iPad Pro Can the Apple Pencil get better ?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by TheRealAlex, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. TheRealAlex macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2015
    #1
    I’ve been using stylus since the days of the Palm Pilot. The current Apple Pencil is perfection.
    My question is what is missing what could be added ?

    #1. Custom art tips for different type of friction
    #2. Different sizes, I’d like to see, a kids version, smaller less expensive, and I’d like to see a larger thicker version for seniors or people with hand or grip issues.
    #3. Haptic feedback, I feel like this was omitted deliberately. For the next Gen Version
     
  2. Shirasaki macrumors G3

    Shirasaki

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    #2
    While I cannot comment on first point, I feel it a bit too much to use, given otherwise fragile tip exchange mechanism.
    For second one, um, a bit stretched, though under Tim Cook, this could happen.
    For third one, again, a bit stretched. And given the size of haptic engine, I cannot see Apple adding haptic feedback to pencil anytime soon. In some edge cases however, it would be helpful, for example switching between different modes.
     
  3. AutomaticApple macrumors 68000

    AutomaticApple

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #3
    I don’t think such thing exists.
     
  4. LibbyLA macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2017
    #4
    My Surface pens have tips of various hardnesses.

    There are grips (all shapes, sizes, and colors) that can be put on the pencil for those who need a thicker pencil, available on Amazon from $6. When kids learn to write, they typically use fat pencils, so I’m not sure a smaller one makes much sense. More versions of the pencil = more development cost and more inventory cost to stock different versions.

    None of my pens and pencils provide haptic feedback, so that’s a “Meh” for me.
     
  5. bensisko macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    The Village
    #5
    I was going to mention the Surface tips. I bought them when I had the Surface Pro 4 and once the initial novelty wore off, I didn’t find myself using them - they just didn’t feel like I was getting a different useful experience for the complexity of swapping them out.

    Personally, I feel anything that would be accomplished by different tips is better off swapping software tools. Just me though.

    I would agree, it is pretty close to perfect. I can’t even complain about the battery because it’s so easy and convenient to charge.

    My list (very minor):
    1. Space Grey - I know this is vain and superficial, but it would be awesome to have a Pencil that matches my iPad.
    2. Heft - I can really go either way on this, but I did like the slightly heavier feeling in Pencil 1. It doesn’t impede my work or anything, just a very slight personal preference.
    3. iCloud synced Pencil Profile - be able to change settings for the Pencil and have it sync on all my devices (especially with macOS support)
    4. No Pairing - one thing I love about Surface Pens is that I can use one pen on multiple surface devices without doing any sort of pairing. At work I was able to use one stylus that worked on a Surface Go, Studio 2, and Pro 4 - no pairing required.

    Haptic feedback is interesting - not sure where I would find it useful personally, but might be great to have as an option.
     
  6. Smici macrumors member

    Smici

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2019
    #6
    For drawing a matte finish screen protector is really useful.

    Do you know any grip for the second gen pencil? With double tap and wireless charging support support.
    I saw one, but it’s too bit for me.
     
  7. mofunk macrumors 68020

    mofunk

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Americas
    #7
    I would like to see the Apple Pencil use the other end as an eraser. Just like on the watch, each button has a function. The opposite end could be used as an eraser tool. You can undo sometimes but it would be nice to have a bigger tip to erase with.
     
  8. Nhwhazup macrumors 68020

    Nhwhazup

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2010
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #8
    I am still using the original pencil and love it. If I do a lot of writing, I get wrist pain. To avoid it, I have spongy grips on my pencil. With the new pencil having to charge by the side, this wouldn’t work as the grippers are hard to get on and off. So for me, the new pencil was a step backwards.
     
  9. aevan macrumors 68040

    aevan

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Location:
    Serbia
    #9
    A lot of people want this so I won’t argue, but I never used the end to erase with my Wacom. Takes too much time, since erasing constantly is, practically, part of the digital illustration workflow. The side gesture to switch to eraser is faster.

    However, perhaps for note taking this could be useful for some.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 14, 2019 ---
    Fragile how? I changed tips a lot of times, doesn’t seem fragile to me.
     
  10. Shirasaki macrumors G3

    Shirasaki

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    #10
    Every time I swap the tip I am worried that the tiny metal tube part is going to break. That part looks fragile for me.
     
  11. mofunk macrumors 68020

    mofunk

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Americas
    #11
    I just noticed when I was working with some students on the IPP 11in how it would be easier if that other end of the pencil could be useful. The little tip just wasn't cutting it. Sure you could do the undo feature but just maybe Apple could make it function more like a pencil.
     
  12. Shirasaki macrumors G3

    Shirasaki

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    #12
    Surface pro pen does this, and the result is not jaw dropping. I sometimes find the eraser feature not activated despite rotating a few times already. Apple may have tested this scenario and decide “no, that’s too bad” and shelves the idea of having an eraser tip. I don’t know.
     
  13. Ledgem macrumors 68000

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #13
    I think it can be improved by creating different editions for different purposes.

