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View Full Version : PaperPad




rldunn
May 18, 2010, 12:49 PM
The developers of PaperPad posted in this forum last week and had a few codes that they were handing out for a few people to try it out. I got one of the codes and tested it a little, so I wanted to send my thoughts.

I think this is about the 10th note taking app I've tried, and I've posted in a few other threads that I have 2 purposes in mind for apps like these:

1) I want to be able to take notes in meetings at work, then be able to easily get a digital copy of the notes onto my desktop to store in my project folder.

2) I do reviews of medical manuscripts, so I need the ability to annotate PDF files as part of the review process.

With those uses in mind, here are my thoughts so far on PaperPad:

Pros:
1) Very nice minimal UI. This stands out as a stark contrast to the other apps that I've used for annotating PDF files.

2) Nice zooming feature - This uses the standard 2-finger zooming method. If you have 2 fingers on the screen, you can use it to zoom or move the paper around, allowing you to write smaller. This is an interesting approach to this problem.

3) Smoothing algorithm - cleans up the handwriting, but it also has some drawbacks - see below.

4) Ability to do multi-page notes - plenty of others do this as well, but many don't.


Cons:
1) No eraser function - I can't believe it doesn't have this. It has an Undo button, which is nice, but there are many times you would want to erase something other than what you just wrote. This is a huge oversight.

2) For multi-page notes, there is a slider at the bottom of the screen the looks like this: <>. It's position on the screen left to right shows the relative position of the page you're looking at, and you hit the left arrow to scroll left and the right arrow to scroll right. This is fine, but you should be able to hold down on this to move quickly through the notes and not just move one page at a time. Especially for larger PDF files.

3) There is a smoothing algorithm applied to the writing, which is nice, because it makes it look better, but this produces a lag that takes a little getting used to.

4) No (apparent) ability to change the name of a notepad.

5) Notepads show up in a list, but there is no way to organize these. This is fine (and probably faster) for a few notepads, but will be awkward when you have a lot of them.

6) Can't type - Not a big deal for me, but will be for some.

7) No choice of paper type - also not a big deal for me personally.

Conclusion - This app is decent, but not great. For now, I'll be using it for annotating PDFs, since the alternatives (iAnnotate PDF and TakeNotes) have such horrid UIs. For regular note-taking, there are better alternatives (I'm currently switching between Penultimate, NoteTakerHD, and Ghostwriter), but this one is also fine for a quick note.