For any iPad user, especially those doing art, design, or any other drawing-related work, a stylus is an invaluable tool. However, they can be quite expensive, especially when you’re required to purchase a certain brand. It is inconvenient to be forced to use an Apple brand stylus. This is doubly true if you already have an off-brand stylus and would like not to pay for a new one.
So, can you use a non-Apple stylus with your iPad?
There are plenty of non-Apple stylus options that can connect to your iPad. As long as the stylus can connect via Bluetooth or maybe some kind of hardware, it should be able to work just fine with your iPad via Bluetooth connection.
So which styluses are the best Apple alternatives? What problems might arise with non-Apple stylus brands? Is there a difference between types of styluses? Read on to find out everything you need to know about if you can use a non-Apple stylus with your iPad!
Why Use a Stylus?
First things first, why should you use a stylus at all? After all, your finger is more precise. Well, there are a few reasons that using a Stylus can be a good idea.
Firstly, if you do any art or design work, a stylus is a must. Not only is it more precise (as the tip is thinner than your finger) but it has tilt sensitivity, pressure sensitivity, and other tools that make your strokes not only more precise but gives you variety in the ways you’re able to draw as well.
Another bonus is that you can avoid getting the oils from your fingers on the screen. Even the cleanest hands have natural oils on them, and using a stylus can help to keep your screen clean, especially when you’re using it for long periods of time.
This also goes for fingerprints, which can often accumulate on tablet screens over time. A stylus can help you avoid the unnecessary work of cleaning up your screen!
What’s the difference?
There are a number of things to look out for when you’re using a non-Apple stylus that can possibly change the performance as compared with the Apple brand.
Different brands of styluses will have many differences. For example, a stylus from an off-brand could have different (or worse) pressure sensitivity than the Apple Pencil, meaning that your work (especially if you’re doing art) could be less precise.
Secondly, you cannot be sure until you try it (unless stated by the brand) that your stylus will have palm rejection. Palm rejection is the ability for you to rest your hand on the screen and not make a mark while drawing with your stylus. This allows you to draw more comfortably and for longer periods of time without marking up your work by mistake.
Some pens also have shortcut buttons that will allow you to issue commands very quickly to your tablet. Not having these can be a slight inconvenience, but still, it isn’t the end of the world. It is, however, something to think about, especially if you are used to having them or are expecting to have them.
There are a few problems that come along with using a non-Apple brand though. Firstly, they often require batteries or to charge separately from your iPad. It can be very inconvenient to have to stop working because your stylus has run out of juice. Having an Apple stylus can help mitigate this, as they can often dock directly onto the iPad.
Although off-brand styluses might work with your iPad, that isn’t the end all be all of whether or not they’re going to work for you. Not only do they have to be compatible with your tablet, but with the app you’re using as well. This is a bigger issue, as many non-Apple brand styluses can suffer from compatibility issues.
One of the most annoying issues that come with a non-Apple stylus is that they all have to charge separately from the device. The Apple Pencil and Apple Pencil 2 can both magnetically attach to the iPad. While other styluses can do this as well, the Apple brand styluses will be able to charge via this magnetic connection, while other styluses will need to be charged separately or take batteries.
This can be a problem because it will make it so your Stylus can run out of your battery, and so can your iPad, meaning that you double the time you will be unable to use your device.
So, you might be wondering what the most common and effective non-Apple styluses are. Well, there are a few very popular styluses that work great! They are also usually less expensive than Apple styluses, which is a nice bonus.
Firstly, there is the Adonit Note-M. This stylus has a precise tip with tilt sensitivity, making it great for artwork and other drawing-related projects. It also doubles as a mouse, making surfing the net a breeze. It is magnetic, which means it is able to attach to the iPad for easy storage.
You could also get the ZAGG Pro stylus. This stylus features tilt sensitivity and palm rejection, making it ideal for art. Its metal build, magnetic feature, and weighty feel make it luxurious and smooth to draw with and convenient to store.
This stylus also features a capacitive tip that can be used with iPhones and other devices as well. It charges via USB-C. The ZAGG Pro can be purchased from Best Buy or ZAGG’s website for $70.
For an affordable choice, the SwitchEasy EasyPencil Pro 3 is a phenomenal choice. Compatible with all newer models of iPad, this stylus features a thin, precise tip with palm rejection. It also charges via USB-C. It can instantly pair with any iPad it is compatible with, which is a nice bonus to its convenience.