Stylus for the iPad, iPhone, iPod Touch

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Nelson Au, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    I want an app for taking notes, used with a stylus. Basically, a replacement for the tried-and-trued college-ruled paper.

    I'm reviewing the stylus links here as well and once I've got an app (with my current Boxwave stylus), probably buy a new stylus. (Loved the MacWorld comparo Sam posted on the first page. Wacom is in the lead for me.)
     
  2. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    This weekend I need to spend some time reading, and will try out taking notes on my iPad.

    I'm doing some professional reading, reviewing topics in my field that I've not specifically worked with but need to have greater mastery of now. I like to have paper to jot notes on, scribble on, and doodle figures. I'm using some random notepad I had from a conference, but when I rip out the paper, what do I do with it? So i bought a $2.99 college notebook like I used 20 years ago (yeah, gives me the willies too). But if my notes are useful, I'll want to store them or scan them...and paper can get torn or shredded by the cats (who like to hang out with me when I'm reading). And paper is not "searchable".

    Then it occurs to me I've got this fancy new iPad. Maybe I can take notes on it? Maybe even I can get some handwriting recognition to enable searching?

    I'm read this thread, the two major articles Sam linked, and bookmarked a few promising styli and apps. I downloaded Bamboo (free) and have my Boxwave stylus, to give it a go without any initial cost. If it's workable, if I like it, then I may upgrade to a more quality combo like Notes Plus and Bamboo Stylus.
    http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/notes-plus/id374211477?mt=8

    Ultimately, I don't think the app I really want exists yet. I care about writing; I'm not an artist and don't care about drawing past simple line graphics and equations. If I could program at this level, I'd make my desired note-taking app. I see a minor niche unfulfilled, at first glance.
     
  3. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Boy, I wish iTunes had a "demo" feature. I've got 6 apps, $20 total, in my wish list and I don't which if any will be best and work for me. It's clear from a few hours in Bamboo that this has potential but that app is not sufficient. And I want a finer point stylus for writing. My Boxwave is OK, but it is like writing with a pre-school fat crayon. I think (hope) the Jot Pro or Wacom stylus will be better.

    And while my needs are very modest, it might be worthwhile to get Papers on iPad. The desktop app is $80, far beyond what I'm doing. But at $15, an iPad app to organize some references might also be useful.
     
  4. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    Gents,

    Glad I saw this thread.

    I am about to buy this highly rated stylus that Sam mentioned
    in a previous post.

    The reason I want a stylus is because I am tired of finger smudges
    all over my iPad.

    Will I be happy using an iPad with a stylus? Any drawbacks?
     
  5. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Can you use your iPad with only a single finger? No pinch to zoom? No multi-touch gestures?
    It's cheap to try, so give it a go!
     
  6. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Administrator
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    No, certainly Dave, not a full replacement for two fingers
    as you described above -- but when you can get by with
    far less screen contact.
     
  7. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Ron, it depends on what you use your iPad for. I only use a stylus for drawing. I am currently using the Wacom Bambo stylus because it's a good weight and the tip is pretty narrow.
    The one you linked to has a similar rubber tip. I also use the Griffin/Targus stylus with the similar rubber tip.
    As I said, I mainly use the stylus for sketching. For anything else, I use my fingers.
    I just tried a firned's stylus called the Jot Pro. See here: http://www.amazon.com/Adonit-Stylus-iPhone-Screens-ADJPG/dp/B005GSNLBQ
    This one is different because it has a small plastic clear disc that slides across the surface of the screen. This allows a very thin tip at the end that is connected the plastic disc. So you can very accurately draw and point. The rubber tipped styluses from Griffin and others are thick, so it's hard to be accurate, but not impossible.
    I am going to buy the Jot and try it more to evaluate it. But you should probably buy a clear film to protect the glass from scratches. The rubber tips have not scratched my screen, but the Jot likely will.
    Hope that helps!
     
  8. DaveF

    DaveF Moderator
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    Nelson, how does the Wacom feel for writing? It's on my short list for a note-taking tool. Likewise, the Jot Pro, when you've tried it I can't draw worth spit :) so that's not a concern to me.

    Ron - I first bought a stylus for winter use of my iPhone. It's very handy when wearing gloves.
     
  9. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    Dave,
    The squishy nature of the rubber tip sort of makes it hard to write for me. I just tried it with my drawing app. So I don't know how it would work for a specific note taking app. It's not bad, it's like when I first started sketching on the iPad, it took a little while to learn how to best do it. So I imagine it's possible to be a very good writing tool. I think for me I have to just not press as hard.
    I know Wacom has that writing app, but I haven't tried it yet.
     
