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Hands on: Applydea Maglus stylus for iPad

updated 02:01 am EDT, Sun September 30, 2012

Applydea magnetic Maglus stylus opens up possibilities for iPad users

Although Apple chose to avoid the utilization of stylus technology for the iPad, a significant number of iPad users are still interested in using a stylus for productivity or content creation. Indeed, a large third-party market for stylus accessory makers has sprung up around the iPad. This is a fact that has not gone unnoticed by Samsung, which is aiming to leverage this space in the market with its Galaxy Note 2 and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablets with native stylus support. Applydea hopes to offer a native-like stylus experience for iPad users with the Maglus.

Our MacNN review of the Adonit Jot Touch pressure-sensitive stylus suggests that it is indeed possible. However, as we highlighted in our review, although it offers maximum precision for an iPad stylus, it has limited app support and requires very deliberate motions for it to work effectively. Having used the tablet-specific S Pen available for the Galaxy Note series, iPad users would be looking for a stylus that feels as though it is was made specifically to accompany it too.

The Applydea Maglus is perhaps the best all-round stylus solution for the iPad that we have yet had the pleasure to use. In fact it has been so popular, that it has sold out of its initial production run and we had to wait for the second production run before we had the opportunity to put it through its paces. We have been using it for the past month and have found that we are quite prepared to carry it around for regular use with our iPad.

The Maglus gets its name from a mashup of 'magnetic' and 'stylus.' Its magnetic capability is part of the reason why it is so much fun to use. Obviously, as the iPad was not built with stylus use in mind, it does not have a have to store one on-board. Applydea's magnetic solution is a great idea and one that takes a lot of the pain out of carrying the Maglus around with you. It can attach to the Apple Smart Cover or any other surface that is magnetized, like the back portion of our Belkin iPad rear protective cover.

Using the Maglus is where it ultimately shines the most. Even though it has a somewhat large capacitive nub on the end, it is still capable of a certain degree of detail and precision, but perhaps not enough for really fine control. It is helped by how well-weighted Applydea have made it; it takes the 'hard work' out that can accompany other stylus' in trying to get a capacitive stylus to reproduce strokes on the iPad display. The Maglus is almost effortless in the way it works making it great fun to use, while value adding to the iPad experience.

From a hand-written note taking perspective a couple of great iPad apps that work well with the Maglus are Penultimate ($0.99, App Store) and Notes Plus ($7.99, App Store. Notes Plus also has an excellent hand-writing recognition function available as an in-app purchase for users looking to take natural hand-written notes and convert them to text. Graphic artists will appreciate using the Maglus stylus with apps such as Paper by 53 (Free, App Store) and Art Set ($0.99, App Store, among many others.

At the time of writing, Applydea has sold out of its second production run of the Maglus and has a new model with removable tip system up for pre-order at 25 plus shipping. We certainly recommend iPad users looking for a stylus to give the Maglus a look - it provides a surprisingly effective stylus experience on the iPad that few probably suspected was possible on a device that does not support a stylus natively.

by MacNN Staff



  1. Arne_Saknussemm

    Forum Regular

    Joined: 04-05-11

    Yet another blunt tipped kludge, that looks and feels more like an eraser than a serious writing/drawing/editing instrument.

    Wonder when will Apple's management will get it through their thick skull that whatever Steve said about styli was just another one of his distraction tactics, like "you are holding it wrong"; and just accept that when the Newton came out the tech was not just ready? (although I still believe the Newton was way ahead of it's time in quite a few ways...)

    Apple was a company that catered to the artists & creative community matching their needs with fresh and innovative solutions, now they have turned into a giant bully that expects it's users to just sit on a sofa and "consume" media from the Apple green walled garden, whilst it strong arms the competition with trivial yet expensive lawsuits.

    Where is the Apple famed innovation, portrayed on the 80's commercial mimicking Big Bother?

    I tell you, on Steve's grave.

    But It's sadder still, for as a former Apple user, I do believe Apple inventiveness died years before Steve did; most likely around the time "computer"was dropped from it's name.

    Last year's iPhone only introduced something new, the half baked Siri, and only in the States. This year the iPhone still had one of the smallest screen around, based on an obsolete and wasteful LCD technology, there are connectivity issues, the strong and scratch resistant stainless steel has been replaced by a cheaper aluminum that scratches with a strong breeze, and let's not even discuss the new mapping app...

    And then the embarrassing apology, do not get me wrong, seeing a giant apologizing about anything feels good, but removing a working mapping solution For something so tremendously bad, just out of greed, it's just plain unthinkable; even worse coming from the company that makes the greatests percentage from each device sold.

    Apple's current attitude towards the competition, choosing to litigate and delay competing products instead of burying others with new and even unexpected ideas, is so similar to the Roman Empire's last days only one conclusion can be drawn:

    Apple, has peaked.

    Grade school history will tell you what will happen to Apple on the coming years. Or just substitute Microsoft for Apple on it's last decade of existence...

  1. VoiceOfReason

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 09-11-12

    A significant number? Author, how did you come up with that?

  1. ASathin8R

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-21-10


    All you put forward is pure conjecture - the hard data tells us that Apple continues to sell more iPhone, iPads and Macs than ever before. The last revolutionary product Apple unleashed, the iPad, was only launched two years ago. Name one other company that has produced as many hit products as Apple over the past 10 - 12 years? The new MBP Retina is perhaps Apple's best-ever notebook and that just came out a few months ago and will spawn yet another series of imitators. Apple continues to lead in design and implementation and everyone is still following them. When someone comes along that others follow, en masse, as they have nearly every key product in Apple's arsenal, then, and only then, could be said to have peaked.


