I think everybody who uses the iPad for work has been waiting for the One Stylus To Rule Them All. Or, really, just a stylus that doesn’t make it feel as if you’re writing with an undercooked sausage. I preordered the Jot Script Evernote Edition Stylus with its Pixelpoint (TM) technology so fast my credit card burned rubber. I considered it a bonus that Evernote is already my go-to app for everything.
Anticipation kicked into high gear when I got the shipping notice. Finally, a fine-point stylus. I like fine points. I can barely even tolerate a medium point ballpoint. Let me show you…
As is the fashion nowadays, it came with no directions other than a reminder to take the plastic film off the battery before trying to use. After much frustration, I resorted to Google, where I found an instructional video from EvernoteVideos. Little things, like turning off multitasking gestures in the settings, that are helpful to know.
At this point, I should mention this stylus is $74.95, or basically $80 with shipping.
The Penultimate app is the one this stylus is designed to work with, which is great. It’s a nice app and it backs up to Evernote. But frustration loomed ahead.
It’s not uncomfortable to use. The shape’s fairly benign and it’s not top-heavy even with the AAA battery. The tip’s a little odd and it feels as if you’re writing with a rollerball you haven’t taken that little plastic ball off of yet. Nothing that would keep me from using it. But I found it very glitchy overall. I’d be writing and then it would either stop making words while my hand started leaving marks on the page, or it would make a few words and then they’d disappear. Trying to write while keeping your entire hand and wrist from making contact with the screen is neither easy nor good for your wrist. I don’t know if the Bluetooth was erratic or what, but it was just glitchy and I didn’t feel it performed well enough to merit putting up with the skips.
Writing, with bonus wrist marks…
Several months ago, my desire to go paperless (while acknowledging the brain-to-pen connection and doodling are important to my process) and my envy of the S-Pen stylus propelled me to buy the Galaxy Note 8. Because iOS apps are my entire world, it was a lot to spend for what’s essentially a digital notepad. But as a digital notepad? It kicks ass.
It’s probably not fair to compare the two. The Galaxy Note 8 and the S-Pen are designed together by Samsung. When you’re in S-Notes, using the S-Pen, the screen doesn’t react to anything but that pen. You can wipe at smudges, drum your fingers, or stroke the screen and call it George, and nothing happens. It’s very much like pen and paper. I think, with how closed the iOS system is, Apple would have to make the One Stylus To Rule Them All. I don’t see them giving a developer enough access to the core systems to totally disable the touch screen, which means we’ll probably never get the iStylus we’re looking for.
Just for grins, here’s a Penultimate page with the top half written with the high-tech Jot and the bottom half written with the Bamboo (along with what looks like a red exclamation point, but are two knuckle marks):
Sadly, for me, the Jot Script is not the One Stylus To Rule Them All. I was left feeling very much the same as I did after watching the Lord of the Rings trilogy with the Short Kid—that was an awful lot of investment to be left feeling so underwhelmed. The bottom is line is that I’ll continue to use the iPad sans stylus, while using the Galaxy Note 8 as my digital “handwritten” notebook.