Apple’s $100 iPad Pro accessory is certainly more than just a stylus, though it may look like one at first glance. Many users seem to get frustrated easily with the price tag – without knowing the true potential of the device. Apple touts it to be the ultimate “magic wand.” This article will cover a few tips to get the absolute most out of your Apple Pencil.
Use More than the Default Note-Taking App
Even if you are not an artist, the Apple Pencil will have a variety of uses for the average Pro user. Mainly, this will take the form of note-taking. While I have found the default Notes app in iOS to be fantastic, there are plenty of other options out there with more features. Paper by FiftyThree allows for multiple lifelike writing utensils and great pressure sensing so that your writing will look just as good as it does on paper. For example, if you prefer a fountain pen over a ballpoint pen or pencil, that is an option.
Furthermore, the app supports shading with the Apple Pencil. By tilting the Pencil when writing, strokes from various utensils will flow based on the level of tilt.
You can combine images, PDFs, and more with relative ease within the app. What is great about this is that they do not necessarily all have to be in-line as on the iOS Notes app. Your notes are freethinking and not necessarily linear, so why should your note-taking app have to confine?
Of course, Paper by FiftyThree is not the only app on the App Store that is great for note-taking with the iPad Pro, but it certainly takes the cake as the best free option with the most features.
Use It for Graphic Design and Color Picking
What is often overlooked is the Pencil’s pixel perfect precision, especially when it comes to picking a color on a palette. When fine-tuning colors in a graphic design app or drawing app, try using the Pencil on the palette rather than just your finger. You will be able to select the exact color you are going for, rather than just something “good enough” that was within your finger’s tap radius.
Replace the Tip Every So Often
A replacement tip for the Pencil is included in the box, and you will want to replace the tip after any hard drops or when the Pencil begins to lose accuracy. A metal sensor within the tip is doing the bulk of the work, and it may loose contact with the rest of the Pencil housing after a while. Before fully replacing the tip with a new one, try unscrewing the current one and reattaching it. Furthermore, disconnect and repair the Pencil through the iPad Pro’s Bluetooth settings as a last resort.
Tips for Saving Battery and Charging with the Dongle
The battery in the Pencil charges extremely quickly, and you’ll get a full thirty minutes of use time from just fifteen seconds of charging. It is absolutely ludicrous. However, if you prefer to prevent power drain from extended periods of not using the device, disconnect the Pencil from the iPad Pro via Bluetooth settings. To reconnect, you will have to plug the pencil back into the bottom of the iPad Pro for a brief moment.
Let’s be real – charging this thing from the iPad itself is fine if you are in a pinch, but it looks awkward and is a great way to risk snapping the Pencil’s lightning connector off. Instead, use the included male to female lightning adapter and plug it in to a lightning cable to be kept easily accessible.
What are your thoughts on the Apple Pencil? Is it merely an overpriced accessory or something you can make great use out of? What features in the upcoming iOS 11 are you excited about that add to the Pencil’s capability? Let us know in a comment below!