iPad Pro Analog vs Digital notes...

Discussion in 'iPad' started by unknown23, Nov 20, 2015.

  1. unknown23 macrumors newbie


    Jan 29, 2013
    San Gabriel Valley
    First off I am a lefty, so writing on the ipp has been pretty awesome. No more resting my hand on the metal from the spiral bound. I wanted to make a thread to compare what it looks like to write on paper and the iPad pro. So far I have only used the stock notes app and notability, but will try writing on one note and paper by 53 this weekend.

    This is what it looks like when I take notes on paper.

    This is how my notes look when written on the stock notes app.

    How they look when written on notability.
  2. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68030

    PBG4 Dude

    Jul 6, 2007
    I love that the pinky side of my palm doesn't get all inky from dragging it over freshy-written notes. :)
  3. unknown23 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 29, 2013
    San Gabriel Valley
    AGREED! Although I have hit the clear all and undo button a few times while writing at the top of the page.
  4. tekchic macrumors 65816


    Apr 19, 2010
    Phoenix, AZ
    Wow - Notability looks fantastic!

    I've gotten away from taking handwritten notes in meetings over the years -- I just type on my iPad directly on the screen, but I can definitely see going back to a mix of typing and diagram drawing if it looks this wonderful!
  5. ke-iron macrumors 65816

    Aug 14, 2014
    I hate that you cannot add lines to the notes app like a real notebook or notepad. I think Apple purposefully left out features so it will be filled by 3rd party companies. I am still trying to find the perfect note taking application. I will try Microsoft one note next week once I get my Apple pencil.
  6. sjleworthy macrumors 65816


    Dec 5, 2008
    Penarth, Wales, UK

    yes, notability looks great, can you give us a quick appraisal on it? easy of use, compatibility, speed etc etc?
  7. AbSoluTc macrumors 601


    Sep 21, 2008
    I agree. I need lines to keep me from writing in angles. Everyone does it. Some worse than others. Lines keep it neat. Hell, make the option to see/hide lines at will or permanently add them. Those two options would be excellent!

    Now, I don't use evernote a lot, mainly because I don't know how to full utilize it. So, how is notability? I see and hear it's highly rated! I am a simple man and all these note apps that are like office suites are too much.
  8. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    There's a text conversion keyboard available on the App Store if you wanted it converted?
  9. PedroW macrumors newbie

    Mar 13, 2015
    I've used an iPad air 2 as a notebook for a year now(approx) I use note shelf as vs notability it just seems to work better ... my advice try a few apps and decide which fits your writing style best.
  10. profmatt macrumors 68000


    Mar 7, 2015
    You're doing this with an Apple Pencil on an iPad Pro?
  11. unknown23 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 29, 2013
    San Gabriel Valley
    First pic was on actual paper, the other two were on the ipad pro.

    Notability was really easy to get writing on. The only tough part was picking the pencil thickness. The pen option looked too thin or too thick, then it looked like i was using a brush or fountain pen. Writing on notability is pretty good, haven't noticed anything to make me dislike it. Notability looks like im writing with a pen, i wish they had a pencil that looked as nice as the pencil in the stock notes app.
  12. Fumble macrumors newbie

    Nov 16, 2015
    Give also a try to Good Notes which is very amazing from my point of view.
  13. Tech198 macrumors G5

    Mar 21, 2011
    Australia, Perth
    people will use this tech now as "better" means over pen and paper, vs comparing to a virtual keyboard and Apple pen which would actually be more better, since digital note taking is always gonna overtake pen and paper
  14. Robstevo macrumors 6502

    Jun 7, 2014
    The one good thing about the Apple ecosystem is the amazing amount of talented developers.

