Will the Stylus Have the Last Laugh?

May 8th, 2012

With the news that note-taking app Evernote has acquired Penultimate, a digital handwriting specialist, could we be nearing the second coming of the stylus?

Ironically, it’s a tablet from a company resolutely anti-stylus that has brought the pen back into vogue. Steve Jobs’ stance on styli was clear, but there’s a growing cadre of apps and users who are turning back to the extra precision and task-specific usability that a pen can deliver. Software like Taposé, mimicking the Courier experience as best it can without an active digitizer, as well as Paper and various graphics apps from big names like Adobe have all sent iPad owners scuttling to find the best of what is, boiled down, a compromise: a faux-fingertip on a stick.

Evernote has been pretty specific about what is planned for Penultimate. The app will stay an independent download – $0.99 for the iPad from the App Store – but gain search and sync support with Evernote accounts. Meanwhile its creator, Ben Zotto, will join the Evernote team and “lead the effort” to integrate handwriting and digital ink support into future versions of the main product itself.

If the rise of capacitive stylii and, perhaps on a smaller scale, the Galaxy Note have shown us, it’s that users often need a helping hand to recognize exactly what they can achieve with new tools. Evernote and Penultimate look to be leading that next charge, and it could be just the shove that puts the stylus back into the limelight.

By Chris Davies, SlashGearFor full details, please click here