Posts Tagged Stylus
The iPad’s form has been seducing digital artists and those who love to doodle since its launch. It’s also the ideal size for taking hand-written notes. There are dozens of apps that create rich drawing or writing environments, but until recently input devices have been limited. Fingers just won’t do when precision is needed so artists and copious note takers usually rely on capacitive styluses which simulate the feeling of a pen, but are limited by the touchscreen interface. They aren’t sensitive to pressure, they offer no control over line thickness, and holding one comfortably tends to leave palm marks on the virtual page. Ten One Design offers one solution with their Bluetooth 4.0 Pogo Connect stylus. It doesn’t get everything right, but it’s a solid start in a promising direction.
At 5.1″ (130mm) with a price tag of $80, the Pogo Connect sports a stylish silver barrel with a rubber tip at one end and decorative cap at the other. There is a single button on the side and a LED light. It uses one AAA battery and because it’s Bluetooth 4.0 that battery will last a long time. A little wider than a regular stylus, the pen lacks heft, but it fits comfortably in the hand and has good balance. The tip is the same thick dark rubber that one finds on traditional styluses and is magnetic for easy replacement. Ten One promises new tip designs in the future.
Pogo Connect doesn’t pair with the iPad in the usual way a Bluetooth device would. To assist in getting everything set up correctly, users can download the free Pogo Connect app to link the stylus and then each of the 19 compatible apps – up from the original 13 – goes its own way. Some apps like Procreate just find the pen, while others like Noteshelf require users to poke around in the settings. It’s easy.
Because the stylus uses Bluetooth 4.0 it is only compatible with 3rd and 4th gen iPads and the iPad mini. Ten One offers iPad 2 owners a less-than-elegant work-around: there is a Pogo Bridge app that connects to the iPhone 4S or 5 and then sends the signal to the iPad 2, but at present only one app – Procreate – has incorporated the feature.
One of the more glaring flaws when I first tested the Connect back in December was that it didn’t prevent palm marks, but recent updates have improved that functionality. How well it works seems to depend more upon the app than the stylus.
And what about pressure sensitivity? That’s the key selling point, but it’s very hit or miss. Some apps respond to pressure by varying line thickness, others opacity, and none respond to a light touch despite claims that the proprietary Crescendo Sensor technology requires “0 grams of activation force.” That said, the Connect outperforms captive models. It’s not transformative, but with the right app and practice, sketching feels more holistic.
There are a couple of neat features worth mentioning: the Pogo Connect app has a pen locator, the button on the stylus works as an undo command, and the LED light indicates the active ink color. Still, while somewhat more intuitive than capitative models, the Pogo Connect needs a lot of tweaking before it warrants the hefty price tag, much less turns the iPad into a device that can compete with a dedicated graphics tablet.
A full list of compatible apps can be found here on the Ten One Design site.
Released: 2012-10-02 :: Category: Productivity
Device Reviewed With: new iPad, iPhone 5
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The Sensu Portable Artist Brush And Stylus is a revelation for digital artists, iPad enthusiasts, and anyone who wants the portable convenience of a paintbrush that’s also a stylus. The paintbrush hairs are synthetic and infused with conductive properties, and were originally created for the cosmetic industry to help fine powders release from make-up brushes when they contacted skin. There’s a luxurious feel to the Sensu brush; it connects with the touchscreen devices I tested it with with a deliciously tactile sensation. It can be used with any painting or drawing app on the iPad, iPhone, or iPod touch, making this a versatile tool.
The build of the Sensu Brush And Stylus impresses with its solidity and careful craftsmanship. When the metal cap is closed over the brush hairs, I’m reminded of my treasured Bullet-style space pen. The rubberized hard stylus nib is exposed when the cap covers the brush end, and this cap can be reversed to fit over the stylus end, as well, making the Sensu look and feel like a traditional artist’s brush. The website warns users to use care when replacing the cap over the brush end; this is a warning to heed. The metal cap could certainly bend one or more of the brush hairs, as the tolerance for fit is precise.
The rubber stylus nib is smooth, non-stick, and is made to last. I was able to draw, tap buttons, swipe, and type with little effort. It doesn’t stick or stutter on the screen, and feels as at home on the small iPhone 5 screen as it does on the iPad 3. The brush end is delightful, feeling as familiar as an actual paint brush. At times, the smaller size–for portability’s sake–can challenge an artist. My painter friend liked having the rubber nib and the brush available for use at the same time, but felt that the shortness of the cap-less Sensu Brush and Stylus felt awkward. Perhaps a second, longer and less portable model will be created in the future.
Overall, the Sensu Portable Artist Brush And Stylus is a triumph of form and function, letting digital artists create works of art on the touchscreen of an iPad or other device using a familiarly formed paintbrush tool. At $39.99, the brush/stylus tool won’t break the bank, and is a fine addition to any digital artist’s toolbox.
iPad Only App - Designed for iPad
Adobe updated its Photoshop Touch app today, optimizing things for the new iPad mini. It also adds a host of other improvements, including:
· Added support for three pressure-sensitive styli for iPad: Pogo Connect, Jot Touch and JaJa
· New ways to share completed projects to Facebook and Twitter directly from the app
· Added effects including Lens Flare and Stamp Pattern
· New performance and workflow enhancement including smoother brush strokes and new color selection workflow
If ones uses a capacitive stylus on their iOS device – those pseudo-pens that are great for handwriting, sketching, typing, and just tapping – the name Ten One Design may not be familiar but it’s very likely they’ve come across their Pogo stylus line.
This month the iOS accessories company released news that should make iPad artists and note-takers smile. Temporarily dubbed the Blue Tiger Stylus, it’s something completely different. It uses Bluetooth 4.0 to pair with the iPad, particularly the new one. The result is direct input not from the screen, but from another gadget, which allows for much more user control.
The Blue Tiger won’t simulate pressure; it will react to it with genuine sensitivity and be better than traditional styluses (styli?) at distinguishing between intended strokes and palm prints. The killer feature is best described by Ten One founder Peter Skinner: “When using Blue Tiger in a drawing application, the user can control stroke thickness … which is displayed on the multi-colored LED button.” There’s no word on a release date or price, but if it’s durable it will be well worth paying a premium for, as it should outlast traditional styluses with inflated rubbery nibs.