    The current Pencil is probably great for art, and it's very usable for everything else, but for "everything else" it could definitely be improved. I use it primarily for writing down information and occasionally drawing diagrams; my iPad is a paper replacement. The Pencil feels so good to write with, and the iPad is such a wonderful device, I feel like Apple is missing an opportunity to revolutionize office work and note-taking (not just in the classroom, but for anyone who does a job involving jotting things down). Give the Pencil a longer battery life and/or the ability to swap out batteries, make it a bit shorter, and give it a clip like a standard pen, and you'd really have something special. For those using it primarily for writing you could probably remove a lot of the pressure sensitivity functions with no loss to the feel of writing.

    For what it's worth, I've been using the first-generation Pencil for the past two years in this manner, with a Ztylus case. The case makes the Pencil fatter, but it makes the tip retractable and adds on that pen-like clip. As I work in healthcare, the ability to bleach-wipe the Ztylus case without worrying about damaging the Pencil was also a plus. As I also have a case around my iPad, the second-generation Pencil is a step backward and largely incompatible with my workflow. The first-generation Pencil still lasted me an entire day (and then some), but I absolutely had to charge it every night. When working 24+ hour shifts I would pack a USB charger cable with the Pencil adapter and charge it off of computers in the hospital when I had downtime.
     
  14. aevan macrumors 68040

    aevan

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2015
    Location:
    Serbia
    #14
    Why would you have replaceable batteries for something that charges whenever you’re not using it? I don’t remember the time my Pencil 2 dropped below 70% charge, and I use it all the time.

    And why would you want it shorter? This length gives it a perfect balance in your hand.

    Surface has replaceable batteries, but they use hard to find AAAA ones, because of the size. It’s not practical.
     
  15. Ledgem macrumors 68000

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #15
    The answers are in how I'm using the iPad. As a reminder, I'm asking for a version of the Pencil that is writing-focused and designed for professionals who are moving about.

    I work in a hospital, and thus having a fully-covered iPad (in a case) matters to me, so that I can bleach-wipe the entire thing without worry about damaging any of the coatings. Similarly, I have a full cover on my Pencil, although the Pencil could probably survive bleach wiping on its own. I honestly haven't checked to see if the Pencil 2 is compatible with being in a case and having the host iPad kept in a full-body case; my understanding was that it relies on being in contact with the iPad to pair and charge, though.

    I'm using the original Pencil, which has the Lightning connector at its back side. It's fast to charge and charges easily, but it needs to be plugged in to charge. I was never thrilled about using the iPad to charge the Pencil, either. In my average work day my iPad would be somewhere around the 30-40% charge mark, while the Pencil would be in the 20-30's. During the 28 hour shifts I'd get the "low battery" warnings on the Pencil. The iPad could usually survive, but I'd still plug it in when I could just to make sure I didn't run out. I carried a power bank just in case I needed to charge while on the move, but usually I could anchor down for long enough to charge enough to not need to use the power bank.

    I understand that most office environments and office workers aren't working those long hours, nor do they need to sanitize their equipment that much (if at all). So my needs are a bit unique. That said, I think most professionals would either want longer battery life and/or the ability to swap out batteries. Nobody really wants to juggle batteries, but it's a fast way to quickly get back to 100% power... and it extends the life of your device. Let's face it, the Pencil will be thrown away by many once its internal battery dies.

    As for size, it's too long to comfortably fit in many shirt pockets. Most people wouldn't currently use it that way because it doesn't have a pen clip, but even if you could tack one on, it would likely be too long to actually clip onto any fabric.
     
  16. Shirasaki macrumors G3

    Shirasaki

    Joined:
    May 16, 2015
    #16
    I get your point and the snap design I like would be a huge problem for you to recharge the pencil because of the full cover requirement and extensive use of bleach. One possible way for the case is to introduce a mechanism that pencil can be ejected from the top easily, so that you will have the chance to recharge pencil while you are not using iPad. As for the replaceable battery, Apple, being a company touting environmentally friendly when designing and manufacturing their products, would not use AA batteries or something like this to power their Pencil.

    With that being said, Apple Pencil 2’s battery life is truly impressive. Standby a whole day, Lose just 5% battery power. Super impressive. Too bad it is incompatible with any other cheaper iPads. If you have the chance, use Apple’s 14-day return policy to try iPad Pro and Apple Pencil 2 out a bit. Maybe you will find it working better than expected. You do need a special case designed for iPad Pro that leaves a holding bay for Apple Pencil 2 to recharge though, which I admit, is very difficult to find.
     
  17. Donka macrumors 68030

    Donka

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  18. Khedron macrumors 65816

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  19. Ledgem macrumors 68000

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #19
    There are rechargeable AA batteries. I would venture to say that a device that has user-replaceable batteries is more environmentally friendly than a device where the battery is tied to the device. The average lifespan of your standard lithium battery was somewhere around five years, when I had checked a few years ago. The number of cycles they can be put through has increased, but even if you charge and discharge infrequently, there's a limited lifespan. Electronics and mechanical parts don't last forever, either, but they last longer than that. It's a lot cheaper (and less wasteful) to discard a battery and replace it with a new one than it is to toss the entire device. For most of Apple's devices this hasn't been as much of an issue, because most people are upgrading their devices around the time that the battery is dying anyway. For a device like the Pencil, though, there's less reason to "upgrade." My first-generation Pencil does just fine for my purposes and the Pencil 2 does not represent an upgrade; rather, as we've discussed, it's incompatible with my workflow. I'll have to dump my Pencil someday when the battery completely fails, but if I could change the battery myself it's quite likely that I could use it for decades to come.

