The best stylus for the iPad

“The iPad was built so that you’d never need a stylus,” Jacob Kastrenakes reports for The Verge. “Apple wanted you to be able to pick up a tablet and just start using it, without having to search around for something to control it with. But there are still many reasons that you may want want to use a stylus anyway: we’re used to holding something in our hands while writing, drawing, and painting, and a good stylus can make these activities a lot more fun and natural on the iPad.”

“Just like a pen or a pencil, a good stylus doesn’t need to do anything special. You just want one that feels good and lets you use it exactly how you want to. That’s surprisingly hard to come by on the iPad, but the good news is that there are a lot of options to choose from,” Kastrenakes reports. “There are capacitive styluses that trick the iPad into thinking they’re your finger, and there are Bluetooth styluses that can add special features like pressure sensitivity. You can find either type in all sorts of shapes and sizes.”

“A stylus may seem simple, but there are a lot of small ways in which a bad one can quickly become annoying — just imagine if your pencil didn’t write every time you touched it to a sheet of paper,” Kastrenakes reports. “Fortunately, there’s one stylus that absolutely nails all of those critical basics.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The stylus will become more important with the “iPad Pro,” with its larger display for enterprise and education.

Before anybody goes quoting the guy below, an iPad is not an iPhone:

Who wants a stylus? You have to get ’em and put ’em away and you lose them. Yuck! Nobody wants a stylus, so let’s not use a stylus. – Steve Jobs, January 9, 2007

Related articles:
Apple files another patent application for sensor-laden active stylus – April 16, 2015
Analyst: Apple likely to launch simple stylus with 12.9-inch iPad Pro; advanced 3D stylus due later – January 18, 2015
Apple granted another smart pen patent for capturing digital copies of notes and drawings – December 30, 2014
Apple files their 10th ‘Smart Pen’ patent of the year – December 6, 2014
iPen: Apple patent applications reveal advanced modular smart-pen – February 2, 2014
iPen? Apple secretly files three dynamic smart-pen patents in Europe – February 28, 2013
Apple patent application reveals advanced ‘active stylus’ for iOS devices – December 31, 2012
Apple patent application reveals more about their optical iPen and graphics program – May 24, 2012
Apple patent app details smart, heated ‘iPen’ stylus for iPad and iPhone – July 7, 2011
Apple patent application details new type of stylus for iPad – February 3, 2011


  1. With a stylus, I want to turn off touch, so my had does not mess up what I am trying to do with the “pen”. So there needs to be something different, than the basic touch interface.

    Also a pen needs to have a higher resolution… So getting the pen to work properly means an engineering change. Without it, it’s just not a pleasant experience.

    1. I picked up a Wacom Bambook Stylus recently and am just starting to use it with NoteShelf on my iPad. NoteShelf has a “Palm Rejection” setting that works as advertised.

      I recognize that’s not system-wide, but it indicates it’s not a [hardware] engineering change.

  2. Of the cheap rubber tip styluses, this is the best I’ve found:

    NewerTech NuScribe 2-in-1 touch screen stylus

    The link is to the silver model, currently discounted to $7.75. It includes a pen at one end. I like its touch tip better than all the others I’ve used. It’s smaller, sturdier, more accurate, more likely to register on the screen. All the others of this kind suck by comparison. And it has a nice pen clip!

    But if you’re an artist, go for the Sensu, as The Verge suggests. That’s a nice price ($39) for what you get.

  3. As much as I’ve loved my iPhones I have on occasion remembered fondly my palm pilot days. The UI made much denser use of the screen, largely because of the pinpoint precision of a stylus. I’ve still never found an iOS To Do app I’ve liked, I think primarily because of how limited a view of the list one is afforded (8 items compared to 20).
    The switch to iPhones was certainly a net gain, but a stylus can be useful at times.

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