Microsoft Garage Journal app receives Surface Slim Pen 2 haptics support

Surface Pro 8 Pen
Surface Pro 8 Pen (Image credit: Daniel Rubino / Windows Central)

What you need to know

  • Journal, an app for notetaking, sketching, and whatever else you want to record, just got haptics support.
  • Specifically, the app will work with the new Surface Slim Pen 2 and give off tactile signals to make for a more responsive and visceral journaling experience.
  • Each tool, be it the digital pencil, pen, highlighter, or eraser, will feature unique haptic feedback.

Microsoft has announced quite a bit in recent memory. Not only are Windows 11 and a slew of peripheral services and software releasing on October 5, but so are a sizeable line of new Surface devices. The company's Journal app is taking advantage of the latter to make for a fresh inking experience by way of the Surface Slim Pen 2.

For those using the Surface Slim Pen 2 on devices such as the Surface Pro 8 or Surface Laptop Studio (so many Surfaces!), you'll get special vibrations when inking in the Journal app. Each tool in the app has its own specific type of feedback, designed to make the experience more immersive. The pen tool is meant to feel like an actual pen, while the pencil tool gives off a different sensation designed to evoke the real sensation of graphite on paper.

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Furthermore, Journal will let you tweak the intensity of the haptic feedback to your liking so that you can have an optimal experience that doesn't overpower your senses or leave you wanting. For the full scoop on what's happening in Journal with regards to pen vibrations, check out Microsoft's blog post (opens in new tab).

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to

  • Any word on when Journal is going to be available for the Duo? i.e. an Android app.
  • I'm worried. I don't think I know of a garage project that got any attention beyond the first 6 months or so. For something like this to be viable long term, I really hope they continue to develop it. This is definitely a good sign, but I still find it curious that Journal has been updated to support haptics, but OneNote hasn't.
  • Microsoft Launcher was the big garage project that got taken up in the company. SMS Organizer is the other for the Indian market.
  • Willrich354, that's good to hear. I wasn't aware of that. Maybe the fact that it's been updated in time for Windows 11 and the pen means it's been picked up, or is about to. The application is VERY professional, and already looks fantastic and works well. But this isn't the first pen-based app from the garage that launched well, but fell by the wayside. Fingers crossed!