Apple Pencil (second era)

“Like a high-quality wine, the Apple Pencil received higher with age. An improved design pairs completely with iPadOS 14 enhancements.”

Stylish, comfy design

Magnetic charging is cool

Works nice with iPadOS 14

Helpful for greater than artwork now

Costly

Not appropriate with base iPad

The Apple Pencil has been a go-to device for digital artists and graphic designers for years. Now on its second era, the Apple Pencil is appropriate with all iPad fashions, although the mannequin that you’ve got will dictate which Apple Pencil mannequin you need to use.

Given the slew of recent options obtainable to the Apple Pencil in iPadOS 14, we thought it was time to revisit the Apple Pencil, particularly contemplating the truth that these new options imply that anybody may get some use from the machine.

Now that options like Scribble can be found, do you have to purchase the second-generation Apple Pencil in your iPad Professional or new iPad Air? We put it to the take a look at to seek out out.

A pure design

The primary-generation Apple Pencil supplied a totally spherical design, and whereas some will recognize the look, I discover that the brand new Apple Pencil 2, with its flat edge, appears to be like and feels a little bit extra pure. One thing about having the ability to relaxation my pointer finger on that flat edge provides it a greater grip.

After all, the explanation Apple added the flat edge has much less to do with gripping the Pencil, and extra to do with charging it. Gone is the extremely unintuitive and awkward charging strategy of plugging the Pencil into your iPad’s Lightning port. For the second-generation Apple Pencil, you merely plop the machine onto the magnetic charger on the highest fringe of your iPad, and it’ll cost. That conveniently additionally doubles as a pleasant place to retailer it whenever you’re not utilizing it, whereas retaining it protruding of the Lightning port whenever you’re not utilizing the unique Pencil would type of make you a madman.

The second-generation Pencil is a little thicker than a mean pen or pencil, however not overly so, and never sufficient to make holding it awkward. It’s additionally fairly light-weight, with out feeling low-cost or flimsy.

The magnets within the Pencil and iPad hold it properly in place nearly all of the time. Throughout a weekend away, during which my iPad Professional and Pencil had been taken out and in of my backpack various occasions, it solely got here off after I didn’t need to as soon as. The remainder of the time, it remained firmly in place — and it’s typically a superb place to maintain the Pencil even when on the go.

The one draw back to the brand new Apple Pencil is that it solely works with just a few choose iPad fashions. It really works with all iPad Professional fashions from the 2018 onward, and it really works with the 2020 iPad Air (4th gen). The hope is that after Apple brings a the most recent flat-sided trendy design to the remainder of its iPad line, with the bottom iPad and iPad Mini, the Apple Pencil will as soon as once more be common.

Instruments for everybody

The design is a crucial facet of the Apple Pencil, however maybe among the best issues about it’s that like a high-quality wine, it will get higher with age. That was confirmed to be true with iPadOS 14, with which Apple launched a ton of options that, frankly, make the Pencil a device for everybody — not only for graphic designers.

We’re focusing a little bit extra on the hardware than the software program on this overview, so we received’t go over these new options in depth. That mentioned, the standout function right here is Scribble, which lets customers write and have it mechanically remodel into textual content utilizing Apple’s fancy textual content recognition tech. This works throughout the whole working system — anyplace you’ll be able to sort, now you can write.

It implies that you need to use the machine for note-taking, whereas nonetheless having the ability to get searchable textual content after the very fact. That recognition textual content can come into play with out the necessity to truly use Scribble too. For instance, you’ll be able to choose writing, copy and paste it, and even paste it as straight-up textual content. And, for those who write a URL, tackle, telephone quantity, or e-mail tackle, iPadOS will be capable to use that information to make calls, navigate you to an tackle, and so forth. It’s useful.

All Apple Pencil fashions have the identical latency of 9ms, which has extra to do with iPadOS than the Pencil itself. However mixed with the 120Hz refresh price on the iPad Professional’s show, you may have an extremely smooth-feeling, pure expertise.

After all, there are nonetheless options which can be hardware-based, and never software-based. The obvious of these is the flexibility to double-tap to change instruments or flip the machine off, which is a useful shortcut. You may customise the function relying on the app you’re utilizing, however by default it switches to the eraser device in most apps. It’s going to positively turn out to be useful for graphic designers and artists — although maybe much less so for everybody else with out some customization.

Our take

The Apple Pencil isn’t an ideal device, nevertheless it’s getting shut. It’s a little bit expensive, to make sure, however given the brand new options in iPadOS 14, it boasts options that just about everybody may make use of.

However it’s nonetheless a little bit of a luxurious product for many who aren’t graphic designers or artists. That’s to say, you most likely don’t have to get an Apple Pencil to take notes. You possibly can simply sort out your notes with a keyboard in case you have one, or use the great ol’ common pen and paper. That mentioned, even when it’s a toy for some, it’s a extremely neat toy, and in case you have the money to spend on the Pencil, you’re unlikely to remorse doing so.

Is there a greater different?

No. Different firms supply their very own stylus, like Samsung with its S Pen, however that’s just for Samsung units. As a well-rounded expertise, the second-generation Apple Pencil can’t be beat.

How lengthy will it final?

So long as you maintain it, the Apple Pencil ought to final a minimum of just a few years. It’s onerous to know if Apple will launch a third-generation Pencil in some unspecified time in the future, however so long as the corporate retains updating iPadOS with new Pencil-related options, it ought to get more and more helpful over time.

Do you have to purchase one?

Sure. You may want one for those who’re a graphic designer or artist, however even for those who’re not the Apple Pencil 2 has a spread of options that might be helpful to you.

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