Pogo Connect stylus sensitivity fix

How to adjust the Pogo Connect’s pressure sensitivity setting with firmware v1.1.0.

Last updated on
3 min read

About a month ago I received a replacement Pogo Connect Smart Pen due to a defect that caused it to stop working. Using this replacement for a few days it was clear to me that something was different about this newer model.

I use Paper by FiftyThree exclusively for drawing with the occasional Procreate experiment. When using either app I noticed that the sensitivity of the Pogo’s tip seemed off. To get the full range of stroke sizes I now had to press extremely hard to register a wide stroke (see screenshot below), which started to screw with how I draw.

Calibrated Pogo Connect line comparison

Isolating the cause is hard because so many factors had changed around the same time.

  • Apple released iOS 7, a major rewrite and update to the iPad’s operating system.
  • TenOne Design updated the Pogo Connect’s firmware to 1.1.0 — needed for some of the new tips they recently released.
  • Design changes were made to the Pogo Connect to reinforce the internals and tip.

From my tests it seems to be related to the 1.1.0 firmware or the extra solder being used to keep the tip from busting off. Older Pogo’s with the 1.0.6 firmware worked fine with iOS 7 and updated apps.

But how do you fix it?

To begin, open Paper by FiftyThree1 or your Pogo Connect supported app of choice, and press the button on the stylus to establish a connection.

Next you’ll need to open (or download) the free Pogo Connect app. With it you can do fun stuff like locate your Pogo if it’s lost somewhere in your house, update the firmware, rename your Pogo, draw, or adjust the tip’s pressure sensitivity.

Connected

Upon opening the app you should notice it trying to connect to the stylus. When that completes, tap the Configuration tab at the bottom to customize the stylus to your liking. The two settings I altered to make it behave how it used to were Locator Beacon and Pressure Amount.

Pogo Connect app settings screen

I turned off the Locator Beacon, set Pressure Amount to +6, and selected the R3 tip to profile.

After making these changes you can doodle around in the space below to verify the sensitivity settings are to you liking. You can then switch back to Paper and the new settings should be noticeable in the app.

Pogo Connect app doodle test

ProTip: sensitivity settings

Any sensitivity settings you made in the Pogo Connect app don’t appear to “stick” if the apps go to sleep or you lose a connection with the stylus. Following these steps seems to work at restoring them when using Paper by FiftyThree:

  1. Unscrew the cap on the Pogo Connect and take out the battery.
  2. Wait a few seconds and then place the battery back in and screw the top on to power cycle the Pogo.
  3. Reconnect the stylus to Paper. You may have to force quit2 the app if it doesn’t connect.
  4. After establishing a connection reopen the Pogo Connect app, wait for it to connect to the stylus, and then tap the Configuration tab again.
  5. Check that the Pressure Amount slider is set properly and make a few test strokes in the space below to verify it is receiving input from the tip.
  6. Switch back to Paper and you’re good to go…for now.

It’s sort of a pain having to open another app each time I sit down to work on an illustration, but what can you do? I’m not entirely sure why the sensitivity settings don’t persist when the stylus or app goes to sleep.


  1. As of version 2.5 FiftyThree has dropped support for the Pogo Connect Smart Pen.

  2. To force quit an app press the home button twice in rapid succession. Doing so will bring up a screen showing your recently used apps. Swipe left or right to find the app you want to quit and then swipe it up to remove it from view.

About the author

Hi I’m Michael Rose. Just another boring, bearded, tattooed, time traveling designer from Buffalo New York. I maintain several open source projects and occassionally blog.

Glitched photo of Michael Rose with a long beard.

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8 comments

  1. Rellite wrote on

    much appreciate the in depth analysis! finally doing research myself upon receiving a 1.0.4 firmware pen. I wanted to exchange it for a 1.1 so I can upgrade to the latest 1.3.2 or so, but these articles make me think twice. strange that the sensitivity would be so drastically reduced, but it wonder if they’ve made any adjustments within the firmware upgrades to accommodate this prevalent problem.

  2. Michael Rose wrote on

    If the sensitivity levels you set in the Pogo Connect app actually stuck and didn’t need to be constantly refreshed it wouldn’t be a problem. It appears anytime that app is in the background for a certain amount of time it goes to sleep and forgets the levels.

    I’m guessing the default levels were reduced some to work better with the alternate tips that allow less sensitivity to adjust for note taking uses.

  3. Jim Faris wrote on

    I finally have to join in here. First, I love this site and Micheal your work, explanations and such have been incredibly useful and inspiring.

    I bought a Pogo Connect. I love the feel of it on screen, but I do not have any touch sensitivity in Paper. i am using an iPad Mini retina and I’m guessing that is part of the problem. But it works in Connect app, in Procreate and in Sketch, but not in Paper. Every time I go through the process above, Paper’s watercolor brush gives me an 1/8 inch of finer line, then back to standard.

    It’s been tough following all the blogs and support reports to know where things stand… So, right now Feb11, 2014… is anyone getting the Pogo to work on a Mini Retina with PAPER?

    P.S. my Pogo tip makes a little click when I use it, like the tip is clicking inside?”

  4. Michael Rose wrote on

    Thanks Jim! This is a known problem, check out TenOne Design’s blog for more detail.

    The gist is Apple farted around with the technology behind their screens for the new iPad Air and Mini with retina, which caused the Pogo Connect to stop working.

    TenOne Design has since released an update that partially supports these new screens, but it still has issues. I don’t have a newer iPad so I can’t verify any of this. My guess as to why it works in Procreate and the Pogo Connect app is because they’re using TenOne Design’s newer SDK and Paper hasn’t updated to it yet.

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