Alternative Apple Pencils

Discussion in 'iPad General Discussions' started by mike2874, Oct 8, 2020.

  1. mike2874

    mike2874
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    My wife likes to use coloring apps on her iPad mini 5 and I would like to get her an Apple Gen 1 or Alternative Pencil. Here‘s my question... do you need the tilt & pressure sensitivity of an Apple Pencil for coloring or will an Apple Pencil Alternative work just fine?

    So basically it’s between an Apple Pencil Gen 1 vs many cheaper alternatives... I don’t trust my wife not to lose it so the cheaper the better.
     
  2. scifan57

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    Apple sells the Logitech Crayon in its online store at a price of $89.99 in the Canadian store. Try your local online store for the price that you’ll pay.
     
  3. mike2874

    mike2874
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    Yeah I'm aware of the Logitech but I'm still needing to know if you need Apple's Tilt & Sensitivity feature for coloring apps?
     
  4. scifan57

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    That would likely depend on the colouring app you’re using.
     
  5. mike2874

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    Ok thanks I have no idea what apps my wife uses whatever's free or cheap.
     
  6. NSquirrel

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    I have an old iPad air 2, which is not compatible with the Apple pencil. Instead I use a very cheap stylus pen. Something very similar can be found on Amazon, described as:
    ‘Rubber Tip Universal STYLUS PEN for ALL Moble Phones Tablet IPAD Apple iphone 3 4 5 Samsung Nokia Blackberry HTC LG MOTOROLA’

    Obviously not as good as the Apple pencil, but works for me. Also I have several, so mislaying one is no real problem (just annoying!)
     
  7. NSquirrel

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    After thought- some apps will only work with the Apple pencil, which is a bit limiting on their part. There are many apps that are quite happy with my cheap alternative.
     
  8. twerppoet

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    I can’t think of a single app that requires the Apple Pencil, or any stylus. That includes the best drawing apps. Yes, you will miss out on some advanced features, but the app will work.

    The Logitech Crayon does not support pressure sensitivity, but it does support tilt. Whether that will matter to your wife is purely personal. The lines drawn will be just as accurate as the Apple Pencil. It’s terrific for note taking and quick sketches, which is what I used mine for on the iPad Mini.

    I’ve played with a few coloring apps, and some support the extra abilities of the Apple Pencil, and some dont’. For the ones that do the extra features are good or bad, depending on how you like to work. If you want consistent shading the pressure sensitive can work against you. If you like a more realistic appearance (something you might get with physical tools) the pressure sensitivity can help. It is not, however, absolutely necessary. There are tool adjustments, that once learned, can help create the more realistic shadings. Just takes a bit of practice and experience.

    (note: many coloring apps will let you customize the tilt/pressure features to some extent)

    In short, if you’re wife is just casually coloring, I don’t think she is going to care. If she is trying for specific looks, it might matter.

    As for the few other styluses that are Apple Pencil compatible, I have not tried them. Most seem to have the same limitations of the Logitech Crayon. They also tend to cost about the same as the Crayon. I did a bit of research, and decided against them, mostly because they all use micro USB to charge instead of Lighting. I don’t want to carry another charger around.

    (note: I suspect the reason these styluses don’t have lightning ports is because they are not Apple MFI certified. Another reason to view them with suspicion. Also why they can be a lot cheaper. No quality standards beyond basic safety are being enforced.)

    The port is also why when my Logitech Crayon broke, I spent the extra to get the 1st Gen Apple Pencil for my iPad Mini. The Crayon needs to be plugged into the charger (unless you have an adaptor). The Pencil can be plugged into and charge directly from the iPad. That takes away the worry of keeping the stylus charged. It only take a few minutes to charge the Pencil for a couple hours use.

    The cheap rubber tipped styluses are just slightly more accurate fingertips. They have all the cost advantages that NSquirrel mentions, but in the end are just a limited as your finger. They do help if you’re tired of rubbing your finger numb; which is certainly an issue with coloring apps.

    The in-between active styluses that predated the Apple Pencil are, in my opinion, the worst of two worlds. They are more expensive than the cheap ones, and just enough more accurate to be extremely frustrating when trying to draw. Also their full feature set is limited to the apps that support those features.
     
  9. twerppoet

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    Egad! I was supposed to be going to bed, not tapping away at four times the paragraphs I expected.
     
  10. NSquirrel

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    Quite agree with you, Twerppoet, about the rubber tipped styli, but for me it does what I need. When I move to a nice new iPad (dreams) an Apple pen will be part of the purchase.

    I cannot recall which drawing apps I found required the Apple pen; if it was not what I wanted or needed the pen, I binned it. I spent quite a while looking for a suitable alternative to the original Memo app (MyScript Memo, long since discontinued) on my iPad. Simple sketching; importing a picture to do such things as add markups and dimensions; use for sudoku screenshot in newspaper! Memo was (and actually still is) very good. It used to crash regularly, but has not done that for several years, which is fascinating as iOS has changed over the years.

    Memo somehow lives on, on both my ipad and iphone but for how long? I just found that Autodesk Sketchbook is now free, so perhaps it is time for me to change. (I think, but probably wrong, that an earlier version of Autodesk required the Apple pen. I see that I certainly tried it.)
     

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