March 23, 2011 | by Michael Heller
The HTC Scribe (aka Flyer, aka EVO View) is an interesting testing ground in this new wave of tablets, simply because it includes a stylus. Many are wary of the stylus, thinking that it’s an antiquated tool for a tablet, but others think that it is antiquated for tablet navigation, but can be very useful for other input, be it writing, drawing, or annotating. HTC wants everyone to get in on the fun, so they are planning to open up the stylus APIs to third-party developers.
The time table for all of this is still a bit hazy, because the tablet itself isn’t due out until Q2 of this year, and the APIs will open up after that. I am extremely interested in seeing what developers can come up with for a stylus, but I can’t help but wonder how many developers will even bother. Developers want to be able to reach large audiences, and the audience for the HTC Scribe seems like it will be fairly limited, given that it will be launching with Gingerbread, not Honeycomb, and with slower hardware than most of its competitors. I’ve said before that price will ultimately determine the relative success of this tablet, but now it seems like this is also becoming the testing ground for whether stylus input is viable any more.
If we’re lucky, I’d hope to see some XDA devs trying their best to make the stylus work on more devices, which could make third-party apps more interesting, but I’m still hesitant about the idea. What do you guys think?