What do you use the Pencil for?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by profmatt, Dec 27, 2015.

  1. profmatt, Dec 27, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2015

    profmatt macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2015
    I managed to find a Pencil without much difficulty or delay and I tried it out a few days ago. While I'm sure it's a technological marvel, I'm not sure I really know what to do with it. I'm not an artist, and I don't have any plans to become one.

    I'm tempted to send it back, unless someone can give me an idea of how it might add value to my overall set-up.

    (In case you're wondering, I bought it because I thought I might use it for taking notes during tutorials, but I prefer the physical feel of a real ballpoint pen on real paper. Maybe I need to give it more time.)

    PS I'd appreciate any recommendations for apps that work really well with the Pencil.
  2. Beavix macrumors 6502a


    Dec 1, 2010
    You don't draw and don't like writing with the Pencil = you don't need it, so sell it.
  3. aw3524 macrumors member

    Nov 16, 2015
    Try to get used to writing on the screen with it. I use mine to work through math problems and lesson plan/post answer keys for my Calc class.
  4. jamesrick80 macrumors 68020


    Sep 12, 2014
    This is why I stated that the Apple pencil is not useful unless you are taking a lot of notes or drawing. This means it's good for students, professionals, and artists. The keyboard is the most useful accessory for the iPad pro since it fits everyone's needs. Many on here are forcing themselves to use the pencil when they may not have a true use for it. Since the pencil is hyped, everyone who has the iPad pro wants one.
  5. H8ter2 macrumors newbie


    Nov 16, 2015
    I use both the pencil and keyboard for different things I'm doing. I agree with your statement it think that's why it's a great idea Apple didn't include it with the IPP like many have suggested.

    As for the op I would say give yourself a set time, say 30 days to see if you end up with a legit need for it, if not then sell it, I'm sure you will have no trouble getting close to if not full retail in return for it if you decide to sell, and it will always be available later if you feel your needs change
  6. malandra macrumors regular

    Oct 1, 2003
    Tinkering with Procreate is fun, if not necessary. I like Notes Plus for taking notes/brainstorming because it has a handwriting recognition feature that allows me to export to a word processing program.

    It may not be worth the $99 to everyone.
  7. MaloCS macrumors regular

    Aug 11, 2011
    This is so funny and the problem with consumerism, especially Apple fan boi'ism. The original poster doesn't even know why he bought the darn thing, all he knew is that he wanted one. Now, after the purchase was made and he succumbed to the marketing hype he's left wondering, "What do I do with this thing?". o_O
  8. sdz macrumors 6502

    May 28, 2014
    Tablet PCs use Pencils for more than a decade. I would use a Pencil on iPad Pro for note taking.
  9. Krevnik macrumors 68040


    Sep 8, 2003
    Because the OP doesn't like the experience while note taking and doesn't seem to have a use for it otherwise?

    I can understand where the OP is coming from here, although I find the Pencil to be the thing that will get me off paper notes for good, since I do have my iPad with me most of the time I would have a notebook. But others already moved to digital notes using keyboards, which I can't do. I'm too free form on how I do things, and those note apps are about trying to keep everything super organized, which I actually find distracting.

    Honestly, my advice is to give it a bit of time to get used to it, but if you just don't like it, there's no reason to keep it.
  10. profmatt thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2015
    That's not wholly fair. I bought it knowing I had a period to test it before returning it. I thought I might like writing notes with it. Turns out I didn't. Though I'm going to give it more time.

    Nothing's lost. If I can't find a use for it, I can send it back.
  11. PattyMc macrumors regular


    Mar 7, 2012
    I would give it some time, I use my pencil frequently just to scroll, keeping my fingers off the screen, and of course for notes, PDFs, drawing apps.

    Get a good notes app if you don't like Apple version, I'm using Notability for now ( on sale in App Store!!) and pick a pen size you are comfortable with, lined or no lines paper, and you may be surprised how much you like writing digitally. Being able to place your palm on the screen really helps when first getting used to writing on a screen vs. paper, so go ahead and try writing just like you would if you had a notebook in your hand.

    I use my pencil more than my fingers on the IPP, and would suggest you try doing whatever you typically used finger input for, the pencil might just do more than you thought it would!

    After giving it a good solid try...and you still don't like it, well then it may not be for you, which is fine of course.

    I will say that the Apple pencil is the best digital pen I have ever used, and I've tried many stylus from third parties on my iPads. Wish you well with your trial/testing of yours!
  12. maxsix Suspended


    Jun 28, 2015
    Western Hemisphere
    I use the pencil for scribbling :D

    My iPP, OEM keyboard and pencil was purchased just for fun. I'm not a graphics professional or anything of the sort. When taking short notes I still prefer typing because that is the fastest way for me.

