In an interview with the Telegraph, Apple’s Chief Design Officer Jony Ive explained the pains Apple has taken create a totally new drawing experience with the Apple Pencil accessory for the iPad Pro. The pencil’s sensor-filled tip gives the device capabilities no other stylus has, making it able to deliver a bold dot when pressed down hard on its tip or produce a lighter fanned effect when gently brushed on its side, just like a real pencil. But creating a device sophisticated enough to deliver those abilities created other challenges since, unlike a traditional stylus, the Apple Pencil needs to be charged. Ive admits plugging the pencil into an iPod through its Lightning connector removes some of the natural and intuitive feel the company worked to maintain with the device, but said his team endeavored to make it as simple as possible. “We don’t like to have to charge multiple devices and manage them either so one of the things we’ve worked extremely hard on is the actual process of charging.”
When you start to realize you’re doing that without great intent and you’re just using it for the tool that it is, you realize that you’ve crossed over from demoing it and you’re actually starting to use it. As you cross that line, that’s when it actually feels the most powerful.
His team of designers – responsible for some of Apple’s most iconic products – has been creating ideas using pencils and paper for more than 20 years, and Ive said seeing those same people finally start reaching for the iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil instead proves they’ve created something worthwhile. His hope is that users will agree once they get past the novelty of the experience and have it become a more routine part of their daily lives. “When you start to realize you’re doing that without great intent and you’re just using it for the tool that it is, you realize that you’ve crossed over from demoing it and you’re actually starting to use it,” Ive said. “As you cross that line, that’s when it actually feels the most powerful.”