This includes some benchmarks from Geekbench 4 and PerformanceTest Mobile, as well as my experiments with Apple Pencil.
John Kheit does an iPad Pro 12.9-inch shootout for the 2015 and 2017 models. He shows how much Apple Pencil lags on each iPad, and does some benchmarking with Geekbench 4, as well as a drive speed utility.
It may not have been a big enough announcement to make the Worldwide Developer Conference keynote, but the new Apple Pencil Case is still pretty cool.
Splitting the check, making your EarPods or AirPods fit better, and pen-based note-taking are just the Cool Stuff Found segment. Then your two favorite geeks talk you through fixing Wi-Fi connection issues on both your iPhone and your Mac, and also help you choose the right speed plan from your ISP. That’s not all, though, and you’ll hear much more when you press play (just do it!).
Pad & Quill launched a new line of leather and wood desk accessories aimed at Apple users. This includes a leather desk pad ($174.95), a leather mouse pad ($49.95), and a Wooden Apple Pencil Holder ($39.95). I like Pad & Quill’s products, and I definitely like leather and wood. This product line jumped out at me—now if I could only have a desk that was neat and tidy enough for such things. Everything is discounted for the introduction at the above-mentioned prices, and there are other products in the series, too.
It’s easy to draw, write, and sketch on the iPad Pro with Apple Pencil, but it just doesn’t feel the same as when you put a real pen or pencil to paper. It’s slippery, too glossy, and feels like plastic. Furthermore, the Apple Pencil just doesn’t float across the screen the way a good pencil does on high-quality paper. A project on Kickstarter aims to solve that dilemma. The project is PaperLike, and the moniker really fits. The inventor has tried a bunch of different styli and screen protectors, and nothing felt quite right. That’s why he decided to make his own. In addition to making the iPad Pro feel like plastic, the overlay also reduces glare, eliminates fingerprints, and protects your screen from scratches. PaperLike will ship in June 2017, and you can get yours early for 17 Euros.
Apple has a new entrant in its iPad Pro commercials where the company responds to tweets from real people. The new one is called No more printing, and shows how you can use iPad Pro and Apple Pencil to sign documents. It’s anchored around a tweet from @ROSESplease about printing personal documents on the company printer. I thought these spots were interesting when they launched, and found it interesting that Apple was interacting indirectly with social media and tweets from real folks. As time goes on, however, I find that I don’t think about these adds at all. That certainly wasn’t true with many other Apple campaigns. Then again, I’m not the target demo for these spots. This is the fifth spot in the series, making it likely they’re performing well for Apple.
The folks at Pad & Quill have a pretty cool new product called Leather Apple Pencil Grip. As the name implies, it’s a leather grip for Apple Pencil, but it also has a top section with a clip and a cap holder! It’s made from full-grain American Leather with parachute stitching at the ends. At the 2 minute mark in the video below, you’ll also see where they close it on the back with a hand-stitched baseball stitch. It’s available in Galloper Black, Chestnut, and Whiskey, and Pad & Quill said it will ship in early April. You can pre-order it now for $49.99 (free shipping in the U.S.).
The Iconfactory is jumping into the iPad sketch app market with its brand new Linea app, and based on our tests, it’s pretty cool. Linea is going for drawing and sketching, not digital painting, and it has the right tool set for the job. It comes with four pen tips an dan eraser tool, support for five layers, blending and transparency modes, graph paper grids, and one of my favorite features: tap a swatch on the color palette to see several shades for that color. It also includes Apple Pencil support and offers pretty flexible image export options. Linea is priced at US$9.99, and it’s one of the few sketching apps that gets to stay on my iPad Pro.
Many photographers and designers who rely on digital editing tools seem to favor gadgets like the Wacom tablet. With good reason; it’s a device that lets you edit photos and manipulate graphics with a stylus. This allows for greater precision. But if you have a Wacom tablet along with an iPad, you may find yourself juggling the two devices. An app called Astropad Studio can turn your iPad into a Wacom tablet. It lets you mirror your computer screen on the iPad, so you can make good use of the Apple Pencil, along with more powerful configuration than the Wacom. I tested the app on my iPhone and I may write a review of it in the future.
Apple is reportedly working on the second generation Apple Pencil with built-in magnets that lock to your iPad when you aren’t drawing or writing. Assuming the report is legit, Apple plans to ship Apple Pencil 2 along side new iPad models some time this year.
A bearded fellow named Bruce Talbot has a nifty project on Kickstarter called Control. It’s a wooden ergonomic grip for Apple Pencil. It comes in three colors, Black Limba (which is actually the light-colored one), Ebony, and Padauk (the darker, reddish color). I’m a terrible artist, but I love Apple Pencil. I can’t imagine making it more comfy to hold will make me any better, but it would make it more fun. The device is designed to accommodate different grips and can sit anywhere on the barrel. Mr. Talbot has an existing business called ninepen that makes wooden pen products, including fancy ones designed to hold nibs. He’s trying to raise $16,500, and has a long way to go as of this writing. Funding options start at $23.
If Apple’s latest patent is any indication, your next Apple Pencil will be more than a pointing and drawing accessory for your iPad Pro. It’ll also be a pointing device for your Mac, and a joystick for gaming.
Dr. Mac loves using his Apple Pencil, but hates misplacing it. He shares three inexpensive solutions in this week’s Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves…