For some reason, many felt that one of the key features of the iPad Pro was the availability of a stylus, which they called Apple Pencil, although the company strongly emphasizes that this is not a stylus at all, but something else, for example, a pencil, as the name implies. Reason for dislike for the word “stylus” is clear. Apple founder Steve Jobs argued that all control on the company’s touch devices will be hand-held, and a stylus. It is a relic of the past. Steve Jobs is no longer there, which means that current company executives can release whatever they want, which they do. Nevertheless, one still has to give explanations to their ingenious finds, otherwise the crowd of fans remains at a loss and does not know what to tell others about the next great invention. Jonathan Ive, who in the last few years has not given anything interesting and worthwhile, told Magazine why and how the idea of a pencil came up, here is his direct speech: “We realized that there is a clearly defined group of people that can appreciate a tool that allows them to draw or draw, but not in the way they draw with their fingers. And I suspect that this is a large group of people. ”
Almost five years after the release of the first Note, the beginning of this line from Samsung and the rise of its popularity at Apple, they suddenly saw that there is a niche in the market for those who like to draw. And they decided to make their product. There was no need to invent anything, since all kinds of styluses for Apple tablets were produced by many companies, but they all suffered from one drawback, these were stick sticks, while other manufacturers created full-fledged input devices that respond to pressing force, pen tilt, and others “Little things.” In particular, such devices include all styluses from Samsung, as well as a pen to Microsoft Surface, which in the latest versions of tablets is part of the standard delivery. Once again, Apple comes with its decision to the market, where there are already analogues that have come a long way in several generations. If Apple had not ignored the experience of others, they could have created their own “pencil” in a completely different way, and it would have been much more useful for users of iPad tablets, but everything turned out differently, the story developed as usual.
The price of Apple Pencil in the USA is 99 dollars without taxes, 7 790 rubles, which makes this pencil, if not gold, then close to that. On the other hand, Wacom professional styluses are expensive, but this is a completely different class of products, and their consumers know exactly what they pay for. This is not a massive toy for bored people who want to portray something on the tablet screen. I question the fact that professionals in graphics, design and the like will begin to use the Apple Pencil en masse, it all comes down to the force of habit, but the main thing. This is the software that will be available to work with the pen. And with software so far, everything is very sad, but more on that later.
So, we get out of the Pencil box, open the lid on the upper end and see the Lightning connector. The box shows how to insert it into the tablet to recharge.
Forgive me, but this is pornography in the literal and figurative sense. Apple engineers lost all their skills, as they created an ugly visual, bad and unreliable solution, in this position it is not difficult to break off the connector. And they sincerely warn you! Caring curved-handed creators of Apple Pencil, who quickly realized that their solution was not very good, and therefore added an adapter for charging a pencil from a computer or from the network. This is a small adapter, on the one hand we stick the usual charging from the iPhone / iPad, on the other hand. The pencil itself. Adapter! For the stylus! If Steve Jobs were alive, he would have had a very sharp conversation with Jonathan Ive, after which the latter would have rushed to correct and redo everything.
I did not dare to upload a photo of how it looks in a state of charging, I was afraid that they would shut us up for pornography, so look at this point in the, everything is shown there. But I can say one thing, Apple engineers surpassed my worst assumptions, they made a pencil in the worst possible way. The same stylus on MS Surface does not require charging and works fine with built-in software. But more on that later.
Apple’s pencil is glossy, and if your hands are wet, it starts to slide. No rough surfaces, the tool for creativity should be smooth and sliding, both on the surface and in the hands of a person. Speaking seriously, it is obvious that not just the majority of those who produce styluses do not make them smooth, but prefer a rough body. Let’s guess why. Apparently, they put the ergonomics of the device higher than its appearance, but Apple does exactly the opposite.
In terms of ergonomics, the Apple Pencil has another drawback. It does not have an iPad mount. It is magnetized from the bottom, but the force of attraction is not enough, so it will not work. It will have to be worn somewhere else, but not with the device. This is stupid? In my opinion, this is damn stupid and short-sighted, and most importantly, inconvenient. But one can deny quite obvious things and say that this is correct and only so necessary.
Now for the good and pleasant. Apple Pencil only works with the iPad Pro; connecting it to other tablets will not work. The reason is that the company slightly changed the screen technology to support such a stylus. I don’t know whether its support will be in other products, but it is justified only on large diagonals, on the same iPad Mini there is little sense in a pencil.
We insert a pencil for charging, and then the iPad Pro offers us to synchronize the device via Bluetooth, connect it. We agree. In the notifications you can find a widget that shows the level of charge of Apple Pencil. The company claims that a fully charged pencil will work for about 12 hours, in 15 seconds you can get a working time of 30 minutes. A full charge of the Apple Pencil from the iPad takes about 45-50 minutes. In principle, this is a small problem, charging from time to time this stylus is not difficult. When the battery is low, a warning message will appear.
