Just another Apple product or a digital magic wand? Guardian illustrator Chloe Cushman takes it for a spin
The Apple Pencil is a cursed product, haunted by a single Steve Jobs quote from 2010: If you see a stylus, they blew it. Jobs thought that the stylus, a pen-like device used to write or draw directly on a digital screen, was a useless appendage. If you couldnt operate a device with only your fingertips its design was flawed. This may be the real reason behind the very literal design of the Apple Pencil. Apple seems to have deliberately designed its latest accessory to look, feel and function like a creative tool and not the technological appendage that Jobs famously hated.
The new Pencil is exclusive to the latest and largest iPad, the iPad Pro, and is intended to let everyone from amateur artists to creative professionals draw on their tablets as freely as if they were putting pencil to paper. I tested it out and discovered that despite its simple purpose, the Pencil could not be more complex; in its attempt to harness the effortless beauty of the elementary writing and drawing instrument, Apple has crafted its own magic wand.
In order to mirror the process of illustration, the Pencil has to interpret the hand of the artist for the computer. Its job is to digitally replicate the act of drawing itself, which depends on a seamless connection between the hand, the instrument, and the page (or the screen). If Apples Pencil, or any stylus, can really convince the user that there is nothing between the tool in your hand and the mark it makes on your screen, it would be something like magic.