With Apple's newest iPad benefitting from Apple Pencil support, we've been taking a look at some of the best Pencil-compatible apps on the market...
At Apple’s last big keynote event, the company introduced a new entry-level iPad with a game-changing difference: compatibility with the Apple Pencil. It’s no exaggeration to say that that extra functionality transforms the device, opening up a whole world of creative possibilities. You can grab one from Vodafone UK now, but just what could you do with yours?
To find out, we’ve been putting the Apple Pencil through its paces on some of the best compatible apps out there, arriving at a list of must-have iPad apps that turn your tablet into the perfect tool for creatives on the go…
Procreate | £9.99, iPad
Procreate is probably the iPad’s most-loved drawing tool, and for good reason. It’s one of those apps that’s clean and easy to get to grips with on the surface, but hides a huge amount of power. There are brushes, implements and styles aplenty – letting you create everything from simple pencil sketches to Monet-style masterpieces – while its specially-tuned software offers seamless responsiveness from the Apple Pencil. Just get stuck in and see what leaps onto the page.
Adobe Illustrator Draw | Free (+In-App Purchases) iPad
Like Procreate, Illustrator Draw by Adobe is a fantastic, Apple Pencil-compatible drawing tool. The main difference? It lets you draw with vectors. For those unsure, vector illustrations are made up of clever, software-driven shapes that retain maximum quality no matter how big or small you make them, which means you avoid the kind of lower-resolution blurring that can affect traditional digital drawings if you try and scale them up.
This app requires an Adobe account to get going, but this comes with the benefit of cloud backups and access to the wider Adobe community.
Affinity Photo | £19.99, iPad
At £20, Affinity Photo may seem like a big investment for an app. But considering it’s the closest you can get to a fully-featured image editing suite (like Photoshop) on the App Store, that cost is well worth it. And, while totally usable with just your fingers, Affinity comes alive with the Apple Pencil thanks to the more precise control it offers. Take the time to dig deep into its myriad of tools and abilities, and you’ll find Affinity Photo to be just as powerful as any desktop counterpart.
Paper | Free (+In-App Purchases), iPad
Paper is one of the original doodle-friendly notepad apps on the iPad (its makers even made their own stylus back in the day), but Apple Pencil support is a real bonus. Paper arranges your thoughts into different digital notebooks, and is designed to be an ‘anything goes’ vessel for your thoughts.
You can draw and paint, annotate images you grab from the web, handwrite or even type out notes – all on the same page. Essentially, each ‘notebook’ in the app can be whatever you want it to be.
OneNote | Free, iPad
If you’re after more of a traditional note-taking experience, you can’t go wrong with Microsoft’s OneNote app for iPad. Its endless supply of virtual notebooks, sections and pages make it a dream for the organisationally-minded out there, but it deserves its spot on this list for being fully Apple Pencil-compatible.
With the option to add a lined paper effect to any page (and to zoom in as much as you like), writing out notes on the iPad suddenly becomes a real joy, and as close to a digital version of a paper notebook as you’re probably going to get. Oh, and all your notes will sync with OneNote on your phone and desktop too
Pages | Free, iPad
Apple’s answer to Microsoft Word is a great, clean word processor that works beautifully on iPad, but the inclusion of Apple Pencil support really brings it to life. It allows you to sketch right onto the page, annotate images or add notes for colleagues to read. In short? Apple Pencil support turns what was once a standard word processing tool into something much more powerful.
GarageBand | Free, iPad
It might not seem like the most obvious fit for Apple Pencil, but hear us out: GarageBand becomes a fantastic audio editor with the Pencil. That’s because, while your fingers are the perfect tool for mashing the virtual keyboard and selecting drum loops, the extra precision afforded by the Pencil makes cutting, trimming and moving audio sections around so much easier. It’s also great for controlling automation – the tool that lets you fade certain tracks up or down at specific points. Give it a go: you won’t look back.
Get yourself an iPad (2018) from Vodafone UK… Keen to get creative? You can grab either the brand new iPad or the iPad Pro 10.5 from us – with an always on mobile connection – starting at just £20 and £32 a month respectively.