FiftyThree Announces Bluetooth 'Pencil' Stylus to Accompany 'Paper' App

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Apr 12, 2001
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FiftyThree, the developer behind the popular Paper sketching app, today released a new stylus called Pencil, which is designed to be used in conjunction with the app.

Pencil comes in two varieties, one made from wood and one made from brushed aluminum, and both connect to the iPad via Bluetooth. In addition to a standard stylus tip, Pencil also offers eraser functionality.

When connected to Pencil, the Paper app includes palm rejection, allowing a user's palm to rest on the iPad display, and colors can be blended on the screen with fingers. Pairing Pencil with Paper will also unlock tools within the app, which are normally acquired through in-app purchases.

Great tools inspire great ideas. Pencil is the most natural and expressive tool for getting ideas on Paper. Advanced technology meets beautiful design to keep you in the flow, without needing to switch tools. With Erase, Blend, and adaptive Palm Rejection, Pencil puts creative possibility in your hands.
Because Pencil has been designed to work with the Paper app, its functionality within other apps is limited. The stylus charges via any USB port in under 90 minutes and a single charge can last up to a month.

The Pencil stylus can be purchased from the FiftyThree website at $50 for the Graphite version and $60 for the Walnut version. Paper can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Article Link: FiftyThree Announces Bluetooth 'Pencil' Stylus to Accompany 'Paper' App
 

SethBoy

macrumors regular
Jun 23, 2007
211
552
It seems like the lack of an active digitiser on the iPad hasn't stopped quality drawing/note-taking apps from appearing on the iOS platform.
 

SAdProZ

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2005
564
278
Vs Evernote

It's between this and the Evernote pen. Evernote pen is multi-app and the apps let you take better notes. Here's a list of compatible apps: http://adonit.net/jot-ready-apps/

Paper is better for art concepts and I'm sure the pen feels great in hand.

Conclusion: get both
 

willcapellaro

macrumors 6502
Oct 20, 2011
345
6
What's the word with using BT accessories like these? Besides the battery hit that is.

Does having another BT device paired cause problems for having other headphones or other devices available?
 

guzhogi

macrumors 68040
Aug 31, 2003
3,072
955
Wherever my feet take me…
It seems like the lack of an active digitiser on the iPad hasn't stopped quality drawing/note-taking apps from appearing on the iOS platform.
That's one thing I wish the iPad had. It would be so nice to use a stylus for taking notes are painting in a paint app, etc. My fingers are way too big to do detailed artwork/handwriting.
 

aajeevlin

macrumors 65816
Mar 25, 2010
1,052
449
It seems like the lack of an active digitiser on the iPad hasn't stopped quality drawing/note-taking apps from appearing on the iOS platform.
This is the issue that I'm currently having. I like Apple product and all, but there is just something that you can't do with the capacitive surface. I'm current still using my six+ years old Fujitsu Wacom tablet/laptop to take notes with Onenote. I don't care how you want to put it, that is currently the best digital note taking experience I have had, much much better then taking notes on the iPad.
 

willcapellaro

macrumors 6502
Oct 20, 2011
345
6
This is the issue that I'm currently having. I like Apple product and all, but there is just something that you can't do with the capacitive surface. I'm current still using my six+ years old Fujitsu Wacom tablet/laptop to take notes with Onenote. I don't care how you want to put it, that is currently the best digital note taking experience I have had, much much better then taking notes on the iPad.
I just tested out a Note 10.1 2014 for two weeks. Absolute bliss, if you can get over the industrial design on the back.
 

RVijay007

macrumors member
Jul 20, 2010
73
2
All I see in this video is people trying to use the stylus and then going back to using their finger.
 

SAdProZ

macrumors 6502a
Mar 19, 2005
564
278
Its expensive for a stylus (you can get decent ones by Griffin or Targus for 15-20), but I still kinda want one.
Yeah. I'm hoping it has a more precise feel than generic styli. Otherwise, what's the point other than erase and palm rejection which other apps can do in software (although not as well, obviously).

----------

All I see in this video is people trying to use the stylus and then going back to using their finger.
To smudge colors.
 

Ryth

macrumors 68000
Apr 21, 2011
1,589
155
It seems like the lack of an active digitiser on the iPad hasn't stopped quality drawing/note-taking apps from appearing on the iOS platform.
This is where Apple could hit it out of the park...making the iPad have a screen like a WACOM tablet and the sensitivity of one and stylus that you could buy separately.

They are missing the boat on this market and I don't know why...it's the logical step.
 

flux73

macrumors 65816
May 29, 2009
1,019
134
Interesting product and lots of potential. But I think these drawings apps are going to continue being a niche product until Apple comes out with a pressure sensitive screen and a stylus that has pointed tip more like a ballpoint pen than a fat felt-tipped marker. But even then, I still think it's going to be limited to very rough concept sketches, or simple notation of other notes/photos/illustrations.

