Apple Pencil, what's the point?


macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jun 17, 2012
Just picked up a gen 2 Apple Pencil for my iPad Pro 11" and I'm kind of confused what its purpose is. I mean, it writes and draws, and can tap apps and launch them and change pages, but so does my finger. Am I missing something here? Does it do things that I don't know about (which is entirely possible)? I spent $125 on this thing and so far, I'm not impressed. I bought it at Costco, so I have 90 days to come up with some reason to keep it. Someone tell me it does more than scribble notes and draw pictures.


macrumors 68020
Aug 26, 2009
Its only limits are what the user capabilities are. The drawing is more precise with a pencil. Just like if you are to use your finger and ink to a sheet of paper.

Most people are drawn to Apple products because it cuts down on the time creating something. The time that it takes to render something = money. The less time it takes to create, the more you will save. If you have a client that wants a logo done at a specific time line, you can work on your designs away from your desk with the iPad and pencil. Same with photos etc.


macrumors 6502
Nov 16, 2012
Its for people who like to draw and take notes like they used to, without using their fingers. Theres not a lot to get. Your finger cant be precise enough to most efficiently do those things and the $30 stylus pens have issues when other parts of your hand lean on the screen accidentally. Some video and music apps are easier to navigate with it because its more precise too.

But yeah if all youre using it for is to scroll back and forth between apps, return it.

Relentless Power

macrumors Nehalem
Jul 12, 2016
What’s the point you ask?

Aside from sketching, alone using it for notetaking or simple navigating makes the iPad that much more easier to use. Anyone knows that holding a larger iPad with the 11 or 12.9 inch sizes, is extremely cumbersome and unwieldy to hold after a while, and using the stylus makes it that much easier to navigate the display or taking quick notes if necessary.
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: BigMcGuire


macrumors G3
Jun 18, 2017
I didn’t bother with Apple Pencil, until I bought Affinity Photo. I discovered that it is really annoying and imprecise doing edits in Affinity Photo with just my fat finger. So I bought the Pencil.

I don’t draw at all.

BTW, Apple has both edu discounts and refurb discounts for Apple Pencil. And for some, a cheaper alternative is Logitech Crayon, which is also available for cheaper on the edu store.


macrumors 6502a
Jan 3, 2009
It's primarily a creative tool just like a Wacom tablet, And much like a Wacom tablet it's not the sort of thing everyone with a computer is expected to buy and use.

It and wacom tablets do have some uses for other people such as heavy jotting note takers or someone who has to e-sign often but its primary purpose is still in the professional creative space, It's not surprising someone not doing that kind of work has less use for it just as a wacom tablet is less useful for someone in an office environment.

A Basic Stylus or even a finger does the job just fine for most people, The pressure sensitivity, angle detection and accuracy make the Apple Pencil indispensable for illustration and editing work.


macrumors 6502a
Nov 12, 2015
Sounds like you don't have any use for it. I use the pencil every day, and I am no artist. I use it for all of my note taking when at home, especially for math. Good lord, has this pencil made math even more fun (I mean, I love math and it is my major, but it is even more fun now!).
  • Like
Reactions: Yakibomb


macrumors 68020
Jul 11, 2009
It's a precision tool; your finger is not. If you are an artist (a core market for the iPad Pro), getting the most precise line possible and capturing weight and angle is essential. If you want to take detailed notes (writing equations, for example), your finger is a crude tool by comparison. There are plenty of other similar examples, but if you don't need a precision tool for your purpose, then you don't need it. Apple has never suggested the Pencil is for everyone.


macrumors member
Apr 5, 2019
Someone use it to create stunning art, someone use it for fun, and you should shove your head with it.


Jan 10, 2012
I have used an Apple Pencil now for over half a year. I originally got one with my 2018 iPad. I'm someone who used to keep a moleskin journal every year, I write a lot as well as I find I remember better when I write (and understand better).

It baffles me that someone would even compare the apple pencil to their finger. I couldn't imagine taking detailed math notes in college with my finger like I do (for hours and hours) with my Apple Pencil.

I have many hundreds of (Apple Pencil written) Notability documents of logs, notes, thoughts, sermon notes, college class notes, work notes, and even scribblings just from the last year alone.

With Notability you can use the Apple Pencil to draw graphs, straight lines, shapes, etc... just with pressing and holding motions.

As someone who has used a Parker Jotter most of his life (and values good pens like the Swiss Made Caran D'Ache) - there really is no comparison between your finger and a good writing instrument. The Apple Pencil has become my favorite writing utility. My iPad Pro + Apple Pencil is all I take to college classes these days.

I've always found free thinking on paper to be extremely therapeutic. Almost like meditation. Emptying what's in my head onto paper is very de-stressing. Typing hasn't been able to replicate this for me because often when I'm free thinking I draw or write in such a way where a blank canvas is extremely helpful.
Last edited:


macrumors 68030
Apr 23, 2013
This has got me thinking about pens/pencils. Do we find it easier to write with them because we learn from a young age? Or are they objectively more ergonomically suited for writing than any other form?

Children don’t naturally hold a pen the way we eventually learn.
Last edited:


macrumors G3
Jun 18, 2017
This has got me thinking about pens/pencils. Do we find it easier to write with them because we learn from a young age? Or are the objectively more ergonomically suited for writing than any other form?

Children don’t naturally hold a pen the way we eventually learn.
My 6 year old, in just grade 1, grew up with iPads but writes more clearly with a pencil on paper than she does with her finger on the screen.
  • Like
Reactions: BigMcGuire
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.