Tried the Apple Pencil

Discussion in 'iPad' started by EnesM, Nov 14, 2015.

  1. EnesM macrumors 6502

    EnesM

    Joined:
    May 7, 2015
    #1
    I went to an Apple Store to give it a try. iPad Pro looks and sounds fantastic, as expected. But, the pencil...it's cool and all but the latency is still really high in my opinion. For it to feel natural, the latency should be reduced at least to half of what it is now (even though they say it's the most responsive thing yet)

    I even made my own slo-mo video of drawing with it :)

    Does anyone else feel the same, or am I too picky?
     
  2. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #2
    Wish I could contribute.
    I have to say this, great post.
    I am looking forward to others sharing their experience.
     
  3. the future macrumors 6502a

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    Jul 17, 2002
    #3
    Which app did you use? If you used the Notes app – then yes, you are too picky because lag is basically zero. Other apps may not be quite there (yet).
     
  4. EnesM thread starter macrumors 6502

    EnesM

    Joined:
    May 7, 2015
    #4
    No, I used third party apps that were installed for demo purposes, can't remember which but they were mostly Adobe.

    Too bad I didn't try Notes :/
     
  5. Atomic Walrus macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 24, 2012
    #5
    Some of the apps are definitely laggy, the Adobe ones included IMO. I wouldn't go by anything other than Notes and Procreate (not available to demo) right now, as they both have very fast brush engines. Evernote didn't look too bad either. OneNote was terrible.

    That said, even those apps are still laggier than anyone would actually want their writing implement to be in "real life." Pencil is considered impressively fast only because the previous mobile options have been incredibly laggy (>= 100ms). Pencil could be faster than a Cintiq while still being laggy enough to make the experience unnatural for someone who isn't used to digital pen tech.

    Gotta turn off that v-sync. All mobile devices (and even Windows desktop!) have forced v-sync, and that could easily be adding ~48ms+ of latency if it's triple buffered. I'll take the lag reduction with screen tearing when I'm drawing. Still, as a long time user of a number of the other options I'm happy to see any improvement.
     
  6. thedon1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2010
    #6
    Do you think some of the lag in stores is due to the pencil not being synced up with the device and therefore it just being registered like a finger input? I just wonder as pencils are so limited, they might move between devices in a store.
     
  7. Atomic Walrus macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 24, 2012
    #7
    As far as I know the Pencil shouldn't work at all unless it's paired with the device. Can anyone confirm/deny this? The digitizer can tell which inputs are from fingers vs. the Pencil, but I don't know how it would react to a Pencil other than the one paired with it. If you have any pressure sensitivity or tilt then it must be paired with the tablet you're using, because that all goes over BT.
     
  8. AppleRobert macrumors 603

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    Nov 12, 2012
    #8
    Well I tried the Pencil on another Pro demo at the store and it didn't work. The rep said you had to initiate it by plugging it into the lightning port to use it and that also charges it. He didn't say anything about another connection (bluetooth or whatever).
     
  9. Macalway macrumors 68000

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    Aug 7, 2013
    #9
    it's optimized for only a couple apps apparently. Every other app will show some latency.

    I imagine, dev. will need to address this
     
  10. EnesM thread starter macrumors 6502

    EnesM

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    May 7, 2015
    #10
    But Adobe worked with Apple on their apps for Apple Pencil, and it's still not optimized?
     
  11. masotime macrumors 68000

    masotime

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    Jun 24, 2012
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #11
    Still going to take time I think. Apple has had plenty of time internally to perform optimizations - third party apps will need maybe 2-3 update cycles to get it write.
     
  12. AdonisSMU macrumors 603

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    Oct 23, 2010
    #12
    The pencil in the notes app had zero lag for me. So maybe its just that adobe and others need to improve the experience otherwise notes will end up the app for drawing with.
     
  13. Atomic Walrus macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 24, 2012
    #13
    Welcome to the reality of digital art/writing tech. A lot of developers simply don't know how to write their brush engines with a focus on latency, opting for lots of processing/interpolation/buffering that adds lag instead. IMO Adobe can't write an efficient brush engine on any platform under any circumstances. Photoshop is industry standard because it has no competition and huge feature depth, but I don't consider their brush engine to be particularly well-optimized. I hear it's gotten better in the CC era (still using CS6), but still lags even on the 28W i5 in the Cintiq Companion 2.