    The original Pencil is no slouch in this regard, either. Standby battery drain is minimal. Bear in mind that these devices were designed to either sit on a desk or be in a hand, though. When you have one actively on you, and you're moving around a fair bit, the standby is often being interrupted by other motion. The battery life of the Pencil still got me through my average day just fine, which is doubly impressive when you consider that it wasn't designed with my use case in mind. I'm just pointing out that Apple has the potential to build off of the Pencil platform and create another product that caters more toward business users who are focused more on writing than drawing. Call it the Apple Pen (if that wasn't already copyrighted by that meme) or something like that instead of Pencil 3; it doesn't need to be an outright replacement for the Pencil.
     
  20. subjonas macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2014
    #20
    Drawing performance is fine but design-wise I wish it was more like a Wacom pen.

    I don’t mind the hefty weight of the pencil so much, but the weight distribution is off. Because of its length it is top heavy while using.

    They made it thin like a pencil but a real pencil is very light. Because of its heft, I feel the Apple Pencil is a little uncomfortable to grip. It’s slick as well. A rubber pencil grip can remedy both of these, but for the 2nd gen pencils, this makes it unable to pair and charge.

    >>So I wish it was shorter and fatter, with grippier material.<<

    The Wacom pens (can) have better tip to screen friction. This is because of a combination of changeable tips and etched glass screen. I don’t expect Apple to make etched glass since it diffuses the display image, so a matte film will do. >>But I do wish for optional pencil tips with more friction, and maybe a sharper point.<< I realize this will make the tip wear out quickly. That’s fine.

    The double tap is a nice addition, >>but I prefer a physical button<< (but just one button, not two like on Wacom pens—I always disable the bottom button because it gets triggered accidentally too often and I find it unnecessary to have two buttons).

    >>One software thing, I’d like the pencil to be able to swipe from the edge of the screen.<< I think that’s the only function it’s not able to do that a finger or capacitive stylus can.

    Finally, I’d love for the pencil to be batteryless. On Wacom pens, it’s incredibly convenient not having to worry about battery charging or battery maintenance or device pairing (use any pen for any Cintiq screen). But apparently Wacom has a patent on batteryless pen tech so it’s not possible.

    >>Therefore I’d like an on/off switch.<< I keep my iPP and pencil in my bag so they are constantly in motion so I have to unpair my pencil every time or else I get a dead battery the next time I use it. I don’t have a 2nd gen Pencil, but from what I hear, the magnet isn’t strong enough to keep it connected to the iPP and charging while in a bag. Also not sure about this, but I hear it can sometimes deplete the iPad battery more quickly than it ought to when connected for long periods—but this sounds like a bug.

    I assume Apple doesn’t have this >>but they also need a <$20 battery replacement service or kit.<< Small devices with small batteries lose their charge capacity much more quickly, and it’s absurd to have to dispose of an otherwise perfectly good pencil because of that.

    End of list.

    In 10 years of daily using Wacom pens, I’ve used the eraser end maybe twice. It’s too cumbersome flipping the pen around. It’s much easier to select an eraser tool.
    I would actually like the top end of the pencil to be a capacitive touch stylus, if the regular pencil tip can’t swipe from the edge of the screen. When I’m using my pencil I prefer not to get finger oils on the screen because it makes the screen slicker, so I got a capacitive touch tip cap off amazon. Unfortunately, it makes the already top-heavy pencil even more top-heavy.
     
  21. Never mind, Jul 22, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019

    Never mind macrumors 6502

    Never mind

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2018
    Location:
    Dunedin, Florida
    #21
    Lack of being able to swipe from the side or the bottom of the screen is my biggest gripe. I have another powered stylus that does it, so I don’t see why Apple can’t do it on their Apple Pencil.

    86CC8360-16E8-48A0-BFE6-16F8DC615D83.jpeg
     
  22. rowspaxe macrumors 68020

    rowspaxe

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2010
    #22
    While the pencil is impressive, writing on a computer tablet has a long way to go to capture the experience
    of writing/drawing on paper. I think the next step is some form of spring resistance in the tip to capture the
    "give" of paper. Wacom has this, but the implementation is not really there. I think its very possible stylus
    development will plateau for a number of years, but there is certainly room for innovation.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 22, 2019 ---
    Hefty? really?
     
  23. subjonas macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2014
    #23
    Well, that’s a relative word so it depends what you’re comparing it to. Not compared to a dumbbell, obviously, but compared to its namesake and to a Wacom pen, yeah it’s heavier.
     

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