How to Sketch on Your iPad, iPhone or Android?

archisnapper sketch and draw on ipad

As an architect who visits job sites on a regular basis, you often need to make sketches to clarify things to other parties in the construction process, or to take home for further processing. Tablets are a step above replacing pen and paper when it comes down to sketching and drawing onsite. The good thing with sketching on tablets is that you have a digital version of your drawings available right away. This means you can use it for immediate documentation, further processing, or sharing with others. Forget about taking pictures of a paper sketch and emailing them to yourself. Say goodbye to your scanner.

Apps like Evernote, Penultimate or Write are only three examples of easy and professional tools for making sketches and drawings on a mobile or tablet, but even more powerful for architects is to add notes and drawings on pictures or plans as this typically yields very concrete and useful information. ArchiSnapper has a built-in sketching functionality, allowing the indications you make on pictures, plans or white background to be inserted into your site reports or punch lists easily.

Many architects are surprised if we tell them that there are styli that exist especially for sketching on mobiles and tablets. It’s like drawing with a pen to paper but even better. That’s why we want to inform you – here and now – about this useful tool for sketching on tablets and mobiles. If you’re convinced you need a stylus, your next question is probably “which one should I buy?”. Well, we have selected 6 reliable styli for conceptual drawing and sketching to make your choice more easy. Here we go:

1. Wacom Bamboo

Comfort & Writing Quality: This is an enormously popular stylus, created by the company that designed the drawing and scribbling app, Paper. It is very “pen-like” in length, weight and feel with a smaller tip made of harder rubber than most of the styluses currently on the market and replaceable along with interchangeable, if needed. The result is an accurate, agile and predictable result when drawing, writing or sketching.

Compatibility: Available for an assortment of capacitive devices, the Bamboo is offered for both iPhones & iPads as well as Android gadgets in the “solo” version, bearing just a stylus and the “duo” model, complete with a real ball point pen on the other end, for supreme versatility. The “pocket” is also for a variety of capacitive devices and is telescopic for portability and adaptability. The “mini” will also work for most Android and iOS smartphones and tablets but is better for use with smaller devices because of its compact size. The “feel” offers different 3 styluses for use with Windows-based tablets and smartphones in addition to Samsung Galaxy Note products and there is even a high-end carbon fiber version for those professionals who want the best of the best.

Overall: Every model (except the “mini”) also boasts a removable pocket clip for convenience. These wide-range of options will set you back a bit on the high side for styli in terms of cost (especially the high-end, carbon fiber “feel”) but are still a great choice for architects using their stylus to sketch as well as create quick renderings on their devices.

2. Sensu Brush

Comfort & Writing Quality: At the heart of every architect is an artist and this is most definitely the artist’s stylus. It first appears as a pen but when you pull off the cap, the Sensu is dramatic enough for architects and all types of artists to gasp in delight! Boasting a paintbrush on one end and a stylus point on the other, the possibilities are endless…especially with the choices of sketching, drawing and painting apps. The paintbrush is great for shading or filling in backgrounds. The operating systems don’t actually register and then make a brushstroke when that particular end of the tool is touched to the screen; it appears more like a rounded mark.

Compatibility: Works with iPhones, iPads, Androids and most other capacitive devices.

Overall: Filling in color and shading with a normal rubber-tipped stylus will wear the tip down easily and become tiresome so this choice may appeal to those who are constantly working on their devices. This hybrid is ideal for architects who draw, sketch and paint digitally.

4. Kuel H10

Comfort & Writing Quality: This stylus is ideal for your smartphone because of its short and compact size. When at its most compact state it measures roughly 3/4ths the size of an iPhone, approximately 4 inches. To adapt better to a larger device, such as a tablet, it can be extended slightly to have another inch of length, however it may get tiresome for constant writing or drawing on larger screened devices because of the size. The weight of the Kuel is heavy, which feels good and you can plainly feel when the tip inside the nub makes contact with the screen, giving you ultimate control when sketching or drawing.

Compatibility: Designed to work with iPhones, iPads, Androids and a variety of other capacitive devices.

Overall: The best thing about the Kuel is its ultra-portability. The strap on the cap allows the entire stylus to be attached to the strap holder of your iPhone or iPad. No strap holder on your smartphone or tablet? No problem! The Kuel can also be attached to your earphone jack via an included strap plug, making it always easily accessible. This feature caters to architects who are constantly on the go and back and forth to job sites. The cost is relative to its size…compact and a good value.

5. Adonit Jot Pro

Comfort & Writing Quality: Truly created with architects in mind, the Jot Pro is made of aluminum and steel and has a small clear plastic disc that swivels and slides along the surface of the screen, rather than a rubber tip for its point. The other end has a screw-off cap that can cover and protect the unique stylus end when not in use. The one of a kind, see-through disc (which is replaceable, if necessary) allows for precise writing and drawing accuracy because you are able to see exactly where the tip is hitting the screen. The Jot Pro is not for tapping around the screen but specifically for drawing, writing and sketching, making it an invaluable tool for architects. It even looks like a tool one would use!

Compatibility: Works with most capacitive smartphones and tablets, including iOS & Android devices.

Overall: By far one of the best writing and drawing styluses available because of the unique design, quality build and superior writing performance. Add to it the cool rubber grip and magnetic sides to keep handy at the top of your iPad and you have an all-around great stylus. The cost is a bit higher than your everyday stylus but it is totally worth it.

6. LunaTik Touch Pen

Comfort & Writing Quality: Designed by the Kickstart sensation, Minimal, out of Chicago, this innovative stylus brings the best of both worlds into one unique and efficient solution. A combination of both ballpoint pen and stylus, in the familiar format of a click pen; perfect for architects or business professionals that need to go back and forth for pen and paper to tablet screen, with just a click. No more carrying both a pen and a stylus and no more screwing a cap back on and off! It is even refillable with standard ink pen refills. Touted as “Perfect for Paper and Pixels”, this all-in-one stylus is for no nonsense professionals who like their tools smart, simple and able to multi-task. The LunaTik is available in sleek and comfortable high-grade aluminum as well as less expensive plastic models in a range of colors.

Compatibility: The stylus is compatible with all capacitive touch smartphones and tablets (iPads and iPhones, Samsung, Nokia, Motorola and Blackberry HTC, to mention a few.)

Overall: The high-quality alloy versions are pricey but worth it because of the weight it brings to the overall feel to the stylus. The plastic versions are mid-priced and should also be considered, especially if you tend to misplace your pens or want to have several handy, just in case. This choice is a no brainer if you are constantly going back and forth from digital writing and drawing to using pen and paper! — Just a side note: Architects constantly on the jobsite who are cognizant of damaging their iPhones would do well to look into this design company’s ultimate protection for their invaluable mobile devices…TakTik Extreme.