iPad 9.7 6gen 2018 + Pencil1 pairing hell/impossible, idea?

Discussion in 'Apple/iOS' started by wytn, Feb 16, 2019.

  1. wytn

    wytn Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Hi :)

    Context:
    // So.... i probably did the mistake of trying to save some bucks on the Apple Pencil 1 by ordering a "brand new"/sealed Pencil on ebay, even from a good seller. But with a "no returns" policy — and i generally don't do that at all. I ended up waiting way longer to receive the package than supposed/expected which was really off a bad start in this case. (One week instead of 2 days.)

    I got the pencil box sealed etc, everything looks brand new. Apple Warranty is good till september 2019 (i looked up the serial number).


    ***
    Description of the mess:

    i tried to leave the Pencil charging for hours (2 and 3 hours & more attempts) with different lightning cables including the ones i use with my iPhone SE and the one i got with my iPad. Tried to leave the Pencil plugged akwarkdly in the iPad for hours too, just in case! :) (I couldn't get a call to/from Apple yesterday's evening...)

    I went through the Apple support forums and tried things to help/fix it.

    Mostly stuff like this: https://discussions.apple.com/thread/8245351


    (Sorry if i have a hard time describing things and this messy post once again...)

    What happens when i try to pair it, at best:

    I plug it, click the "pairing" pop-up (often the pop-up would time out, especially at first. ie: if i don't click it right away & wait a few seconds) it then stays paired for 1 second then goes back to display a little "no" on the pencil line = not paired. Or plainly disappear. Most of the time the pencil doesn't stay registered in the bluetooth panel at all.


    When the Pencil actually stays in the BT devices list, if i try again to click it to pair it for instance, i get a time-out, something like "please verify the Pencil is near & powered on"

    What would happen a lot initially (& still does in different fashion), is that the apple pencil would appear & disappear in a loop in the Bluetooth settings if i leave it plugged in the iPad, and the Pencil information line in settings would appear and disappear too similarly.
    Still happens a lot/most of the time... depending on the attempts.


    Anyway, just in case, anyone has any idea of anything specific i could try?

    Or a bet on what could be the problem?

    I feel like the battery could be plainly dead? But it was "bought" in September 2018 (re: warranty) so it's kinda strange. A bad unit? I don't know if that happens often with the 1st pencil at all.

    Oh also, i don't have any "battery status" widget at all on my iPad 2018 /6th gen, nor i can add it to the panel on iOS 12, i don't know how usual/normal it is.

    I'm going to try to reach Apple hotline as soon as i can... but in the meantime, in case anyone heard of a similar case... or some trick to attempt :)

    ***
    (To add to the bad luck, i ordered another Apple Pencil from a respectable shop for a delivery in 2 hours, specifically to get it today/early this morning – as i wouldn't be able to get to one of their shops today. But the delivery driver had apparently a car breakdown, so it was rescheduled to next week. Ahhh... Funny.)
     
  2. crazycat

    crazycat Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Also newly owner of iPad 6 and apple pencil 1 here. I bought my pencil used from a guy who wanted to update to pro 2018 (picked up locally) and it worked well. My only concern is that the pencil drain fast while not use (1 day standby and it drop to 30%) which is not quite as advertised. I looked up to see if it's normal and find that many user, even those buy new also experience that because the pen keep staying 'on' even without Bluetooth on and it's even worse if the pen is attached to a case because movement cause more battery to drain. Some have better experience than other, but many said that the battery drop fast,some said their battery died after a year, some even reported battery dead on arrival with the pen fully charged for a few seconds then stop working right after.

    Your pencil might be a DOA so you should contact Apple for a replacement. Mine might drain fast on standby, but it can still last many hours drawing and charge fast (30 min for a charge), there was no issue pairing, just plug and play, and the battery indication for the pencil always shown below the iPad battery in the widget. Your situation is not normal and it's highly possibly a defect.
    Edit:
    This guy's situation is quite similar to yours https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/dead-apple-pencil.2028395/ . Some said that they bought the pencil and left it drain to 0% and leave it like that for months and next time they pick it up it's dead. Li-ion doesn't cope well at 0% for long, but there is no 'off' button to store the pencil with a charge. If you don't use it it die fast.

    iPad 6+ pencil is not a good deal anymore if you have to buy a new one every year :/.
     
    Last edited: Feb 17, 2019
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  3. desertlap

    desertlap Scribbler - Standard Member Senior Member

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    Are you sure that you Apple Pencil was truly new? Reason I ask is that I bought an open box unit and had similar issues to you especially not showing battery status.

    The fix was odd but suggested on an apple forum which was to plug it in to another Apple device (in my case my iPhone) and then re-pair it with the iPad. Apparently it doesn't always pair properly the first time.

    I hope that helps.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2019
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  4. wytn

    wytn Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Thanks for your replies.

    @desertlap
    I did actually test to plug it into my iPhone, just out curiosity at some point, to see if something\anything would appear in the Bluetooth panel.
    As new as i can tell, sealed as anything Apple as usual, everything inside looked brand new. But yeah i'm going to check with Apple / The warranty, it's clearly dead. I guess the battery can't charge at all, not even a drop to be able to pair it.

    In the meantime i've started testing the iPad 6 with another directly-from-a-shop Pencil 1.

    @crazycat Thanks a lot for the reply and all the information. Given that i haven't very closely followed all that, i don't think i fully realized/understood the extend of the Pencil 1 problems/shortcomings. I didn't expect the problems to be so widespread also/maybe...

