Does iThoughts support the Apple Pencil?

This is quite a common request - and the answer is

YES (but not the way you want it to)

…which is why I have this FAQ page.

Under the hood, the Apple Pencil looks to apps like a finger. So all apps work with the Apple Pencil. The Apple Pencil is a little more advanced than that (but not much!) It also does the following:

  • Tells an app how much pressure is being applied

  • Tells an app what angle you are holding it relative to the screen

  • Tells an app more accurately (and frequently) where the pencil is on screen.

What it doesn’t do is ‘out the box’:

  • Provide any kind of ‘ink’ technology (e.g. drawing smooth lines that change based on how you hold it or press it.)

  • Provide any shape detection technology (you can’t draw shapes with it and have them turned into real geometric shapes)

  • Provide any handwriting recognition (you can’t have handwriting turned into real text.)

  • Provide and highlighting capability (you can’t scribble over a document and highlight text.)

Now obviously all the above is possible - since it’s done in the Notes app and some other 3rd party apps. The kicker here is that those features are all implemented within the apps themselves. There is nothing in iOS that helps here. This means that each app must implement its own drawing/highlighting/handwriting technology.

iThoughts has the Doodle feature which enables people to draw simple diagrams with their finger (or Pencil.) It works better with the Pencil due to the accuracy - but the Pencil is not a requirement.

Handwriting to text conversion is not possible in iThoughts. This would require me to license 3rd party technology (or develop my own) and this is not financially viable.