Stylus: The Future of the Electronic Pencil?

So far, people have been rather disappointed in using Electronic Pencils (styluses) for the purposes of taking notes on their smartphones. However, a new combination of the MyScript Nebo note-taking app and the Apple Pencil on the iPad Pro seems like a winner. This is really helpful to people who are coming up with ideas at odd times of the day, and have to look for a piece of paper and pencil to jot them down.

The trouble with the paper and pencil approach is eventually every hand-written note has to be laboriously transcribed to the word processor running on a PC. Additionally, a drawing program such as Inkscape or Visio must recreate any hand drawn sketches. Many also have the habit of capturing on paper random thoughts as they crop up in their heads, and later, going back to flesh things out, moving paragraphs around, deleting some, editing others, and adding new material. At the end, there is invariably huge amounts of crossing outs, intermittent notes, and forward/backward pointing arrows.

Presently, those with smartphones, capture their notes by typing things out at a snail’s pace on the soft keyboard, although some are adept at using the same keyboard at lightning speeds. However, the result is nowhere near those achieved with a piece of paper and pencil.

The Apple app store offers two apps free for use—the MyScript Calculator and the MyScript Nebo. You can use the calculator on your iPad by writing your problem using your finger or a simple stylus. Therefore, this becomes a handy app for those always doing simple calculations.

However, the MyScript Nebo app is different. It will not allow you to proceed unless you have an Apple Pencil. Although the Apple Pencil is expensive compared to other styluses available in the market, it is worth spending on this intelligent stylus.
Apple’s Electronic Pencil has a much finer nib than most other styluses do, along with pressure and tilt sensors inside. Once you have mated the stylus with your iPad Pro using Bluetooth, using the stylus becomes a simple affair—just detach the magnetic cap and insert the end of the pencil into the lighting connector on the iPad. A prompt will come up asking if you want to mate this pencil. Simply touch the ok button, and the link is established.

By scanning the signals from the pencil almost 240 times every second with almost zero latency, the iPad Pro achieves results that are close to actual writing with a pen on paper. One can think of this as using crayon or paint brush on paper, depending on the application. The app MyScript Nebo recognizes handwriting very efficiently, and it is much better than other handwriting recognition software available on the market. It also has a spelling correction feature, which works as you write.

A simple scribbling motion is all you need if you wish to delete a letter, sentence, or a paragraph. In the same way, inserting additional material is also possible wherever it is necessary. MyScript Neo is good at deciphering bad handwriting, and recognizing sketches. A simple eraser tool is available to rub out unwanted parts.