    In terms of battery, i saw some posts about the Pencil 2, mentions of having to keep it attached etc.
    I don't think i expected the Pencil to have zero sort of "sleep state/mode" at all tho.
    I saw a few of those "haven't used the Pencil for 2/3/4 months and now it's dead" too when searching :/

    Yet I was surprised that while turning off the BT on the iPad has the ugly outcome of forcing the user to pair the Pencil again, BUT if i turn my iPad off, i don't need to pair the Pencil again when i turn it back on. Uh?
    It's really a software (or firmware) thing in this case? Seems like something poorly thought or... simply intentional? (Apple still really don't like we turn WIFI or BT off on their device? Either i'm totally missing something or it's a very silly thing from their part...) It really seems like these Apple Pencils won't really be long lasting devices at all. (1st gen of an Apple product again? Similar problems to be expeted regarding battery life with the 2nd gen?)
    So yeah, same conclusion.. Not so a good deal.

    I saw some Pencil holders —a bit like some Wacom Intuos ones IRCC— but with charging added... A poor solution, keeping one more thing plugged all the time, but better than nothing?
    (I tested/used my iPhone 5/5S/SE dock —cheap old white dock with a line-out jack i still sometimes use— as a test to charge overnight. Still awkward. And it seems dangerous too.)

    Anyway... Thank again, i'm replying with a delay but it helped.

    On a side note: Now after having used the Pencil a tiny bit and just used my Galaxy Book 10 on with its Wacom EMR/S-Pen again for a 10 minutes... even if i found it extraordinary that Apple nailed it in so many areas... it felt so much better to handle that EMR/S-Pen again. The weight, the nib, the size of the pen, and simply, the strokes (etc) in the apps (even in the same ones). To be furthered explored/tested tho...

    *Sigh*

    (Will see if Apple release their slightly updated Mini 5 with an Apple Pencil 1 support...)
     
  5. crazycat

    crazycat Scribbler - Standard Member

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    Well, to be fair I only looked it up after having used it a few days and noticed the high rate of battery drop without using. The results surprise me as it seem to keep a ‘healthy’ pencil we have to constantly keep it charged or use it, so buying a spare one as a back up is a bad idea. It’s just ironic that before buying we only read about performances, that how good it is for drawing and all.

    But I don’t think turning off the iPad is a solution. The advantage of and iPad is the long battery life and standby time. Windows tablet usually last much less time than iPad, and battery drain of Windows while sleeping is much higher, so we usually turn off a Windows tablet after a session. With the iPad we can put it aside, and then pick it up again where we left off without much effort. Without that advantage, the iPad just doesn’t worth anything against a penabled Windows tablet.
     
  6. wytn

    wytn Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Yep it's a really silly situation, even keeping a spare one seems a waste of money apparently.

    A day or two ago i took a look at the old iFixit teardown out of curiosity... i initially wondered if anyone attempted to reverse-engineer the Pencil's firmware... or looked more closely into the chips/insides of the Pencil at least — Not for repairs but i wondered about the future of the devices/tech itself (iPad6/iPP+pencils) and if there was perhaps some specific explanation related to the battery/charging circuit-thing...

    About reviews...
    The non-laminated display doesn't bother me at all in terms of 'parallax', it's a non-issue so far for me, i don't even notice it. Some EMR Wacom tablets or 2in1s from a few years ago were very noticeable in comparison. (But i understand the appeal of a screen protector to dampen the noise of the nib against the display.)

    You're right about the battery life of the iPads yeah, it's one of the main appeals in comparison of a Galaxy Book 10 like mine or a Surface Go's ~5 hours autonomy... I tend to have low battery anxiety i guess. (An Android or iPad is also generally lighter when holding one, in some cases it's a lot more practical...)

    // For the anecdote i had an iPad 1, later when i barely used it anymore i could forget it for weeks and i was surprised each time it would lights up for notifications. Never had another tablet/device that had such battery life even in a sleep state. Funny enough i turned it on recently and the battery still holds up surprinsingly well...

    On the plus sides, not having used iOS on an iPad in a long while i was very pleaseantly surprised at first about all the newer stuff that makes it a lot more practical, multaskting gestures etc.
    At the same time i apparently miss some stupid-simple stuff that could help me do some things more quickly... let's say compared to a Win device. Although *Win 10* tends to make me rage on a tablet device.

    Oh well, i just turned my iPad on now and this time the Pencil didn't pair without plugging it. ¯\_(-__-)_/¯
     
  7. Azzart

    Azzart Late night illustrator Senior Member

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    Nope, the pen id designed to automatically turn off if it stays still for around 10 minutes. It also turns on again as soon as it detects movement.
    To turn it off completely without the ability to get back on when moved you have to turn off Bluetooth for a brief moment.
    But from the iPad Settings app not the control panel: that last time I checked didn't work anymore on the latest iteration of iOS.
    This will unpair the pen, which means to use it again you'll have to attach the pen to the iPad port for a couple seconds top get it back to life.
     
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  8. wytn

    wytn Pen Pal - Newbie

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    Just for the update... I finally brought the Pencil to a certified store not long ago, they kept the Pencil to send it to Apple and gave me back the box & accessories. 2 or 3 days later they received a replacement Pencil. (They did confirm the battery was dead..)

    So... yes now i have an extra (still boxed for now) Pencil but also another spare nib and an additional ligthning/Pencil adapter.

    And can confirm the Pencil goes to sleep when it's still.
     
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