Adonit Jot: A great stylus

Some time ago, I read about the Adonit Jot, a new stylus, at iPadCreative. It was a Kickstarter endeavor that not only surpassed its goal–it blew by it. At $40,000, they mentioned that they would create a free notebook app for Kickstarter supporters when the app reached $80,000.

By the time the Kickstarter campaign ended, they sold over $160,000 of these styluses or styli.

I’ve signed up for a few Kickstarter campaigns (including for another stylus, the Cosmonaut, made by the same creators as the Glif iPhone mount), and their campaign was incredibly well-run. The creators were very active with updates, they used many videos (sometimes to answer concerns and questions), they solicited lots of feedback from their supporters (e.g. to choose colors) and they shipped the device in record time. I bought a Jot Pro (rubber grip and magnetic to work with the iPad 2) for myself, and a Jot for my wife (She writes less, and I thought she would like the purple color–she does).

Those arrived this afternoon, shipped from Amazon.

I couldn’t possibly be happier. I haven’t examined all the styluses in the world, but I’ve had a few:

  • Several Pogo Sketch Styluses
  • A bunch of generic styluses from eBay (Don’t buy these)
  • Griffin stylus (similar to the Belkin and others) from Wal-mart

I would have liked to have tried a few others, such as the Alupen. I’m still waiting for shipment of a Kickstarter project that was for an iPad paintbrush.

There are a number of great stylus showdowns, such as this one at iMedicalApps:

To this point, I’ve liked the Griffin the most, but this Jot Pro dominates the competition. It really offers a pen experience…and the control is amazing. On an app like Noteshelf, where I can additionally zoom into a selection, the control is freakish.

This pen might not be great for art (I’ll have to ask a few students), but it is great for writing and writing music. It’s iPad changing–the stylus deserving of Apple (that Apple wouldn’t make for the iPad).

In my opinion, this is a must-have accessory for the iPad.

Need a stylus for writing? Go to and order one today.

iBooks for iPad Tip — Getting to the top of the library

As my collection of ePub files grows in iBooks (some users would also have a number of PDF files in iBooks), I’ve been having problems getting to the search feature when I need to search for another book.  The “two finger tap” of Safari (tapping on the top of the screen scrolls you to the top of the page) didn’t seem to work, and a lot of scrolling was required.

I found out that in the library, you can quickly scroll to the top of the page by tapping the clock once (on the small “system” black band above iBooks).

So if you have a lot of ePubs or PDFs in iBooks, you now have a way of quickly navigating the app.

Keynote for iPad Tip – Inserting Videos

As I do some ground work on several of the iPad presentations I’ll be making this year, I’ve decided to add video to my iPad Keynote presentations.  Currently, there’s a small glitch in the process–videos in your iPad’s “Videos” cannot be inserted into an iPad Keynote presentation.

Let’s say you have a video you want to keep on your iPad, even without inserting them into Keynote…for example, a YouTube video.  First, harvest that video using a service like KeepVid.  Choose one of the file formats, the higher quality, the better (for iOS devices, I choose mp4 at the largest setting).  When that file downloads, use Handbrake to convert the file to the iPhone/iPod Touch Format (this will create a smaller file which will work generally just as well as larger files for the iPhone 4 or iPad).  Take the resulting file and drag it into iTunes.  That file will show up in “Movies,” and you will need to navigate to your iPad to the “Movies” section to select that movie and upload it to your device.

If you want that video available to Keynote, you’ll also have to upload your movie to iPhoto (or a photo directory).  I made an album in iPhoto entitled iPad Videos, and then imported those videos into the album.  Then I returned to iTunes, to the iPad, to “Photos” and selected the iPad Videos album to be uploaded.

When I re-entered Keynote on the iPad, those videos were available to be placed into presentations.

Ultimately, you should be able to place your “Videos” in Keynote.  But for now, if you want a video available, you’ll have to have it upload as a photo as well.


Note: videos on the iPad need to be in the mp4, m4v, or mov format.  I make sure to convert all videos to m4v using Handbrake.