Like everyone else whose interested in mobile technology I too watched the Apple “Hey Siri, give us a hint” Event where the new iPad Pro was unveiled. Shockingly to many there is also an optional cover/keyboard and a stylus called Apple Pencil. After the event followed the usual hoopla ensued from tech sites, and mass media. All this has left me a little perplexed and wanting to set a few things straight that almost every tech site seems to have conveniently ignored.
In 2007 Apple held their Macworld Keynote introducing the first Apple iPhone. During that time in technology PDAs were still dominate although waning and smartphones were emerging as the new convergence devices of choice. Many of them came with a stylus in order to navigate the OS and applications. Although, they could work without them, it was more difficult due to things like smaller and lower resolution displays and less precise digitizers. Apple changed that not simply by improving on these core components but by creating a UI truly designed for the human hand. This one design aspect was what every other touch enabled OS didn’t have. So when Steve Jobs made such comments as “Who wants a stylus”, “Nobody wants a stylus” and “If you see a stylus, they’re doing it wrong”. It was all geared to the time in which they were said. Even in 2010 tablet manufacturers were still doing the same.
This is what all these tech sites seem to be overlooking, not mentioning or simply forgotten. Yes, I know it’s all in fun to poke at statements people have said in the past especially a CEO but when it’s done out of context or no explanation of it is given then it’s totally incorrect and leads people to believe the wrong things. And when a journalist does not due their own due diligence to make sure what they are conveying is correct they are also doing a disservice to their readers and the tech community as a whole.
Stylii have their place in the world; drawing, signatures, even precise pixel by pixel editing to match what can be done on a desktop with a mouse. But it should not be a necessity for regular everyday use. I use a stylus for drawing and signatures but the moment I need to use a stylus just for everyday tasks then we’ve truly taken a step backwards.