Choosing a Stylus for your Touch Screen Device

Do you Need a Stylus for your Touch Screen Mobile Device?


Perhaps you own a tablet. Since the day you brought  your device home, it has been a whirlwind love story of epic proportions.

You and your touch screen mobile device have become inseparable. Together you create the ultimate productivity machine, able to email, browse and accomplish innumerable amounts of tasks with the apps available at your disposal.

And then suddenly, while you’re enjoying a large and rather sticky pastry (with your crafted hot beverage), an urgent email comes and, alas, there are no napkins at your disposal. Uh Oh – Now what?

If you find yourself in this type of situation often, or just long to hold a pen again, you may want to consider hooking yourself up with a stylus for your mobile tablet.


Here are a few things to keep in mind 


  • Not all styli are created equal

Perhaps you have a couple old styli kicking around somewhere from an earlier smartphone or PDA. Maybe you are considering  swiping one of your brother’s styli from his DS. Chances are, they aren’t going to work on your particular tablet. Most tablets like the iPad or the Playbook are capacitive touch screen devices. These types of touch screens work when a conductor (like your finger) touches the conductive layer in the screen. Unlike a resistive touchscreen that classically use styli, a capacitive touch screen cannot detect a change in pressure.
So – when looking for a stylus, make sure it says capacitive, or iPad or Playbook compatible. This just means that they have conductive material in the end, which allows them to work on your  specific touch screen mobile device.

  • Pick a style that suits your need

Styli will come in all shapes and sizes. Most come with a rubberized tip in order to protect your screen, and they can range in price from $5-30. However, there are a few distinct styles available to you.

  • Rounded end

This type of stylus is designed to mimic your finger. It is great for general use, however, because of the more blunt end, you may find yourself restricted when it comes to fine details.

  • Fine tip end

These ones most look like the classic stylus that you may be thinking of. They have a very fine tip end which allows for more detailed work, whether it’s typing on the small on-screen keypads or if you are drawing.

  • Brush style

These tend to be high end stylus (although you can make them pretty simply with some old electrical wire and an empty pen) geared towards artists who long to create on their touch screen devices. While they will work on your device, generally they are geared for a specific purpose and app.

  • Make sure you have the right app

While the stylus you choose may work for general use on your tablet, it may also just serve as a replacement for your finger. They really shine when it comes to note-taking or drawing apps like Sketchbook Pro for iPad, Sketch Book for the Playbook or Sketcher for Android devices.


Not everyone likes to use a stylus, and often it is easier or even more convenient to just use your finger(s) with your touch screen mobile device. However; whether you are looking to use a stylus to avoid a sticky situation, or just to reminisce and doodle. There are plenty of options and apps out there waiting for you.