Best Apple Pencil alternatives for your iPad

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Adonit Note+ review
Apple Pencil isn’t the only iPad stylus. With Adonit Note+, you can draw Tippy. Or take notes, sign PDFs, and more.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

iPadOS 14 includes Scribble, finally allowing you to hand write text on an iPad with a stylus. If you don’t already have a stylus, there are some great options out there besides the very expensive Apple Pencil.

Here are some of the best available, so you can take full advantage of your iPad’s capabilities without paying too much.

See 5 stunning Beastie Boys posters flow from Apple Pencil

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Beastie Boys Story: Mike Diamond, Adam Yauch and Adam Horovitz in 1993 from an archival photo used in “Beastie Boys Story,” premiering globally on Apple TV+ on April 24.
Decades after they sprung into being, the Beastie Boys are still inspiring creativity.
Photo: Apple TV+

To promote its excellent Apple TV+ documentary Beastie Boys Story, Apple has debuted a short video featuring longtime artistic collaborator Geoff McFetridge discussing five posters he created for the band using an iPad and Apple Pencil. It’s pretty rad.

Check it out below.

Apple gets it ‘write’ with Scribble on iPadOS

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Scribble is the most significant new feature in iPadOS 14
Apple’s Scribble handwriting-recognition system makes iPad styli more useful.
Photo: Apple

WWDC 2020 Apple finally brought handwriting recognition to iPad. With Scribble built in iPadOS 14, it’s possible to enter text simply by drawing on the screen.

My testing with the first version shows its an amazing feature. But one with room for improvement.

iPadOS 14 brings huge Apple Pencil advances

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Apple Pencil just got much more useful in iPadOS 14.
Use an Apple Pencil to enter text anywhere with Scribble in iPadOS 14.
Photo: Apple

WWDC 2020 iPad owners can use an Apple Pencil to write words into any text box thanks to iPadOS 14, which Apple announced Monday at its developers conference.

And there are other enhancements coming as well, like home screen widgets, improvements to search, and some user interface tweaks.

Apple Card users could get interest-free payment plans for iPad, Mac

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Apple Card
Apple hopes the service will boost sales.
Photo: Apple

Apple Card users could soon be offered interest-free payment plans for iPad, Mac, AirPods, and more, one report claims.

Sources say Apple is planning to roll out the new service, which will make many of its pricey products more accessible, in the coming weeks. Users will be able to spread the cost of their purchase over as many as 12 months.

iPadOS 14 expected to add new uses for Apple Pencil

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Sketching with an Apple Pencil is the merest tip of the iceberg of Apple’s suggestions for making your iPad Pro more useful.
Get ready for Apple Pencil to become useful for more than artists and students.
Screenshot: Apple

iPadOS 14 reportedly will bring multiple new features to Apple Pencil. On Tuesday came word that Safari will offer new markup tools for webpages.

An earlier report indicated the next iPadOS version could finally bring handwriting recognition to Apple tablets.

Apple Pencil might come back in black

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A black Apple Pencil might finally be released.
Apple Pencil looks good in black.
Artist’s Concept: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

To paraphrase an old joke, you can have the Apple Pencil in any color you want as long as that color is white. But an unconfirmed report indicates that’ll change soon. A version of this iPad active stylus in black is supposedly in the offing.

Easily take notes on your iPad with inexpensive Meco Stylus Pen [Review]

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Meco Stylus Pen review
Meco Stylus Pen costs far less than many rivals, and might be the only stylus you need for your iPad.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

The Meco Stylus Pen is an affordable alternative to Apple Pencil. It’s well suited for taking handwritten notes on a range of iPad models, and offers palm rejection. And while it doesn’t have the features artists need, it offers a long battery life and is simple to connect to your iPad.

I tested this budget active stylus by taking notes and sketching out ideas. Here’s how it stood up to real-world use.

How to quickly and easily fix common Apple Pencil problems

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Apple-Pencil-close-up
There's almost always an easy fix.
Photo: Daniel Korpai

Just like any other electronic gadget, Apple Pencil can sometimes experience issues that prevent it from working as intended. The good news is that it’s quick and easy to fix almost any Apple Pencil problem.

Try these simple tricks to eliminate connectivity issues, stuttering and more when your Apple Pencil starts acting up.

The terrific 10.2-inch iPad is a steal at its lowest price yet

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2019 iPad with Smart Keyboard
Probably the best deal in tech.
Photo: Apple

The 10.2-inch iPad might be one of the best deals in consumer tech. It packs everything you need in a decent slate, and it’s powered by iPadOS — the best tablet operating system on the planet. It’s also compatible with Apple Pencil.

What’s really great about the 10.2-inch iPad is that it’s often available at a discount. Amazon is again offering one of the biggest yet, with $79.01 off the cheapest model, reducing its price tag to just $249.99.

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