Apple patents the Active Stylus for iOS

Apple patents the Active Stylus for iOS
If you remember the very first introduction of the Apple iPhone, you might recall Steve Jobs putting down the stylus, saying that the Apple iPhone uses the best pointing device in the world, your finger. From that moment on, Apple has never come close to embracing the stylus. That is, until now when the Cupertino based tech giant received a patent for the "Active Stylus".

The "Active Stylus" is a stylus that does more than just help you input a touch on a screen. Your regular everyday stylus works by blocking electric lines. Instead of being passive, like the current stylus, Apple's tool would have the capability to create its own electronic field and couple signals with the main device. This could increase the speed and accuracy of the stylus and eliminate the lag that some S Pen users have complained about. Despite the lag, the S Pen has become extremely popular, so much so that speculation has Samsung including it with the Samsung Galaxy S IV. And we would say that the popularity of the S Pen comes from its ability to be more like a marker or a crayon rather than a touch input like Steve Jobs was thinking about when he dissed the stylus in 2007.

While Apple listed the Apple iPhone and Apple iPad as a couple of devices that could benefit from the "Active Stylus," there is no guarantee that the device will soon be produced. But the guys in Cupertino could feel a lot of pressure to make the "Active Stylus" a reality if the Samsung Galaxy S IV supports the S Pen.

source: PatentlyApple via RedmondPie

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102 Comments

101. Elder1

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 05, 2013

I worked for Xerox in the 70's until 2000. Apple and Samsung are newcomers to this game. The active stylus has been around for half a century and I have two graphics tablets that use them, both over 30 to 40 years old. Xerox invented the WIMP (Window, Icons, Mouse and Pointer) operating system and all the toys that go with it including the touchpad and an active stylus as well as high resolution 3D graphics on a desktop computer that I saw at PARC in the 70's. All the stuff available now is no more than incremental derivative developments of what has been around since then. The tech is better but the ideas are old. BTW, Apple just recently patented the rounded rectangle as a display shape. I kid you not. See Patent no. D670,286. It only covers the rectangle shape with rounded corners, none of the rest of the illustrations are relevant according to their own wording of the patent. Absurd.

99. desterno

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 03, 2013

iphone don't need this,steve jobs was not a fool saying ' best pointing device in the world, your finger'

98. miggymini

Posts: 15; Member since: Nov 29, 2011

great list but they forgot the Pippin.

97. ChafedBanana

Posts: 409; Member since: Sep 20, 2011

I'll take a Galaxy S4. But hold the S pen. I'll continue using the best pointing device in the world. Using a stylus just makes you look faggy.

96. Topcat488

Posts: 1426; Member since: Sep 29, 2012

Looks like one-handed phone operations is no longer "Alpoop" (Apple) trade mark... Unless your a Las Vegas card dealer that can shuffle, cut, and deal, while still raking in the money with the other hand. A normal person can't use a stylus on a phone with just one hand... (Holding the phone)

95. GeekMovement unregistered

Apple is very self-contradicting it's stupid. People will realize apple is copying other manufacturers when it starts producing styluses. The S-Pen is already known worldwide as Samsung.

93. dorianb

Posts: 617; Member since: Oct 24, 2012

This patent is clearly another tool for Apple to use to Patent Troll away the competition. Sammy & Fruits needs to let it (patent wars) go for the '13.

91. BomberXL

Posts: 82; Member since: Jan 17, 2012

im just going to wait. And i swear to everything i will swallow my pride, i swear i will... when apple again makes something revolutionary. becuase maknig something, and then making a smller version of it, well, im just not getting the memo here. An stylus.... no Google Glass in my eyes.

90. bluescreen

Posts: 154; Member since: Nov 22, 2012

i believe apple heard all of the rave reviews people were giving about their s-pen on the note 2 and decided that they needed to get in on the action so they found that they needed to make one and call it an active stylis to try and one up sammy and ride their coat tails....i mean really he's gonna notice the 2 nano second improvement in response time that this active pen is gonna generate anyways.....oh yippee i can pet my dog faster or nead the dough faster in one of them stupid app games!!!!! IDIOTS!!!!!

