The Apple Pencil was designed in companion with the iPad Pro, in an effort to replicate the natural feel of using a pencil/pen with paper. Ive says the decision to name the stylus Apple Pencil is an acknowledgment of how objects and instruments have evolved over hundreds of years. One of the key challenges faced was designing a writing instrument for use with iOS -- an operating system that is mainly designed for fingers, not fine points. Ive hopes the team's handwork will show when customers use the device.
“We hoped if you are used to spending a lot of time using paintbrushes, pencils and pens, this will feel like a more natural extension of that experience - that it will feel familiar,” Ive says. “To achieve that degree of very simple, natural behaviour, was a significant technological challenge.”
The Apple Pencil allows you to draw lines of any weight by simply applying pressure. Just like a real pencil, you can add shading by simply tilting your hand. Ive hopes that first-time users of the Apple Pencil are surprised by this since “every other stylus you’ve used is a pretty poor representation of the analogue world.” Ive sees the Apple Pencil and iPad Pro providing an opportunity to do things you "could never dream of doing in the analogue world."
Ive also shares that many of the design team members are actually using the Apple Pencil with the iPad Pro instead of their traditional sketchbooks. For Ive, he hopes of a future where the Apple Pencil will naturally co-exist with a normal pen and paper.
“I always like when you start to use something with a little less reverence. You start to use it a little carelessly, and with a little less thought, because then, I think, you’re using it very naturally. What I’ve enjoyed is when I’m just thinking, holding the Pencil as I would my pen with a sketchpad and I just start drawing,” he enthuses.
“When you start to realise you’re doing that without great intent and you’re just using it for the tool that it is, you realise that you’ve crossed over from demoing it and you’re actually starting to use it. As you cross that line, that’s when it actually feels the most powerful.”
The Apple Pencil is available for $99 and is only compatible with the iPad Pro