A bicycle for the mind

A while a go I received two new computers from my employer: an MacBook Pro and iPad Pro with the Pencil. Although I dislike the Macbook Pro (but that's for another post), I quickly fell in love with the iPad. For me the 11-inch iPad Pro with the Pencil and Folio comes very close to what I have in mind when I think about "a bicycle for the mind", but there's one essential bit missing.

The app I use most is Paper by Wetransfer. It turns the iPad in an expensive notebook, but I love it. The pro version gives you a lot of handy tools, which I normally don't bring with a notebook, like brushes, scissors and glue. The Pencil is not just on/off, but also pressure and tilt sensitive. So I started shading my small doodles by holding my pencil in a certain angle and adding more colours to the doodles.

If an app doesn't implement the Pencil SDK it is nothing more than a precise mechanical finger. I'd love to be able to use the Pencil also in apps which don't support it. Allow me to annotate everything, everywhere and give the OS a sort of memory layer of all doodles I place everywhere. I'm currently typing this in Ulysess, my favourite writing app which doesn't make use of the Pencil. I'd love to highlight certain sentences, cross out certain things and make small doodles in the sideline.

Let me doodle OS-wide; on top of app icons, photos. I don't want to wait on the app developers for support of the Pencil. Adding an annotation layer to iOS itself would turn this iPad into a true "bicycle for the mind".

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