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Apple’s own design team always used paper, now starting to use the iPad Pro & Apple Pencil, says Jony Ive


Apple’s design chief Jony Ive told the Telegraph that while his own team has worked using paper sketchbooks for more than 20 years, they are for the first time starting to use the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil instead.

Many of us in the design team have worked together for 20 plus years. We’ve always drawn in our sketchbooks, and for the first time – despite flirting with some alternatives a couple of years ago – I’m seeing people starting to use the iPad and Apple Pencil. Our personal experience has been that there are definitely affordances and opportunities now that you have a much more natural and intuitive environment to make marks, there are clearly things you can do sketching and writing on the iPad which you could never dream of doing in the analogue world.

He said that while he’d started off demonstrating it, he’d then found himself using it for his work … 

What I’ve enjoyed is when I’m just thinking, holding the Pencil as I would my pen with a sketchpad and I just start drawing.

When you start to realise you’re doing that without great intent and you’re just using it for the tool that it is, you realise that you’ve crossed over from demoing it and you’re actually starting to use it.

Ive told the Telegraph that ensuring that the Pencil felt like a traditional writing instrument had been both important, and a challenge.

We hoped if you are used to spending a lot of time using paintbrushes, pencils and pens, this will feel like a more natural extension of that experience – that it will feel familiar. To achieve that degree of very simple, natural behaviour, was a significant technological challenge […]

Every other stylus you’ve used is a pretty poor representation of the analogue world.

Tim Cook said earlier this week that the Apple Pencil, a $99 optional accessory that works only with the iPad Pro, was more than just a stylus.

Don’t expect to be able to get one today, though, even if you’re lucky enough to get your iPad Pro: most stores are saying that stock has not yet arrived.

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  1. djngoma - 7 years ago

    It would be silly for them not to be using their own products. Let’s just hope this is true for other creatives as well.

    • Robert Nixon - 7 years ago

      It wouldn’t be silly at all, and that’s why this is so significant. Pencil and paper sketches have been the first stage of almost every designer’s workflow since.. well, ever. Many credit it as being essential to the creative process, and it’s something of a truism in design circles that no digital equivalent can fill the shoes of a pencil on paper for fleshing out ideas.

      The fact that some of the experienced designers in the world are not only starting to get away from this, but are finding to be a fairly natural transition and advantageous transition to move from pencil and paper to this specific tablet and stylus is significant, even if they are biased.

  2. Joe - 7 years ago

    I’m curious to know what the “alternative” was a couple of years ago that they tried.

  3. “Or else?”

  4. Very much like my initial FaceTime experience … Began as demo’ing it for friends, being very aware of the technology, using it with great intent… then somewhere it became a seamlessly integrated part of daily life.

    • r00fus1 - 7 years ago

      On weekends we usually have 7-9 ppl in our house, and at least one FaceTime going every 1-2 hours.

  5. tonywmd23 - 7 years ago

    According to the early preview of Apple Pencil from AnandTech, it’s almost certain that Apple Pencil is the best stylus on a consumer product you can possibly get today. Maybe it really will be a game changer for art creators and students (taking notes on this thing is a breeze)

  6. strawbis - 7 years ago

    I just wish he’d stop saying “I’ve”, it’s confusing. ;)

  7. airmanchairman - 7 years ago

    Dog-fooding with style(us)!


Avatar for Ben Lovejoy Ben Lovejoy

Ben Lovejoy is a British technology writer and EU Editor for 9to5Mac. He’s known for his op-eds and diary pieces, exploring his experience of Apple products over time, for a more rounded review. He also writes fiction, with two technothriller novels, a couple of SF shorts and a rom-com!

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