    I have a note 5 and the writing to text feature is awesome. Especially the writing to calculations feature. I can see apple developers taking the idea to the next level though.q
  15. AceFernalld macrumors 68000


    Mar 3, 2008
    I never thought I'd be taking digital notes but I took more notes on my iPad Pro with the Pencil yesterday than I have all semester without it. Is Notability really worth $6?
  16. thetorque macrumors member


    Aug 1, 2010
    I think the question being asked is, for the iPad pro note, did you use Apple Pencil or some other stylus?
  17. unknown23 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Jan 29, 2013
    San Gabriel Valley
    I use the apple pencil
  18. dyn macrumors 68030

    Aug 8, 2009
    Only when they solve the issues with offset, lag, small writing (some people write rather small, none of the current digital note taking options can cope with, the are very very quirky) and the lack of freedom. The latter means that it is still too cumbersome to take notes digitally as opposed to pen and paper. The old fashioned way means there is no device to unlock, there is no tool to pick, there is no switching back and forth between writing and drawing modes and so on. You just start writing/drawing. Then there's also the feel of everything. Not everyone likes writing on very smooth surfaces like glass.

    Besides that, paper and ink react a certain way which none of the apps support. When you write the line is consistent but on paper with ink this isn't the case. There is a lot of variation which, in the fountain pen world, is called shading. Some people hate it but most want it. You can create wonderful things with shading and line variation which gives it more character. The only way you can come close to this in the digital world is by selecting the paint brush option.

    I'm hoping that the iPad Pro and the Surface Pro is going to accelerate development so the offset and lag issues are fixed and we have better apps that are capable in mimicking paper and ink but still easy to use. Until then my digital note taking is no more than creating a scrapbook of various things I found digital (websites, copy-pastes of texts from documents) and pictures of my analog handwritten notes (that I might convert to typed text later). I really like Apples approach with the iPad Pro as this forces developers to think differently about apps. The problem with the Surfaces is that it is still a notebook so devs are not forced into rethinking their apps.
  19. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    Apps I plan to use for notes are OneNote, Notability and Evernote, plus Apple's own Notes. All 3 support the Pencil and the iPad Pro's high resolution screen.
  20. biosci macrumors 6502a

    Apr 16, 2010
    Chicagoland, IL
    Is notability worth $6... YES! And this is why developers don't want to make "Pro" apps apparently. Everyone is too cheap to buy programs anymore. I remember when you'd have to fork down $50 for a stinkin Nintendo game. And people complain about a $5 game. My 5 shot americanos cost more than Notability and its use last longer than the buzz I get from the espresso. Maybe our Apple devices are too expensive that we can't afford apps anymore? When people buy "cheap" Android phones do they spend more on apps?
  21. Ledgem macrumors 68000


    Jan 18, 2008
    Hawaii, USA
    Different strokes for different folks, as they say. I've been using an iPad Mini (and then an iPad Mini 2) as a paper replacement for about three years now, initially putting up with the fat-tipped styluses before the "pixel point" technology styluses came out. It could be that I've grown accustomed to it, but I don't perceive much, if any, lag. Regarding small writing, if left to my own devices I'll write so small that I have a hard time reading it back; with Notability (and other apps, I'm sure) there's a "magnifying box" for writing. It was originally made because fat-tipped styluses couldn't write very small, so you'd make larger strokes in the large box and it would appear much smaller on the actual document (and you could set how large or small you wanted it to appear). The benefit was that I still had small writing on the page, but I could actually read it, because I had been forced to make larger, more legible strokes in the first place. As for setting things to draw mode or what ever, this is probably app-dependent. With Notability, select the pencil and that's it, you're good to go. If you want to copy and paste or highlight then you need to change "tools," it's true, but that'd be the same with paper.

    Regarding writing on a smooth surface, I prefer little to no resistance when I write. People who borrow my pens have noted how fluidly they write and seem to like it, so I can only assume most others feel similarly... regardless, have you tried writing with the iPad Pro and the Pencil? The rumors were that there was something about the screen and/or the Pencil tip that added a bit of resistance, or texture. I've only tried it in store at this point, but I was really impressed. It's not that there's much resistance, but it really doesn't feel like writing on a completely smooth surface. If you're all about the sensation of writing on paper, the Pencil emulates that pretty well.

