FiftyThree Pencil stylus for iOS artists to offer pressure sensitive, thin and broad strokes

Apple iOS developer FiftyThree has today announced a further exciting development for its Pencil stylus, one of the best styli available for the tablet range. The new capabilities, which will be available when Apple iOS 8 is released, include ‘Surface Pressure’ where the variously angled tip of the Pencil will be able to make both fine and broad strokes and react impressively to user pressure making it “expressive from every angle”.

Pencil - with 'Surface Pressure'

Pencil – with ‘Surface Pressure’

Pencil looks like a builder’s pencil and is currently pretty useful as an iPad stylus. You can use it quite naturally to draw in iOS, especially with the FiftyThree Paper app. You just twizzle it around to use it as an eraser, it supports palm rejection technology and if you use a finger instead it recognises that and allows you to use your digit for smudging and blending. That’s all very natural and appealing to traditional artist types. However the upcoming Surface Pressure feature makes the tool really stand out from the crowd.

The official press release from FiftyThree describes the new Pencil capabilities as follows:

“With Surface Pressure you’ll be able to control the lines you create based on how much of Pencil’s tip or eraser is in contact with your iPad. Use the point for fine details or the angled edge for broad strokes… Stay in the flow and change drawing styles simply by changing the way you hold Pencil—no stopping to fuss with the settings menu.”

Pencil retail pack

Pencil retail pack, you can buy it from Amazon

We are also told that existing users of Pencil and Paper will get the new spectrum of capabilities unlocked for no extra charge or fees, they just need Apple’s iOS 8 which is released this autumn for the iPad 3 or newer. Customers in North America can buy the Pencil now via Amazon ($74.95, with free shipping) and the company are “working hard” to make their product international.

Mark Tyson

Mark has worked for a number of years as a newshound on other technology news websites. He decided to write for Tech Assimilate thanks to this web site's open embracing vision of the fascinating world of personal technology. Mark has also worked in the printing and advertising industries for tens of years previously.

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