Review: Apple Pencil is iPad Pro's must have accessory

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  • Reply 21 of 58
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member
    Blaster said:
    jdw said:

    3) I myself don't care so much about what other people think when it comes to my "needs."  I just want products to be the best they can be, and I am willing to voice that accordingly.  I want the flip-side to be an eraser.  Put an eraser there and don't use it?  Who cares!  But remove the eraser and want to use it?  Ah, but you can't.  So by adding the eraser I am happy and so are you since you don't care!
    I seriously doubt that the people currently defending the lack of an eraser would complain about Pencil if it did have an eraser.  So this is just a case of defending whatever Apple brings out, even if self contradicting.
    I have been using the pencil and it would feel awkward to flip around the pencil to erase a delicate drawing detail with a blunt outer end obscuring your view.

    I love how you can erase really tiny details without having to take your hand off the iPad. The current pencil is perfect.
    edited December 2015 banchodeserteagle911
  • Reply 22 of 58
    I'd love to be able to use it as a markup tool in Keynote and Numbers presentations, or in an open Pages or iBooks document. Any idea if that is possible?
    I would hope so, since Microsoft demoed Office with Pencil on stage at Apple's own event.
  • Reply 23 of 58
    jdwjdw Posts: 1,008member
    Blaster said:
    I seriously doubt that the people currently defending the lack of an eraser would complain about Pencil if it did have an eraser.  So this is just a case of defending whatever Apple brings out, even if self contradicting.
    That was my entire point.  If it had an eraser, the people who never use erasers would not complain since, OBVIOUSLY, they'd never use it.  And the people who like to have an eraser would be pacified.  Everyone is happy with that in the end.  (nd you status quo defenders would always have other on-screen eraser options, should you dislike the flip-side eraser.  So you see, adding such really could please a DIVERSE number of people.  THINK DIFFERENT.
    RobJenk
  • Reply 24 of 58
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member
    jdw said:
    Blaster said:
    I seriously doubt that the people currently defending the lack of an eraser would complain about Pencil if it did have an eraser.  So this is just a case of defending whatever Apple brings out, even if self contradicting.
    That was my entire point.  If it had an eraser, the people who never use erasers would not complain since, OBVIOUSLY, they'd never use it.  And the people who like to have an eraser would be pacified.  Everyone is happy with that in the end.  (nd you status quo defenders would always have other on-screen eraser options, should you dislike the flip-side eraser.  So you see, adding such really could please a DIVERSE number of people.  THINK DIFFERENT.
    Why not using your fingers as an eraser instead? In addition to the current software eraser for fine grain detail.

    I wouldn't like Apple abandoning their clever pencil recharge solution in favour of a flip-side eraser. It'd be a step backwards in usability.
    edited December 2015
  • Reply 25 of 58
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,334member
    mr o said:
    Why not using your fingers as an eraser instead? In addition to the current software eraser for fine grain detail.

    I wouldn't like Apple abandoning their clever pencil recharge solution in favour of a flip-side eraser. It'd be a step backwards in usability.
    Yeah, finger as a secondary tool is great. I think, once developers get used to the idea, it'll be standard function in most pencil based apps. The two finger tap undo (3-redo) works really well in Pro Create. This should be a standard. I'm a 15 years + user of Wacom tablets and Cintiqs, and I've never grown to use the eraser tip. I prefer shortcuts.. On the Cintiq I'm using the two pen buttons for right click and screen toggle. These functions I don't need within iOS anyways.

    About charging. If an iPad Pro 2, and Apple Pencil 2 had some sort of inductive charging, making it always be charged as long as it's being used on the iPad, it would solve the power issue. But a lot of power is wasted with inductive charging, I've heard.. So perhaps it's not the best solution.
  • Reply 26 of 58
    I was in the new Apple Store in Yas Island Mall (about 20 min northeast of the centre of Abu Dhabi) a few days ago and had about an hour to kill so I sat down with the iPad Pro and aPencil (note to AI please add an Apple Logo to your emoticon range then we can type aPencil properly).

