How do you use a stylus with your iPad or iPhone? [Poll]

Do you use a stylus with your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad? We all know Steve Jobs called them "yuck!" and an admission of multitouch failure, but that was back when Apple was eager to differentiate themselves from the nasty, eye-pokey, resistive needles of the past. Now that iOS has been embraced by artists and architects, developers and designers, note-takers and annotators, and gamers, styli are making a comeback.

Leanna really got into using a stylus when she did her iPad note-taking roundup. Rene uses them to draw with Procreate and Paper. I figured out I could a stylus to just kill at Draw Something.

Have you had a must-have stylus moment? Are you using a Stylus for writing, drawing, gaming, or just for getting around on your iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad? If so, tell me what for in the poll and give me the details in the comments! And if you had a stylus "aha!" moment, jump into the forums and share! (Shhh....)


Senior Editor at iMore and a practicing therapist specializing in stress and anxiety. She speaks everywhere from conferences to corporations, co-host of Vector and Isometric podcasts, follow her on Twitter @Georgia_Dow and check out her series at

  • I think that Steve was right on this one. I think that we should not go back to using stylus, but make touch and multitouch much better (basically innovation). Using and stylus sure helps to do thinks easier but same could be said by using a keyboard and a mouse and then we will go back to the PC. But that's just my point of view and I have never feel the need of the stylus anyway.
  • Draw Something does produce better results with a stylus and, well.. some talent..
  • I'm an iOS/Android developer and I use smart phones & tablets a lot. My shoulder/arm/finger got hurt (think rotator cuff injury) from over use on tablets (floating my finger/hand/arm just above the screen). I for one would welcome a very precise stylus to use on my iPad. I believe using the stylus (palm facing sideways) relieves tension in my shoulder.
    I do not want the days of resistive touch screens to come back, but I believe designing for both finger & stylus input on touch screens imposes on no one.
  • If I need to do detail work, I need a stylus. I cannot do well with my finger. It seems I have more control with a stylus.
  • The real reason I bought a stylus was to help my preschooler learn to write his letters with a "pencil" instead of his finger. I tried to use it to sketch (not my strongest talent, to be fair), but I felt that most apps were designed for fingers and the stylus (Wacom Bamboo) didn't do well with those apps.
  • the idea of buying a stylus born from my college stuff to do, i mean its way smaller to write with a stylus and gives you more pressision, then again ill carry it in my backpack, waiting my jot pro to arrive home!
  • I love using the stylus for note taking. Used it at a conference, at church and in my classroom. I love the jot stylus with noteshelf! I have also used my stylus to make a quick note in the gmail app. My wife uses a stylus to have her clients sign documents and them emails the form to her office and has the secretary print and file them.
    I mainly use the stylus on the iPad.
    I kickstarter the jot and am currently awaiting the Jaja stylus from kickstarter as well.
  • Just got the iPad and picked up the Jot Pro and really like it for note taking so far, but I use it most on the iPhone to have clients sign after I swipe their credit card using the great Square app.
  • While I've adopted the use of a stylus for Noteshelf, I still find the squshiness of a rubber ball on the end of a pen to be less than ideal. I am hopeful for a day when a stylus write more like a real pen, as in back in the Palm Pilot days.
  • I hated using styli because the rubber tips had too much friction against the glass. But I just got one that has a woven fabric tip and it's smooth as ... well, silk, haha. Requires very little force to register with the device, so there's much much less of that squishy feeling that you get in spades with typical soft rubber styli. Now I hardly use my fingers to interact with my iPad, except of course when necessary for things lie multitouch. PS the stylus I got is made by iFaraday.
  • A stylus works better than the finger when the icons are extremely small (eg. on some apps on iPhone/iPod). If you find an app is not as responsive to touch, try using a stylus. It might be that your finger was contacting two icons at once, and was confusing the issue. If so, a stylus will solve the problem.
  • I feel that the use of a stylus is completely optional and is nice to use to take handwritten notes using the stylus with an app. Using it for games can hinder some of the aspects presented with the multi touch features. I use my stylus with apps to allow e to draw and write as I would with a regular pencil because I prefer it that way rather than typing and I can be able to draw a diagram at any point necessary for school without changing things around and missing time. When typing it slows me down to use a stylus rather than my hands because I can only use one the stylus versus using multiple fingers at a time. The stylus is very helpful and in some cases on the phones it is best to use to type if someone has big fingers and is constantly hitting multiple buttons as they type and making errors and can use the stylus in order to hit the keys in a more precise manner. The stylus is used in all ways by the preference of the individual and it helps some some people with different things and is a very helpful tool. I have used the stylus to take notes with apps and it works so much better for me than typing with notes and when I do type anything else it is much handier to simply use my fingers to type on the keyboard than use a stylus.