Apple Pencil Pro first look

Last night I got to test out the new Apple Pencil Pro for the first time. Though I’ve heard many writers and podcasters comment on the new iPads, I’ve been hoping for a review on how the Pencil works for designers.

More specifically, I’m a UI/UX designer and use an iPad Mini daily to sketch out flows and concepts for the apps I help create. 

For sketching I use Freeform, an iPad app from Apple; and 90% of what I use involves the pen tool and eraser. I wanted to see if there were any marked improvements. 

Coming from a Mini, I immediately noticed a speed improvement in using the app in general. It’s faster to load, and I’m hoping (although couldn’t test) it will handle larger file sizes. 

The next thing I wanted to test was the squeeze gesture on the Apple Pencil Pro. In the past I’ve disabled all tap functionality because of how distracting it is. With the squeeze gesture I initially found it didn’t fit well into my flow because I’m having to squeeze it so hard that it’s distracting my thought process of sketching. However, once I turned down the sensitivity I found it works quite well. 

The ideal for me is to be able to sketch without thinking about my tool, switch colors, change between pen and eraser, and generally let the tool get out of the way. Having the squeeze gesture feels like an improvement, where I can swap tools more quickly and stay in the flow of things. 

I need more time to test, to actually sit with it for an hour and sketch out a real app flow, but based on initial review I’m really excited about this. 

It’s making me question my iPad Mini choice; although the high cost is quite a bit more than I’d prefer to spend right now.