5 Reasons I Wouldn’t Use a Stylus Pen for My iPad

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5 Reasons I Wouldn’t Use a Stylus Pen for My iPad

When shopping for iPad accessories, you’ve undoubtedly come across a stylus pen at a time or two. From the Apple-branded Apple Pencil to the many similar offerings from discount tech manufacturers, these brands really want you to believe you need a stylus pen for your iPad. Here’s something to consider, though: You might be better off without one. Personally, I wouldn’t use a stylus pen for my iPad. These five reasons tell you exactly why I feel the way I do.

The iPad Doesn’t Require One

best tablets
The iPad is optimized for your fingertips — not a stylus pen.

iPads are made to be touched. As in, with your fingers. Apple has long pioneered cutting-edge technology that responds to human touch. It started with the MacBook trackpad and evolved to the iPod before being integrated with the iPhone and eventually the iPad and Apple Watch.

All of this to say, the iPad is supposed to be used with your hands. No need for any additional tools. From scrolling through webpages to typing out emails or even creating digital art, the iPad doesn’t require you to use a stylus pen in order to enjoy its full range of touch capabilities. Adding a stylus to your user experience feels like a redundancy, not a necessity. 

Limited Uses for a Stylus Pen

best drawing apps for the ipad
If you don’t draw or take notes by hand, you won’t need a stylus pen for the iPad.

Because Apple optimized the iPad for human touch, there really aren’t many uses for a stylus pen on the device. Sure, a stylus pen does have its perks — especially for tasks like intricate drawing or detailed note-taking. However, for the average user, these highly specific uses might not even apply. (And, therefore, doesn’t justify the investment.)

Considering the added cost of a stylus and comparing this to its limited uses on a day-to-day basis, the two probably don’t add up. Save for some special circumstances, the average user will be more than happy with the iPad’s touch interface and find very few uses for a stylus pen.

I Never Used My Apple Pencil

Apple Pencil charging on iPad.
The Apple Pencil quickly changed from a cool accessory to a useless purchase.

Like many iPad users, I fell under the spell of the Apple Pencil when it was first announced. The allure of the Apple Pencil is obvious. It’s sleek, it’s ergonomic, it’s optimized for the iPad… everything you could hope for in a stylus pen for the iPad. Unfortunately, contrary to my expectations, it did not revolutionize how I used my iPad. 

The truth is that it didn’t integrate seamlessly into my routine. It often ended up forgotten or misplaced. This led to my realization that for most tasks, using my fingers was not only sufficient but also more convenient. (Not to mention more affordable) It didn’t take long for me to regret the purchase.

Not All iPad Apps Support Them

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Some iPad apps — such as ebook readers — don’t always support a stylus pen.

While some iPad apps are optimized for a stylus, nowhere near every application on the iPad will benefit from one. As we touched on above (no pun intended), the iPad’s user interface mainly revolves around touch input that’s tailored to the human finger. While a stylus might be able to enhance certain experiences like drawing or notation, most iPad apps aren’t designed for a stylus. 

The iPad’s core design and functionality remain centered around touch. For this reason, most social media sites, ebook readers, mobile games, and many other iPad apps probably won’t have much use for a stylus pen. In this light, it remains more of an optional add-on than a necessary one.

Just Another Accessory to Lose

Apple Pencil with cap removed.
The Apple Pencil is full of little parts that are easy to lose. The same goes for stylus pens.

Anyone who has ever owned a pair of AirPods or worked with the Apple TV remote can attest to the following: Apple accessories are incredibly easy to misplace. With so few uses, the Apple Pencil and other stylus pens are just another accessory for you to lose. (And who wants to go searching for something they hardly use in the first place? Not me.)

I have a tendency to lose even my most commonly used accessories like headphones or remotes. Stylus pens pose a similar threat, often getting lost in the abyss of daily life. A teeny-tiny stylus pen for an iPad is certainly no exception to this rule. Its small size makes it easy to misplace or forget, and replacing it can be quite an unnecessary expense. You may be better off avoiding a stylus pen completely.

Alternatives to a Stylus Pen for the iPad

Best Combination
Wireless Keyboard and Mouse for iPad
  • Best fit for Apple iPad OS 13 and above
  • Slim and Portable
  • Wireless
  • QWERTY layout
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/10/2024 09:02 am GMT

Instead of shelling out for a proper stylus pen for the iPad, consider purchasing a keyboard and mouse instead. These two wireless devices — bundled together under one convenient price — give you a much more practical set of functions over the Apple Pencil or other similar alternatives. This way, you can use your iPad like a laptop and still enjoy the touchscreen features to boot.

Best 3-in-1
DEWALT 3-in-1 Stylus Pen
  • Works on all phones and tablets
  • Features a nylon tap tip
  • Ballpoint pen with a stylus tip
  • Removable cap
We earn a commission if you make a purchase, at no additional cost to you.
03/10/2024 09:27 am GMT

If you’re set on a stylus for your iPad, consider something like the 3-in-1 above. With this, you can have all the benefits of a touch screen stylus while also enjoying the ballpoint pen and keyboard pen that also come included. This way, you’ll have more than one highly specific use for the stylus pen instead of being restricted to the iPad.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I really need a stylus for my iPad?

No, for most, you probably won’t need a stylus pen for your iPad. Everyday tasks like browsing, emailing, or scrolling through social media will not require a stylus (if they even support one to begin with). The iPad is designed to work intuitively with your fingers, not a stylus. While one can help with drawing or note-taking, it’s definitely not a must-have.

Does a stylus make drawing easier on my iPad?

Yes, a stylus can be a great tool for iPad artists. This is especially true of ones designed specifically for artistic works, such as the Apple Pencil. The Apple Pencil offers precise control and accurate pressure sensitivity, much like traditional drawing tools. It’s ideal for professional artists or anyone else who dabbles with detailed sketches or digital painting.

Do all iPads support stylus pens?

No, not all iPads support stylus pens. This is a feature typically only found on newer iPads. The inverse is also true of stylus pens: Not all accessories will be compatible with the iPad. Always check for iPad and device compatibility before purchasing a stylus to make absolutely sure it will work with your Apple tablet.

Is the Apple Pencil worth the cost?

Whether or not the Apple Pencil is worth the investment depends entirely on your specific needs. The Apple Pencil offers plenty of advanced features like tilt and pressure sensitivity. This makes it an excellent tool for professional artists, designers, or those who frequently take handwritten notes. But, if you don’t fall into one of these categories, the cost might not be as justifiable.

Will using a stylus scratch my iPad screen?

Whether or not a stylus will scratch your screen depends on the pen you use. The Apple Pencil probably won’t scratch your iPad screen under normal usage, but some third-party styluses might be a riskier bet. While most stylus pens for the iPad come with soft, non-abrasive tips to minimize the risk of scratching, you may want to add a screen protector to the mix just to be safe.

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