For precision work, I don't see a tablet ever replacing the real deal. If I'm an artist or a graphic designer, I think I'd still far prefer a bound stack of paper and a graphite pencil with eraser. Need to send off a concept drawing to someone? Photograph it with your iPhone and message/e-mail it. Anyone in this field(s), please correct me if I'm wrong.
 
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snowmoon

macrumors 6502a
Oct 6, 2005
900
119
Albany, NY
This is a sore spot. First off 53 seems to have been holding off support for other devices while it was working on releasing it's own pressure based stylus. Needless to say many users are displeased that what should be generic hardware ends up tied to working on some apps, but not others, because Apple has not standardized on this yet.

I like the idea, and it's a slick build, but the idea of single app hardware ( or vastly limited ) is a real turn off. Buy it if you need it, but I expect that this will be a very limited device in terms of longevity.
 

akm3

macrumors 68020
Nov 15, 2007
2,252
279
This is a sore spot. First off 53 seems to have been holding off support for other devices while it was working on releasing it's own pressure based stylus. Needless to say many users are displeased that what should be generic hardware ends up tied to working on some apps, but not others, because Apple has not standardized on this yet.

I like the idea, and it's a slick build, but the idea of single app hardware ( or vastly limited ) is a real turn off. Buy it if you need it, but I expect that this will be a very limited device in terms of longevity.
Their stylus isn't pressure based.

Also is it confirmed this works with the iPad Air? The Pogo Connect doesn't.
 

KdParker

macrumors 601
Oct 1, 2010
4,793
998
Everywhere
Personally, I would never use this, but some of my 'Artist' friends/family would only do any graphical art work with a tool like this.
 

kugino

macrumors 65816
Jul 10, 2003
1,086
51
just don't like how these styluses tend to be application-specific to make best use of all its features. don't want to spend a few hundred bucks on styluses alone...
 

iSee

macrumors 68040
Oct 25, 2004
3,525
253
Wow, very interesting. Paper is my #1 iPad app... but I'm not sure I want a one-app stylus.



Its expensive for a stylus (you can get decent ones by Griffin or Targus for 15-20), but I still kinda want one.
Those are passive, while this one is active. (Also: you can a half decent passive stylus for about a buck, and while its hit-or-miss, the hits work about as well as most other passive styluses). The active features are what makes the eraser, smuge-with-fingers tool, wrist-protection, etc. possible/better.
Not sure if this one has any form of pressure sensitivity or angle sensitivity, but an active stylus makes those possible/better as well.

Interesting product and lots of potential. But I think these drawings apps are going to continue being a niche product until Apple comes out with a pressure sensitive screen and a stylus that has pointed tip more like a ballpoint pen than a fat felt-tipped marker. But even then, I still think it's going to be limited to very rough concept sketches, or simple notation of other notes/photos/illustrations.

For precision work, I don't see a tablet ever replacing the real deal. If I'm an artist or a graphic designer, I think I'd still far prefer a bound stack of paper and a graphite pencil with eraser. Need to send off a concept drawing to someone? Photograph it with your iPhone and message/e-mail it. Anyone in this field(s), please correct me if I'm wrong.
I work with artists on commercial software products. Most use the higher-end Wacom tablets (the ones that are "just" dignitizers -- no screen, but the pens are presure sensitive, angle sensitive and have various other features which I don't keep track of). Most seem to like to do at least some sketching with (real) paper and pencil or other physical tools. But it varies. One uses nothing but a conventional optical mouse, which seems ridiculous to me but it works for her, apparently. However these days I work with people remotely a lot so I'm starting to lose track of current trends.

This is where Apple could hit it out of the park...making the iPad have a screen like a WACOM tablet and the sensitivity of one and stylus that you could buy separately.

They are missing the boat on this market and I don't know why...it's the logical step.
You know, I actually think this stylus is actually a decent argument for why Apple made the right call by NOT including something like that.

* A digitizer in every iPad would raise the price and increase the thickness and weight of every iPad... that's very bad for the many, many that don't care about using a stylus.
* It doesn't seem to have prevented some good options appearing. (a) You can use a very cheap passive capacative stylus for a basic experience (I do this daily -- it's not great but it's workabable). (b) you can pay more and get a fancy passive capacitive stylus. (c) we're on the second generation of general active styluses that have every wider support and more features. (d) you can get this one if you love Paper.
* A one-size-fits-all digitizer and stylus from Apple probably wouldn't have some of the higher-end features that these active styluses have. Yet its existence would make it very hard for higher-end options to get traction.

Well, I've written too much on this. This has gotten me excited! Paper is a significant part of my iPad usage... I'm probably getting one of these.
 
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