iPhones, iPads, and iPod touches are easy and fun to use because they’re designed to be touched. Apple’s “multitouch” technology works like a charm; swiping and tapping with the pad of your finger is perhaps one of the best aspects of the iPhone. And, it’s made all the more glorious by the iPad’s 9.7″ screen.
However, you have to admit that there are times when swiping and tapping on your handset’s screen (oleophobic or not) can result in some pretty nasty smudges. Additionally, one-finger typing on the iPad (while holding it with your other hand) can be something of a chore. The device’s large keyboard means that keys are placed further apart, and can result in a sore wrist after a particularly intensive typing session.
The natural solution would be to look for a replacement. That’s right, a replacement for your finger. Namely, a stylus that would look like something out of those 1950s sci-fi comics, and work just as great as its fleshy counterpart. However, the stark reality is that iDevices and styli are often a recipe for disaster.
Why? Because iDevices are meant to be touched. By a finger. Essentially, in the multitouch landscape, there’s no room for a stylus.
Or is there?
A couple of days ago, I started playing around with Just Mobile’s AluPen: a stylus which promises to be different from the others we’ve seen. Honestly, I was skeptical. The last stylus I used (in the days before the iPad) just didn’t work. You could type well enough, but swiping through your screens was a downright nightmare. But, as Just Mobile states, their product is different. So, let’s begin our AppAdvice product review, and find out exactly how.
What It Is
AluPen is a chunky, aluminium stylus which is about as tall as your iPhone handset. It’s not light, but at the same time, it’s not very heavy. At the end of the stylus is a squishy tip, which is meant to replicate the pad of your finger. AluPen is easy to hold, despite its “chunkiness.”
What I Love
Basically, I love using AluPen with my iPad. Because the two go together perfectly. While using the pen with my iPhone’s screen can be slightly difficult, when you switch the iPhone for an iPad, great things happen. Personally, I believe this comes down to the sizes of the iPhone, iPad, and AluPen.
As mentioned, the AluPen is about as tall as an iPhone. However, when alongside the iPad, it looks like the perfect pen to match the 9.7″ touchscreen device. The squishy nib presses down on the virtual keys you want to touch, and a quick flick with AluPen can navigate users up or down, left or right.
It’s the perfect replica pen. AluPen looks like a pen, and it feels like a pen. Which means it’s easy to use it like a pen. When teamed up with an app such as My Blackboard (which is promoted on AluPen’s site), you effectively turn your iPad into a portable blackboard. And, with AluPen, writing couldn’t be easier.
The pen is easy to grip and manipulate, and when it comes to the iPad’s huge screen, it’s also surprisingly easy to write with. AluPen is undoubtedly the best iDevice stylus I’ve ever encountered. And, what’s more, it’s perfectly designed for iPad owners who find touch-typing too much of a challenge at times. When AluPen is combined with the right app, you can draw messages instead of typing them, which is something of a revelation.
Essentially, AluPen is a well-made product, and there’s an awful lot to love.
What I Don’t Love
I’m just going to come out and say this: AluPen is great for the iPad. Yet, when it comes to using the stylus with the iPhone, the results aren’t so spectacular. I think this is due to the fact that the stylus itself is almost the same size as the iPhone – which makes using AluPen somewhat difficult.
You also look like a bit of a fool, prancing around with a supermassive pen. Obviously, when using AluPen with your iPad, things run fine – but with your iPhone, it’s not all that great.
Aside from the lack of compatibility, AluPen is great. The iPhone issue is the only criticism I have with this great product.
So, if you own an iPad, be sure to check out Just Mobile’s site, and order yourself an AluPen now! They currently retail for around $29.95. This is rather on the expensive side, but if you’re an avid iPad user, you’ll really appreciate AluPen.
[Image credit: MobileMag]