Devin Coldewey thinks the Stylus is still a good option and will forever live on and they we have completely short-changed it:

That was a long and winding rationalization for a perhaps irrational love of the stylus. But I firmly believe that its days are not done. Its weaknesses became a problem before its strengths were given a chance to shine. The stylus is as ageless as the wedge, the wheel, the projectile. We’ve reinvented all these multiple times. When technology catches up yet again to the pen, the pen will be ready.

Actually he is right and just doesn’t know it — we have just ‘reinvented’ the stylus, now it’s just our finger. Don’t see those going away anytime soon.

All of his explanations for why the stylus is better:

  1. Romans used them.
  2. It amplifies your input.
  3. Dampens your input.
  4. You can see what’s under it.

The first argument is just stupid. The second and third seem to be at odds with each other. The fourth is patently false because you cannot, in fact, see under it unless the stylus is clear — though to be fair I understand the point, but the point is more of a UI issues than anything else.

There are two reasons that I can think of for why a stylus is better:

  1. Writing hand-written notes.
  2. Drawing precision things.

The first is just a limitation of my expertise — I learned how to write by hand with a pencil. Will today’s youth have this problem if they learn to write with a finger on the iPad?

The second is a limitation of software — because we have all seen fantastic, realistic, drawings made on an iPad and iPhone.

It maybe too soon to declare the stylus is dead, we should wait another week.