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An iPad stylus

Discussion in 'iPad Accessories for iPAD 1, 2 and 3' started by Plainsman, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Plainsman
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    Plainsman iPad Fan

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    I recently purchased a stylus for my iPad2. I shopped around and finally decided on a Touchtech. The pen has a retractable ball-point at one end and the stylus at the other. The big, fat tip bothered me a bit (I used to use a Newton, which has a much more delicate and precise stylus!) and so I wrote to the company to find out why it had to be so obese.

    Jerry Leto at Touchtech responded right away. I now have a much better understanding of the screen technology and thought I would share his response with you, with his permission of course. I found it very informative.

    Being new to capacitive touch technology and all of its wonders, and shortcoming, can be tough at first. You hit it dead on with the statement that it is a function of the technology. Oh, the Newton. Lots of great features to that product, I must say. Here is the nuts and bolts of iPads, etc. (Multi-Touch Capacitive Touch Screens). They work by capacitively coupling to the human body, are designed for interaction with fingers and have a very specific range of size they detect. If you are curious, you can Google search Brian Huppi, the guy who designed the tech for Apple. He is actually an associate of mine. In other words, if they were to detect a small area, such as a pen nib (1mm), when you press your finger to the screen it would detect a multi-touch and it would confuse the software. Generally speaking, it is about 4.5mm and anything smaller, or larger than say 6.5mm, wont trigger or drive the device. The reason for the squishy, is that if you hold the device to eye level and slowly press your finger to the screen, you will see a depression left in your skin of approximately 4.5mm. Harder materials or anything that will not quickly conform to the 4.5mm diameter circle, have issues operating/driving the devices. Those tips I designed are to depress as easily as your skin would so you get a very fast and accurate response from the screen. I also designed a coating for the tips to more closely replicate the drag of the human finger on the screen. Many styli actually have a very high drag or chatter and people really hate that, me included. You also have to push really hard to make them work, and I tried to engineer the TT II pen to work around those common complaints from consumers. I am not sure if this answers some of the questions you have, but if you have anything else you would like to know about the tech, please call or email me. I have no problem answering your questions to the best of my ability.

    I have nothing whatsoever to do with Touchtech and have never met Mr. Leto, but I was impressed by this outfit's commitment to customer satisfaction. (Elsewhere in his message he mentioned that if I was dissatisfied in any way with it he would refund my money immediately.) I really like companies that go the extra mile for their customers.

    Here's the company's website... Touchtech - Home

    And here's where I bought mine... Amazon.com: touchtec pen
  2. Tim SPRACKLEN
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    Tim SPRACKLEN iPad Legend

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    Great to read that very full and clear explanation. It will be useful when other Members ask about the touch screen technology.

    Thanks for posting it.

    Tim
  3. Hayles66
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    Hayles66 iPad Expert

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    Yes, that video was great! So many new things coming, very sci fi.

    sent with love from my iPad on IPF
  4. raven_blackhart
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    raven_blackhart iPF Noob

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    Great info! I'm currently waiting patiently for the wacom stylus to turn up on ozzie shores *annoyed much*. In the mean time, I've got a great targus 2-in-1, works like a beauty, with a stylus on one end and a capped ball point on the other. Stylish and sleek, fits right with all my fountain pens. Only annoying thing is when used as a pen, u have to make sure u don't wind up loosing the cap coz it doesn't fit on the stylus end.
  5. info
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    info iPad Junkie

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    Thanks for that clear explanation Plainsman.
  6. mtealo
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    mtealo iPF Novice

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    I have been using the AluPen stylus for the last month over all my other styluses. If you want to see my review just search for AluPen review on you tube under my name mtealo.
  7. info
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    I too use the Just Mobile Alupen but have been waiting for the Wacom Bamboo in order to compare the two.
  8. mjtyler
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    mjtyler iPad Junkie

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    Hi, if you need a really responsive stylus while you're waiting for the waucom I purchased a Kensington and it's really brilliant. Smooth, direct and very nice to use
  9. mtealo
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    mtealo iPF Novice

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    Had a good review in iPad magazine so let us know how you feel about it compared to AluPen o.k.
  10. hmark
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    hmark iPF Noob

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    Stylus for IPAD

    Does that stylus work well or not for writing text on the IPAD? I've been waiting for something to come out to enable taking notes during meetings, etc.
    tx, hmark
  11. jsh1120
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    jsh1120 iPad Addict

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    Hate to say it, folks, but I've just about come to a couple of conclusions after trying about half a dozen styluses and reading literally hundreds of posts about various brands.

    () There are simply too many individual preferences to reach a conclusion about the "best" stylus. What seems ideal to one user is unusable for another.

    () The basic problem lies with the capacitive touch screen on the iPad, not with various styluses. It is simply not a well designed medium for detailed work. If you want something that feels like writing with a pen and paper you're going to have to wait for technology to catch up with...a pen and paper.