    Naturally very fast at typing, I knew that the keyboard was a must. It's pretty good, but it still doesn't come close to any of my Mac Laptops. But I suspected that too.

    So I am enjoying the iPP for what it is and not taxing it in the least :D
  13. Speechless macrumors 6502a

    Mar 5, 2015
    Non-gentrified Brooklyn.
    I use it for dreams and wishes because it hasn't shipped yet.
  14. profmatt thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2015
    Actually, I have noticed -- in common with all iPads -- that the screen gets very dirty with fingerprints. The Pencil is actually very good at replacing a finger in ordinary use.
  15. sjleworthy macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2008
    Penarth, Wales, UK
    99.9% pencil usage for me is daily pointage and prodding. Fantastic :)
  16. jamesrick80 macrumors 68020


    Sep 12, 2014
    The smart keyboard cover actually helps remove some of the fingerprints and removes debris due to the microfiber texture of the inner lip.
  17. Steve686 macrumors 68040


    Nov 13, 2007
    US>FL>Miami/Dade>Sunny Isles Beach>Condo
    Honestly if your main use for the pencil is to keep your iPad clean by using it instead of your finger, you're better off buying one of those rubber tipped cheap stylus things at Walgreens while waiting in the checkout line.

    They are smaller, lighter, cheaper, and make less noise when you are tapping all over the screen.

    And I will say the cheap stylus is actually better for quick light taps than the pencil is. The pencil seems to need a firm tap on the screen to 'connect' with the digitizer sometimes instead of a light touch.
  18. Djlild7hina macrumors 6502a

    Mar 28, 2009
    Whenever I get mine, it'll be for sheet music and pdf annotations.
  19. BrettJDeriso macrumors regular

    Jan 15, 2010
    Northern Virginia
  20. Newtons Apple macrumors Core

    Newtons Apple

    Mar 12, 2014
    Jacksonville, Florida
    I do not use mine at all. Did for a day or so but my IPPro really just replaced my Air 2 and the pencil is not needed for cruising the Internet. I am not sure if I know where the pencil is at.
  21. cargobrian macrumors member


    Apr 17, 2015
    Long Island NY
    I am not sure if I will keep mine. I like it, but only use it as I would a regular stylus . I am hoping it will be used for signing PDF documents etc.. We will see.
  22. ackmondual macrumors 6502a


    Dec 23, 2014
    U.S.A., Earth
    I'm no artist either. I used to scribble free form drawings on my Palm Tungsten T3 PDA, and continue to do so on a Samsung Galaxy s4 to this day whenever I need to take freeform notes. However, these have been less than 1% of the time. Stuff I doodle includes for fun, like game concepts. For more serious stuff, maps, diagrams, and flow chart like stuff, like from computer courses. If that doesn't work out for you, then you may want to return it. AFAIK, you can still do free form drawing on an IPP with your finger, even if it lacks the accuracy, tilt angle feature, and keeping your IPP less smudgy and of fingerprints (I would just wipe it wit a micro-fiber cloth every now and then)

    Despite another poster asking why you even bothered with it, I am aware there has been a shortage of them, so it seems like one of those "better safe than sorry" type situations.

    If you have the option to hold on to it for a bit longer, I too would consider exploring more with it. However, it may become harder to sell if the next batch of iPencils come in, which would raise supply again (although I don't know if the 2nd shipment would be sufficient to alleviate demand).
  23. kevroc macrumors 6502

    Oct 15, 2011
    There was a point in time that you didn't like the feel of taking notes with a Pen/Paper, but you learned.

    A lot of people seem to be stuck in this box, that if it doesn't feel right, they move on. What they don't realize is that "feel" is learned, that's how you get to the "feel" you are at. My question is why stop there? Why not continue learning new things and new ways.

    I'd give it time, give yourself a chance to learn something new and different that might really make a difference. It may not, but what can it hurt??
  24. Salaryman Ryan, Dec 28, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2016

    Salaryman Ryan macrumors member

    Salaryman Ryan

    Dec 28, 2015
    Frustrated artist here. I use it mostly for my drawing/sketching hobby. The feel of the pencil is perfect for me. Always dreamed about sketching on the iPad with a proper stylus.
  25. silverblack macrumors 68030


    Nov 27, 2007
    For note takers, I highly recommend Goodnotes 4, for the following reasons:
    - it completely disables touch and only accepts pen as writing input, you use touch for zooming and erasing;
    - it allows you to pick "ball pen" which ignore the pressure variation. This make writing looks a lot better;
    - it has a Mac desktop version, which allows you to drop files (to sen to iPad) and pull files (to archive files on Mac).

    There are two disadvantages, 1. the apps are not free and 2. it changes the file format to .gootnote. When you export the file to PDF. All annotations become permanently etched onto the documents and you lost the ability to ever modify them.

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