Apple Pencil - gaps in design

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories' started by Mahligai, Jun 10, 2016.

  1. Mahligai macrumors newbie

    Jun 8, 2016
    The Apple Pencil is the best writing implement for an ipad - I have used numerous stylii since my IPad 1 and the writing experience with the pencil beats them all. However there are some flaws that cannot be overcome but which other writing devices have mastered very well
    • no battery indicator on the pencil - I have used Livescribe for several years, which has a fantastic little display that gives all sorts of information. Having to check the battery level through the ipad is just not practical. Cannot ask everybody to stop talking during a meeting while I charge up the pencil!!

    • The Adonit Jot Pros have a magnetic casing so the stylus can rest on the ipad case or even on the pro without rolling off - some suppliers have already noticed this gap and magnetic casings can be bought, but why should have to fork out even more money for an already expensive product

    • No protector for the tip. A tiniest piece of grit can damage the ipad screen. I use eraser caps that are used to attach to pencils and these work well, but a customised cap would be better

    • The charging! Nifty idea but so inpractical. Takes up half of the desk space when charging - so easy to knock! Cannot use the Ipad to do other things while charging as the pencil gets in the way.

    • Noticed a distinct sag when the pencil is connected to the charging port - this is not surprising as a 21g pencil is being held by a tiny housing. The torque/strain on the pencil and the port is obvious. What are the long term implications? Perhaps the engineers amongst you can throw some light on this. Picking up one of those charging adapter cables soon

    • Pencil feels like a rod when writing - could it not have been made slightly shorter?
    Welcome your thoughts on above and also ideas and suggestions on how you have managed to work around the issues above
  2. pjh macrumors regular


    Sep 25, 2007
    Airstrip 1
    For me the biggest flaw is the lightening connector cap. It's tight enough to "feel" secure, but it invariably pings off at some stage (normally during transport). It was only a matter of time until I lost it, so I bought one of the small rubber attachments that tethers the cap to the pencil. While it looks rubbish, it's better than Apple's offering of a sleek design that is impractical. I'd like to see a bit more thought from Apple for Gen 2 on this.
  3. Absrnd macrumors 6502


    Apr 15, 2010
    don't be so scared, from 2 minutes :)

  4. SuperHamster macrumors member


    Nov 18, 2015
    I put a short length of transparent plastic hose on mine, to improve ergonomics - I find the pen really being too long to be held in such a narrow grip for extended periods of time. As a side effect it provides a bit of added protection and makes it easer to pick up from a table.
  5. sracer macrumors 604


    Apr 9, 2010
    in exile
    Those are your opinions and you are entitled to them. From my perspective, they are a bit contrived.

    re: battery indicator. Simply top-up or recharge at the beginning of the day, or prior to a lengthy meeting. I think that the fact that it is a non-removable battery is the root issue.... if it took a rechargeable AAA battery then when the power is gone, simply swap in a fresh AAA.

    re: Adonit Jot/magnetic case. Yes, there isn't a good way for transporting/storing the stylus. Claiming that it is "expensive"? Powered Styli (all inferior to the Apple Pencil) run between $60-$120. For people in the market for an active stylus, the Apple Pencil is within the price range.

    re: cover for the tip. Just another thing to get lost. A retractable tip is probably a better option.

    re: The charging. Charging the Pencil directly from the iPad itself is meant to be a quick charge (2 minutes or so) in case of an "emergency" not the typical long-charge solution.

    re: Distinct sag. That must be unique to your Pencil. There is no sag on mine. I am able to charge the Pencil while the 12.9 iPP is propped up using the Smart Keyboard with no sag. BTW, Apple designed the charging end to have some spring to it... it's not supposed to be rigid.

    re: Pencil rod. We don't know how much of the length of the Pencil was due to an aesthetic choice or a technical requirement. You could always wait a generation or two for the iGolf Pencil. :p
  6. zhenya macrumors 603


    Jan 6, 2005
    As I've been saying since the beginning, the charging design is actually genius and is a case-study in why group-think often gets things wrong. Yes, it looks goofy, but what it means is that it's impossible to end up with a usable iPad and a dead battery in the stylus. Every other design would require the use of some sort of cable or adapter that could be lost or left behind.
  7. benjs macrumors regular

    Jul 28, 2008
  8. applepencil macrumors newbie


    Jun 21, 2016
    That's actually a pretty neat DIY solution!
  9. Analog Kid macrumors 601

    Analog Kid

    Mar 4, 2003
    This, combined with the overly long design and no means of carrying it with the smart covers all conspire against me. I've lost 3 caps already. I've broken two pencils entirely (one by ripping off the tip, one the tail) because lacking a better choice I tend to carry them in my back pocket. Sit down and the longer than a standard pen design gets snagged and first I lose the cap, then start shearing parts off.

    I just leave it with the bare lightning connector showing. You can buy replacement tips (no help when you've ripped it from the body though), why don't they include a cap in that package? Has anyone actually worn out a tip yet?

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