The New Apple Pencil Sketches New Shade on an Old Idea

The Apple Pencil is upon us. While it's not a new concept, it does deserve a more in-depth look at its features and abilities. It's essentially a stylus for the iPad, and it's introduction is a bit shocking to followers of Apple products. Steve Jobs is well-known for stating his disinterest in creating a stylus of the iPad. He routinely pointed out that your finger was the best pointing device. With the new CEO of Apple Tim Cook taking the reigns, it seems some big changes are coming to Apple products. If you take a closer look, you'll find there are actually several features that make this pencil a really good idea.

It Enhances Precision

Your finger is convenient, and it worked well with the iPad when it was in its infancy. However, as the technology has improved and app developers are creating new technology, it's become necessary to introduce a more precise pointing mechanism. Of course, it wouldn't be an Apple product if it didn't do something other products can't do. The Apple Pencil detects position, force and tilt. The pencil should act as a catalyst for app developers to start making apps that take full advantage of the stylus. It can also use your iPad to keep itself charged when you're not using it.

How It's Made

The Apple Pencil is made to work with your iPad software. A stylus that you can buy in the store uses passive technology. They are just replacements for your fingers. It much the same way as checkweighers work, the Apple Pencil can sense the amount of pressure you are using. The Apple Pencil and the display are two parts of the same device. The Apple Pencil works with the technology of the display to use both pressure and angle sensing. It's made to work only with the iPad, so you can't use this device with other systems. The device offers very little lag, it connects quickly and it automatically charges when you're not using it. For it to work properly, most of the touchscreen has to be able to sense hand pressure and differentiate it from the Apple Pencil.

It Annotates Better

When Apple demoed the new Apple Pencil, they invited a representative from Microsoft on stage. The purpose was to demonstrate how the pen worked in Microsoft Office. The representative demonstrated how items can be circled in documents, and shapes can be drawn directly on PowerPoint slides. Once the objects are drawn, they can be easily converted into graphic objects for placement anywhere in the document. Overall, the stylus worked very well and seemed to make the process of editing documents much more productive.

It Draws Better

One of the issues many users report with using a stylus, is that the image doesn't appear on the screen instantly. With the Apple Pencil, when you draw something it appears instantly. This is a crucial step forward that makes it an ideal object for artists who work in graphic design. The ability to detect pressure, force and tilt will enhance shading and dimension in graphics. It works well in Adobe Photoshop FX, and it should also find its way into several other applications that are useful for graphic design.

The question of why Apple would decide to design a stylus after all these years is an important one. It seems that the stylus will appeal mostly to graphic designers and business professionals who need to mark up their documents on the go. The stylus won't work with the iPhone, and it's likely going to require you to purchase a new iPad to get the functionality. This device should help to spur new iPad purchases, and Apple can continue to raise the bar on future incarnations to make it even more feature-rich. It offers a more life-like experience than when using other stylus products. Ultimately, the new Apple Pencil works much more like a real pencil.

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