Who needs Apple Pencil when any old stylus will do? [Opinion]

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Apple Pencil vs dumb stylus: This old Wacom Bamboo is more than enough
This old Wacom Bamboo stylus is more than enough "pencil" for many people.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

I’ve owned an Apple Pencil since I bought the first iPad Pro a few years ago. There’s nothing to touch it when it comes to drawing and painting on the iPad, but I found I didn’t ever use it for that. I mark up PDFs, make selections when editing photos, and sketch the odd diagram.

This time around, I’m saving my $130 by not buying the Apple Pencil mkII. Why? I don’t need it. Instead, I’m using the cheap, dumb stylus I found in my jam jar of pens and pencils. Let me tell you why.

OLED iPhones to give Apple Pencil production big boost

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Apple Pencil
Apple Pencil won't be exclusive to iPad Pro for long.
Photo: Apple

Apple has reportedly signed on with a Taiwanese stylus supplier, adding credence to speculation that new OLED iPhones will support Apple Pencil.

The Economic Daily News out of China said Apple is contracting with Elan for “touch-and-pen related” chips for two next-gen handsets in the iPhone X line.

Flexible stylus has some cool hidden talents [Reviews]

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StylusFlex
The StylusFlex does a bit more than just let you poke at your screen.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

StylusFlex

Most people don’t use a stylus with their iPhones, and late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs wouldn’t want them to. But the StylusFlex might change a few minds because it’s not simply a substitute for the five styli you have at the end of your arm.

You have plenty of reasons to just stick with your fingers when you’re using your iPhone or iPad, and this device seems to realize that. That’s why it does a few extra things that might help it earn its keep.

Wacom’s Bamboo Fineline stylus delivers precision on the cheap

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Bamboo Fineline Stylus 1
Wacom is phasing this model out, but it's still a great product.
Photo: Evan Killham/Cult of Mac

Best List: Bamboo Fineline 1 stylus by Wacom

Wacom is to graphics tablets what Kleenex is to facial tissues, so it’s no surprise that the company knows its way around a stylus. And the original version of the Bamboo Fineline is a great entry point for those looking to start drawing, sketching, and taking notes on their iPads.

Why Apple Pencil blows away Wacom Cintiq

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The Apple Pencil makes drawing on an iPad Pro incredibly precise.
The Apple Pencil makes drawing on an iPad Pro incredibly precise.
Photo: Apple

This is a guest post by Linda Dong, a graphics expert and former designer at Apple. It originally appeared on her personal website.

A lot of hesitation (or dismissal) of the new Apple Pencil seems to stem from people’s belief that the Wacom Cintiq, currently regarded as the pinnacle of professional drawing stylus/surface design, is superior in performance and design at a similar price.

😩 *sigh*

Quite plainly, the Cintiq sucks in comparison. And I’ve been using them for years for industrial design sketching, UI and art. Let’s compare the experience:

Jot Dash is the iPad stylus you never knew you needed

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The new Jot Dash stylus works anywhere your finger does.
The new Jot Dash stylus works anywhere your finger does.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

SAN FRANCISCO — You’d think stylus maker Adonit would be terrified by rumors that Apple is about to release a plus-size iPad Pro with its very own writing accessory, but nothing could be further from the truth.

According to Ian Shirey, Adonit’s chief strategy officer, facing competition from Apple would be the sweetest vindication of all for his company’s devices. “For Apple to tell the world a stylus is OK would be great,” Shirey said during a visit to the Cult of Mac offices to show off Adonit’s latest creation, the Jot Dash, an midrange stylus that works with iOS and Android devices.

Even Steve Jobs would approve if the iPad Pro’s stylus looks like this

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Photo: Martin Hajek
Photo: Martin Hajek

Over the weekend, we showed you sexy new renders that showed the rumored new 12-inch MacBook Air and iPad Pro side-by-side. Designed by render artist extraordinaire Martin Hajek, it gave us our best look yet at what Apple’s next big products could look like.

But in the renders we saw, Hajek’s iPad Pro was missing at least one critical ingredient: the plus-size tablet’s rumored stylus accessory. Now Hajek’s back, giving us his notion of what a Jony Ive-designed stylus could look like.

Adobe Creative Cloud just got truly awesome (with 1 tiny problem)

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I was all set to pull the trigger on Adobe’s Creative Cloud Photography plan, which gives subscribers access to Lightroom and Photoshop as well as Lightroom Mobile for the iPad and iPhone.

After all, it’s just $10 per month, right? (or €12.29/$16.71 in the EU). That’s about what I spend on Rdio, or Dropbox, and I get Lightroom on my frickin’ camera.

But I decided to hold off and see if one huge doozy of a design problem is fixed before my 30-day trial of the service finishes up. This will also give me time to check out the amazing new Adobe Photoshop Mix, which is what Photoshop for iPad should have been all along.

And the little problem that could be a deal-breaker? You’re gonna love it…

Bpen iPhone Stylus Doubles As A Kickstand

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bpen

The Bpen is a clever gadget indeed. It takes something almost useless — an iPhone stylus — and turns it into something useful: an iPhone stand. It even works as a car mount, and yet can still be used as a stylus. And as a regular pen. How is this unholy magic achieved? Let’s see…