There is a flip side to the coin that no one thinks about or pays attention to. With Apple Pencil, the power consumption of the iPad Pro increases. For half an hour of work on the screen, the battery loses 7-8 percent of the charge. For comparison, watching a movie at maximum brightness eats up 10% per hour. Feel the difference and differences.
Software. Familiar all names
The Apple stylus understands up to 2048 degrees of depression, as well as horizontal deviation. This means that by clicking on it, you can make the lines thicker, and by tilting the pencil you get a hatch. And this reminds him of an ordinary pencil, which is very good.
But now is the time to talk about what programs and how to support working with Apple Pencil. With it, you can move around the screen, select icons. And there are no problems, everything works. Another thing is that creativity requires programs that can work with the Apple Pencil, and there are already more than a dozen such programs. For example, in standard notes you can write by hand, but your text is not recognized at the same time, there is simply no such function in iOS9. This is the first disappointment, no handwriting and text input in this way, this pencil is for creativity, not for boring handwritten notes.
I tried a dozen programs that the App Store recommended for me to pencil, most of them already had stylus support, that is, the appearance of the Apple Pencil was not unexpected. For example, in Evernote you can enter notes by hand for a long time, on the iPad you could draw with your finger, as, however, this can be done now. About the same thing in each of the programs, Apple Pencil does not give any particular accuracy, you draw exactly the same way you painted before, with the same programs or similar input devices.
I did a little experiment and asked my colleague that he was fond of drawing, try out the device and express his opinion. She began to draw with enthusiasm from a photograph taken on one of her trips, but very quickly put down Apple Pencil and said the following: “I don’t really need it, here you can draw it all with your hands in the program, some parts are probably harder than usual, but not fundamentally more complicated. ” After chatting on this topic, I realized a simple thing: to draw, you do not need a miracle device, you only need desire, and the choice of instrument is secondary. The surface of the device cannot replace paper, its quality and other sensations, since not only pencil, brush or paints are important, how they interact with the paper and what result you get is important. In theory, it would be possible to emulate paper in software, but no one has yet done so.
All the software that I tried can be used with any stylus, the device from Apple is extremely simple and does not have any special functions. Over, there is no integration into the operating system. And this puts an end to the most popular use cases that opened on the Note line in almost five years of its existence. For example, people often cut out something from pictures and send by mail, add annotations to such pictures. And on the same Note, this can be done in a matter of seconds, there is an option “write on the screen”, instantly you get a screenshot that you already decorate to the best of your ability. And you can cut out a piece of the picture and at the same time recognize the text on it, send both the picture and the text from it, and in any language. But this is already such a high class that I will not even talk about it, since Apple in this case looks like a poor relative. Key Benefit Note. This is a deep integration of the stylus into everything that can be done on the device. It was created not only and not so much for those who draw, but for everyone who wants to get new opportunities, and the device gives these opportunities to the fullest. It is possible that they are not always needed, but sometimes they are necessary and very useful.
What about stylus integration on MS Surface? Exactly the same story, Microsoft, oddly enough, understands that the stylus itself is not important, you need to integrate it into the system, for example, to enable OneNote to be launched with one click, enter handwritten text or drawings, and recognize all this. If necessary, erase without resorting to additional movements and pressing the button on the stylus. And on the same Surface Pro 4, the stylus is attached on a magnet to the body, it can be worn with the device. It turns out that the engineers at Microsoft are much better than at Apple, where they could not implement the simplest function, although they themselves came up with a lot of chips with magnets in the time of Steve Jobs.
Also a slightly different level of software and binding the stylus to the system. Why is this so? Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that people think why and why they do it, to whom it may be important. They are working on usage scenariOS. Apple doesn’t do this, but rest on its laurels. In fact, copying other people’s products, Apple does not bring anything into them, and the implementation from an engineering point of view is the worst possible. Why is that? We relaxed, inside the company there is no owner who would monitor how everything should work.
It is interesting how with the release of Apple Pencil many “leading world publications” discovered this topic and began to write about it. It doesn’t matter that dozens of styluses existed before, and the software initially supported them, including on the iPad. It does not matter that the only advantage of Apple Pencil in a small stylus market is the name of the manufacturer, and not something else. The main thing is that the company was able to create the myth that it produces successful products that millions need. And it doesn’t matter at all that the same watch didn’t take off and Apple doesn’t say anything about them in terms of real numbers. And no matter what the iPad Pro. It’s a very niche device with an idea that Samsung and Microsoft have stolen from each little bit. And it is not so important that no one guessed to collect a hundred dollars for a stylus. On the other hand, you have to pay for stupidity. Apple believes stupidity is worth a hundred dollars. And this is the right price.
This accessory, like a drop of water, reflects where the company is going and how its helmsmen relaxed and rest on their laurels. This is not the best product that Apple has released, however, for the last couple of years it’s hard for me to name something that would attract attention. Copying other people’s ideas, their poor implementation, but so far Apple can afford it. That’s just a credit of trust. Rather fragile thing, it may disappear.