What is a Stylus?

This screen helper is handy to have

A stylus is a writing utensil that is typically long and stiff, like a ballpoint pen. It is used to control electronic devices like smartphones and some computer screens.

In relation to a smartphone or tablet, a stylus is a small stick used to enter information or write on the touchscreen of a phone.

Samsung phone showing use of stylus
Drew Angerer/Getty Images 

Many smartphones from different manufacturers such as Samsung, Google, Huawei, Xiaomi, etc., include stylus capabilities in their phones. A stylus usually slides into a slot built into the smartphone for that purpose. For those that do not include a stylus, you can purchase one separately and keep track of it on your own.

Most people use a smartphone stylus to hand write notes to themselves, draw images, or make other notations on their phone.

Tablets also offer stylus options. One example is the Apple Pencil for the iPad, which can even perform some of the same functions a fingertip can. Artists often use stylus pens to draw animations or other artwork on laptop or tablet computers.