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View Full Version : Creating Course Notes taking app! Need suggestions.




Jare
Oct 22, 2010, 10:19 AM
As a University student and new app developer my first project will be to make my lecture recording/note taking 100% more effecient with the use of my iPad.

I'll have some concept drawings scanned and put in this thread once they're finalized for the first draft of "iCourse" (what I'd like to name my app, most likely will change in the future)

I present to you, as one University Student to another, "iCourse Notes"

iCourse Notes: Student Edition features: ($9.99 with optional stylus purchase as noted in teachers edition)


Handwriting Recognition
Palm/Wrist detection, to prevent unwanted ink.
Auto-save after a period is put anywhere on the page.
Binder/Paper style organizing by course/lecture.
Different styles of paper ranging from white to graphing.
Dual input methods, stylus and on-board keyboard/drawing pad.
Two way note taking. #1) Stylus/Finger input which converts whatever you write into properly formatted text ON THE PAGE, to keep notes clean and effecient. This includes shapes as well (including mathematical related formatting for subscript and superscript, devision and all types of mathematical related formatting) and things written inside of the shapes for courses like Chemistry, Physics, etc.
#2) A "drawing" pad located at the bottom of the screen which is hidden normally until activated. This allows you to write/draw inside of this "pad" at the bottom and will properly format your text above on the page as if you were writing beside your words. Meant mainly for mathematical related formatting so you can draw out your problem, it formats all the lines and text to be smooth as if you typed it, then you can "drag" the picture from the draw pad anywhere onto the screen and pinch to resize.)
Highlight, copy, paste, text/picture color changing, formatting and "sentance/paragraph dragging" which would allow you to tap + hold on any written sentance and drag it into place behind or infront of another sentance, compatible with paragraphs and drawings as well.
Document sharing. Via WiFi/Email. Send assignment to teacher for correction.
Printing with AirPrint when applicable.



iCourse Notes: Teacher Edition (Seperate/Stand-alone/cross compatible) features: ($15.99 with optional Stylus purchase at another seperate pricing)


Everything from student version.
Red Pen notation. Meaning Teacher can switch to "red pen" with the tap of a button and begin marking, correcting, highlighting, erasing and re-writting in red, to help color co-ordinate the students mistakes.
Spacing. This will allow Teachers to tap on a sentance/question answer and add a space inbetween to allow writing a comment for the student.
Document sharing. Via WiFi/Email. Open the attachment, correct and send back to student.
Printing with AirPrint when applicable.


This is all I have so far and the above comes from my over 200 pages of feature idea's and concept sketches that I can actually ATTEMPT with my coding knowledge. Not that all of them will actually be done in time, but that's my plan atleast.

If you have ANY suggestions or think I am missing something, send it now! Who knows, maybe it will be implemented ;) I will be monitoring this thread continuously.



Jare
Oct 22, 2010, 10:21 AM
Reserved for later use.

vastoholic
Oct 22, 2010, 10:40 AM
Sweet, I can't really give any input yet as to what it might be lacking because I'm not in the classroom yet and won't be for over a year. But hopefully this get's released by the time I get back into uni and I can send feedback for updates. Good luck!

spinedoc77
Oct 22, 2010, 10:40 AM
This would be great, good luck to you. I think one of the achilles heels in the ipad is its lack of handwriting recognition on a hardware level, although I did read about one company who figured out how to support this on a hardware level and they were in talks with Apple to release the driver/program.

One of the reasons I purchased the ipad was I was hoping to be able to write my short stories and creative writing on it, with visions of being in a daisy filled field in the middle of nowhere writing a bestseller. Alas the reality was quite different and I've yet to find a program that makes handwriting on the ipad even remotely useful.

Jare
Oct 22, 2010, 10:46 AM
This would be great, good luck to you. I think one of the achilles heels in the ipad is its lack of handwriting recognition on a hardware level, although I did read about one company who figured out how to support this on a hardware level and they were in talks with Apple to release the driver/program.

One of the reasons I purchased the ipad was I was hoping to be able to write my short stories and creative writing on it, with visions of being in a daisy filled field in the middle of nowhere writing a bestseller. Alas the reality was quite different and I've yet to find a program that makes handwriting on the ipad even remotely useful.

Although this is meant for University students it might actually suit you quite well. Especially with the ability to sketch small things in the draw pad, or precision writing with our draw pad, you might be able to write books per say, but maybe not as GOOD as you'd be able to take notes.

We'll see. I'm trying hard to include EVERYTHING I can so that students and teachers see the light about the iPad, and maybe one day we'll see more like them in the classroom in the future.