    Bottom line. Buy a stylus. Doesn't much matter which one though the cheapest are probably not quite as good as the most expensive. Then practice, practice, practice. That's how you get to Carnegie Hall and it's how you become proficient with a stylus on an iPad. Just don't expect perfection. The iPad screen won't provide it.
  12. Jockscrap
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    I've just bought an Acase stylus from Amazon mainly for using to write notes and scribble over PDFs in Note Taker HD. I think the advise to practice is good...i've filled a couple of A4 sheets of rambling notes just to try and make my hand writing look in some way legible and it is getting better with practice. It is definitely easier and neater than using my finger to write, but is a long way from looking as neat as my pen and paper notes.
  13. grimbarian
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    grimbarian iPF Novice

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    Brilliant. I now understand why my Acare stylus with a squishy tip works perfectly while another unknown make with a harder tip was completely useless.
  14. Jrs22
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    Jrs22 iPF Novice

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    I bought the ifaraday stylus after reading about it here. My original rubber tipped stylus has since been relegated to the drawer. I use it with Notetaker HD, which provides for writing "large and loose" in a detail box. The writing is then shrunk down to normal size and is quite neat and legible. When I first got my IPad I missed the digitizer on my Palm PDA. But no more. On the Palm I had to print, but now I can write in cursive, which is so much faster.
  15. Jrs22
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    Jrs22 iPF Novice

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    thats a good question. you can use the same notetaker hd software with your finger. i just found the stylus more comfortable for longer periods of time, and when im using the ipad im sitting down, so its not inconvenient. ymmv.
  16. Jockscrap
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    Jockscrap iPad Fan

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    I find it useful for editing PDFs by adding highlights to text, underlining and adding various other scribbles and annotations. It's also useful for drawing rough sketches and making quick notes.
    My DH much prefers navigating round my iPad with the stylus than using his fingers. I tend to go between the two methods. I've found that a game I have, Breakout Mania, is difficult to do with my finger as after a few goes back and forth over the same spot, the grease from my finger creates drag and the game becomes unplayable. With the stylus, the problem doesn't occur.
  17. china_cat84
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    china_cat84 iPF Novice

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    I blame my reasons on school lol. My instructors require us to print off pages and pages of PowerPoint presentation handouts and write our notes on them. I just can't bring myself to use that much ink or paper! Not only can I not afford it, but it's such a waste when I'll only use the notes for a semester....plus when they're in sheets and not in a notebook, I tend to lose them.

    So, I save the powerpoints as PDFs and download them into UPAD for note taking. Works like a charm and doesn't waste paper or ink. And makes my classmates jealous of my cool iPad. In fact, Apple should be paying me something because since last semester, I've inspired at least 10 people to purchase an iPad just because they saw me using it in class for my notes!

    As for styli, I use a stylus-r-us stylus and I love it. I've never had a problem with handwriting legibility, especially with UPAD....my handwriting on the iPad looks pretty close to how it looks on paper. I didn't really have any issues when I first started either - I think you just need to become accustomed to how the iPad works and how best to use the stylus. Just my 2 cents. I also have an Acase stylus and it's ok. I do find that my hand becomes more easily fatigued with it, since I have to press harder with it than with the SRU stylus.

    Sent from my iPad using iPF - 64gig iPad2 White WiFi
  18. Jockscrap
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    Jockscrap iPad Fan

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    DH is a forum acronym for dear or darling husband.
    He finds the stylus is more accurate than a finger for selecting page numbers and small areas without the need to zoom in. I rarely find using just my finger for navigating a problem though.

    You hold and use the stylus like a real pen but it has a semi-spherical rubber tip, not a point like a normal pen. The Acase pen is a little sorter than a normal pen which is a negative, and my hand aches a bit after lots of writing, but I don't write as much as I used to, so this could be another case of just needing to practice.

    Like China Cat, I've found it most useful for making notes on to pdfs and it has already saved me from having to print out scores of pages. I'm going to have a look at the recommendations for the app and stylus in their post.
  19. Elton
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    Elton iPF Novice

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    I can't agree with 100% of what you said but you are very close.
    Yes, Everyone has his own preference there is no BEST stylus that suit everyone need.
    Yes, the design of the iPad/iPhone touch screen has limited the input medium diameter to be larger than 5.5mm. Anything smaller is rejected. That's why it is so challenging to create a stylus that works all rounded well with the i-device.

    But no, the design of the stylus does make a different. I have tried more than 30+ stylii, what I found is, all the stylii on the market were designed to perform well for point & tap action but not equally well for a stroke. As a result, the writing tip needed to be manually pressed toward to the screen in order for a pen stroke to be fully recognized. Short or light strokes are always lost its first half or completely ignored. Practice won't make this hardware limitation go away.

    May I suggest you to take a look at this stylus responsiveness comparison video then u know what I mean:


    Elton
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 23, 2014
  20. jsh1120
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    Elton,

    Thanks for the video. Very interesting. I have to admit that the post to which you responded was written in a period when I was especially frustrated with finding the "perfect" stylus (for handwriting.) I still think that stylus choice is heavily influenced by individual preferences about weight and shape, writing styles, and even whether one is left or right-handed. Thus, blanket recommendations are of limited value. Having said that, though, I think you're correct that there is something to the old adage that you get what you pay for.

    There are exceptions, however. I've been using a Jot Pro from Adonit for a week, or so. It's relatively expensive (about $30 USD). And while it's very attractive, hefty (I like that), and enables very precise input, it also fails to capture strokes intermittently, much like a pen that is low on ink. I've tried to adjust my writing style to minimize the problem but so far I've had only limited success in doing so. Unless I can overcome the problem or Adonit rectifies the problem via a change in design, I fear I'll have to stop using it.

    In any event, your design looks interesting and imaginative. Good luck in your efforts to fund its development.

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