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Better writing with the apple pencil on the ipad

by Jörg Baach last modified Jul 08, 2020 12:01 PM
Writing on the ipad is a slippery affair. My search for a better solution.

I got an ipad a while ago - quite happy with it, the apple approach is little less bad than android, windows or linux. Of course I had to get the pencil, which feels nice, but writing with it is a bad to slippery. Also, I don't like the glossy surface of the ipad too much.

One possible solution is a matte screen protector with a somewhat rough surface. The candidates I tried so far:

  1. dipos I screen protector.
  2. Thorani Paper-Feel Screen Protector
  3. Paperlike 2 screen protector.

The qualities I found (after try and error) for a screen protector are:
  1. Clarity - does the screen look clear, or is the image grainy and can a rainbow effect be seen?
  2. Matte effect - how much does the protector reduce the background reflections
  3. Thin - the protectors are of different thickness, which you can feel when e.g. using the button on the ipad. Also the edges feel ackward with a thick protector.
  4. Roughness when writing - some protectors are quite slippery, others are much rougher, possiby eating up the pencil tip. But a rough surface gives a much better feel.
  5. Hardness - on some protectors you can temporarily see what you have written temporarily "engraved" in the material. We don't want that.

So, here are my findings (scale  [bad] --, -, 0, +, ++  [good])):
weightno protectordiposthoranipaperlike
Clarity 3 + - 0 +
Matte effect 2 - + 0 +
Thin 1 + + - +
Rough 2 - 0 + 0
Hard 1 + 0 0 -
For me the thickness is not that important. The visuals however are (I read more then I write). But writing is also important, with the roughness being more important. With that, paperlike comes out as best, but it is still not great, because the screen is still somewhat slippery.
Now I am trying a tip protector for the pencil as an add-on. It adds a bit of a rubbery feeling, which is too much on a screen without protector. Combined with the paperlike it actually creates quite a good feeling.

On applying screen protectors

For me the best order is this:
  1. Add 5-6 scotch tape strips to a long side of the protector (with it front and backside films still in place)
  2. Bring the protector into the desired position.
  3. Use the scotch tapes to fix the position of the protector, creating "hinges" with which you can fold the protector like a page
  4. Clean the tablet screen - use isopropanol for a first wipe, then a microfiber. Try to remove even the last bit of dust, look from different angles. Move slowly.
  5. Maybe use scotch tape to find dust particles.
  6. Now, without hectic movement bring/fold the protector into a vertical position, remove the screen facing protective film, in a slow motion, and put it onto the screen.
  7. Now use an old credit card to push out the bubbles.
  8. If necessary use scotch tape to lift up the protector from the edge, and a second tape to pick up dust particles.
Check the video from paperlike, but use more scotch tape on the long side.
With this a perfect reslt (no bubbles at all) is quite possible. And just in case you accidentally drop the protector with the sticky side on the carpet - washing the protector and using a lint roller is an option :-)
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