Jony Ive: Apple Pencil is for making marks, the finger is the interface for iOS

“Sir Jony Ive was in London last week and was keen to catch up. There was something he wanted to show me, as he was pretty sure it was right was up my street. The Apple Pencil,” Tony Chambers reports for Wallpaper. “Yes – a pencil.”

It’s a curious thing. It was fundamentally important originally not to develop a user interface that required another instrument. It was important that we develop the UI based upon multi-touch, based on our fingers. The reasons are obvious. I think it is equally obvious that you’re just not as dexterous as you are with a pen or a pencil for certain things… I think there’s a potential to confuse the role of the Pencil with the role of your finger in iOS, and I actually think it’s very clear the Pencil is for making marks, and the finger is a fundamental point of interface for everything within the operating system. And those are two very different activities with two very different goals. So we are very clear in our own minds that this will absolutely not replace the finger as a point of interface. But it is, and I don’t think anybody would argue, a far better tool than your finger when your focus becomes exclusively making marks. — Jony Ive

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple Pencil on iPad Pro is an absolute joy to use!

(Apologies if yours is backorder for 4-5 weeks.)

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  1. A similar point can be made about the keyboard. It’s not meant to be an essential accessory. Some people compare iPad Pro to Surface Pro. They have more differences than similarities.

    With Surface, it’s Windows. Microsoft obviously designed it (the software and hardware) with keyboard present. It’s marketed as “the tablet that can replace a laptop,” and laptops have keyboards. Ads always show the keyboard as an integral part of the device and user experience.

    With iPad (all iPads), it’s designed as a tablet with the iOS multi-touch interface. The keyboard (like Apple Pencil) is an optional accessory. iPad is fully functional by itself. Apple’s marketing reflects this point. Perhaps Apple released iPad Pro by itself, without initial availability of the keyboard or Pencil (except for in-store demos) to covertly stress this point. Keep focus on the device, NOT the accessories.

    Personally, I think Apple’s keyboard accessory for iPad Pro is NOT that elegant, and seems like an afterthought. At the Store, it looked awkward when folded out; it’s oddly long and seems to have too much “cover” material, adding significant weight when attached. If I need to type a lot with iPad Pro, I’d rather have a simple stand/cover (like with other iPads) and use a separate Bluetooth keyboard.

    1. A very good point Ken1w. And honest observation by sharing your trusted thoughts during visitation at the Apple store.

      A bluetooth keyboard – even Apples own silver bluetooth keyboard can be used on iPads and iPad Pros.
      The iPad Pro will not be for everyone. I believe Apple is aware of this (risky) market.

    2. I’m enjoying my Logitech keyboard with the Pro

      We bought an iPad Pro each last week and I added the Logitech keyboard and my wife was going to wait for the Apple keyboard to be in stock.

      After an evening watching me with the Logitech so bought one for herself the next day.

      It’s a bugger having to wait the 4-5 weeks for the pencil though

  2. Can you use your finger in these drawing programs that they keep showing being used with the Pencil? Like real pencil drawing where you draw a line and then smudge it with your finger? Just curious.

    1. He tends to make his explanations far too flowery and wordy – he is a man of many words yet not clearly nor directly stating the point quickly.

      The pencil is a tool – its not for the user interface as was styluses on other platforms.

  3. Jony makes it clear. The pencil is not for everyone. Its an extension tool to work within specific applications of iOS. Like Drawing, painting etc. The true and only user interaction remains your fingers. Hence the market shrinks to this area – an area for those who love to draw, paint and design what they once perhaps preferred to do on paper. Ives statement MARKS the sector of Professionalism this product is for – its not for the Masses.

  4. The weirdest thing for me here is – The Apple Pencil is such a beautiful sophisticated achievement that is aimed as a iPad Pro accessory – however – children love to draw and colour and this Pencil would be a glorious tool in their hands to play with also. Sad to not see – iPad Air or another device not be capable of Pencil. Then the Pencil would appeal to far more.

    1. Because iPad Pro gets it first. Just like there are things iPhone gets first. The pencil may or may not move down the line. It all depends on whether Apple decides to position these devices as basically the same expect for screen size or if they decide to position the iPad Pro as a different class of device getting things the other iPads don’t.

  5. Absolute no-brainer if you have the money. I will find a way. Fantastic device for artists and creatives. Otherwise, stick to your PC Word and Excel apps on craplap coverers for all eternity. “Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.”

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