I’d been thinking about getting a stylus for my iPad for a few weeks and since I’m not as adventurous as some in building my own, I was struggling with my options. I asked around but didn’t receive any strong recommendations, the computer shops seemed to be a little bewildered by my want to use a stylus with an iPad, and I googled a bit but apart from some flimsy looking stylus’, the brands I was reading about didn’t seem to show up anywhere I went in Sydney. I wasn’t keen to buy online because I wanted to be able to easily return it if the product was a dud.
Yesterday I ended up going to a Mac reseller and they had a few to choose from including ones by Bamboo and Ozaki. Although name-wise Bamboo seemed a good idea, I opted for the Ozaki iStroke L [at the time of posting, their site seems to have fallen over.. oops!] because it was a little cheaper (it was still AUD$34 which feels like a lot to me for effectively a pen with a bit of rubber on it!).
My thoughts on the styles after a short amount of playing:
- it feels like a pen! The size and weight makes it easy and familiar to hold.
- it has a pen on the other end – considering I usually carry a pencil case I don’t know how handy that’ll be.
- the packaging (a big hunk of hard plastic box) is pointless but at least it’s re-usable so I will use it for storing something. It looks like their iStroke-L+ version, which hadn’t been in the store I went to, has less packaging.
- the stylus doesn’t have a carry case – I don’t think I’ve seen any stylus’ that include one but I’m sure that the rubber tip will get dented if I store it in my pencil case. I’ll create a small box for it but a lid for the rubber end would have been useful.
When it comes to using it with an iPad, some programs seem to work better with a stylus than others. Some programs have a reaction lag and don’t compensate for a little bit of wobbliness. My favourite so far is Sketchbook Express and it looks like it’ll be my app for practicing due to its adjustable brushes, layers, and finger-swiping for menu items such as undo.
I’ve also found that a long sleeve pulled up to the ball of your hand prevents accidentally drawing on the edges of your screen with other parts of your hand and arm.
What this will need is practice, practice, practice.