FiftyThree Announces Bluetooth 'Pencil' Stylus to Accompany 'Paper' App

Tuesday November 19, 2013 10:19 AM PST by Juli Clover
FiftyThree, the developer behind the popular Paper sketching app, today released a new stylus called Pencil, which is designed to be used in conjunction with the app.

Pencil comes in two varieties, one made from wood and one made from brushed aluminum, and both connect to the iPad via Bluetooth. In addition to a standard stylus tip, Pencil also offers eraser functionality.

pencil
When connected to Pencil, the Paper app includes palm rejection, allowing a user's palm to rest on the iPad display, and colors can be blended on the screen with fingers. Pairing Pencil with Paper will also unlock tools within the app, which are normally acquired through in-app purchases.

Great tools inspire great ideas. Pencil is the most natural and expressive tool for getting ideas on Paper. Advanced technology meets beautiful design to keep you in the flow, without needing to switch tools. With Erase, Blend, and adaptive Palm Rejection, Pencil puts creative possibility in your hands.
Because Pencil has been designed to work with the Paper app, its functionality within other apps is limited. The stylus charges via any USB port in under 90 minutes and a single charge can last up to a month.

The Pencil stylus can be purchased from the FiftyThree website at $50 for the Graphite version and $60 for the Walnut version. Paper can be downloaded from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]

Top Rated Comments

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Posted: 13 months ago
All the shaking made me feel motion-sick. Thanks a lot, iOS 7.
Rating: 7 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago

It seems like the lack of an active digitiser on the iPad hasn't stopped quality drawing/note-taking apps from appearing on the iOS platform.


This is the issue that I'm currently having. I like Apple product and all, but there is just something that you can't do with the capacitive surface. I'm current still using my six+ years old Fujitsu Wacom tablet/laptop to take notes with Onenote. I don't care how you want to put it, that is currently the best digital note taking experience I have had, much much better then taking notes on the iPad.
Rating: 3 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago
All I see in this video is people trying to use the stylus and then going back to using their finger.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago

It seems like the lack of an active digitiser on the iPad hasn't stopped quality drawing/note-taking apps from appearing on the iOS platform.


That's one thing I wish the iPad had. It would be so nice to use a stylus for taking notes are painting in a paint app, etc. My fingers are way too big to do detailed artwork/handwriting.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago

All I see in this video is people trying to use the stylus and then going back to using their finger.


That's better than what I see, a shaking camera.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago
just don't like how these styluses tend to be application-specific to make best use of all its features. don't want to spend a few hundred bucks on styluses alone...
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago
All that camera motion in the video makes it hard to watch. Very distracting. A suggestion of that hyperactive camera technique here and there would have been fine.

A video style more along the lines of the Paper video on FiftyThree's site would have enabled me to focus on the features and benefits of the Pencil stylus vs wondering who shot this thing.
Rating: 2 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago
I'm just dizzy now.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago

All I see in this video is people trying to use the stylus and then going back to using their finger.


I think they are trying to make the point that you can use either. In the real world when drawing with something like pencil, pastels or charcoal you use your fingers a lot for smudging and blending.
Rating: 1 Votes
Posted: 13 months ago

They recently launched the MFi programme for game controllers with iOS 7, the first game controller is released today. I could see stylus/pen support launched in the same way (after screen supports such required changes) where they launch a 3rd party framework in iOS as an MFi programme, I'm sure they've got that in the plans, I can't imagine with all the pens and styli popping up that they don't see the opportunity. I'd definitely be up for that, and it'd give me a reason to upgrade to the latest.


The cool thing is that you don't even need an API to enable support for styluses. Once the digitizer is built into the screen, all anyone has to do is make sure their product interfaces with it properly. No bluetooth, dongles, batteries, or anything of the sort. Once it's out of the box, you're ready to use it without any configuration.

Thing is, I don't see a Wacom stylus market catching on quite like the controller market eventually will, or how the capacitive stylus market already has. There are a thousand different ways a 3rd party can make the latter two. Controllers can have different shapes and button configurations. Cap styluses can attempt different things with the tips to give you a much different writing/drawing experience. A Wacom stylus is pretty much a Wacom stylus, no matter how it looks. Once you've tried one, you've tried them all, because all the action happens in the screen itself and underlying software. You might see a few 3rd party pens pop up that are longer, shorter, thicker, or thinner, but most everyone will probably stick with the Apple default, provided one comes packed in with future iPads.
Rating: 1 Votes

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