If you are like me and have been frustrated by the introduction for the Apple Pencil for the iPad Pro after recently buying an iPad Air 2, then perhaps you may be interested in an alternative. That alternative for me is the Adonis Jot Stylus.
Now, I cannot say I have any experience with the Apple Pencil, as you probably gathered, the iPad Air 2 I have in my possession is not compatible, to my understanding, in so far as pressure sensitivity, etc. Feeling somewhat disappointed, I thought I would try the Adonit Jot Touch.
From the all the reviews of the various stylus I went through, that are compatible with the iPad Air 2, the Adonit Jot Touch had the finest point which is what I have been most concerned with. My objective was to not only use Apps such as Sketchbook, Procreate and the Adobe Suite of mobile apps with the stylus, but my ultimate intention was to use this pen as part of my toolbox for editing images using Astropad on the iPad. I will cover Astropad in more details in a separate post.
One of the great things about Adonit Jot Touch is that it is compatible with several applications on the iPad. What you need to be mindful of however is the functions that the apps support with the pen. For instance, Adobe Photoshop Sketch supports Palm Rejection, Pressure Sensitivity, Shortcuts and the Jot Pixel Point technology. Not all apps support these functions. The Adonit website has a comprehensive list of apps and what functions are supported here: http://www.adonit.net/jot-ready-apps/
For me, I learned about some of these after I purchased the app from the AppStore. For example; Procreate does not support Palm Rejection when trying to draw on the iPad which can be quite frustrating depending on how you hold the pen. I know in my case, the struggled with this. In saying this, even with the Adobe Photoshop Sketch application that does support Palm Rejection, I still found,from time-to-time, that the Palm Rejection did not work.
How this compares with the Apple Pencil, I am not sure, but I would not be surprised if the integration of the Apple Pencil with the various applications available has had more attention to ensure its function is superior, but I am speculating.
Charging the Adonit Jot is straight forward. It is provided with a USB charger and I simply use a spare iPhone charger to charge the stylus. The pen sits upside down onto the charger and is secured by a magnetic attachment. I was surprised how secure the magnetic attachment is. If you are familiar with Macbook Pro’s using magnets to connect the charger to the laptop, then the principle is the same here with the Jot Touch. The claimed battery life of the Touch is noted to be 11 hours with a charging time of 1.5 hours. I have not had a chance to verify these details at this time, but the details sound reasonable to me. Naturally this will depend on the amount of time you use the pen. My intention, as I mentioned briefly earlier, is to use this pen as part of a work flow for editing photos on the go. With the smaller screen real estate of the iPad Air 2, I do not see it replacing the Wacom Intuos tablet I have at the moment, but I can see how iPad Pro may change this.
If you like to carry your pen with you frequently, you may want to consider the case from Adonit that allows the pen to be stored within the iPad case. I know from my brief time with it, carrying the stylus can be quite frustrating. It seems habitual to want to pin the pen into your pocket or folio where you would normally store a typical ink pen. There are no pins provided with the pen. Depending on your existing case, the magnet for the lock on the iPad may hold your pen ever so slightly.
Connecting the Pen to the iPad was initially quite frustrating. It is not like connecting a typical Bluetooth device. Each application provides its own utility to connect the stylus to the app. Once the connection has been established, connection to the iPad and app is pretty much seamless. Open the app, press the on button on the pen to activate it and it connects within a moment.
Perhaps the most important part of using a stylus on the iPad is how it feels to write or draw with and its ability to do that reliably.
Despite the fine point of the pen, it is a firm tipped pen. The drawing style is smooth, but hard. It is an unusual feel and one that takes a little while to get used to. It reminds me of when I started learning to use my Wacom tablet. When I started I became quite frustrated with it and put it a way for a while. Then I would get it out and try again. I did this for about three (3) months before I finally got the hang of it and now find it difficult to work without it. I suspect the same will apply here.
If you do decide to purchase the Adonis Jot Touch, be patient with it.
Last but not least, given that the tip is a firm tip, it does concern me about the possibility that it may mark the glass over time. Again, my Wacom tablet is full of marks and it would seem reasonable that the same wear overtime of the glass would occur. You may want to consider purchasing a protective layer for the iPad. At the time of writing, I do not have one, but from searching the Internet, it seems that pen will still work.
In my next post, I will be looking at Astropad. An application for the iPad which allows you to use the iPad as an editing tablet similar to a Wacom Intuos/Cintiq.