92. bluescreen

Posts: 154; Member since: Nov 22, 2012

oops he's=who is

88. JohnSullivan

Posts: 1; Member since: Jan 01, 2013

Yawwnnn to all you idiots who are fighting for your favorite company. Not like either Samsung or Apple invented the damn thing and yet you all get hard convincing yourselves it somehow is possible. Apple used it on the Newton and also helped create ARM. Both were somewhat useful and somewhat not. Palm improved and WACOM was also doing their thing for other applications. Today we have Stylus that are dumb and you can buy for a dollar. The SPen was improved upon and will be again. Apple may or may not release a stylus of their own. While Apple may be seeing that the Stylus is, again, useful at this point of the evolution of the phone then so be it. At some point in the future it may not be and even the SPen may go away. And, then at some point in the future it may return. Didn't they also have them on Star Trek? Ha Ha Ha. You're not even fighting for integrity, honor, or anything of value. You're fighting for your psychological masters, because you are their emotional b@tches. At least it brings you some type of self worth. But, should you're response always have to be "Daddy says I'm the Best"?

84. tryingHARD

Posts: 64; Member since: Dec 31, 2012

Go apple! I will use stylus if its made by you. If from some other cheap-looking companies like samy, nvm.

86. willard12 unregistered

Samsung will probably make for them like 70% of the iPhone.

82. sats.mine2k4

Posts: 208; Member since: Aug 10, 2012

Apple is really Samsunged...

81. THETECHTEAM

Posts: 82; Member since: Dec 12, 2011

First of all phone arena I have no lagging issue with my s pen in ny galaxy note 2.

76. emes360

Posts: 13; Member since: Sep 16, 2012

After Steve Jobs died Apple changed and now we can clearly see how. Instead of creating trends Apple is now following them.

75. breathlesstao unregistered

I love how utterly original they're being by bringing new features to their crapware. Copy-paste, wallpapers, videocalling, notifications, panoramic photos, now the stylus... and of course they're absolutely right in their crusade against every other competitor that claims to have done these things - just first, not to even mention much better. Yup. They're that awesome. [/sarcasm]

72. mariosraptor

Posts: 197; Member since: Mar 15, 2012

i am sure that at some point will seek a patent for, embrace your selfs, Samsung. they will come and state, "We Invented Samsung". piss off Apple and create something of your own.

70. jibraihimi

Posts: 816; Member since: Nov 29, 2011

Apple under Tim cook is becoming Anti Steve Jobs, they are realeasing things which Jobs said are useless, and people will not need it....... Like first they launched ipad mini, and now they are developing stylus.......

69. Twisted247

Posts: 282; Member since: Oct 12, 2012

All the apple fanboys day Samsung copies Apple but OBVIOUSLY Apple is ATTEMPTING to follow the heels of Samsung. Albeit a weak attempt to chase and try for similar technology. The Samsung S-Pen does not display any lag WHAT SO EVER. .so Apple can continue their delusions lol nothing is new and nothing will change. Samsung FTW 2k13 ALL DAY. . Teamed w/ Android FTW... GG Apple Game Over.

63. reyenrique

Posts: 99; Member since: Oct 07, 2012

an l thought that apple user hate the styles.. humm

56. droiddomination

Posts: 203; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

can't we all just agree that apple is dying and has no more innovation, and look forward to the new ideas and creativity that is android? even windows? until chrapple brings out some new ideas, i am really tired of hearing about them and "the competition" i used to love bashing them, now much like blackberry two years ago, i just feel sorry for them. at least blackberry is trying to innovate something up to keep afloat, chrapple just sits there resting on jobby jobs success. i actually laugh everytime i see an iphone or ipad just b/c the software is so dating. it is like i am looking at a speak and spell, or the WOPR from war games.. lol. sooooo freaking dated!!!

55. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

APPLE's way of improving tech is to patent something that they may never use, until their competition uses such item, then sue.

44. Raymond_htc

Posts: 430; Member since: Apr 06, 2012

The IRONY.

39. billybuttpounder

Posts: 105; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

New rule: if you don't have a working prototype, you cannot patent. This is so beyond ridiculous.

38. joey_sfb

Posts: 6794; Member since: Mar 29, 2012

What we really need for this New Year 2013. MORE patent news from Apple. Right!! Can't wait for it to crush and burn!!

26. InspectorGadget80 unregistered

Jeezes it's a never ending article with patents on APPLE just another way to sue

24. soldiernation

Posts: 34; Member since: Sep 09, 2012

Now to wait for Apple to sue claiming they had the pen idea first. They're playing catch up alright.

22. networkdood

Posts: 6330; Member since: Mar 31, 2010

If Samsung never came out with a stylus, would Apple have? Just seems that APPLE is always one step behind and is desperate.

25. Ninetysix

Posts: 2967; Member since: Oct 08, 2012

Post #7. Apple had a stylus device way before any android company.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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