For an average user, current multitouch input for iOS devices is perfect. No matter if you browse pictures, surf the web, or play games, you have all the control in your fingers and multitouch gestures are flawless. Still, some of us need a bit more precise instrument, especially for a specific kind of iOS apps. I talking about styluses, which is something you simply need to have in case you want to fully utilize drawing applications. No matter how talented you are, it is more natural to draw something with a pen, than to draw it fit a finger. After all, styluses give you additional features and pressure control as well.
Today we will be talking about AluPen, which is made by Just Mobile. Even though we tested it on an iPad, it can be used with almost any smartphone or tablet.
AluPen was first introduced in 2010, and since then is was in constant development. Up to now, it was mostly popular in Europe, but since it’s so affordable, it has found its way into US market as well. You can purchase AluPen for roughly $20, which is very affordable.
Once you purchase it, you will receive your AluPen in a nice looking package. This is where you’ll find your brand new stylus which also comes with a leather case, which is a nice addition. AluPen, like its name says, is made of aluminum and feels very firm in hand. Also, it is shaped like an old fashioned pencil, so you can firmly grip it and feel comfortable right from the start. Aluminum feels nice in hand, and you can also pick one of eight available colors.
Its design is somewhat different in comparison to a typical stylus. First, it is a little bit thicker, and its tip is a slightly larger than you find in an average stylus. Its thickness might be a problem for some, but I guess it won’t be an obstacle for talented painters and ones who like to draw and sketch using all kinds of media. For me personally, tip of AluPen presented a problem since you sometimes don’t see a line you’re drawing since this tip covers it. It is especially annoying when I try to fine-tune some details and color some very small areas, for example.
I tested this stylus with a wide range of handwriting recognition apps, as well as with drawing and painting apps. In both cases you will certainly benefit more than using only your finger. I tend to use app called Paper very frequently, for sketching and writing down ideas, and AluPen worked somewhat well. It took some time to adjust to its thickness and its big tip, but it gets the job done. It is also pressure sensitive, but it sometimes filed to reproduce fine lines in Paper, as well as in Autodesk’s Sketchbook. It seems you’ll need a lot of patience to learn how to use it properly, and not all of us can do that.