    I opened Adobe Photoshop Sketch and enjoyed an engrossing hour sketching a scene from the store. The size of this iPad is excellent, it fitted very comfortably onto my lap, the pencil is totally natural to hold and use, with no appreciable latency whatsoever, the retina display is brilliant and the only thing not perfect was my sketch - but hey, I don't get the time to practice that I used to!

    I found myself unconsciously switching between the pencil for drawing and my finger for operating the controls (just a slight turn of the wrist and point the finger while the pencil is held by the other three fingers curled against the palm - I must have done this a few times before I realised that I was - totally natural).

    It is a great input tool, but clearly three things are required for 2016:
    • Built-in handwriting recognition (at least for Calendar, Contacts, Mail and Notes),
    • Up-end the pencil to erase, and
    • aPencil capable screens for the whole iPad and iPhone range.
    Finally before anyone posts telling me that I don't need HWR or that they personally don't see the need for the ability to up-end the aPencil to erase, please remember that I am not suggesting that the keyboard be taken away or the on screen option for erasing should be removed.

    I am not seeking to limit your options, I am seeking your support to increase my options.

    Remember, it's about "The power to be your best", and that's a very individual thing.
  • Reply 27 of 58
    I'd love to be able to use it as a markup tool in Keynote and Numbers presentations, or in an open Pages or iBooks document. Any idea if that is possible?

    Mmm ... This thread piqued my interest, so I came downstairs and with my iPad Pro in my lap and Pencil in hand, I am AirPlaying to my 4G AppleTV ...

    Pencil input with the notes App displays with very little lag -- slightly more with other apps like Adobe.

    I find myself wishing for a Pencil (input) tool to enter this post with handwriting or annotating instead of typing.

    Likely, though, Pencil input to handwriting [optional recognition] and annotation of images should be supplied by Apple, not AI forums.



    edited December 2015
  • Reply 28 of 58

    Telestrator!

    I've long thought that the iPad would be a great device to use as a Telestrator.  I envisioned the iPad connected to a Mac (where the heavy lifting would be done) running FCP X.

    AFICT, the iPad Pro has the hardware capability to do this on its own -- without the Mac,

    We're talking about:
    1. capturing/receiving a short video clip, e.g. a basketball or football play
    2. manually annotating start, intermediate and end frames as desired
    3. computationally tweening/tracking to generate the highlighted clip
    4. playing/streaming the output
    The highlighting below was done using FCPX on a 2011 iMac.




    The highlighting,itself, took about 7 seconds to do using FCPX's mask tool - I had to reposition the mask in 2 intermediate frames.

    The iPad Pro and Pencil and a specialized  Telestrator  app would be a natural.


    You could even make it interactive like the original Madden offerings:





    Here's another effort with added special effects:




    Finally:





    Possibilities?


    edited December 2015 justadcomics
  • Reply 29 of 58
    Blaster said:
    I'd love to be able to use it as a markup tool in Keynote and Numbers presentations, or in an open Pages or iBooks document. Any idea if that is possible?
    I would hope so, since Microsoft demoed Office with Pencil on stage at Apple's own event.
    Well, my worry is that there is nothing about iWork having similar capabilities that I've heard of, yet. For instance, has there been an app update after the introduction of the iPad Pro  that adds these features?

    The fact that no one here in the forums has been yet able to answer this question is also a bit surprising. 
  • Reply 30 of 58
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,615moderator
    jdw said:

    That was my entire point.  If it had an eraser, the people who never use erasers would not complain since, OBVIOUSLY, they'd never use it.  And the people who like to have an eraser would be pacified.  Everyone is happy with that in the end.  (nd you status quo defenders would always have other on-screen eraser options, should you dislike the flip-side eraser.  So you see, adding such really could please a DIVERSE number of people.  THINK DIFFERENT.

