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Using a stylus with iOS and Android

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Amazon ImageI use both an iPad and a Nexus 7, and I’ve grown quite fond of my stylus, especially on my Nexus 7. However, I’ve noticed that the two devices don’t accomodate a stylus in the same way, and I thought I’d share my observations and see if any other readers have had similar experiences.

I’ve tried several low-range styli, and the one I like the best is one I picked up as a giveaway. It’s a combination pen and stylus and works well. I’m not sure where to buy one, but go to any tech trade show, and you’ll be able to pick up several. While this stylus is my favorite right now, I’ve had similar experiences with other mesh-tipped based ones I’ve tried.

On my iPad, everything works great with the stylus, except typing. Swiping and opening apps is a breeze, and the iPad consistently registers the touches. I’ve even used it while ereading to turn pages, but that works well enough with my thumb that I rarely break out the stylus for that purpose. Where the stylus doesn’t seem to register properly is with typing. Often I need to tap a letter several times for it to register. It’s bad enough that even unlocking my iPad (or iPhone) often takes a couple of tries to enter my PIN.

On the Nexus 7, however, the stylus is great for everything. Swiping registers reliably, and I’m much more accurate with typing. In fact, I’ve been finding that the Nexus 7 swipes more smoothly with my stylus than with my finger.

It’s even good for precision work like checking off tasks in Pocket Informant. The box is so small that my finger opened the task instead of checking it off. With the stylus, I’m 100% accurate at checking the box. This makes me happy because I love the app, but I was getting frustrated with not being able to check off completed tasks.

I’m not sure if the difference is hardware or software. Does the iPad have a screen that is more sensitive to finger touches? Or is it a software difference? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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