    There are a heck of a lot of iPad stylus's on the market - I don't think the author has made an unreasonable statement. And the mere fact that Samsung is hammering on this angle, with the stylus likely to feature heavily on Win 8 tablets as well, suggests that there are plenty of tablet owners, including iPad owners, who still like the idea of a stylus. Have you any proof to the contrary?

  1. UlickMcGee

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 10-09-12

    Apple also seem to be blocking the compression algo from CSR called aptX in order to push Airplay. It improves the quality of streamed audio over Bluetooth to make it almost as good as using a cable. Samsung and many speaker/headphone top brands have adopted the tech. The tech is free to Apple and only the accessory maker pays a small per unit royalty less than a dollar.

    Instead, Apple are pushing the flawed Airplay technology. Airplay speakers have been USD100-200 more expensive than Bluetooth up to now and although wifi audio is better quality and provides other advantages, the tech has been poorly implemented.

    It makes no sense for a company like Apple to ship their devices with inferior BT audio quality in order to push a walled-off version of wifi audio that is substantially more expensive to implement and plagued with technical problems. The technical bugs will be solved shortly and the cost will come down but Wifi and BT are different enough due to power consumption issues that Apple should give their users the best audio experience possible over BT. Smaller screen size and inferior wireless audio compared to Samsung, no wonder Samsung are doing so well.

    The big advantage of the Apple ecosystem was all the very cool accessories you could get to match your iPod or iPhone. The lightning connector change has meant that speaker companies have postponed new docking speakers and launched a huge range of interesting BT speakers this year. No longer is the Android user starved of choice. Headphones are adopting BT at a very rapid clip and so far Apple has not found a wall to control BT headphones except for making their iPhone sound worse than the Samsung phones - dumb dumb strategy.

    Yesterday, Apple announced the first factories that have been approved for the lightning connector. Most are Taiwan companies. This is blatantly unfair to all the other factories who have invested a fortune developing products for sociopathic brands whose business model is to use their size to bully factories into selling at tiny margins while pushing as many of the brands costs as possible onto the factory, ultimately to be borne by peasant farmers from China's interior who get paid peanuts to work like dogs. Apple makes more margin per accessory sold than most factories so they benefitted from this system more than anyone else.

    If you don't have product ready for CES in Las Vegas in early Jan you struggle to get placement in major retailers for the second half of the year. By blocking smaller and non-Taiwanese factories from connectors for longer, they are hurting legitimate, hard-working business people who have done nothing but make money for Apple.

    This is the kind of arrogance that 100 Billion in the bank creates. Apple have peaked.

  1. Roger Hawcroft

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: 01-04-13

    I am heartily sick of the countless and pointless criticisms of Apple. It is indisputable that they have been a leader in mass consumption digital technology and probably produced the most copied devices of any company in the world.

    Steve Jobs was a visionary and perhaps things will suffer now that he's no longer there just as they did during the sad period of control by the ex-Coca Cola idiot. It certainly offends me that, for nothing but attempting to score a point over Apple advocate, others choose to denigrate the achievements of a dead person.

    The fact is that virtually every device will have its flaws and its excellences. It is also true that manufacturers deliberately build-in differences in features in order to differentiate their products from others, particularly when they are running close to the line on patents and such. When two products are designed with different user groups and purpose in mind it completely pointless to compare them as though their concept was identical.

    I had thought that the Windows / Mac OS nonsense which fractured the forums, blogs and lists for so long in the late 80's and 90's was finally a thing of the past. Clearly, that is not the case. However let me say here and now that it is pointless - fruitless - a waste of time. If you believe a product is good but could benefit from another feature or change of some sort then by all means voice your opinion but it is not necessary to attempt to make your case by derogation of that product or its producer's competition.

    Strangely, I didn't see anyone attacking Wang, DEC, PRIME, Microsoft .... or others when they were leading the game. Nor did I see any real concern for Apple when its shares dropped to around $18 at the worst of the 'Coca Cola' regime and the licensing of its OS to third parties.

    The fact is that a major advantage that Apple has always had and still does is that it has produced Hardware, OS, and software. As a result it has been in a much stronger position to integrate well. This is still the case and has been the major factor in Apple's generally superior products to those of its competitors who have had to depend on mixes and matches of components in endless variations.

    However, whichever is your preference - do we really need the sniping and griping? If you really don't want to use Apple products, then don't. It's that simple. I have used and still own and use a variety of hardware including various versions of Windows, Apple OS and Linux and Android. I have third party boxes I've assembled myself and proprietary boxes from HP, IBM, Toshiba, Apple, and others. I have 3 different e-readers and choose to use the iPad instead as it is more effective than all of them for use in that way. I use the technology that is appropriate to my needs. It's that simple. (And yes, I know that I have repeated myself but I think it needs emphasis.)

    As far as styluses are concerned, which started of this discussion or commentary or whatever - I am using an unbranded stylus for two reasons, a) to keep fingermarks from the screen because I have particularly oily skin; and b) because I have large hands and my clumsy semi-arthritic and large fingers are hopeless at pressing miniature keys, buttons, etc. - a point I haven't seen raised in any of the many reviews I've read of stylus attributes and yet one which must be of significance to many older people such as myself.

    Please - let's focus on accurate difference, explanations as to why something is important or less so, and advice on what is best suited to particular activities. I know that some do attempt to do that but so often the subsequent tirades simply detract and obfuscate what would otherwise be valuable input from a variety of experiences. :-)

  1. Spheric Harlot

    Clinically Insane

    Joined: 11-07-99

    Are you old enough to remember when Wang etc. were at the top of the heap? Apple-/Microsoft-bashing were standard fare in the late 80s/90s. It used to be IBM back then, not Microsoft.

    That was one reason the PowerPC alliance was such an outrage: because Apple allied with its arch nemesis IBM for a common hardware platform!

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