Mobile Nations

Steve Jobs put an end to the Newton project, largely because he hated the concept of using a stylus. The original Palm Pilot was a runaway hit - largely because of the use of the stylus and its handwriting recognition. Now, Palm is dead and Apple is ginormous and Samsung's going all out with the Galaxy Note. So, who was right? Well, maybe they all were.

Just as the iPad is reaching the stratosphere in usage, the stylus is making a comeback.

So, we want to know what you think. Does the stylus inhibit or amplify your touch screen experience? Let us know by taking the short survey below.


Reader comments

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


PalmOS with the applications Moepaint and Teal paint. With that stylus I had photoshop quality apps on the go. I could literaly make icons and buttons right on the phone (treos) itself. I could take any picture from my gallery and layer someone into any picture on my Treo or one I picked on the web.

I would gladly use a PalmOS style stylus. They were hidden in the body and if you didnt want to use it you didnt need to, but when it came times for those precise tapping skills it was second to none. Not to mention sometimes i dindt want my greasy hands touching my clean screen. lol

I think the stylus needs the proper apps to use it. A cheap stylus came with a case I bought for my Nook Color, and the only thing it was good for was playing the stock Sudoku game. Sometimes. The Samsung Note is a hit because it has the apps to back up the stylus use. The stylus and the phone were made for each other.

Phones should have both capacitive sensors and good styli, not the crappy kind that emulate a finger and result in a low resolution (huge point) on the screen. I love my Tablet PC. Capacitive touch plus a Wacom stylus. I had hoped Microsoft would carry over this dual touch technology to Windows Phone but alas, they only used capacitive touch and completely dropped the stylus.

I played with the Note three days ago, its stylus is pretty neat. It's not as fat as the one in your illustration, but has a rather sharp end, like a real pen.

From the query: "I look like a dork if I write on my tablet"... Really? I'd say, work out, dress well, and you won't look like a dork.

Done properly a touch screen, should be usable with the fingers. Having a stylus that isn't REQUIRED for use, but works well when used (such as finer control for notes, drawings, selections, etc) would make a great device even better. I've tried the capactive styli that mimic a finger, and it just doesn't feel right, or work quite right. I come from the old Windows Mobile and XP Tablet PC days with styli, and find myself trying to finger type on my old Toshiba 800 pocket pc. Doesn't work well.

A-haha, I saw what you did there! You guys are running the same survey across all subforums (iMore, webOS NAtion, WPcentral)! That's awesome, I hope you can break down the results by platform... Looking forward to reading about it!

I'm an artist, and the main reason (aside from cost) I haven't jumped on the iPad is the lack of a proper digitizer for a pressure sensitive stylus. The tablet I buy will either be the next version of the Note 10.1 or a Windows 8 tablet with wacom digitizer support.

I'd love to have the option to use a stylus. it should work well and be able to be stored on the phone when not in use (a la Galaxy Note). I wonder if there is a stylus that works well with the Razr Maxx?

I always thought that Apple killed the Newton because it just didn't work. The handwriting recognition was terrible. Palm succeeded, at least for a while, because the Graffiti input method eliminated the need to adapt to the user's personal handwriting.

As for the return of the stylus, it is just simply better for precision tasks like writing and drawing. I use Supernote on my Transformer, but wouldn't bother if I didnt have a stylus.