You are reading the article Friday 5: A New Apple Pencil updated in December 2023 on the website Achiashop.com. We hope that the information we have shared is helpful to you. If you find the content interesting and meaningful, please share it with your friends and continue to follow and support us for the latest updates. Suggested January 2024 Friday 5: A New Apple Pencil
Looking for a few apps to keep you entertained this weekend? Then have a look at the latest edition of Friday 5. Inside, we discuss Linea — a brand new sketch app with Apple Pencil support. We also talk about Moonlight, an app that lets you stream NVIDIA GameStream-compatible games to an iOS device. Those, and three additional apps are on the docket for this week’s edition of Friday 5. Have a look at our brief hands-on video inside for the full rundown.
If you’re looking for a simple and straightforward sketchbook app that’s easy to pick up and use, then Linea is solid choice. Although it can work with just a finger, it’s especially good when paired with the Apple Pencil. Linea features low latency drawing with the Apple Pencil that’s similar to experience had when using the stock Notes app. But Linea is much deeper than the drawing tools found within Notes. The ability to use your finger as an eraser is particularly well done, as are the built-in backgrounds and storyboard options that make it easy for conceptual designers to get started quickly.Video walkthrough
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Thanks to our recent eGPU tutorials, I’ve found myself playing games on my GTX 1050ti-powered MacBook Pro via Windows. As such, I thought it would be neat to check out Moonlight, an iOS app that can stream games from NVIDIA GameStream-compatible systems.
Although it’s not perfect, I was impressed to be able to play Portal using my Steel Series Nimbus controller paired to my iPad Pro. If you have a GameStream-compatible setup, Moonlight is definitely worth experimenting with.
Battery life, or the lack thereof, continues to be a major concern for MacBook Pro owners. Volta is a brand new utility that allows users to have more fine-grained control over a hardware element that’s partially responsible for eating into battery life — the Intel i-series processor.
Volta lets users reduce the voltage supplied to the processor, disable the automatic Turbo Boost overclock, and establish a definitive power limit. Although we’ve yet to test Volta extensively enough to come to an adequate conclusion, in theory it should improve battery life under the right circumstances. Unfortunately, the app requires users to modify System Integrity Protection, so it won’t be for everyone.
If you’re a developer, an artist, or anyone else who regularly deals with colors on the Mac, then Drop is a color picker that may interest you.
One thing that sets Drop apart from other color pickers, such as the one built into macOS, is that it features Touch Bar integration. Users can mix colors directly from the Touch Bar interface and quickly select saved colors from there as well.
You more than likely already have the YouTube app installed on your iPhone, but did you know that the app contains a handy 10 second skip feature?
A simple double tap on the left or right side of an in-progress video will let you skip 10 seconds in either direction when watching your favorite videos.What apps do you recommend?
If you weren’t able to catch our previous Friday 5 post, you can view it here and watch its video below.
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You're reading Friday 5: A New Apple Pencil
If you haven’t yet had the epiphany that you’re holding a powerful tool when holding an Apple Pencil, you’re certainly missing something. Don’t worry. These Apple Pencil tips and tricks will help you connect the dots.
And even if you already love the iPad stylus, this article can help you see what you’re missing. Let’s not waste any more time and get on with it.Basics to know about Apple Pencil
Apple Pencil will greatly ease your day-to-day work, whether you are an artist or a businessman. It could aid in drawing, note-taking, digital signatures, relaxation, and more. But before we dip into that pool, let’s get the basics out of the way.
Connect your Apple Pencil to the iPad
Apple Pencil (1st Gen) – Unlock iPad → connect via Lightning pair → tap Pair.
Apple Pencil (2nd Gen) – Unlock iPad → Attach the pencil to a magnetic strip → tap Pair.
If you face any issues with pairing, check out this guide for step-by-step tutorials.
Note: Most tips mentioned work for both Apple Pencil 1st and 2nd generation. If a trick does not support both, it will be clearly mentioned.
Best Apple Pencil tips for drawing
For many, the iPad and Apple Pencil are only for designers (graphic, interior, jewelry, fashion, etc.) or artists who need to draw, sketch, color, render, etc. And while not limited to these people, Apple Pencil makes their jobs much smoother.
And if you’re a budding or established designer/artist or new iPad user, here are some hacks to improve your drawing skill and speed.1. Achieve perfect shading
The ‘pencil’ in its name is more than a namesake. And at times like this, it behaves like a real-life pencil. When you are drawing or sketching, tilt the Apple Pencil to shade.
Furthermore, it also responds to the pressure, so you can darken or lighten the stroke accordingly, like a real-life pencil. While it works amazingly smoothly, you might have to practice to get the hang and master the skill.2. Draw perfect shapes
A part of the Scribble feature introduced in iPadOS 14. It enables the supported app to recognize the shape you’ve drawn via Apple Pencil and correct it, whether it’s a circle, square, star, heart, or hand.
Open the app and select the pen tool.
Start drawing the desired shape, but pause before you finish the shape.
iPad will get the signal and replace the shape with a perfect one.
Notably, if you do not pause before completing the shape, it will not be corrected and will remain as is. This allows users to draw random, rough shapes if they want to. And if you pause too early, the shape might not be recognized and hence not corrected.3. Use Markup to draw a straight line
Drawing a super-straight line could be difficult, no matter how steady your hand is. But it’s a child’s play if you know this hack.
In a supported app, open the Markup tool.
Now select the ruler tool from the options menu (bottom right).
Place the ruler at the desired place and angle.
