Technologizer

Adonit’s Evernote Stylus for the iPad Looks Like a Pointy Breakthrough

This upcoming product could be the most pen-like digital pen yet for iOS devices.

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Adonit

“If you see a stylus, they blew it.” Steve Jobs famously said that when he introduced the iPhone and its finger-driven interface. With all due respect, there are plenty of instances in which a stylus is darn useful — especially on an iPad, where one is much better for note-taking and drawing than a finger ever will be. Which is why there’s a booming market for third-party styluses designed for use with Apple’s tablet.

A company called Adonit has been making some of the best ones, but like all such implements, its Jot products have had to deal with the fact that Apple’s hardware and software were designed for fingertips. Rather than equipping its styluses with soft, stubby, fundamentally unsatisfying points — which is the way every other manufacturer does it — it’s given them a sharp, ballpoint-like tip with a little clear disk on the end. It works surprisingly well, but you never forget that it’s a technical workaround.

But today, at the Evernote Conference in San Francisco, Evernote and Adonit unveiled the closest thing I’ve seen to a no-compromise stylus for the iPad (and other iOS devices) It’s a $75 battery-powered model called the Jot Script Evernote Edition, shipping in October.

And while I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, I did chat with Adonit’s David Sperry and Kris Perpich. They appear to have built something that seemed impossible: a digital pen for the iPad that looks and feels like a pen, with a tip you might mistake for one on a mundane ink-on-paper writing instrument. Unlike many styluses, it’s long enough for a comfy grip, and is beautifully weighted.

The Jot Script uses an accelerometer to help it interpret your strokes, and Bluetooth LE to communicate with the tablet. If an application builds in support for the stylus — as numerous programs have done for previous Adonit products — it’ll permit the most precision. But Jot Script will work with any app.

This Evernote-branded stylus was designed with Evernote’s Penultimate note-taking app in mind. It isn’t pressure-sensitive, which is a downside if you’re drawing with natural-media tools in art program such as SketchBook Pro or Procreate. I can’t wait to try doodling with it anyhow. Sperry and Perpich told me they’re working on adding pressure-sensitivity to future models; they’re also collaborating with Adobe on Mighty, a stylus due in 2014 that aims to be the ultimate digital art instrument for tablets.

If this technology lives up to its promise, it could be the most important thing to happen to writing and drawing on an iPad since…the iPad.

4 comments
bozlogjam
bozlogjam

I bought this stylus and it just doesn't work as advertised, it's not that accurate, in fact, the Estylo stylus that I now use is a lot better in terms of accuracy and works better with Penultimate. I really didn't like the feel of the stylus, the mental tip makes a tapping sound with every character that you write, which is disturbing. For the price, I expected big things from the Jot Script Evernote Edition -- the fact that the $20 Estylus outperforms the Jot Script both in terms of feel and accuracy is ridiculous given the differences in price. I was very disappointed to be suckered by this product. I ended up selling my Jot Script Evernote Edition on Ebay at a loss as I couldn't get any response from Evernote Market when I wrote to them. I even wrote to Adonis, who did respond, but basically said that it wasn't their problem. Don't waste your time with this, it's just marketing hype.

RW_NewHope
RW_NewHope

I have the same question as JC_Boza.  

I can draw on my iPad mini with my finger and I can purchase non-Bluetooth stylus' to draw as well.

So what exactly does the Bluetooth feature offer?

JC_Boza
JC_Boza

Do we know what type of communication happens between the pen and the tablet?  Is the pen telling the tablet, "hey here I come, recognize me only and not this person's wrist" ?

mystro
mystro

@RW_NewHope Try drawing with a graphic tablet or galaxy note and you'll feel the diffrence. If this stylus really work like pen and paper then im switching back to apple.