State of the Mobile Nations survey - The point of the stylus | webOS Nation

State of the Mobile Nations survey - The point of the stylus 22

by Gary Mazo Tue, 03 Apr 2012 2:59 pm EDT

State of the Mobile Nations survey - The point of the stylus

Steve Jobs put an end to the Newton project, in part because he hated the concept of using a stylus. The original Palm Pilot was a runaway hit -- in part because of the use of the stylus and its handwriting recognition. Now, Palm is dead and Apple is ginormous and Samsung is trying to bring the stylus back with the Galaxy Note line... So, who was right? Just as the iPad is reaching the stratosphere in usage, the stylus is making a comeback. We ran a quick poll and the initial results were intriguing enough we wanted to get a better sense of just what was going on across all platforms and all of our mobile communities. So here's a short survey. Does the stylus inhibit or amplify your touch screen experience? Let us know!

Take the Survey!



Stylus will comeback, specially when folks start creating more content on tablets.
Samsung gets full credit for re-introducing it.

No, Apple will "borrow" the idea from Samsung and add it to the next iPad, claiming that it was theirs the entire time even though 5 years ago they said that styluses were terrible. Then, they'll sue Samsung for putting styluses on their devices.

LOL are you a psychic ?! I feel something like that will happen :) the world knows how greedy Apple is . . .

HIGHLY recommend Adonit - mine just arrived and it's AWESOME!

Does this actually work on the Touchpad?

It's hard to imagine that a stylus is all that necessary when you can easily do voice transcription on a new iPad wherever keyboard input is required.

In a dark, dystopian future, Apple will shamelessly gather up various stylii from around the country, pretty them up and present them to the 'enlightened applelite'...then, one of the stylii will catch on so quickly and meteorically, it will be called "the 'Stylus On Fire" and will win out over all the other stylii in an epic battle of writs...then, in a wry plot twist, the Stylus On Fire will lead the oppressed mobile OS users from around the world into an epic battle (can you have 2 epic battles in one story?) where the unlikely, and hereforto thought destroyed, webOS, now open to all, bare before all the world, will rise like a Phoenix...or a flaming Mockingjay [still working the CGI out on that one] to set write [yeah, I meant' 'write'] the use of Styii on mobile devices. All will be free... webOS, Android, Windows, and ALL the other districts and their OS's...even Suri's offspring [affectionately called the Jabberjays] will be able to access the cloud in whatever way seems good to them, free of the shackles of the Applelite.

--Coming to a theater near you...sometime after September 2012

"Point" of stylus. hah

In all seriousness, I doubt it will catch on to the public. Requires a silo (adds to bulk, thickness, and seeing how much people hated the touchpads weight difference, they probably will not like a silo)
or carried separately. That is a nightmare. Even easier to lose.

I imagine the stylus catching on to a few consumers, but i see it more for the artists looking for a virtual canvas, or those who prefer handwriting recognition/Graffiti to a keyboard.

the survey is not working!

IMO, its kind of like a chicken and the egg scenario. People won't be ready to accept the stylus until we have the screen tech is there, and the screen tech won't be there (on the market) until people are ready to use the stylus.

I do agree that the more people that become creative with their tablets the more we will see the stylus being used. However capacitive screens lack the ability to emulate pressure sensitivity for brush strokes like a modern resistive screen, and resistive screens on the market can't do multi-touch that every one wants.

So until we get those fantastic multi-touch resistive screens added to our devices then the stylus will remain old hat.

inb4 stylus+resistive=crap

I will take a modern sensitive resistive plastic screen without multi-touch and a digitizing layer instead of capacitive multi-touch enabled glass screens any time. Given that they are lighter than glass, and doesn't break as easily are top points to be considered. A scratch protector on plastic is not necessarily worse than chemically strengthened glass.

Try to control your device when the stupid screen doesn't recognize your finger because they are dry, let alone even pressing something with your nails, the side of your finger cups or -nature forbids!- your knuckles. Seems impossible to achieve with capacitive.

That means, with a properly implemented (not "designed"!) UI i'm fine pressing buttons or control interfaces f.e. to zoom, instead of pinching. There's also the possibility to use a "rotation" single-finger gesture to zoom in & out. Rotate your finger clockwise to zoom in, counter-clockwise to zoom out. Implemented for years in one of the finest mobile browser out there: microB.

2nd comment, the survey will not allow you to select any options with the Touchpad.

Way to go web designers! Forgetting your webOS userbase are we?

When Apple announced the iPad 1, I decided touchscreen would be nice, but why be limited to their app store? So I started to look around for a convertible laptop that would give me the best of all worlds, a touch-screen interface, a full keyboard always available when I wanted it, a form factor that could be used like a slate/tablet for in-field use and/or media consumption, and an operating system that supported any and all applications. I ended up with a Dell XT2 with a daylight viewable screen, multi-touch screen, and includes a great stylus with on-board docking. It just pops out of the side when you need it, hides away when you don't. The screen, while no retina display, has been terrific in all lighting conditions. The stylus and multi-touch work nicely together, one for handwriting input, note taking, and photo editing, and the touch screen is terrific for web browsing and ebook reading. I recently upgraded to an brilliant Dell XT3 with i7 processor and video camera. The screen is super bright in all lighting conditions and is easy to see in strong sunlight, and I have all my applications in a stable and fast Windows 7 environment with a 256GB SSD to boot! And to think I used to be an apple guru.

I put that I have not used a stylus, but that only refers to my current devices. I did use one on my iPaq and I also use one instead of a mouse on my PC (currently a Wacom Bamboo pen and touch tablet).

A stylus is great when you need precision. Right now, I don't feel that it makes much sense on mobile devices, because the capacitive screens are designed for fingers and simply don't have the resolution to do much better than that. You *can* have both in the same device (the Bamboo tablet proves that) if they are designed in. But I don't know that an aftermarket stylus, when it was not in the design process, is really going to gain anything.

I do see a stylus as a selling point for a tablet, though, if it is designed for it.

I can't overstate how much I love using a stylus on the PC instead of a mouse. Mice and those stupid little laptop touchpads are terrible! A stylus is SO much better.


I was fine without a stylus until I started playing DrawSomething, and now I want one.

I guess that what sucks is to only be able to interact with the display using the Stylus and not able to have a nice finger_use recognition. I mix of both would be great for maximum usability with drawing and hand/stylus writing docs, notes, task, events, etcetera.

A stylus is needed for signatures, precision work and when someone takes hand written notes. It is also very useful for drawing or sketching. There is a place for mouse, multitouch, and stylus on Pad devices.

I have a Palm Tungsten E2 and a Dell iPaq 210, both with a stylus. I have no problem with them.

But I also like my Touchpad.

Either way works for me.


Beings I cannot vote on this with my Touchpad...
Yes I'd like a stylus and yes I used one on my Treo 755p.