5 things you need to know about the Apple Pencil

What about the Apple Pencil?

First: The Apple Pencil is just for the iPad Pro. Meaning, you can’t use it with your iPhone or the rest of the iPad lineup. So you don’t need to buy this $99 accessory if you don’t have an iPad Pro. But, who knows? This might not be the case forever. Maybe Apple would democratize the Pencil sooner so that the older, as well as the future generation of iPads, could all take advantage of this cutting-edge technology.

Document markup with the Apple Pencil (image from apple.com)

Document markup with the Apple Pencil (image from apple.com)

Second: The Apple Pencil doesn’t have an eraser. Despite having the familiar pencil-like features, it doesn’t have any sensor to enable erasing function on the opposite end of it. Instead, there’s an 8-pin Lightning plug in the cap which you can connect directly via the iPad Pro or to a regular Lightning cable using the supplied female-to-female Lightning adapter to charge it.

So don’t bother using it to attempt to erase because it just won’t work. But you can use the Apple Pencil to select the eraser option on your apps so you can erase properly.

Third: The Apple Pencil has its own limitations too. Although it allows you to open apps and links, scroll, and navigate, the Apple Pencil just can’t help you to return to the home screen, access edge gestures like Notification Center or Control Center, or invoke the app switcher in iOS 9. It won’t even pinch to zoom. It gives no response when swiping from the right side of the screen either.

But that shouldn’t lessen its charms. Clearly, it’s a digital pen, and of course Apple has deliberately designed it the way it should be. So use your fingers instead for more efficient multitasking on your iPad Pro.

Fourth: The Apple Pencil works just fine with third-party keyboards. Although typing on Apple’s regular keyboard is good, it’s just more expedited using it with third-party keyboards that support swiping and feature gesture-based input.

Fifth: The Apple Pencil can also be used to trace your drawing or sketch on a paper. Just put the paper on top of your iPad Pro, adjust the level of brightness depending on its thickness so the display shows through the paper, and then begin tracing with the Apple Pencil.

Now that you’ve learned it, have fun using the Apple Pencil with your iPad Pro!

Sigfred Hermosa

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