While sketching and writing words on the screen of the iPad is simple… and with a bit of practice can produce nice results. For the rest of us… well, we will keep practicing.
There are a few stylus ‘pen’ options if it feels more natural to most people than taking notes with your finger. Styluses come in a variety of length and tip types. The lengths are for a user preference, just about every length is available from a couple inches to the full size of a pen. The tip should be the item you will want to pay the most attention to.
You can use just any stylus, the thin plastic point of a Palm pen will not work. It has to follow the rules of the touch screens Apple uses. There are three types of tips available that will work on your iPad (iPhone and iPod Touch too).
The most common is a round ended rubber tip. These came out in the early days of the iPhone and worked great for tapping on the screen buttons, but they do not work well with the iPad. Not because the iPad doesn’t recognize them, the concern is around the rubber sticks to the screen so it is difficult to move it about the screen. The rubber tip has a tendency to skip around. Great to tap, bad to write or sketch.
The second is a smaller round tip that is flat on the end, but at a angle to match your normal pen on paper angle. Depending on the manufacture, some stick like the harder rubber tip mentioned above. Others work just fine, if your able to get the angle correct so the flat face sit on the screen. One person will always have to rotate the pen to get it flat, other folks in the office picked it up and wrote perfectly every time. Your milage may vary…
The last one has a tip that isn’t rubber… it feels more like a dense sponge. While it flexes just a bit when you tap the screen and start to move, it glides nicely like a pencil on paper. Currently we have only found one manufacture for these ‘foam’ tipped styluses, TenOneDesign.