I really want my iPad to replace paper and binders. Especially for High School students though that is not my target margin. Having a tool like the iPad in the hands of good students (maybe chained to desks or something so they can't be stolen LOL) will 100% increase productivity. But might increase theft too, but who knows thats not my problem to solve. :)

Edit: See the nice thing about this app (and my main focus) is with an algorith it converts your "messy" writting into perfectly formatted writing. Now yes there will probably be a lot of mistakes at first until I adapt it properly but for now 80% of what you write will turn out smooth and clear like the iPads "iBooks" text.

harry454
Oct 22, 2010, 11:57 AM
Great idea!

Suggestions:
- allow uploading and downloading to and from dropbox within app
- when on landscape mode allow a user to have a two page view, or even allow on half to be a powerpoint, while the other the note paper to take notes while following the lecture
- easy way to add bullets/indents
- being able to bold, underline and italicize (needed when your a law student!)

Just a few thoughts! :D Good luck and look forward to it!!

Wingscofounder
Oct 22, 2010, 01:38 PM
Suggestions: It would be nice to also have a margin (area to the side of the main note window) to add comments to the notes that have been taken, add a date or do-date, and allow for symbols/characters like arrows to be added as well. The margin can be set to either view or hide with a tap. Having the ability to use different text colors would be cool. If you are ambitious enough, why not include voice annotation too :D Good luck.

Friscohoya
Oct 22, 2010, 01:47 PM
ijot for iphone has the best implementation of actual handwriting interface thus far. Partially copied by notetaker HD, but not in as useful a way. Its not fancy, it just works. You can write in one place while the cursor advances automatically and at the pace of your writing. Needs much more depth but a great idea that nobody has expanded on.

maturola
Oct 22, 2010, 01:53 PM
Great Job, Looking forward to it.

This Suggestion from Harry is a MUST

allow uploading and downloading to and from dropbox within app

I would extended to support Dropbox, MobileME, Google Docs. Inport/Export from iWork. No doubt a must have feature.

Good luck

Jare
Oct 22, 2010, 02:43 PM
Great idea!

Suggestions:
- allow uploading and downloading to and from dropbox within app
- when on landscape mode allow a user to have a two page view, or even allow on half to be a powerpoint, while the other the note paper to take notes while following the lecture
- easy way to add bullets/indents
- being able to bold, underline and italicize (needed when your a law student!)

Just a few thoughts! :D Good luck and look forward to it!!

1) It will allow uploading to MobileMe, Dropbox, iWork/Pages and I'm hoping T be able to export as a .doc too but im not sure.
2) two page view would be way too small, that's the problem.
3) Drawing a dot in front of a letter for example .a or .A will do this and space it properly. Indents you can just drag the word over.
4) Tap and hold for two seconds to bold, or more then 2 to drag. Slide finger on top of word to trigger highlight or underline, double tap to italicize. Sound good?

harry454
Oct 23, 2010, 05:04 AM
Nice idea, although I think for the bold and underland Italicize, you should make that you highlight the text and the menu pops like when you copy and past normally and also include the B U and I.

SimonBS
Oct 23, 2010, 06:03 AM
Sounds great! I'm not sure I understand ALL of your ideas and therefore I might repeat them, sorry. But it sounds great with a complete note-taking application for the iPad.

- Dropbox support is important to me.
- Exporting and e-mailing options. Often it's important to share notes with group members and therefore an option to export as PDF would be nice
- Support Apples up-coming AirPrint
- Handwriting recognition is nice, but I would like to be able to just write iwth my handwriting aswell (might be good sometimes)
- Keyboard use for writing
- Drawing in notes (for math, chemistry and physics students this is important - graphs and so on) Should be possible directly in the notes as if it was on a regular paper
- Easily important and copy images to the document
- Group notes after subject
- Automatically add date and time to note
- Possibility to add mathequations (math-keyboard, you might get inspiration from the WolframAlpha app here)
- Audio clip support. In-note record audio and place a speakersymbol in the note which will play the recording with just a push

spinedoc77
Oct 25, 2010, 12:00 PM
Although this is meant for University students it might actually suit you quite well. Especially with the ability to sketch small things in the draw pad, or precision writing with our draw pad, you might be able to write books per say, but maybe not as GOOD as you'd be able to take notes.

We'll see. I'm trying hard to include EVERYTHING I can so that students and teachers see the light about the iPad, and maybe one day we'll see more like them in the classroom in the future.

I really want my iPad to replace paper and binders. Especially for High School students though that is not my target margin. Having a tool like the iPad in the hands of good students (maybe chained to desks or something so they can't be stolen LOL) will 100% increase productivity. But might increase theft too, but who knows thats not my problem to solve. :)

Edit: See the nice thing about this app (and my main focus) is with an algorith it converts your "messy" writting into perfectly formatted writing. Now yes there will probably be a lot of mistakes at first until I adapt it properly but for now 80% of what you write will turn out smooth and clear like the iPads "iBooks" text.

