS has no real mouse capability built into it. Its designed for the finger.
 
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sjleworthy

macrumors 65832
Dec 5, 2008
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825
Penarth, Wales, UK
well, in my opinion the Pencil is as close as you'll come to a mouse as we stand. it's uber uber accurate in scrolling or selecting fine parts of the screen you might want, ie, complicated Excel stuff, much more precise than your finger, and, in so many people's opinions (hence Apple's turn-about with the Pencil usage in 9.3) it's a fabulous navigation tool.

yes, it isnt a mouse or a track pad. but, in it's own way it is. you get used to how it works. it's basically an extension of your pinky but a LOT more accurate. i've always wanted a mouse on the ipad, but this kinda answers all my woes :) i love it and now would not operate my ipad without it.
 
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Beavix

macrumors 6502a
Dec 1, 2010
675
509
Romania
it's uber uber accurate in scrolling or selecting fine parts of the screen you might want, ie, complicated Excel stuff, much more precise than your finger

That is an illusion. It may seem more precise because the tip of the Pencil is sharp and it doesn't block your view the way the finger does (although this is not a problem when selecting text, because there's a magnifier). If you try dragging the text selection handles using the Pencil you'll see this works even when the tip is 3-4 millimeters off, so that's not really precise.
 
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sjleworthy

macrumors 65832
Dec 5, 2008
1,504
825
Penarth, Wales, UK
Of course it's an illusion, but heck, when you have stubby fingers like myself the pin point pencil gets it right first time every time, without the extra action of zooming, compared to the need of 2 or 3 attempts with my fingers on most occasions. And editing/navigation excel files, the pencil slash finger comparison for me just doesnt exist. Pencil is on another planet.
 
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exanimo

macrumors newbie
Feb 1, 2016
19
3
Not even close. After playing with a iPro, I have to say a mouse pointer is the number one thing it's missing, even more so than file management.

Making PowerPoints on a laptop or desktop, I absolutely fly through the process. Saving and inserting photos, arranging slides, moving text is pretty seemless. On the Pro, you constantly have to lift your arm and long press to do most things. It got annoying far quicker than I thought it would.

iPro 2 has to make the same smart keyboard, but with a capacitive touch keyboard just like the BlackBerry Passport/Priv to support a cursor. The design of the keyboard already would work since it's smooth and there are no breaks in the key material.
[doublepost=1456954253][/doublepost]The pencil doesn't solve the issue that you still have to take your hand away from the keyboard.
 
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keviig

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Jun 7, 2012
498
225
Thank you all so much for your replies. I think i'll head to a store to give it another try! I'd love to be able to work with an iPad, with its great battery life, no fan noise and blazing fast processor.
 
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sjleworthy

macrumors 65832
Dec 5, 2008
1,504
825
Penarth, Wales, UK
Pencil is OK for detail work like drawing or annotation but is does not replace the finger. I bought the pencil for my Pro and hardly ever use it.

Personaly for me, it has replaced my finger. Give or take. Compared to my finger i use the Pencil probably 95% of the time in every operation, be that browsing in bed or ipad on my desk. Thats just the way i find Pencil has completely revolutionised my ipad use.
 
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Newtons Apple

Suspended
Mar 12, 2014
22,757
15,228
Jacksonville, Florida
Personaly for me, it has replaced my finger. Give or take. Compared to my finger i use the Pencil probably 95% of the time in every operation, be that browsing in bed or ipad on my desk. Thats just the way i find Pencil has completely revolutionised my ipad use.

For me just browsing the Internet the pencil did not operate as efficiently as my finger. I do not even know where my pencil is anymore.

When the smaller iPad Pro comes out I plan on migrating to it for field use and will use the pencil for taking notes and marking up images for my customers.
 
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Trogladite

macrumors member
Feb 19, 2016
47
30
UK
I have a pencil, and it is accurate in selection etc. It should be after all. But I find it is something I use less than I thought I would. Its degree of use depends, for instance, if have been using it for note taking, or drawing, then I will continue to use it for navigating etc, in other programs.

I now don't get it out of its box, unless I need it for its drawing functions.

It does work well though. I guess I am just lazy .

And strictly speaking I have used a mouse less and less, handling most things with a trackpad.
 
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eltoslightfoot

macrumors 6502a
Feb 25, 2011
655
804
For me the pencil has been WAY accurate. I take notes, use it in Procreate, use it as a mouse in Citrix (not often), and in Excel and other places. It has been as good or better than Wacom. Don't get me started on NTrig.
 
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papbot

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2015
776
231
Personaly for me, it has replaced my finger. Give or take. Compared to my finger i use the Pencil probably 95% of the time in every operation, be that browsing in bed or ipad on my desk. Thats just the way i find Pencil has completely revolutionised my ipad use.
That's precisely why I am considering buying the pencil. I am using a Maglus stylus with a rubber tip. I originally purchased it to use with an iPad Air but rarely did. When I got the Pro I found that the Maglus was perfect for using with this huge screen. I now use it all the time and it saves me a lot of arm fatigue in stretching to reach different segments of the screen. Also cuts way down on smudges from my fingers. And on this screen smudges are very noticeable.

Now all this may be due to the way I use and position the Pro when using it so others may not see the benefit. But this device is perfect for a stylus even if you don't write or draw with it that often. I do have a couple of note taking apps that my stylus works very well with. But I'm thinking the Apple Pencil would be a more precise device for all of these purposes. As long as scrolling is not going to be permanently disabled.
 
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cambookpro

macrumors 604
Feb 3, 2010
6,877
2,616
United Kingdom
Thank you all so much for your replies. I think i'll head to a store to give it another try! I'd love to be able to work with an iPad, with its great battery life, no fan noise and blazing fast processor.

If I'm honest, it sounds like you're describing your MacBook. Checks all three boxes - good battery life, no fan and a processor roughly as capable as the iPad Pro.
 
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Serban

Suspended
Jan 8, 2013
5,159
926
apple pencil is not a mouse pointer. its just an accurate touch pointer. you dont have right click on it, unless Apple will implement 3d touch for force touch acting like a right click in many apps
 
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TrueBlou

macrumors 68040
Sep 16, 2014
3,907
2,679
Scotland
I've actually found the Pencil to be very accurate. I've been doing vector art, presentations, document creation, using Remote Desktop software to access my Mac and a whole lot more. The Pencil has been great in all of them and it's done great work as being a "mouse" in Remote Desktop.

I must admit I'm a big ol Pencil fanboy now, I think it's one of the best things Apple have released in years.
 
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jamesrick80

macrumors 68030
Sep 12, 2014
2,514
2,113
I enjoy my pencil for taking notes only. ..not gonna force myself to use it like a finger since it's not necessary.
 
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