Select the pen/marker and trace the ruler’s edge.4. Trace drawings
Did you know that the iPad will register Apple Pencil strokes, even if a thin paper is on the screen? Well, it does, and you can use the feature to your benefit.
Supposedly, you have a sketch that you need to transfer onto the iPad. You can either scan the sheet or:
Open the drawing sheet (Notes or any other app you prefer).
Select the pen or marker.
Place the sheet on the iPad and use tape to hold the paper in place.
Take your Apple Pencil and start tracing the sketch.5. Stop finger interference
Have children or naughty colleagues who can interrupt or want the Apple Pencil to have full control? Try this hack. The setting will only allow the Apple Pencil to draw and won’t register the finger moments.
Notably, this is only applicable when the Apple Pencil is connected to the iPad. You can still scroll using your fingers but not draw or write something.
Go to Settings → Apple Pencil.
Toggle on Only Draw with Apple Pencil.
The setting works in Notes, Photos, or anywhere else you use the Markup tools. To disable the setting, follow the steps above and toggle it off.6. Insert a drawing into the email
The feature has been part of the default Mail app since iOS 11 but is a bit hidden. So, many iPad users don’t know that it exists.
Launch the Mail app.
Compose new or reply to an existing mail.
Double-tap with Apple Pencil anywhere to bring up the options menu.
Tap the arrow to see more options.
Select Insert Drawing.
You can also go to the Markup tools → choose the tool → draw or sketch → tap Done → tap Insert Drawing. To make any changes, tap the drawing in the email and the Markup icon.
Hacks to crack note-taking with Apple Pencil
To know what you’re missing, go to Pinterest or YouTube and search for iPad note-taking. You’ll find some talented artists brewing frame-worthy notes. And while that might not be the target for you and me, we can make decent and quick notes with these tips.7. Use Apple Pencil even if the iPad is locked
While Quick Note is a boon, you also have a quicker way to jot down notes directly from the Lock screen. When you’re in a hurry, tap, hold (for a millisecond), and release the Apple Pencil on the Lock Screen. A fresh note will appear on the screen, so right or draw away.
To enable the feature:
Go to Settings → Notes.
Toggle On the switch next to Access Notes from the Lock Screen.
Incredibly, while you can create a new note without unlocking the device, you won’t be able to access the previous notes. So, rest assured all your data is secured.8. Quick Note
Introduced in iPadOS 15, Quick Note allows you to call upon a fresh or existing note anytime by swiping inward from the bottom right corner of your iPad screen. Notably, it works over any and all apps, so you don’t have to leave the current app to make a note.
And the best part is that Quick Note is aware of the app you’re using. So, when you open Quick Note alongside Safari, an Add Link button appears. Or, when you long-press the selected text, an Add to Quick Note option is available in the menu.
Check out our complete guide on using Quick Note to make the most of this feature.9. Master Scribble
Scribble has manifold the power and ease of the Apple Pencil. I’ve already introduced how it helps you draw the perfect shape, which is just the tip of the iceberg.
Convert handwriting to text
As the name suggests, the feature lets you scribble out things using Apple Pencil. And the iPad auto-converts your handwriting to typed text. Incredibly, it’s not just limited to a single app. In fact, you can scribble in any text field like the Safari address bar, online forms, messages, etc.
For text fields, simply write the text with Apple Pencil. However, for taking Notes, select the Markup toolbar and the Handwriting tool.
Bonus Tip: Have previously handwritten notes you want to convert into text?
Pick the selection tool from the Markup tools and encircle the text.
Long-press to invoke the options menu and select Copy as Text.
You can not just write but also edit or manage the text with some simple gestures:
Select a word – Double-tap or circle the word.
Select text – Underline or circle the text.
Insert text – Long-press in the text area and write in the space that opens.
Delete – Scratch the word out.
Join or separate characters – Draw a vertical line between them.
Select a paragraph – Triple-tap any word within the paragraph or slide the Apple Pencil from the start to the end.
Moreover, Scribble can recognize handwritten addresses, phone numbers, dates, etc. It will give them a yellow underline as a sign of recognition.
When you tap the underlined text, a contextual menu with connecting actions will pop up. For instance, call or message a phone number, add the date to the calendar, etc10. Markup screenshots and documents
While taking screenshots on an iPad is super simple (and I have a special trick for that mentioned below), marking them is quite easy, thanks to the built-in Markup tools.
Simply tap the Markup tool, select the pen/marker you prefer, choose the color and write or draw away.11. Sign documents on the go
You’ll probably know that you can scan documents via the Notes and Files app on an iPad. But that’s not it. Using the Markup tool, you can digitally sign the document wherever and whenever.
Open the document in Photos, Notes, or Files.
Tap the Markup tool icon.
Select + icon and then Signature.
Now, use your Apple Pencil to sign the document.
You can also save multiple signatures and use them as required, check out this article to learn everything you can do with the feature.12. Search handwritten notes
While not really an Apple Pencil hack, but worth mentioning in the section. A smart-on-device intelligence allows the iPad to search almost anything in notes, whether handwritten text, text in scanned documents, tags, mentions, and objects within images.
How to get the most out of my Apple Pencil13. Take a screenshot with Apple Pencil
Oh yes! Your Apple Pencil can do that too. Swipe up from the bottom left corner of the screen using the Apple Pencil, and tada!
Notably, you can resize, Markup/annotate, share, use Live text, and easily manage the screenshot’s opacity. Once finished, tap Done and save the screenshot to Photos/Files or Delete it.
