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Using a Bluetooth Stylus with the iPad 3 (The New iPad)

Using a stylus with your new iPad allows you to handwrite, draw, or paint directly on the tablet’s screen. In this article, best-selling author and avid iPhone/iPad user Jason R. Rich discusses a handful of stylus devices that are available, plus showcases some specific third-party apps that work extremely well with an optional stylus.
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The new iPad offers a virtual keyboard for data entry, plus the new Dictation feature that allows you to speak to your tablet and have it translate your speech into text, and then insert that text into whichever app you’re currently using. You also have the option of connecting an external keyboard to the new iPad, so you can feel actual keys under your fingertips as you touch-type with greater speed and accuracy.

Using the iPad’s built-in microphone (or an external microphone that connects to the tablet), you can also transform the device into a high-quality recording studio to record, edit, playback, and share dictation, lectures, meetings, music, or other audio.

As you’ll also discover, the new iPad’s Retina display is ideal for displaying high-resolution photos, graphics and video. Because the screen has a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels, which translates to approximately 3.1 million pixels, it’s capable of showcasing incredible detail. And, because the new iPad offers an incredibly sensitive touch screen, this allows for precise data entry using a stylus.

A stylus is a pen-shaped device that features a specialized tip which is designed for handwriting or drawing on the new iPad’s touch screen. When you visit the App Store, you’ll discover dozens of third-party apps that transform the tablet into a digital notebook or sketchpad, for example. These apps work with a traditional stylus and allow you to handwrite on your tablet’s screen, or draw/paint on it with amazing precision and detail that’s not possible on the original iPad or iPad 2.

So, if you’re not yet comfortable typing notes on your iPad during a meeting, for example, you can handwrite your notes, sketches, and doodles on a simulated notepad, and then store, print, organize, sync, or share your notes. Or, if you’re more artistically inclined, you can use simulated pencils, pens, brushes, and other tools to create storyboards, drawings, paintings, or sketches on the tablet’s screen.

Some of the apps you’ll discover within the App Store allow you to combine typed text with handwritten notes or drawings, or take a PDF file and annotate it with handwritten comments, highlights, or edit marks. The ability to use a stylus with the new iPad opens up an entirely new way to interact and create with the tablet.

Choosing a Basic Stylus

Currently, a handful of basic stylus devices are available that work well with the new iPad. They’re priced less than $30, and resemble a ballpoint pen in size and shape, but feature a special tip that won’t scratch the tablet’s screen.

For example, there’s the Bamboo Stylus from Wacom ($29.95) that was designed specifically for use with the iPad for note-taking and basic drawing. It offers a 6mm rounded rubber tip, which is what makes contact with the tablet’s touch screen.

Similar stylus tools for the iPad are available from Targus, ($14.99), Griffin Technology ($19.99), Kensington ($29.99), Just Mobile ($20), and a handful of other companies.

While you should never use a regular pen or pencil to write on your new iPad’s screen, a stylus has the same look and feel as a traditional writing instrument, which makes writing or drawing on the iPad a natural process. These basic stylus devices are low-tech. They have no moving parts, batteries, or electronic components.

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