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iOS 9.3 Public Beta Removes Apple Pencil Support for UI Interactions

If you have an iPad Pro and an Apple Pencil (and really, if you have an iPad Pro, you need an Apple Pencil), you too might be tremendously disappointed to find that the iOS 9.3 Beta removes the ability to use the Pencil as a generic stylus. Tapping the Pencil on the glass will trigger the appropriate actions, but dragging the Pencil to swipe between home screens or drag around in a scrolling pick list completely fails.

I know I’ve submitted a Feedback Report on this; removing Apple Pencil support as a traditional stylus severely reduces my satisfaction with the damned thing. If it was already in your hand, it was very convenient to use as a generic tap/swipe device. If it wasn’t already in your hand, keeping the screen fingerprint-free was a worthwhile reason to put it in your hand. (I really don’t like fingerprints.)

I really hope that this is simply a bug in the Beta, though not being resolved by the current Beta 3, that seems doubtful. It creates a conflict in my head the way it is now—”Can I use my Pencil here? Oh, no, wait, I have to use my finger (or another stylus). But I can use my Pencil here, right? Let me change that option, oh wait, I need to put down the Pencil.” This is so frustrating that I might end-up selling the Apple Pencil if the final version of 9.3 doesn’t support using it everywhere, like it did in iOS 9.2.

Migrating from Evernote to Apple Notes

9to5Mac published an article on OS X 10.11.4’s ability (in beta, as of this writing) to migrate from Evernote to the new-and-improved Apple Notes app found in El Capitan and iOS 9.  I went through this migration myself a couple of months ago once I saw how well executed the new Apple Notes app appeared to be, and I used an extremely helpful AppleScript from Larry Salibra, which worked very well—not perfectly—but very well.  I had a few thousand notes stored in Evernote, most of which had attached PDF files from my scanner and/or ScanBot on iOS.  During the transition, I lost about 50 of those notes for one reason or another during the transfer, and Mr. Salibra’s script attached the metadata stored in Evernote to the bottom of the note as text.  This was neither a perfect nor a native solution, but as Apple had neither included a native importer nor indicated any thought of doing so, I gladly and thankfully went forward with Larry’s script and closed my Evernote account.

Today’s news makes me wish I had held-off on deleting that Evernote account, as the thought of a native conversion from Evernote to Apple Notes leaves me wanting to roll back the clock.

Regardless, if you are considering making the switch from Evernote to Apple Notes (and really, I think that’s probably a good idea for the majority of Evernote users in the Apple ecosystem), hold off until OS X 10.11.4 launches officially and import your Evernotes the appropriate way to ensure the most successful transfer possible.