Furthermore, if you take a screenshot of a Safari page, you can tap the Full Page option from the top to capture the complete webpage and save it as a PDF.14. Change Apple Pencil quick gestures
Swipping in from the left side for screenshots and the right side for Quick Note is the iPad’s version of the Hot Corners. But if you’re a leftie/rightie and want to interchange the quick gestures, here’s how you can:
Go to Settings → Apple Pencil.
Under Pencil Gestures, select the Quick Gesture you want.
You can choose to turn off the gestures entirely; just select Off.15. Customize double-tap features
Like AirPods, the Apple Pencil 2nd Gen has a sensor near its tip. You can perform certain actions when you double-tap the sensor. By default, it switches you back to the last used tool. However, you can change the setting.
Go to Settings → Apple Pencil.
Under the Double Tap section, choose one of the following
Switch between current tool and eraser
Switch between current tool and last used
Show color palette
Notably, The double-tap feature is limited to supportive apps like Notes.
1st Gen ❌
2nd Gen ✅16. Adjust Palm Rejection
By default, the Palm Rejection is turned on with Apple Pencil, i.e., if your palm touches the screen while using Apple Pencil, that won’t be registered.
However, that might not be befitting of your writing/drawing posture. The good news is that you can adjust the setting for third-party apps like Procreate, Good Notes, etc. Just go to the settings section of the app to adjust it.17. Switch the tip regularly
The best way to know is if the tip feels rough while writing or sketching. We have covered the whole procedure in detail. Check out this article on when and how to replace your Apple Pencil tip.18. Manage Apple Pencil battery efficiently
How tragic would the situation be that it is out of battery when you need the Apple Pencil the most? While you can go to Settings → Apple Pencil to check its battery, the best way is through the battery widget.
Long-press any app → select Edit Home Screen → In the jiggle mode, tap + from the upper-left corner. Here, find and add the battery widget to the Home Screen.19. Keep your Apple Pencil securely
If you have a case or cover for the iPad that houses the Apple Pencil, it is a win-win situation. However, if that’s not the case or your iPad is fixed on a stand on your desk, you might need extra protection for the Apple Pencil.
If you need assistance finding a case, cover, or sleeve for your Apple Pencil, check out our guide. You can also opt for a stand or holder to safely store your Apple Pencil when not in use.20. Find a lost Apple Pencil
While I don’t hope such a scenario happens, we should always be prepared for the worst. Unfortunately, Apple doesn’t support Find My, so that’s a sad Tweet.
However, there are some tricks and third-party apps that can help you out. For detailed, step-by-step instructions, check out this article.
That’s all, folks!
Want more great iPad hacks? Check these links out:
A self-professed Geek who loves to explore all things Apple. I thoroughly enjoy discovering new hacks, troubleshooting issues, and finding and reviewing the best products and apps currently available. My expertise also includes curating opinionated and honest editorials. If not this, you might find me surfing the web or listening to audiobooks.
Final Cut Pro X is by far my most used app on the Mac, as I use it to produce a large swath of the content on our YouTube channel. As a long-time proponent of Apple’s flagship NLE, I’d like to use this week’s edition of Friday 5 to share some of my favorite Final Cut Pro X tips for those of you who use the app to create content for YouTube. Watch our hands-on video for a brief look at five handy tips.Export a YouTube thumbnail
To save time, I often export a screenshot directly from a video to use as the YouTube thumbnail. This isn’t always the best option, especially when you’re looking for a specific type of shot, but when pressed for time, it’s a great option to have available.
To create a Screenshot shortcut, simply go to the Share menu, and select Add Destination → Save Current Frame. You can then rename the destination to ‘Screenshot’ for a more descriptive label.Video walkthrough
Subscribe to 9to5Mac on YouTube for more videosFine-tune exports with Compressor
You can rely on the stock export options available in Final Cut Pro X’s Share menu, or you can fine-tune your export settings by using Compressor. Compressor is a $50 app that’s well worth the price of admission; it lets you specifically determine how exported videos are encoded down to the small details. Compressor allows you to encode videos exactly how you want, which is great for meeting YouTube’s recommended encoding settings.
Compressor is tightly integrated with Final Cut Pro X. When you add a Compressor setting to the Share menu, you can use that setting for all of your exported videos.
Adding a compressor setting is as easy as going to the Share menu, selecting Add Destination → Compressor Setting, and selecting the custom setting that you’ve already created within the Compressor app.Map keyboard shortcuts to export options
If you’re like me, you likely have a variety of different video export options configured in the Share menu. Along with setting the default export option — which automatically maps the Command (⌘)+E shortcut to export — you can also set up a keyboard shortcut in System Preferences to map keyboard shortcuts to more than one export option.Use blur for End Screens
YouTube’s End Screen feature is a great way to drive traffic to other videos on your channel. Although there are many ways to go about using them, I like the idea of adding a blur to the end of a video to allow the End Screen stand out. A simple faded-in Gaussian Blur effect is a great way to separate End Screens from the rest of your content.Create teaser project for social media promo
From time to time I like to promote my videos on social media channels using small excerpts from existing video content. The best way to do this is to create a separate project within the same event, and copy and paste the original project into that event. From there it’s just a matter of cutting the video in a way that meets your time requirements, perhaps adding additional titles or effects along the way to make the promo look enticing.