    When you get to try Procreate you'll see what I mean. It's a more advanced brush engine than what Adobe has on iOS and it's way more responsive. It so far superior to the demo apps that I have to assume they were shut out by Adobe's deep pockets.
     
  14. thedon1 macrumors 6502

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    Jun 26, 2010
    #14
    I'm hearing really good things about procreate, would be good for another developer to come in and push Adobe a little bit.
     
  15. M-5 macrumors 65816

    M-5

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    Jan 4, 2008
    #15
    I'm currently testing out my capacitive stylus on the iPad Pro in the notes app and it works crazy good. I don't even have to apply virtually any pressure. It almost works as an active stylus. Hmm I'm intrigued
     
  16. Macalway macrumors 68000

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    Aug 7, 2013
    #16
    So it's not just me (I was worried :D)

    My Air 2 didn't work with those pens like my iPad 2 did, which was disappointing. So now it's back to iPad 2 (or better? )
    functionality.

    Great, hope this isn't hosed in some update :D
     
  17. Atomic Walrus macrumors 6502a

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    Sep 24, 2012
    #17
    The touch digitizer in the iPP seems to be massively upgraded over previous models, even without the Pencil. It has superior linearity and lower lag compared to every other capacitive touch digitizer I've used. It's also more sensitive, so you don't need to smash the rubber tip down on the screen as much.

    To really get the best results you still want it running at 240hz and tracking a single point (from the active capacitive Pencil) vs 120hz with a "squishy blob" of input data (and no pressure/tilt), but drawing with a passive stylus on this thing is a surprisingly good experience.
     
  18. Krevnik macrumors 68040

    Krevnik

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    Sep 8, 2003
    #18
    Well, the other issue is that if you want to get at the 120Hz/240Hz data, you have to do it explicitly. And part of lag reduction is using the predicted touches as they come in as well. To get the sort of low latency Apple demoed on stage, you have to update your apps.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the demo builds for Adobe have none of this work. Paper is good with the Pencil, but I haven't tried Procreate myself with it. I expect similar or better.
     
  19. tekchic macrumors 65816

    tekchic

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    Apr 19, 2010
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #19
    I just did some tests with my Pencil 53 and an old capacitive mesh stylus and have been pretty impressed, especially when side-by-side with my Air. The Air (original) always seemed to not track/register as well as my old iPad 3 did.

    Only issue I seem to be having with Pencil 53 is a bit of drag on the screen from the rubber tip. My mesh capacitive stylus glides much better right now.

    Apple Pencil... soon... I hope. Meanwhile, it's Pencil 53 and my old mesh stylus.
     
  20. madharvey macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2014
    #20
    This is the first video I've seen with an actual artist showing what the pencil can do. I've been watching it on repeat waiting for my pencil order status to change.

     
  21. ara-mia macrumors member

    ara-mia

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    Oct 23, 2015
    #21
    The demo versions of apps that are preinstalled on the in-store iPad Pros definitely don't cast the Pencil in a great light. Notes is fantastic and absolutely lives up to the hype, but every other app I tested exhibits varying degrees of latency and/or parallax. It's a pretty wide chasm in terms of viability for professional art applications, to be honest--enough that I'm second-guessing my interest a bit. :(
     
  22. arftech99 macrumors regular

    arftech99

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    Oct 29, 2015
    Location:
    MD, USA
    #22
    You artists are going to have a field day with the pencil on the IPP and I ain't mad at ya!
     
  23. tekchic macrumors 65816

    tekchic

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    Apr 19, 2010
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    Phoenix, AZ
    #23
    So how was Procreate?
     
  24. pat500000 macrumors 603

    pat500000

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    Jun 3, 2015
    #24
    I'm glad that i'm not the only one who felt the way.
     
  25. ara-mia macrumors member

    ara-mia

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2015
    #25
    I wish I knew! Supposedly it performs great, but for some reason it's not on any demo units, even though it was so prominently featured in the keynote and subsequent advertising. Notes is fun but not really viable for most professional art applications, so I'd really like to have tested what is apparently the only potentially usable pro-grade art app with reliable Pencil support at the moment…
     

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