Stylus pens allow users to “write” on the touchscreen much as they would a pad of paper. It allows the input of handwriting, drawings, and other gestures. Early portable devices often required a stylus for input, although modern capacitive touchscreens have largely replaced these devices. However, there are still a few applications where stylus pens remain popular input methods.
While most users simply use bare fingers to manipulate their touchscreens, styluses do offer a few advantages. Since mobile device screens can be very small, a narrow stylus can help pick out letters in the onscreen keyboard while minimizing typos. Drawing with a stylus can feel more natural than drawing with a fingertip since the stylus mimics the natural hand position used with a pen or pencil. A stylus can also make handwriting feel more natural and increase legibility in systems that require users to sign, such as credit card payment terminals.
One area where stylus pens still reign supreme is in the world of digital tablets. These devices allow digital artists to write and draw as naturally as they would with a pen or paintbrush and often contain many features designed to enhance their virtual art. In these devices, the tablet surface sends out an electrical charge, which reacts with a coil and chip inside the pen. The chip sends out a signal that identifies its position on the tablet, allowing the device to locate a touch accurately several times per second.
Samsung has revolutionized stylus pens with the Samsung Galaxy Note series. The S Pen’s Bluetooth capabilities let you control the Note 9 up to 30 feet away. Out of the box, you can hold down the button on the S Pen and it will open the camera app. Tap the button once to snap a photo and double tap it to swap to the rear or front camera. That’s pretty intuitive and may be enough for some but you can do much more.