You can also set up a specific Compressor setting dedicated to promo videos, which allows you to save time and bandwidth when it comes to sharing across social media channels like Instagram.Conclusion
For more Final Cut Pro X tips and tricks, be sure to take a look at our Final Cut Pro X guide. And if you missed the previous edition of Friday 5, you can catch it in the following video:
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While Black Friday doesn’t arrive until November 23, the deals are already starting to fly over at 9to5Toys. This year’s event is slated to be the biggest yet as Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy and others are already dropping prices. There may even be an official Apple Black Friday event. We’re working around the clock at 9to5Toys to bring you all of the best deals. Head below for our favorite Apple Black Friday offers and more.What to expect on Black Friday
We’ve already combed through all of the Black Friday ad leaks in the lead up to Thanksgiving week. You can see all of our favorite upcoming Apple Black Friday deals here and check out our 10 most anticipated offers slated to arrive this week.
The official Apple Black Friday promotion has now launched, and it’s frankly not very good. Apple Black Friday at retail locations consists of various gift card offers but nothing that particularly stands out. You’re much better off shopping our Apple Black Friday guide for all of the best deals.Apple Black Friday deals: Mac
After launching an official Amazon storefront earlier this month, Amazon was amongst the first to get in the mix with various MacBook and iMac price drops. You can currently save up to $300 on the latest MacBook Pros along with deals on 12-inch MacBooks.
Apple’s 27-inch Retina 5K iMac is also getting a hefty discount at Amazon by $200 in various configurations. Best of all? Each of these listings are Prime shipping eligible.
Those looking at the latest MacBook Air models in their Apple Black Friday shopping will want to head over to B&H where we’re seeing up to $150 off in addition to tax savings for some shoppers.
B&H is now taking $50 off the latest Mac Mini models with tax benefits for shoppers in select states.
If you’re getting a new Mac, it’s a great time to consider adding a monitor as well.
HP offers up to 57% off for its Black Friday event including up to $370 in instant savings on a range of displays, printers, accessories, PCs and more. That includes many of its popular 4K, widescreen and curved displays. A few of our selections from the sale are below (and pictured above):
OMEN X by HP 35 Curved Display for $799 (Reg. $1,299)
HP ENVY 27 4K UHD 27-inch Display for $449 (Reg. $499)
HP ENVY 34 34-inch Display widescreen for $700 (Reg. $899)
HP 22er 21.5-inch monitor for just $99 (Reg. $149)
More Black Friday Mac deals are slated to be on the way, including deals on the latest Mac mini at MacMall and additional discounts on iMac at Best Buy. Of course, more deals are sure to pop-up throughout Black Friday and we’ll be updating this hub throughout the week.
Our selections:Apple Black Friday deals: iPad
Amazon got things started early by offering the latest 9.7-inch iPad on sale for $249. Best Buy is now matching that price with the opportunity to save even further on the 32GB model. The 128GB model with LTE is currently $499 or without for $330, which is the best price that we’ve tracked.
Those looking at the latest iPad Pro models may be left out in the cold, aside from MacMall taking $50 off select configurations. The previous generation model is now available for up to $150 off at Best Buy, however late Thursday night Amazon is now taking $155 off select models, making it the lowest price we’ve seen. iPad mini 4 is also marked down to $250 at Best Buy, which is the best price that we’ve ever tracked.Apple Black Friday deals: Apple Watch
B&H has already rolled out aggressive discounts on the Apple Watch Series 3 LTE model starting at $279. This includes various band configurations in both sizes. Tax benefits are available in select states. Shop the entire sale here.
Macy’s introduced its much-anticipated Apple Watch Series 3 discount. While the 38mm $199 model has sold out for now, you can still grab the 42mm at $229. This offer is expected to re-surface later this week at Target.Apple Black Friday deals: HomePod
Best Buy is now offering Apple HomePod at $250, which is good for $99 off the regular price. This is the second best offer that we’ve tracked all-time on Apple’s in-house speaker. We are leery of this deal selling out, so jump on it now if you’re at all interested.Apple Black Friday deals: iPhone
Walmart will be offering up to $400 gift cards with purchase on new iPhones starting on Friday. Verizon is now taking $400 off the latest iPhones when you hop on their payment plan. Best of all? No trade-in required. Those looking for unlocked devices and wanting to pay outright will want to check out eBay’s Black Friday offers where iPhone XS and XS Max are each being discounted.
More deals are expected to pop-up throughout Black Friday and we’ll update this post accordingly. Best Buy’s offer of up to $150 off all of the latest iPhones is now live, but keep in mind that this offer is focused on monthly payment plans. If you (or your kids) don’t need the newest models, iPhone 6 is down to $99 in a pretty notable Walmart doorbuster sale.
Sprint has an intriguing offer currently going where you can grab an iPhone 7 from $100 on installment plans, which works out to just $4 per month. You can add a 6th generation 9.7-inch iPad for double that. This is a great deal for kids and grandparents that don’t require the latest technology.Apple Black Friday deals: CarPlay
Best Buy has a number of notable CarPlay deals going this morning. We’re eyeing the $270 Sony model that is at its new all-time low price. You can expect more CarPlay discounts to creep up at Best Buy throughout this week.
Get the Furbo Dog Camera for $134 (Reg. $249) with free 2-day shipping. Furbo offers its best-selling, treat-tossing dog camera for 46% off for a limited time during Black Friday. This is the #1 best-selling dog camera on Amazon and very well-reviewed. It’s also the Furbo’s lowest price yet while supplies last this week.Apple Black Friday deals: Movies, Apps, Accessories and More!
