Feature of the Week

10.5: Drawing

| Feature of the Week

After the original Apple Pencil was announced, we were just as excited as our customers to learn more about it, how it worked, and what it could mean for apps like forScore. It wasn’t something we figured out overnight, since everybody’s needs are unique and can’t be addressed with one quick update or setting, but over the past three years our approach has evolved to help our users take full advantage of this stylus’ strengths.

iOS’ palm rejection is quite good, but it’s not perfect and after Apple Pencil was released we got a lot of requests for something more concrete, an option to completely ignore finger input when drawing. We knew that there would be times when the Apple Pencil wasn’t available, like if it was out of reach or its battery had drained, so we had to get creative. Apple doesn’t let developers know when an Apple Pencil is nearby or whether or not it’s fully charged, so the only time we know for certain that you’ve got one is when it’s touching the screen.

To solve this, we tied our “prevent finger drawing” option to another setting, “automatically enter annotation mode,” which lets you annotate by drawing on the page without having to activate annotation mode first. Since that mode only kicks in when you use Apple Pencil, we relied on it to make an assumption about whether or not to allow finger input.

Sometimes, though, a smart answer isn’t the right one. That setup was confusing for a lot of people and unnecessarily complicated. With forScore 10.5, we took a simpler approach: if enabled in forScore’s settings panel, the “prevent finger drawing” option now works all of the time, no matter how you enter annotation mode. As long as your Pencil has touched the screen within the last fifteen minutes, forScore will ignore finger input for drawing purposes.

A new icon in the center of the annotation toolbar shows you when this setting is active. If your Pencil stops working or wanders off, tap this icon to temporarily disable the option and allow finger drawing. The next time you touch the screen with your Apple Pencil, it’ll re-activate itself automatically. Instead of trying to work out whether or not to block finger drawing on its own, forScore gives you a clear view of what it’s doing and the freedom to override it if necessary.