One of the technologies I will be relying on for my project is my Apple Pencil, which will be used with my iPad. It is the first generation Apple Pencil, which is the only one compatible with the iPad Air 3rd generation that I have. The first generation of the Pencil is lacking a button that the second generation has, which works as a switch of tools (for whichever app is in use) that the user can set. Additionally, the second generation connects to the side of the iPad magnetically and charges wirelessly. The first generation does not attach to the iPad or charge wirelessly, which is a constraint of its model.
Features to Master
One feature that I will need to master with the Apple Pencil is knowing how it works on different apps. I am very comfortable with using it for Procreate, an app for creating art which I use a lot, but if I plan to use other software, then I will need to familiarize myself with how the pencil acts as a tool for other apps. I will do this by experimenting with the software, teaching myself through experience, and watching online tutorials when needed as I go about designing.
I will also need to master how the pencil physically reacts to my actions, in regards to the different amount of pressure or tilt that I put onto the technology. This affects the way in which whatever app I am using responds to the pencil, in the way that how I would use a pen would physically manifest differently onto paper. While I know a little bit about this through using the pencil, I will need to experiment more to fully learn the differences in reactions.
Another feature I will need to learn is how to use the pencil in the same way you use a mouse on the computer, as I only have experience using it as a writing tool or a drawing tool, and not as a way to control the screen. When using Adobe Illustrator, I will learn how to use the pencil in place of a mouse to control the screen and do different functions.
The Apple Pencil reflects society’s value of having a writing tool and how that has developed over time. Society has progressed from writing with stone and clay tablets, to using ink and lead/graphite, and now there are ways to mimic writing digitally, through the use of styluses.
The pencil is social in the way that it can be many tools depending on the user. For those using it in an academic setting, it becomes a tool to take notes. For those using it to create art, it becomes a paintbrush or lettering tool. The activities of the user inform how the technology is used and the features of the technology.
This technology also represents the value of society to move from more analog methods to digital methods. The Apple Pencil takes the place of an actual pencil or pen, using the iPad as a substitute for paper. This shows the value of technology and digital substitutions that replace old-fashioned, analog methods.
The Apple Pencil reflects the cultural value of art and design, as it is a tool meant to make digital designing easier and more reminiscent of designing on paper. It reflects the value of precession and detail when it comes to creating art.
There is the cultural assumption, and thus value, of physical ability with this technology, as it assumes everyone can physically hold and grip the pencil and then use fine-motor skills to design on the iPad.
Lastly, the technology reflects the cultural value of having money to spend on this type of technology. The Apple Pencil is not cheap, and must be used with an iPad which is even more expensive. The fact that the Pencil must be paired with an iPad (of a certain generation) to be usable shows the cultural value of having the newest and most advanced version of a technology.
The Apple Pencil affords me control over my project, as I will be able to use it to plan and draw out elements by drawing directly onto my iPad in a similar manner as one would draw on paper.
It also affords me portability, as the Pencil and iPad are easily transportable to different locations so I can work on my project from anywhere.
Using the Apple Pencil will also afford me precision and professionalism in my designs, as it allows for very technical details to be created through the way it draws and interacts with the apps in use.
The Apple Pencil constrains my actions in multiple ways. First, it is only usable with iPads, and only certain models/generations of iPads. The Apple Pencil does not work with any other devices or materials, so it is limited to only being useful with my specific iPad.
Another constraint is the battery life of the Pencil. It has a battery life of 12 hours, but there is only ever a low battery indication that appears on the iPad screen with which the Pencil is paired with. To charge the Pencil, I need to plug it into my iPad, or have the extra attachment that allows the Pencil to be charged by a Lightning cord.
Lastly, the Pencil does not seamlessly connect to the iPad as the newer version does. I have an attached pencil holder to the iPad case, but I do have to remember to put the Pencil in the holder when I am traveling with the iPad. While the devices are portable, the constraint is that I have to remember to bring both of them to use whenever I want to work.