Amazon is currently taking $20 off iTunes gift cards with promo code ITUNES20. Check out all of the best iTunes gift card deals right here.
Anker has a new Gold Box going for Black Friday, taking 40% off its most popular power banks. Check out all of the deals from $20 right here. Meanwhile there is a huge Seagate Gold Box going too, with storage deals $40 on portable hard drives and more.
The 9to5 favorite Nanoleaf Aurora Rhythm Starter Kit is getting a Black friday discount to $180 from its regular $230 price tag. This HomeKit-enabled lighting bundle is perfect for adding some color to your setup.
Put your smartphone on one of iOttie’s smartphone car mounts for as little as $14 in today’s Gold Box.
Looking for deals on apps? The Bundle Hunt Apple Black Friday sale is now live with 50% off some of the most popular Mac apps out there. Don’t miss Fantastical 2 on sale either from $2. Plus Parallels Desktop is now 20% off for Black Friday. This is a rare chance to save on this popular Windows emulation software. All of Parallel’s most popular bundles are on sale starting at $64. And the App Store deals are starting to roll in as well, we’re already seeing top titles like Alto’s Odyssey, Affinity Photo, Star Wars and more.
The Incase sale is loaded with deals for Apple Black Friday. You can save 50% off on its most popular backpacks, MacBook sleeves and more direct and at Amazon.
Some of our favorite accessory-makers are now offering discounts for Apple Black Friday. This include Nomad who is discounting its Apple Watch bands, cases and more by 30%. Swing over to Pad & Quill for 35% off sitewide on its handmade Apple accessories. Another 9to5 favorite, Satechi, is also discounting some of its most popular accessories for Apple Black Friday. This includes its USB-C dual charging dock and more.
Need to load up on storage? You’re in luck, there’s plenty of terabytes to go around this Black Friday. We have deals on QNAP NAS systems, SSDs, hard drives and more from some of the biggest names for Apple Black Friday.
The HomeKit-enabled Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller is now on sale at Amazon for $140. That’s one of the best prices we’ve ever seen on this Siri-controlled piece of smart home tech.
iTunes launched its annual Thanksgiving week sale, which may turn out to be the best Apple Black Friday deal we see. Deals include movie bundles from $10, holiday films starting at $8 and a wide selection of 4K titles under $5.
Amazon has a huge Logitech Black Friday sale currently running with deals from $15. Some of Logitech’s most popular Mac accessories are included here, such as the K400 Plus Keyboard at $18 and various speaker systems as well.
We’re already beginning to see a number of notable Apple-friendly accessory deals pop up, headlined by Twelve South’s Amazon sale. Nearly every accessory made by Twelve South is getting discounted for Black Friday, including its popular HiRise docks and more. Check out all of our top picks right here. Timbuk2’s Black Friday sale delivers a number of price drops on its most popular MacBook-friendly bags. You can currently save up to 50% off sitewide on a number of different styles including messenger bags and luggage.
This year’s Sonos discounts are now live with the AirPlay 2-equipped Sonos One down to $174. You can find all of the best Sonos deals for Black Friday right here.
If you’re looking for new iPhone or iPad accessories, go no further than Anker and Aukey’s Black Friday sales at Amazon. You’ll find everything from battery packs, headphones, smart home gear and more in these promotions that are slated to run until Sunday.Best of Black Friday Guides Black Friday at 9to5Toys
As always, we’ll have all of this year’s best Black Friday deals, news and ad leaks right here at 9to5Toys. If you’re not yet following us on Twitter, be sure to lock that in.
We also have a new 9to5Toys iOS app that’s now available for FREE. Customizable alerts, Apple Watch compatibility and more ensure that you’ll be up to date on all of the best deals throughout the holiday shopping season.
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Boost sales this year with a Black Friday eCommerce strategy. We’ve rounded up the latest tips, tools, and examples to help get you started.
Black Friday is one of the biggest days of the year for online retailers, but it can also be one of the most challenging. Meeting the expectations of so many new customers is no small feat.
Fortunately, you’ve got time to plan for success with a Black Friday eCommerce strategy— and we have all the tips you need below!
Bonus: Learn how to sell more products on social media with our free Social Commerce 101 guide. Delight your customers and improve conversion rates.
What is a Black Friday eCommerce strategy?
Black Friday is the day after the American Thanksgiving holiday and is one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Customers expect deals and promotions from their favorite retailers. In turn, they reward businesses with big spending. In 2023, US shoppers spent $9.03 billion dollars on Black Friday.
The dawn of eCommerce ushered in a sequel to Black Friday which is Cyber Monday when online retailers break out their best offers. Last year, Cyber Monday actually surpassed Black Friday for spending among American shoppers, with $10.90 billion in sales.
Those big numbers translate into a lot of traffic to your online store. You’ll want to prepare with a solid Black Friday eCommerce strategy.
That means a marketing plan in the lead-up to Black Friday so that you can capture your customers’ attention and get them excited for your online sales. You’ll also need to prepare for an influx of shopping cart orders and customer inquiries on the day, which will need a rock-solid customer support strategy.
Are you starting to sweat? Don’t worry! We’ve mapped out the must-have eCommerce tools and tactics to include in your Black Friday strategy below.
11 Black Friday eCommerce tactics you should try1. Optimize your website for SEO
Whether you sell lip gloss or jet skis, increasing your search ranking will literally help you rise above the competition and boost conversion rates. For starters, use a free SERP checker ( that stands for “Search Engine Results Page”) to see how you’re ranking. See room for improvement? Here are some things to try:
Speeding up your loading time. Sites that take forever to load a landing page suffer in the search rankings. Here, Google comes through with another free tool to check your site speed. Compressing your images and upgrading your hosting service are two ways to improve site speed.
