Dear Apple, Your Pencil Needs a Box
An open letter to Apple about a sorely-needed accessory
- The Apple Pencil has been around for quite a while now (it was launched in 2015) and is perhaps one of the most popular styluses in the world.
- While both the first and second generation of the Apple Pencil delivered great performance they both suffered in one department – the charging process.
- Which is why we are writing an open letter to Apple requesting an accessory that we think every Apple Pencil user needs!
We hope everything is going well in Cupertino. We know 2021 has been a busy year with all the launches, but before the year ends, we would like to request you to consider an idea for a new product.
Don’t worry, the product we are suggesting is not another phone, watch, TWS, tablet, or notebook. God knows you have a solid grip on those departments. We are here to make a suggestion that will basically make the lives of Apple Pencil users (like us) a little easier. Even as Apple is creating products like the Polishing Cloth, which is basically a tiny piece of cloth priced at Rs. 1,900 or an AirTags case which set you back by over Rs. 3,000, we would like you folks to consider creating something that would actually be somewhat more problem-solving for the people who love and use the Apple Pencil.
We, on behalf of all Apple Pencil users, want to ask you to create an Apple Pencil Box. Yes, you read it right – we desperately need a case for the Apple Pencil, so basically an Apple Pencil Box, and there is perfectly good logic behind this request.
Since it was released back in 2015, the Apple Pencil has literally pushed all other styluses out of its way to become the most popular stylus in the world. While there is some competition in the market, the Apple Pencil remains the crowd favorite stylus by a mile and is in a zone of its own. But even though the Apple Pencil may be the dream stylus for the scribblers, the sketches, and the designers out there, there is a problem with the product that unites all the Apple Pencil users, whether they are amateur or pro. That problem is charging.
Ever since Apple came out with the Apple Pencil, charging has been a problem with the stylus. In the first stylus, Apple had put the charging point at one end of the Apple Pencil, which was supposed to be plugged into either the iPad itself to charge or had to be charged using a tiny adapter which most of us lost in the very first week we got our Apple Pencil.
That was not the only issue with the charging of the first-generation Apple Pencil. Plugging it in the iPad to charge was basically us ‘living on the edge’ because charging the Pencil in that position literally meant risking its life. Let’s face it, that big stylus plugged into an iPad, sticking out like that, was a sure-shot recipe for disaster, where one tiny bump could easily damage both the iPad and the Pencil. We are not kidding – many of our friends ended up with broken Apple Pencils and damaged iPad charging ports because of this arrangement.
While this remained the biggest flaw with the first-generation Apple Pencil, there were a number of other (slightly less Apple Pencil/ iPad life-threatening) issues with the stylus. That tiny cap that covered the Lightning Port was basically one more thing to lose. It was so tiny that we had to keep it consciously safe while charging the Pencil.
There were (are) no indicators of charge on the Apple Pencil to top this. This often led to us trying to scribble something and failing in the process. And then trying to figure out if the Apple Pencil had stopped working or was just out of charge. When we did realize it was out of charge, we would have to wait for it to get charged to go about our task. Imagine taking out the stylus for a quick signature or scribbling down something important being said and ending up with a stick? It happened on more than one occasion with us.
There was also the simple matter of housing the Apple Pencil– the poor thing was literally a stray which used to end up in weird places in our bags simply because Apple did not have a designated place for it. Some third-party keyboards and cases tried to accommodate the Apple Pencil, but Apple’s own keyboards and tablets never did – it was as if the Apple Pencil was not a real part of the family.
Then came the new and improved Apple Pencil Second Generation, which solved a lot of issues that we had with the first one. Instead of being all glossy, the new one was matte and had a better grip. It came with a flat side which allowed it to charge off the iPad Pro. The wireless charging meant no teeny-tiny cap that one could (and eventually would) lose.
The charging basics of the new Apple Pencil were also better than that of its predecessor. You could simply attach the Apple Pencil magnetically to the designated side of the iPads that support it (some of the Pros, and the new Air and new Mini), and it would not only charge the stylus but also gave it space to stay. It was as if Apple had finally embraced the Apple Pencil as one of its own.
But while all seemed perfect in the Apple Pencil world on the surface, using it was a different story altogether. We loved the improvements made in the Apple Pencil Second generation, but there are still a few things Apple has not mastered when it comes to this master stylus.
The biggest problem with the new Apple Pencil is that very magnetic charging system that seemed so good. The magnets on that strip on the side of the iPads are not strong enough, which sometimes causes the Apple Pencil to fall off and wander away on its own literally. Many are the times, we have found our iPad by itself in our bags, giving us a mini-heart attack until we discovered the Apple Pencil buried somewhere further inside the bag. It is a problem we mentioned in our review of the new iPad mini, where our colleague remarked:
The Apple Pencil is an awesome stylus, but it always seems to be in need of a better charging solution.
While it was impossible to use the iPad while charging the first-generation Apple Pencil on it, it is not particularly easy to use the iPad while charging the new Apple Pencil either. When attached on the side, holding the iPad can be tricky business, leading to the Apple Pencil falling off accidentally. Even if it does not, it’s just generally not comfortable and prevents you from holding the tablet from the side on which the Pencil is charging.
We have a simple solution for all these Apple Pencil troubles – an Apple Pencil Box.
All it has to be is a basic rectangular box that will house and charge the Apple Pencil. Yes, this would mean having to carry one more thing around but carrying one more thing is much more easy and efficient than losing such an expensive Pencil or any of its add-ons.
Apple could take a page or two from the AirPods case book and create an Apple Pencil case that would have the slot for the Apple Pencil inside. Having the case would also mean that one could just chuck the Apple Pencil in without having to worry about which side of the iPad it has to stick to in order to charge. We would also like to see the case come with some LED light indicators to show the amount of charge on the case.
The charging case would have to come with a battery of its own, but it need not be a massive one as the Apple Pencil itself has a tiny battery. Considering the latest charging trend, we would like for the case to come with a USB Type-C port making it easier to charge (all Apple Pencil Second Generation supporting iPads has Type-C ports anyway, so it would save the cost of getting an additional cable) and if Apple could add wireless charging to the case, it would simply be cherry on this Apple cake.
Last but not least, we know you folks at Apple revel in making ridiculously expensive products, especially accessories and cases. Well, we would like to see this one be an exception and not come out with a price tag that would burn a massive hole in one’s life savings.
Now, is that too much to ask?
~An Apple Pencil User