Monthly Archives: August 2011

Fine-Tipped iPad Stylus

Edit: There have been developments on a new active stylus design which gives you a fine-tipped stylus with built in palm rejection.  Its called the Cregle iPen.

For those of you who have ready my previous post about the BestStylus, you know that I have done a lot of research on different styli for the iPad 2.  I ended up just buying the Targus stylus from Best Buy.  While it is a rather good stylus, it isn’t necessarily the best for note taking.  The problem I have with the stylus is the very wide, rounded tip.  Also, the tip is not firm; when writing, the tip flattens out because of the pressure applied.

There is a new stylus, however that looks very promising.  The Jot Pro by Adonit allows you to write with a small ball point that is surrounded by a clear round disk.  If I understand correctly, the clear disk provides the iPad (or any capacitative screen) with the wide impact area while the ballpoint is placed at the very center.  This provides the user with pinpoint accuracy.

In addition to the increased accuracy of this stylus over other styli currently on the market, there are many other features that make the Jot Pro look like a very well designed stylus.

  • It comes with a protective cap to prevent the user from losing/breaking the disk.
  • The disk is very durable and requires some effort to remove.  This prevents you from breaking or losing the disk.
  • The pen is made of a durable, heavy metal.
  • The stylus includes a rubber grip for comfort while writing.
  • The Jot Pro includes a magnet, which allows you to attach the stylus to your iPad 2’s built in magnet for the smart cover.
For more information and videos of the stylus in use see the Adonit Website and/or the posts on Kickstarter.
Overall this stylus looks like a new groundbreaking piece of technology for note taking and drawing on capacitative touch screens.  My only concern is the possibility of the disk scratching the screen.  However, there haven’t been any reports of that being an issue.  I do not yet have one, however I will write an updated post when I get to test it out.
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OS X Lion: BetterTouchTool vs MagicPrefs

Magic Mouse
Image by Junnn via Flickr

Well its been quite a long time since my last post, and it will probably be a while between this post and the next.  Things have gotten busy here at school, and I have no free time to devote to writing posts.  But, I recently updated to OS X Lion on my Macbook Pro and ran into a few issues with MagicPrefs that I imagine others are frustrated by as well.

When I first got my Magic Mouse I was very disappointed.  The mouse speed was way too slow, even on the fastest setting, and the gestures were limited at best.  I promptly discovered the app MagicPrefs, and it solved all of my problems with the Magic Mouse.  Magic Prefs (http://magicprefs.com/) is a free application for OS X that “aims to improve the functionality and configuration options of the Apple Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad and the MacBook glass trackpad”.  The thing I liked most about MagicPrefs was the fact that there were a wide array of gestures that you could enable.

But then OS X Lion was released.  A majority of the functionality from MagicPrefs still works perfectly.  However, there was 1 extremely frustrating problem I ran into; the inability to go to the previous/next page.  The 2 finger swipe that was previously used to navigate to a different page was replaced with the navigation to a different full-screen application.  I looked through the preferences in MagicPrefs and was unable to figure out how to assign any gesture to the next/previous page.  In my opinion, its pointless to have a gesture-enabled mouse if you can’t perform a gesture that I use hundreds of times every day.  So, I uninstalled MagicPrefs and downloaded BetterTouchTool (http://www.boastr.de/).

There are a few differences between MagicPrefs and BetterTouchTool that I would like to point out.

  • BetterTouchTool allows you to increase the mouse speed way past what I was able to do with MagicPrefs.
  • BetterTouchTool is much more flexible.  You can create custom gestures, whereas MagicPrefs has specified gestures for you to choose from.
  • BetterTouchTool allows you to use single finger swipe to navigate to the next/previous pages.
With that said, MagicPrefs is much simpler to use.  BetterTouchTool is much more flexible, but it is also a bit more complex.  If you are just looking for a simple, quick fix to a problem you are having with Magic Mouse I would suggest MagicPrefs (once they update to fix the navigation issues).  If you are looking for as much flexibility and customizability as possible, choose BetterTouchTool.
Personally, I will be switching back to MagicPrefs when they fix the navigation issue.  I think BetterTouchTool is a great application, but I am just looking for a few simple added gestures and tracking speed.  I highly recommending trying both applications and determining for yourself which one is better.
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