Refining product names and descriptions. This will help customers discover your products when searching and ease the user experience. You can use free Google tools to determine the best keywords for your product pages.
Posting quality content on social media. We ran an experiment a few years back and found that having an active, engaged social media presence reflects well on your search ranking.2. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly
In 2023, Shopify reported that 79% of all Black Friday Cyber Monday purchases happened on mobile devices. Mobile shoppers surpassed desktop shoppers in 2014 and their numbers have been growing ever since. Test your website and make improvements now, before you miss out on mobile shoppers.3. Start your campaign early
Offer exclusive early access to Black Friday deals for email subscribers. Encouraging customers to sign up to your email list will extend the reach of your offers, and pay dividends after the Black Friday Cyber Monday sales event ends.4. Make sure all stock information is accurate
This is also a good time to restock your most popular items, and plan special deals or offers to get slower-moving products off your shelves.
You can expect to see an influx of new customers on Black Friday. That means the shopping experience should be easy and intuitive, to avoid causing confusion or hesitation. Product pages should include all the important specs, like size, weight, and materials.
Ensure every product has high-quality images and videos. Also, include customer reviews on the page— even one review can increase sales by 10%.5. Have customer support at the ready
Ever wandered around a department store, growing increasingly desperate to find an employee who can help you? Then you know how annoying it is to have to wait for help. And if your customers get frustrated, they’ll split!
To keep up with the volume of shoppers on Black Friday, invest in a retail chatbot. A chatbot like Heyday provides instant customer service that can answer up to 80% of customer inquiries. That frees up your customer support team to respond to the remaining 20% in a timely fashion.
Get a free Heyday demo
This is especially helpful during Black Friday Cyber Monday. Remember, you’ll have brand-new customers who are less familiar with your store and inventory. (According to Bluecore, 59% of Black Friday sales were made by first-time shoppers in 2023!) A chatbot can help your customers find exactly what they’re looking for, by directing them to the size, color, and style they want. They can also generate personalized product recommendations, upselling, and cross-selling on the average order. These can drive sales even higher— especially when you consider that 60% of Black Friday purchases are impulse buys.6. Work with influencers
Influencer marketing is a powerful tool. One recent survey found that 8% of shoppers had bought something in the past 6 months because an influencer promoted it. That figure increases to almost 15% for 18- to 24-year-old shoppers. Collaborating with an influencer on your Black Friday strategy can help you reach new customers and boost your sales.
If this is new to you, we have a guide to influencer marketing that will set you up for success. And remember that it’s important to find the right fit with influencers. Don’t go for the biggest following— it’s more important to align on values and audience.7. Create BFCM promo codes
However, you want to make sure your customers can find and apply the promo codes easily. Otherwise, they might abandon their carts in frustration. Shopify has some great suggestions for how to ensure your discount codes are easy to spot:
Ask customers to enter their email address to receive the promo code. This helps with your email marketing and remarketing efforts, too!
Add a floating bar at the top of the page with the discount code. This makes it too obvious to miss.
Apply the code automatically at checkout. This is the simplest solution for your customers. Sephora used it for their 2023 Black Friday sale. Customers received an automatic 50% discount at checkout:
One tip: Make sure your discounts are competitive. According to Salesforce, the average discount in 2023 was 24%— lower than in years past. But on Black Friday, customers are still looking for serious deals, so 10 or 15% off is unlikely to sway them.8. Run an email discount campaign
Plus, it gives you the opportunity to segment your offers, which increases their effectiveness. Klayvio found that segmented emails yield three times as much revenue per customer as general marketing messages.
Show returning customers discounts on products they’re likely to be interested in, based on their shopping history. Or provide an exclusive gift-with-purchase for your VIP shoppers, as a way of building loyalty.9. Extend your BFCM deals
There’s no reason to end your sale on Monday at 11:59 PM. Extending your Black Friday Cyber Monday offers through the week can help you catch customers on their second shopping lap. It also gives you the chance to add steeper discounts, in order to clear more inventory before the end of the year.
As many shoppers will be planning for the holidays (more on that below), make sure you’re clear on shipping dates. Shoppers will want to know whether their package will arrive by Christmas.
You can also extend your deals in the opposite direction, to get out ahead of the competition! For example, fashion retailer Aritzia runs an annual “Black Fiveday” sale. It kicks off a day early, on Thursday.10. Create a holiday gift guide
Black Friday is often considered the beginning of the holiday shopping season. For many people, it’s the time for crossing as many names off their gift list as they can. Creating a holiday gift guide makes their work a lot easier.
Pro tip: Segment your guides by the recipient (“Gifts for Mom,” “Gifts for Dog Sitters”) or theme (“Sustainable Gifts”). This will help your customers find what they’re looking for. Outdoor retailer MEC even created a gift guide for the person who has everything.
You can also share your gift guide on social media by creating an Instagram Guide. These are curated collections of images, accompanied by titles and descriptions.
One of the biggest challenges for businesses on social media is the decline of organic reach. It doesn’t matter how good your content is. If you want to reach your prospective customers, you need to have a paid strategy.3 creative Black Friday ad examples
Walmart – #UnwrapTheDeals
For Black Friday 2023, Walmart created the #UnwrapTheDeals campaign with a custom TikTok filter. Posting a TikTok with the filter allowed users to “unwrap” gift cards and prizes and shop directly in the app. Walmart partnered with influencers to promote the campaign, leading to over 5.5 billion views.