Very cool, sign me up as a guinea pig!! The point I was making though was the limitations of handwriting on the ipad are not in the software or programs, they are squarely in the hardware. You will find a plethora of software handwriting solutions which are pretty advanced, but no matter what polish they have they still lack true hardware support and in the end the handwriting experience ends up quite crappy. I really wish I remember where I saw that demo of the company who was able to access the hardware and it really made it look like they made handwriting recognition super nice.

Jare
Oct 26, 2010, 08:46 AM
Very cool, sign me up as a guinea pig!! The point I was making though was the limitations of handwriting on the ipad are not in the software or programs, they are squarely in the hardware. You will find a plethora of software handwriting solutions which are pretty advanced, but no matter what polish they have they still lack true hardware support and in the end the handwriting experience ends up quite crappy. I really wish I remember where I saw that demo of the company who was able to access the hardware and it really made it look like they made handwriting recognition super nice.

Ill do my best to make it as easy as I can with the limitations :)

CristobalHuet
Oct 27, 2010, 08:07 AM
Sounds amazing, well done! If you need a beta tester, sign me up, I've tried countless similar apps, but none is quite fulfiling.

Just a suggestion: SoundNote has this great feature that records audio as you type and indexes each word so you can tap on it and get to it later. I'm not saying do something identical, but please get audio recording by page and easy export with Dropbox! :)

Hit me up with a pm when you have a build ready, have got experience in quality control. ;)

spinedoc77
Oct 27, 2010, 10:33 AM
I found that demo that was talking about the hardware functions on the ipad which are hidden in the hardware, they talk more about pressure sensitive but it seems like it would improve the handwriting experience as well.

http://thetechjournal.com/electronics/tablet/pressure-sensitive-drawing-headed-to-ipad.xhtml

The thing that I can't get past on the ipad when using a stylus is feeling like I'm blindly using a thick crayon which is full of oil.

Miss M.
Apr 29, 2011, 09:48 PM
It sounds like a terrific idea!

Could you add voice recognition and handwriting recognition capabilities? I would like to record my lectures while I take notes on my ipad. Then, transcribe automatically the professor's lecture (that's the reason for voice recognition) and transform my handwriting into regular text (handwriting recognition) so that I have both my professor's explanation and my notes all in text to edit in word and save as a *doc file.


As a University student and new app developer my first project will be to make my lecture recording/note taking 100% more effecient with the use of my iPad.

I'll have some concept drawings scanned and put in this thread once they're finalized for the first draft of "iCourse" (what I'd like to name my app, most likely will change in the future)

I present to you, as one University Student to another, "iCourse Notes"

iCourse Notes: Student Edition features: ($9.99 with optional stylus purchase as noted in teachers edition)


Handwriting Recognition
Palm/Wrist detection, to prevent unwanted ink.
Auto-save after a period is put anywhere on the page.
Binder/Paper style organizing by course/lecture.
Different styles of paper ranging from white to graphing.
Dual input methods, stylus and on-board keyboard/drawing pad.
Two way note taking. #1) Stylus/Finger input which converts whatever you write into properly formatted text ON THE PAGE, to keep notes clean and effecient. This includes shapes as well (including mathematical related formatting for subscript and superscript, devision and all types of mathematical related formatting) and things written inside of the shapes for courses like Chemistry, Physics, etc.
#2) A "drawing" pad located at the bottom of the screen which is hidden normally until activated. This allows you to write/draw inside of this "pad" at the bottom and will properly format your text above on the page as if you were writing beside your words. Meant mainly for mathematical related formatting so you can draw out your problem, it formats all the lines and text to be smooth as if you typed it, then you can "drag" the picture from the draw pad anywhere onto the screen and pinch to resize.)
Highlight, copy, paste, text/picture color changing, formatting and "sentance/paragraph dragging" which would allow you to tap + hold on any written sentance and drag it into place behind or infront of another sentance, compatible with paragraphs and drawings as well.
Document sharing. Via WiFi/Email. Send assignment to teacher for correction.
Printing with AirPrint when applicable.



iCourse Notes: Teacher Edition (Seperate/Stand-alone/cross compatible) features: ($15.99 with optional Stylus purchase at another seperate pricing)


Everything from student version.
Red Pen notation. Meaning Teacher can switch to "red pen" with the tap of a button and begin marking, correcting, highlighting, erasing and re-writting in red, to help color co-ordinate the students mistakes.
Spacing. This will allow Teachers to tap on a sentance/question answer and add a space inbetween to allow writing a comment for the student.
Document sharing. Via WiFi/Email. Open the attachment, correct and send back to student.
Printing with AirPrint when applicable.


This is all I have so far and the above comes from my over 200 pages of feature idea's and concept sketches that I can actually ATTEMPT with my coding knowledge. Not that all of them will actually be done in time, but that's my plan atleast.

If you have ANY suggestions or think I am missing something, send it now! Who knows, maybe it will be implemented ;) I will be monitoring this thread continuously.