Featured: Top Ten Best Android Apps to Use With a Stylus

Ever since the advent of the capacitive touchscreen we've been pretty happy to get away from those pesky styli of old, right? Well, since The HTC Flyer and the Galaxy Note the big mobile players on Android saw that there was indeed a place for the stylus in today's world. As easy as it is to get around the internet, check your e-mail and talk to others, note taking and photo retouching is a massive pain with your fingers. After all, there's only so fast you can type on that phone of yours. If you've not got a Note or a Flyer then don't worry because we're only going to focus on apps - and the odd game or two - that will work on anything. That means we're also not covering device specific apps such as S Note and HTC's note taking apps because, you know the score there if you have one of those devices. If you've got a new Galaxy Note 10.1 on the way then these apps are going to set you up nicely!

10. Adobe Reader

That's right, the scourge of desktop software has been available on Android for some time now and let's face it, PDFs are a huge part of business these days. Depending on what field you're in you might not see them all that often but, in other fields PDFs will be everywhere. To this end, Adobe Reader provides you a way of looking through documents on your phone or tablet, as well as this though, the app supports annotation as well, perfect for jotting down quick thoughts and circling pesky typos.

Get it here in the Play Store.

9. ABCs HWT Handwriting Print

You know how it is these days, you've got a fancy smartphone or tablet and not only do the kids want in on the action but they're fully aware on how to use them. So, instead of them spending all their time - and your battery - on Angry Birds why not get them engaged in some light learning. Smartphones are great as teaching aids as long as you have the right tools and with a decent stylus you can get them off to a great start with their writing thanks to this great little app.

Get it here in the Play Store.

8. Color & Draw for Kids

Sticking with the kids theme here, we all know that kids love to color and sure, they grow out of it soon enough. With a smartphone you can give them endless things to color in and it gets them used to technology which, let's face it will be everywhere when they're our age. What's great about this is that you'll cut down on all those coloring books scattered throughout house as well as cut down on your crayon related injuries. This is a good, engaging app for kids.

Get it here in the Play Store.

7. Draw Something

When Draw Something first hit the Play Store, there was a massive rush on Styli and for days they were sold out on Amazon. Of course, if you had a Note or Flyer you've probably been engaging in these sorts of antics for ages but, a little less connected. With Draw Something though, you can take it online and with a good stylus in your hand you're guaranteed to impress.

Get it here in the Play Store.

6. Lecture Notes

This right here, is only designed for tablets and whilst the development was done a Lenovo tablet packing N-Trig technology, it works fine on tablets running 3.0 and above, like my Touchpad, for example. Lecture Notes is designed for those who are going to be taking a lot of notes and want to do so in their own way. What the app lacks in polish in certainly makes up for in functionality as there's a lot to offer here but, what makes the app special is little additions like two-finger scrolling. It's things like these that make the app really easy to use. I definitely recommend it if you're running a tablet.

Get it here in the Play Store.

5. Fruit Ninja

I'll come out with it right now, I love Fruit Ninja. I love it on my phone, my tablet, everywhere. There's nothing all that special about the game but, add a stylus and you have an instant classic. The arcade mode's quick 1-minute gameplay is great on the go and once you get into the high scoring territory all you'll want to on the way home from work is beat that score over and over. You won't stop when you're home either, you have to beat that score. I've been suffering from this addiction for a long time now and please let me know if you can beat my score of 783 and set me free.

Get it here in the Play Store

4. Photo Arts - Color Effects

The idea of editing or retouching photos on your phone using your finger doesn't sound all appealing and it's really not. With this app you can tastefully add or remove color to get creative with your photos on your phone and if you've got a stylus handy the experience becomes a whole lot better, making it easier, quicker and more importantly, fun to create something new.

Get it here in the Play Store.

3. PhatPad

Whilst PhatPad may look like just another note application it certainly isn't. It's an incredibly powerful tool that only lets you throw in handwritten notes but also pictures, drawings and more. There's powerful handwriting recognition, for English only, to take your scrawl into readable text and this can sit side by side detailed diagrams. This is perfect for taking down notes in a meeting or fleshing out a new project in your head.

Get it here in the Play Store.

2. Sketchbook Mobile and Sketchbook Pro

This entry is essentially a double-bill because these are almost the same apps, as Sketchbook Pro is optimised for tablet. Coming from the wizards at AutoDesk you'd expect some fairly powerful stuff and you'd be right to. If you're a budding artist then you really need to get your hands on Sketchbook. The application is so advanced that you could literally design and draw the next big thing on here, it's that good. With so many brushes and tools coupled with great and simple UI design you can't afford to miss this.

Get it here in the Play Store.

1. Adobe PhotoShop Touch

As a budding photographer myself, a tablet in the field can be fantastic, to quickly view your images on a large display you can throw in you're bag is brilliant. Sometimes though, an idea hits you so quickly with such urgency you need to get it done there and then. "If this had more shadow here, with more light coming here..." are the types of things you say to yourself when viewing great photos, you want a perfect photo. With Photoshop Touch and a decent stylus you can get as close as you'll ever get, it might be pricey but, perfection comes with a price and with this you'll be wowing family and friends.

Get it here in the Play Store.

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About the Author

Tom Dawson

Former Editor-in-Chief
For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.