  10. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    I know some of you love your styluses but "Pen creates and Touch Manipulates" is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. You should NOT be swapping between the two IMO.
    http://techcrunch.com/2012/11/02/microsoft-to-introduce-multi-touch-and-pen-devices-based-on-perceptive-pixel-technology/
     
  11. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    I completely agree with "Pen creates and Touch Manipulates". Finger is a good user interface for touch screens, but for real honest to goodness drawing, it's wholly inadequate. I can actually draw on my Galaxy Note 2 with the stylus. Without it, it's just spastic fingerpainting. I can now create elaborate, detailed picture in Draw Something. Sure, it's overkill, but the game is so much more fun now that I can actually draw something.
     
  12. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    There's a big difference between having the option to use a pen every once in a while and needing to constantly swap between them because it is a fundamental part of the ui and experience... I don't doubt there are some who will take to it, but never a big chunk...
     
  13. Hanson

    Hanson Producer

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    I think that the philosophy here is that people who want to create will have an easier time with a stylus because of the precision you can achieve with it that is much more difficult/impossible with a finger. It's no different than on the desktop -- designers at my company flip between the mouse and stylus on their Wacom pads all day long. People switch between mouse and keyboard all day long. It's not really that big a deal on a practical level.

    For most people, tablets are a consumption device and a finger will handles almost all tasks. But if you want to actually draw or perform any creative task that requires precise touching, you have no choice but to switch to a stylus. I don't know why you have a philosophical hangup about this. Let me ask you this, Sam - what should be the interface for designers who want to draw or design software that requires pinpoint accuracy? Because the human finger, for all of its virtues, is too fat and squishy to be a workable solution in that use case.
     
  14. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Keep in mind that I use a Wacom Intuos 4 Medium myself Hanson. Wireless so I can pop it on my lap and draw to my hearts content and lack of talent's chagrin. On a desktop. I think styluses are wonderful for drawing. And for those who use them like that on a tablet I say "Right on".
    What I disagree with is making them a fundamental part of a device, something you have to have with you constantly to get the most out of the experience. That's the essence of the PCTM mantra and I think down that way lies madness. I say the same thing about the touch screen desktops, making Kinect such a fundamental part of XBox etc.
     
  15. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    They blew it!
    http://www.macgasm.net/2013/01/01/apple-applies-for-new-stylus-patent/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=apple-applies-for-new-stylus-patent
     
  16. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Wirecutter's conclusions are somewhere between disheartening and damning:
    http://thewirecutter.com/reviews/the-best-ipad-stylus/
     
  17. Nelson Au

    Nelson Au Executive Producer

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    I lost track of this thread after the forum change lost my bookmarks! I've recently been using the new Adonit Jot Touch 4. An active stylus using Bluetooth 4.0 to connect to the iPad 3, 4 and mini. ($90.00) This has the small plastic disc tip. I also had been using the Pogo Connect that also connects with Bluetooth 4.0 which I got in late November of last year. ($100) It uses the traditional rubber tip.Both use Bluetooth for pressure sensitivity. I have to say that both got me very excited to draw again on the iPad. After using the Pogo a while, I wanted to try the Jot Touch 4 to compare.After using both, they both work excellently for pressure sensitivity in the app, Sketchbook Pro which I use for work. The Pogo has a slight edge in being able to draw a lighter weight line, but it requires a greater amount of pressure to register on the screen.The Jot Touch 4 has become my favored stylus as it requires very little pressure for the iPad to sense it drawing a line. Very much like drawing on a Wacom Cintiq. I like it so much, I bought a second one for use outside the house. The feel of the pen is very nice, the buttons on the side of the stylus are not as easy to accidentally press like it is on the Pogo. I don't think I can go back to a non active stylus to sketch! Though I can if I don't have access to the Jot Touch 4. However, palm rejection doesn't work on Sketchbook Pro. It is supposed to work on other painting apps which I don't use...yet. So I'll have to try those.If Apple will actually make a stylus that works with the iPad with pressure sensitivity, I'll look forward to try that too! We're getting close to the Wacom Cintiq with the Jot Touch 4. Line weight and opacity can be dialed in in the app. The ability to have opacity become lighter or darker with pressure is as important as line weight with pressure in simulating actually pencil drawing! So this is great!
     
  18. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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    Thanks for the pro thoughts, Nelson! I think that we've established that for drawing that a stylus can be a tremendous tool. Got any pics you can share?

    BUT: Would you use a stylus for note taking or general tablet use tho?
     
  19. Sam Posten

    Sam Posten Moderator
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