I was out shopping on my afternoon off. On the occasional Friday I get as an “earned day off” my afternoon duties now include killing time — out-and-about — whilst the daughter is off at preschool. So, I went shopping. And among other things (some kitchen supplies and some garden supplies) I stopped at the local electronics super-mega store and (browsing) found a nifty selection of stylus (styluses? styli?) designed for capacitive touch tablets.
But, Brad, you argue; That defeats the whole point of touch screens, doesn’t it? Who wants to carry an extra pen around in their already cluttered pockets? Who wants to be that guy dabbing at their delicate and stylish phone with a metal stick? We just finally escaped from the tyranny of buttons and those stylus-dependent personal digital assistants, PDAs like Palm Pilots and Handspring Visors. Stylus-interfaced devices are for Nintendos and are soooo 2004…
Fair enough, I respond. But, then I haven’t told you the single, solitary, lone reason I bought it, have I?
You see, I had this misinterpreted image of the iPad for the first year that they existed (and I didn’t actually own one.) I would argue that the iPad was awesome as a media consumption device, but that there was a whole market of people out there who needed to create that content — media, text, and other things folks create on computers with much more nuanced interface devices — and that the iPad was a cumbersome interface for detailed work or large quantities of text. After all, type more than a text message on that touch screen keyboard and you’ll go nuts. And while it’s fun to dabble in the numerous little art and sketching apps, mostly it amounts to some really fancy digital finger painting.
But then iPad added a camera. People quickly figured out that you could hook a real keyboard to the device. That iCloud thing just came out and syncing all sorts of media across platforms has never been easier. And someone out there had the clever idea of reinventing some technology from 2004 to replace my stubby, pudgy fingers with a little pen-shaped device that looks like someone glued a half of a rubber ball onto the end.
Voila: interface equals awesome. I bought the stylus for one reason… to draw.
And draw I have.
Thinking of pairing your tablet with a stylus? The increase in nuanced detail permitted by such a match (albeit one I’ve only explored over a single weekend) seems particularly amazing for art and sketching apps. So far I’ve linked up “Sketch Club” and also “Art Set” both with a new level of detail and media-creation appreciation blossoming from the refined interface. My days of finger painting are over.