I’m not an artist and I really can’t draw, but thanks to Paper by FiftyThree and its physical counterpart Pencil, I’ve been allowed the opportunity to pretend.
Out of all the third party iPad experiences I’ve had, FiftyThree’s Paper and Pencil come the closest to Apple’s own standard of perfection and simplicity. I downloaded the Paper app long before I purchased the stylus. The app is incredibly easy to navigate and get the hang of. With the brushes very closely resembling the real-life brushes they mimic, you’re able to create very real looking drawings right from your tablet.
Pencil is without a doubt the best stylus for iPad. The build quality is fantastic, with the shaft being made out of aluminium (also available in walnut). It feels sturdy and premium in your hand. Using low energy Bluetooth, it pairs to the iPad using a technique coined by FiftyThree called ‘Kiss to pair’ which is as simple as touching the stylus to the screen. Once paired, it opens up a whole new range of features for Paper. You can now rest your palm on the screen without interfering with your work, a tool which I found particularly useful. Your finger is also able to blend together the colours (this feature can be turned on or off depending on your preference). If you flip the stylus around, the back now becomes an eraser, saving you having to change your brush just to erase something… although I have had a bit of trouble getting the eraser to work, it seems you have to be quite precise with how you hold it. In iOS 8, Paper has the added the ability for Pencil’s uniquely shaped tip to draw lines of all sizes.
The battery life for stylus has been incredible, after a 90 minute charge, Pencil easily lasts a month. The stylus charges through USB which can be found by pulling the tip out of the hub.
At $49.95 USD, it’s certainly not the cheapest stylus out there, but for the extra functionality and ease it adds to Paper, it’s definitely worth the price! Buy now
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