    The pressure-sensitivity comes from the tip so they'd have to put a sensor in the other end too along with a rubber coating but that's where the charging port is. Some pens on other devices are inactive and rely on the display, active pens usually have a battery in them. The Surface pen splits in two to change the battery (Wacom is on the left):

     

    Apple's pencil is here: https://d3nevzfk7ii3be.cloudfront.net/igi/4qFI2FOIPtUKyCWY.huge

    The tip is on one end, long battery in the middle and charging port on the other end.

    Sometimes an erase function isn't what's needed anyway. If you have an object you need to remove from a flattened layer or need to adjust an alpha mask, the main brush is used to do the erasing of objects.

    Having a physical eraser is precisely the opposite of what you said. It's for people who can't let go of the status quo. The digital world doesn't need these physical holdovers.

    I don't think people would have complained if Apple added one but then they'd be left having to replace batteries. It's a different set of compromises.
    edited December 2015 mr ojustadcomicsdeserteagle911
  • Reply 31 of 58
    Sometimes an erase function isn't what's needed anyway. If you have an object you need to remove from a flattened layer or need to adjust an alpha mask, the main brush is used to do the erasing of objects.

    Having a physical eraser is precisely the opposite of what you said. It's for people who can't let go of the status quo. The digital world doesn't need these physical holdovers.

    I don't think people would have complained if Apple added one but then they'd be left having to replace batteries. It's a different set of compromises.
    I agree, there are always some compromises in the physical world. They chose easy recharging & long battery life vs upended erasing & smaller battery. They will not be adding an eraser with Apple Pen II. 
  • Reply 32 of 58
    brucemcbrucemc Posts: 1,541member
    mr o said:
    mrr said:
    Please please PLEASE Apple bring Apple Pencil support to the entire next gen line of iPads and to the iPhone 7.
    The pencil should definitely be compatible with the iPad mini and iPad air. Especially the iPad air, it has the perfect size for a sketchbook.

    I am not sure whether Apple should make the pencil compatible with the iPhone/iPhone plus. The pencil could be a great differentiator between the iPad and iPhone.
    Fully agree on the iPad line at least.  Tried out the iPad Pro in the store with Pencil and it was a joy to use.  However, the size of the Pro is just too big (but very thin and surprisingly light feeling) for my uses, while the Air is perfect.  Certainly next year they should be able to update the Air & Mini line with this Pencil technology while differentiating the Pro with faster CPU/GPU, stereo sound, screen, apps, etc.

    I am in the camp that would find hand writing (or at least printing:) recognition very useful with Pencil.  It would allow me to ditch a notebook completely for notes on the iPad.  There are many situations where typing on the iPad is not ideal for making notes.
  • Reply 33 of 58

    It occurs to me that the recent rumors about another new, more powerful AppleTV next year may be related to using the iPad Pro and Pencil for interactive presentations for enterprise, medical ...

    Apple could minimize WiFi lag between the Pencil and the TV by buffering, shorthand packets * and other hardware/software enhancements.

    * packets containing just the changes (x,y coordinates, direction, speed, etc.) similar to how game engines work.  

    By having control of both ends of the pipe, Apple could create a superior UX for Presenters, Pros, Creatives ...

    Of course this could also provide some interesting consumer uses such as video content creation/presentation (Selfies), gaming, etc.

    Mmmm ...
    justadcomics
  • Reply 34 of 58

    Blaster said:
    I'd love to be able to use it as a markup tool in Keynote and Numbers presentations, or in an open Pages or iBooks document. Any idea if that is possible?
    I would hope so, since Microsoft demoed Office with Pencil on stage at Apple's own event.
    Well, my worry is that there is nothing about iWork having similar capabilities that I've heard of, yet. For instance, has there been an app update after the introduction of the iPad Pro  that adds these features?

    The fact that no one here in the forums has been yet able to answer this question is also a bit surprising. 

