Apple Pencil: Why it needs to exist?
On 9th of this month Apple launched Apple Pencil an accessory for the iPad Pro. It is a stylus completely developed by Apple for the iPad Pro that offers pressure sensitivity and tilt detection, it runs on battery and is shaped like a pencil, it can be charged by the lightning connector that can be found at the other end of the device. You can charge it by connecting it to the iPad Pro.
After the launch of the Apple Pencil immediately, I could see all the hate towards it on the internet, with all kinds of people, specifically the Apple haters explaining, how bad the idea of the Apple Pencil was and those people were giving the Apple’s 2007 keynote as an example, which at that time made stylus seem an unnecessary input device for a smartphone.
What people did not think over, is how many things had changed from 2007 and how the iPhone had changed things.
Before the iPhone, all the smartphones shipped with a resistive touchscreen that required a stylus and ran an OS(Operating System) that was designed for devices that used a stylus, even the devices that only shipped with a touchscreen ran an OS that was designed for stylus use.
At that time no one wanted to make a touch-optimized OS, that doesn’t require any external input.
Apple launched the iPhone that made a big difference by offering what other smartphones did not offer.
Simplicity, all you needed was a finger.
Apple was not the first to make a capacitive touch screen smartphone, there were other manufacturers that made a smartphone with capacitive touch screen even before the iPhone, smartphones had existed with a capacitive touch screen but did not make a big impact due to lack of Applications and developer support and most of the devices ran stylus-based OS.
The iPhone was the only smartphone that made manufacturers develop better hardware and OS, just to compete.
After the success of iPhone, Apple launched the iPad which was another game changer, because of the way it changed how people looked at tablets.
Again, iPad was not the first tablet, before the iPad, there were tablet PC, but they ran OS designed for the desktop and had a bad tablet support, what you see today is a totally different thing.
All the tablet PC had to support pen input and touch was a nightmare because the OS was not optimized for your finger.
Microsoft tried hard to make Windows the tablet OS, but like always hardware manufacturers take software manufacturers seriously only whey fear that Apple will acquire their market due to lack of incompetent product.
Windows was doing well on tablet PC but did not achieve what the iPad did due to the lack of innovation in hardware, you cannot blame Microsoft for this, because if a hardware lacks features, the software will contain useless features that end up as a blot.
Until the iPad was out, no one wanted to manufacture a device that was similar to iPad and ran Windows.
Once the iPad started gaining market, manufacturers started making devices that ran Android, but not the version of Android you see today, it was the mobile version that was initially built for the smartphones and ran mobile apps on a larger display.
The iPad was the only device that had a correctly optimized OS that could run both iPhone and its own apps.
Tablet manufacturers started to take Microsoft seriously when they realized that Android was not the best alternative to do serious stuff and found Windows as a better solution.
Windows 8 changed the game of Microsoft and Windows user and encouraged business users to use tablets, the tablets that ran Windows was of better build quality compared to what Android tablet offered.
iOS had become a device for creatives, due to the number of apps available on the Apps Store for creative work.
Android soon started getting those same apps on their Play Store(earlier: Marketplace).
Artist and creative people started using iPad as a canvas to create digital artwork and sometimes that created digital masterpieces, for a lot of people it was a replacement from traditional tools and medium, while pen and tablets still existed, the iPad form-factor turned as a better choice for most.
It created the digital finger painting genre.
It was cheaper to buy an iPad than to buy a professional pen display, at that time pen display did not even support touch.
After this market grew it encouraged 3rd party accessory manufacturers to create a stylus that supported capacitive displays and replaced the finger with a comfortable pen-shaped tool, which was great for an artist who wanted the traditional feel, for some it replaced their pen displays and tablet PC.
The capacitive stylus lacked accuracy, it only could achieve the accuracy what your finger could achieve.
iPad Pro was shipping with a 5.6 Million pixel display, it’s now a bigger and higher resolution canvas for artists.
It is good to have a bigger, higher resolution display. The problem was that those 3rd party stylus/pen would not achieve the one-pixel accuracy.
So, Apple making a stylus for the iPad Pro was a corrective decision, looking at what has changed in the recent years, It is a new accessory for people who want accuracy, it integrates with the iPad Pro, which makes it less of an external input device.
Apple first makes thing that public would demand and later make thing on public demand
It is true that the Apple Pencil is expensive.
They developed it all by them self, which might be the reason for it to cost so much, the Apple Pencil is cheaper than a professional pen tablet.
If you don’t like the Apple Pencil, you can go buy a 3d party stylus or buy an Android tablet with a Wacom designed pen input. There are a lot of choices when it come to tablets and accessory, the Apple Pencil is not putting anything to end, its is just a good alternative
It is just giving users a better option which can give them better results.
Thank you for reading.
Leave a comment below and let me know your opinion.