The Apple Pencil from a non-artist’s perspective

I hadn’t previously given too much attention to the Apple Pencil, largely because Apple’s initial messaging around the product had really pushed it towards artists—and if there’s one thing that’s pretty clear, it’s that I am not much of an artist.

In recent months, though, I’d started to cave a bit. People showing off note-taking apps and PDF annotations made me wonder if maybe there weren’t use cases even for the artistically-challenged among us. But it was Apple’s demo at WWDC of the new Pencil-related features in iOS 11 that tipped me over the edge. So when I ordered a new 10.5-inch iPad Pro just hours after the keynote, I thought “what the hell?” and threw an Apple Pencil into my cart as well.

I may be a johnny-come-lately to Pencil fandom, but now that I’ve been using it for a few days, I’ve really been digging it. It hasn’t magically turned me into an artist or even really improved my atrocious handwriting, but there is something delightful about putting it to the iPad screen and seeing lines appear with all the fidelity of a physical pen and paper. There’s something very natural about holding the Pencil, perhaps because I’m of a generation that came to computing only part way through my youth, so all those habits with writing implements are still ingrained in me. It’s also just a pleasing piece of hardware in the hand, and I’ve taken to just twiddling it in idle moments.

If anything, my limited time with the Pencil has left me wanting even more from it. So I’ve compiled a quick list of three things that I think would make the Pencil even better.

I do some graphic work, but mostly I use the Pencil for much of what Dan has written about here.

Roger Stringer spends most of his time solving problems for people, and otherwise occupying himself with being a dad, cooking, speaking, learning, writing, reading, and the overall pursuit of life. He lives in Penticton, BC