    Keynote supports the iPad Pro as a remote controller for Keynote running on a Mac.  The pencil can be used as a  stylus  for annotation or as a pointer.  There doesn't appear to be any support of the special  Pencil  capabilities.

    The other iWork apps do not appear to have similar  Pencil as a Stylus  support.

    To be honest, I no-longer do any presos -- so I'm not familiar with using iWork apps for this purpose.


    edited December 2015
  • Reply 35 of 58
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,121member
    jdw said:
    Too bad the flip side isn't an eraser.  I don't mean to defend MS by saying this, but their pen input device is much more "natural" in that regard.  For 100 bucks, I should be able to flip it and erase.  It really is that simple.
    I am so tired of hearing this. The only pencils that normally have erasers built-in are writing instruments, you know, typical yellow pencils. It's VERY rare for a drawing Pencil to have an eraser. Charcoal pencils never have erasers, and the natural charcoal twigs used for drawing don't either, obviously. Neither do chalk sticks. I've never had an eraser on any brush I've bought, and I highly doubt there are any.

    There is a good reason why separate erasers are used for these purposes. Erasers are specialised devices on their own. The small nub at the back of a Pencil designed for writing is totally inadequate for the purpose of erasing anything other than the thin line of a word.

    As far as using a stylus on a tablet goes, well, it's far easier, and makes a lot more sense, to just tap the eraser on the screen, erase, and tap the brush you were using, than to reverse the stylus in your hand, often a two handed operation for most people, and then reverse it again. Considering that you may very well need to change the characteristics of the eraser tool itself, you still need to tap that to get to the selection.

    Since Microsoft's stylus is primarily designed for writing purposes, rather than for any serious artwork or illustration, having a pencil on the rear may help some people. But otherwise, it's inclusion is a waste of design effort, and serves little purpose.
    justadcomicsdeserteagle911
  • Reply 36 of 58
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,121member

    jdw said:
    polymnia said:
    I've been  Wacom tablet user for years. Their pens have an eraser end. I've never had much use for the eraser end. I'd much rather hit the keyboard shortcut to turn the writing end into an eraser or another tool.
    3 points in rebuttal:

    1) Apple calls it a pencil.  Some pencils come without erasers but MOST DO.  It's only natural to give it an eraser.  It's expected.  And for $100, it's a MUST.

    2) People reviewing MS's input device have praised the flip-side eraser as natural, while expressing minor disapproval of Apple's design choice.  Not that we really care what MS fans care about, but we would be fools to treat their thinking as flippant.  They are paying customers too.

    3) I myself don't care so much about what other people think when it comes to my "needs."  I just want products to be the best they can be, and I am willing to voice that accordingly.  I want the flip-side to be an eraser.  Put an eraser there and don't use it?  Who cares!  But remove the eraser and want to use it?  Ah, but you can't.  So by adding the eraser I am happy and so are you since you don't care!
    You're wrong. Most pencils do not have erasers on the back. You're thinking of writing pencils, not drawing pencils. If you did drawing with the proper pencils, you would know that. It's ridiculous to have an eraser on the back of a stylus. In the old days, physical erasers were needed, and the most convenient place for them, once manufacturing made it possible, was on the rear, so it was handy, and didn't get lost. But as I wrote, in my post above, erasers are not present on any serious drawing pencils, or any other drawing, or painting, tool. It's just for writing.

    You obviously do care about what Microsoft fans care about, or you wouldn't have mentioned them. I don't really care about what they write, because few know anything about real drawing, or painting, because if they did, they would understand that having the eraser on the rear serves no purpose for drawing, or painting.

    if you don't care much about what other people think, which is contradicted by your statement in "2", then you wouldn't have mentioned it.

    if Apple did put an eraser there, then the far more useful ability to charge from the Pro wouldn't have been possible. I'll happily give up the almost useless function of a built-in eraser for the vastly more useful ability to just plug it in for a charge, and I suspect that most others will also.
    mr ojustadcomics
  • Reply 37 of 58
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,121member
    ursine1 said:
    I had friends over for dinner on Saturday and one of them asked to see my iPad Pro. So I brought it out and then was asked if I had the Pencil, which I do. Interesting that two friends were immersed for a couple of hours drawing with the Pencil. They quickly adapted to using the "erase" and "erase all" commands. I also had to make sure that I still had my new iPad and Pencil when they left my home.