Make it fun. By using an interactive filter, Walmart made a campaign that was sharable and enticing.
Add creative rewards. #UnwrapTheDeals offered bonus prizes in addition to the Black Friday discounts. This encouraged TikTok users to try to win by posting a video. Each new post amplified the reach of the campaign.
Hold attention. You only have a few seconds to catch someone’s eye on social media. A dynamic campaign like this makes users want to stop scrolling and watch.
Get on TikTok! This is your final reminder to make TikTok a part of your business strategy.
IKEA – #BuyBackFriday
IKEA ran a creative #BuyBackFriday campaign over Black Friday 2023. Rather than just offering a discount, shoppers could earn credit by bringing in old IKEA items. IKEA offers a buy-back program all year, but during Black Friday they doubled the credits.
This campaign worked on a few levels:
It wasn’t your average Black Friday campaign. The #BuyBackFriday messaging stands out in a sea of “25% off!” posts.
It appealed to values. A lot of shoppers care about sustainability and affordability. This campaign was built around those principles. Showing your customers that you care about the same things builds loyalty and trust.
It was about more than the sale. This campaign targeted IKEA shoppers with old furniture to offload. That allowed it to reach people who weren’t even planning on a Black Friday shopping spree.
It offered a creative discount system. If your business can’t afford to knock 30% off your stock, consider how else you can appeal to shoppers. A credit system like this one encourages customers to return in the future. It’s a long-term strategy for success.
DECEIM – Slowvember
Beauty and skincare brand DECEIM went against the grain. Their “Slowvember” campaign lasted for all of November. The idea was to discourage impulse buying and encourage customers to shop thoughtfully. It got a lot of positive attention from shoppers.
Bye-bye Black Friday, hello Slowvember. 🐢💛23% off everything (!!) is back—all month long. Slowvember is a journey…
Posted by The Ordinary on Monday, November 1, 2023
Here are some takeaways:
Get creative with timing. By running a month-long sale, DECEIM beat the competition on Black Friday.
Focus on the customer. DECEIM’s messaging was all about their shoppers. This makes people feel cared for. In turn, they’re more likely to support your business in the future.
Don’t forget the promotion. The campaign tagline got attention. But DECEIM was still offering an attractive 23% discount on all products.
Offer experiences. Black Friday can be hectic. In response, DECEIM hosted relaxing in-store experiences. They included DJ sets, flower arranging, embroidery workshops, and more. Remember, just because most sales happen online, that doesn’t mean you can forget the in-person experience.
Think about the long run. Black Friday Cyber Monday is a time to connect with lots of new customers. Ideally, you want to turn those into long-term customers. So think about how you’re building relationships or trust for years to come. You might not make as many sales on Black Friday itself. But a successful business strategy is a marathon, not a sprint.
Heyday is a retail chatbot that will delight your customers and save your business a ton of time and money. It’s always on to answer questions and help customers find what they need, which is valuable all year long (but priceless during Black Friday!) One company saved 50% of its customer service resources after getting Heyday.
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Hootsuite helps your business streamline and improve its marketing efforts. With Hootsuite, you can schedule your social media content across every platform in one place. It also gives you the data you need to refine your campaigns, with a customized dashboard of your social media performance. You can also use Hootsuite to track what your customers are saying online.
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Facebook Messenger is one of the world’s most used social media platforms, with 988 million daily active users. If you’re not on Messenger, you’re missing the opportunity to connect with countless customers. Plus, you can use a Facebook chatbot to offer fast, friendly customer service 24 hours a day.
Google’s free PageSpeed Insights tool lets you know how fast your website is loading. Improving your speed will also improve your search ranking, so don’t sleep on this one!
Are you selling products directly on Instagram? You should be! Social commerce is the future. According to Instagram, 44%of users shop on the app weekly. Tap into that growing market by connecting your online store to your Instagram account.
TikTok has proven to be an effective retail channel: nearly half of all users are purchasing products after seeing them on the platform. While Millennials and Gen X shoppers are more likely to buy on Instagram and Facebook, younger customers are favoring TikTok. No wonder TikTok is poised to become the most important social network for marketing.
TikTok Shopping is a relatively new feature, but don’t sleep on it. We’ve got a detailed guide on how to set up your TikTok shop.
In 2023, Shopify merchants raked in $6.3 billion USD in Black Friday sales. That’s because Shopify offers an easy, intuitive platform to build your shop. There are tons of Shopify apps that can enhance your business and improve your customer experience. You can also integrate your Shopify store with TikTok shopping and Instagram shopping. This creates a seamless customer experience across all platforms.
Plus, Shopify integrates directly with the Heyday chatbot, allowing you to provide 24/7 customer support to every shopper.
That’s a wrap! You’ve got all the tips and tools you need for your best Black Friday sale ever. Looking for more help with strategy, or insights into new social media features? We’ve got your back.
Engage with shoppers on social media and turn customer conversations into sales with Heyday, our dedicated conversational AI chatbot for social commerce retailers. Deliver 5-star customer experiences — at scale.
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Turn customer service conversations into sales with Heyday. Improve response times and sell more products. See it in action.
Apple’s growth in the enterprise over the last two decades has been an impressive turnaround when you consider how entrenched Microsoft was in desktop computing for the early part of the 2000s. Did enterprise IT managers love Windows XP, Windows 7, etc.?
