Long before Apple's Pencil, Fifty Three had their own Pencil stylus. And Fifty Three’s Pencil stylus works with all iOS devices. I love Fifty Three's Paper app, so the other day I decided to pick up their stylus.
There are two versions: Wood and aluminum. The wooden stylus also contains a magnet strip that allows it to stick to the iPad Smart Cover. I don't use a Smart Cover on my iPad Air, and the aluminum version was $10 cheaper, so I went that route.
The first thing I noticed is how great it felt in my hand. It's shaped like a carpenter's pencil, and it has some heft to it. Part of me wishes the tip was solid rubber instead of hollow, but I'm sure a lot of people smarter than I put a lot of thought into it.
Of course it works brilliantly with Fifty Three's Paper app. If you haven't checked out the app, it's definitely worth a look. The recent updates even have Paper working on the iPhone. The Fifty Three Pencil also works with several other apps. I have Procreate, so I tested it. It connected quickly and simply. The Fifty Three Pencil will work as a basic stylus in any app, but additional features are available in apps that make use of the API.
I have noticed occasional glitches here and there, but I’ve noticed glitches with every stylus I’ve used. So far, this is my favorite. They say it’ll last a month on a single 90-minute charge. I haven’t had it a month yet, so we’ll see. Even if it only lasts a few weeks on a charge, I’ll be happy. Charging the stylus is as simple as pulling out its guts and plugging them into a USB port on your computer.
Fifty Three recently dropped the price of the Pencil stylus, and it's definitely worth the $40-$50. Especially since the Apple Pencil will run you $100. And you'll need to buy an iPad Pro just to use it. So that Apple Pencil will run you at least $900.