    I, myself, haven't used a pencil with an eraser for over a decade. When I was an engineer at the "rocket factory" 40 years ago, we were only allowed to use mechanical pencils and separate erasures. My own experience with a "lead" pencil with erasure was that I often smudged the paper and so have been conditioned to using a separate erasure.
    That's exactly why we didn't have erasers on the back of these pencils. I'm sure you remember the thin metal rectangles we used (I still have my drafting equipment, including the arm) that had various cut-outs in them for erasing purposes, so that we didn't erase portions we didn't want to.
    justadcomics
  • Reply 38 of 58
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,121member
    Blaster said:
    How does Pencil compare to Wacom's technology which requires no battery?

    Since the tip is replaceable, could we see a market for alternative tips with expanded capabilities?
    The Wacom has no useful shading possibilities. It does have tilt, but it's different. Though, with this coming out, I'm sure Wacom is working hard to try to add that function.

    if Apple hasn't patented the tip connector, then it's always possible third parties will come out with tips. But tips are so cheap, I can't see a way anyone would make any money on them.
  • Reply 39 of 58
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,121member
    Blaster said:
    jdw said:

    3) I myself don't care so much about what other people think when it comes to my "needs."  I just want products to be the best they can be, and I am willing to voice that accordingly.  I want the flip-side to be an eraser.  Put an eraser there and don't use it?  Who cares!  But remove the eraser and want to use it?  Ah, but you can't.  So by adding the eraser I am happy and so are you since you don't care!
    I seriously doubt that the people currently defending the lack of an eraser would complain about Pencil if it did have an eraser.  So this is just a case of defending whatever Apple brings out, even if self contradicting.
    Well, that's a bit odd to say. Apple chose a much more useful purpose for the back than an eraser. But if Apple chose to put an eraser there instead, we wouldn't know about the possibility of a charging connector there, and wouldn't have anything to compare it to, would we?

    So, under that circumstance, it would be natural to say that having the eraser was a good thing, because we wouldn't know of any other purpose the rear could be used for. Therefor, those defending the eraser would be defending a mostly useless feature that added to the price, but wouldn't harm the use of the Pencil. So, sure, I could see people defending it.

    But, since we do have a feature that's superior, there's no need to demand a feature that has almost no use, and that is more trouble to use than not having it.
    justadcomics
  • Reply 40 of 58
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,121member
    jdw said:
    Blaster said:
    I seriously doubt that the people currently defending the lack of an eraser would complain about Pencil if it did have an eraser.  So this is just a case of defending whatever Apple brings out, even if self contradicting.
    That was my entire point.  If it had an eraser, the people who never use erasers would not complain since, OBVIOUSLY, they'd never use it.  And the people who like to have an eraser would be pacified.  Everyone is happy with that in the end.  (nd you status quo defenders would always have other on-screen eraser options, should you dislike the flip-side eraser.  So you see, adding such really could please a DIVERSE number of people.  THINK DIFFERENT.
    Ha ha ha. Think different by thinking exactly the same, which is what you're saying. Obviously you don't own the Pro and Pencil. The charging connector on the rear is vastly more useful than an almost useless eraser. 

    Before you you guys comment, you should begin using real drawing pencils, charcoal, chalk and brushes. If you have any talent at all, you'll quickly find that having an eraser on the back of a Pencil is not a good idea, which is why you find them on pencils designed for writing, not drawing.

    but then, comments from people who never do the work these devices are designed for seems to be de rigour for forums.
    justadcomics
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