They loved the seamless management a complete solution of Windows Server, Microsoft Exchange, Microsoft Office, and Windows brought to their work-life.
Now companies leveraging Apple devices are gaining access to a next generation of products that bring this concept to a new level, making the management and security of Apple devices a fully unified and automated experience that can’t be matched when using any other devices.
At the forefront of this movement is Mosyle. Over the past five years, the company grew from a new Apple MDM provider to a leader in the market. Mosyle is responsible for several innovations that have become table stakes for other vendors in the Apple MDM space.
Now, Mosyle is innovating again and introducing the concept of Apple Unified Platform.
The idea for Mosyle’s Apple Unified Platform is clear. It makes perfect sense when you hear it for the first time: integrating five critical security and management applications into a single Apple-only platform.
Still, it completely changes how B2B companies providing endpoint solutions position themselves.
Until now, companies usually position themselves on one of the traditional “Unified” categories, such as “Unified Endpoint Management” or “Unified Endpoint Security.” Those categories are well known for their quadrants and industry recognition.
The angle for these traditional B2B market segments is the specialization of an application category (e.g., mobile device management) and the generalization of the platform (macOS, iOS, Android, Windows, Linux and others).
So, a vendor in the traditional Unified Endpoint Management market would provide MDM functionality for all platforms. A customer would then need several unified solutions to cover their devices’ needs, as security, identity, patch management and others.
The problem with that? Lack of specialization and increased complexity.
The growing differences between operating systems, proactively created by companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google to differentiate themselves from competitors, are making it virtually impossible for multi-platform providers to offer a good experience, coverage and performance on each platform. Instead, they are forced to focus on the common points between operating systems while the platform providers simultaneously eliminate these common elements.
Mosyle’s Apple Unified Platform is exactly the opposite.
Mosyle’s specialization happens on the operating system (in this case, Apple), and the offer is extended to different solution needs, including MDM, endpoint security, identity management, content filtering and more. This new approach allows companies to use a single solution for all their Apple devices’ needs while reducing the number of providers they need to cover their entire fleet.
A company using only Apple devices can solve all its needs with a single and integrated platform. And in the worst case, even if they are agnostic and let employees use any platform, they would end up with no more than three providers – it’s a game-changer.
Mosyle currently offers this concept through a product called Mosyle Fuse that delivers the following capabilities:
Enterprise-grade mobile device management;
Automated patch management;
Endpoint security, including device hardening and compliance, next-generation antivirus and privilege management; and
Online privacy and security through encrypted DNS-based content filtering.
In addition to allowing customers to use a single solution for all their Apple device needs (literally), this concept also brings several other benefits:
1. Complete feature set due to OS specialization. A company focusing on a single platform such as Mosyle for Apple devices can dramatically increase specialization on one operating system provider, reaching a level of quality and efficiency that’s unmatchable for multi-platforms providers. For specialized Apple providers, there are no other platforms than macOS, iOS, iPadOS and tvOS and this makes a huge difference when designing and developing new products and features. With no exception, they are more powerful and perform much better.
2. Allows for total automation. IT administrators know how challenging it is to deploy multiple isolated solutions on endpoints and ensure they are working as expected on all company devices. These solutions are designed to be deployed and used independently of any other vendor solution. The side effect: they don’t work well with other vendor products. If you have ever tried to deploy an endpoint security solution to a fleet of hundreds or thousands of Macs, you understand this problem. Several steps must be performed, from installing an app (that normally is not available at Apple’s App Store), configuring a system extension, sending app configurations so the app is connected with the company account without relying on employee manual login, and more.
And if multiple steps are not enough, they need to be performed in a specific order and remotely. In the best case, 80% of devices will work. And when a new update is available, you must do it all again. Mosyle’s Apple Unified Platform concept simply eliminates all of that. An employee boots up a brand-new device for the first time, and it all happens automatically. The device is configured, apps installed, endpoint security and content filtering automatically enforced, and no one must do anything. It just works because Mosyle is using its own MDM to natively enforce the content filtering, endpoint security and much more.
3. Better performance due to native integration. All endpoint software has one thing in common: it runs on the same device. However, most of the software is designed to ignore this fact, which has several implications. First, different pieces of endpoint software generally impact each other. It’s common for web filtering solutions to block the online traffic of the MDM or the EDR, or for the EDR to quarantine the MDM agent or the web filtering solution by mistake.
When that happens, they all stop working, and the IT team must perform a lot of manual work to fix the devices (until it happens again). Second, they don’t leverage the information from the other solutions. The MDM knows what is expected to run on each device because it deployed and configured the device. The web filtering solution has full visibility of web traffic but has no idea what connection comes from malware. And the EDR can’t leverage the info coming from the MDM and the web filtering to make better and quicker detections. Having them all designed to work together and leverage each other unleashes amazing possibilities. When this happens, one solution won’t only avoid impacting the other, but help them. This is mind blowing.
4. Better cost. Mosyle also shows that an Apple Unified Platform can be extremely affordable and cost less than one of the five single independent solutions it replaces currently.
The potential of the new Apple Unified Platform is unbelievable, and based on Mosyle’s shared information, customers are rapidly embracing it. Since Mosyle first introduced this concept with Mosyle Fuse a little more than one year ago, over 70% of all new customers opted for Mosyle Fuse rather than its MDM-only product.
With these kinds of results, it’s clear there’s no way back to a strategy of isolated and independent multi-platform solutions struggling to work together.
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