    Again, app-dependent. In Notability (and probably others) you have multiple choices with the Pencil tool; aside from color and line thickness, there's line variation. Make a quick dash and the line narrows; write a bit more slowly and the line appears fatter. It doesn't give you the level of control that a fountain pen does (although it's possible that pairing it with the Apple Pencil will, if not now then in the future), but it adds a lot more character and the feel of "paper and pen" than having lines that don't change in response to your strokes.

    When it comes down to it, writing on a device like the iPad will never be as intuitive as uncapping a pen and writing on a piece of paper. If you can overcome the little things that get in the way, then I think you'll find that going digital offers many benefits over pen/pencil and paper.
  22. dyn macrumors 68030

    Aug 8, 2009
    Exactly but many people seem to be forgetting this. There are still a lot of issues that we need to resolve before everyone will be back to handwriting again. And that's another issue: people are moving away from handwriting, they have started typing (American and British education programmes are now more aimed at learning kids to type than to write for example). That means to have to (re)learn how to write. Handwriting requires practice, if you don't write that much your handwriting will decline (ask any of the older generation that went from handwriting to typing).

    That wasn't what I meant. This has to do with sensitivity of the screen and the tip of the pen/pencil (these tools are not styli as they are more complex than just a stick). Displays expect an object the size of a fingertip, not the size of a nib or ballpoint tip. Side effect of this is that it won't recognise small tips or small movements. If you write really small that's where the problem is: most of the strokes won't be recognised as they are too small to be detected. This improves with the current bluetooth pens though.

    To give you an idea: my writing is so small that I cannot write with anything larger than an F nib (=fine nib). On both the iPad Air 2 and my Surface Pro 2 I have to write as if I'm writing with a B nib (= broad nib) which is the same thing I had to do when I was using a Palm PDA. It's like switching from writing on paper to writing on a whiteboard in class. It's fine with small amounts of text but extremely annoying when note taking. It usually means I won't be able to keep up. There are several topics on The Fountain Pen Network forums about nib sizes that show I am definitely not the only one; there are many like me. Another thing to note: the average ballpoint pen is like an F nib (F used to be a normal size but nowadays this is M (medium)).

    Yep and having to force write something is unpleasant and fatiguing to do. It's fine for small amounts but not larger amounts. In that case you are better off with the keyboard, especially if you lack in writing skills (like when you haven't done it all that much lately).

    The app needs to support it and you need to use a pen. If you use a keyboard (physical or the built-in one) it becomes really cumbersome. That's why we need proper pen support and that's why the Apple Pencil is so important.

    As you put it: "Different strokes for different folks, as they say. ". I don't like writing on Rhodia paper all that much as it is too smooth. Compared to glass that paper is like sanding paper. I have tried various pens and nibs on various devices and none I liked because they are too smooth. Rubber on glass is evenly unpleasant as there is too much resistance. Writing on the Wacom tablet can be scratchy at times. I'm eager to try if the Pencil is different from all of those.

    No, this is not app-dependent as no app supports it. Line variation and colour is as far as it goes. What I'm talking about are things like how ink dries up (there can be a huge difference between the wet ink and after it dried, some inks change colour over time) but also how the ink flows. Normal ink clogs up at certain spaces so you'll have a large concentration of ink. This causes the colour to become darker. The areas where there is less ink are lighter. This difference is called shading and some inks do this more than others. It's like a two tone effect. There are some calligraphers who hate this behaviour, they want the colour to be consistent. Those are the ones who benefit from digital, the others don't. The kind of paper also affects this behaviour. On some papers it is rather easy to get shading, on others it is nearly impossible. The same with nibs. The only thing that comes close to the above is the brush tool (with water colouring) in most of the apps but it requires more effort (you have to go over it a few times just like you would when painting).

    There is just far more to it than line thickness, colour and line variation that nearly all of the current apps offer but we're not seeing it anywhere. I'm sure that'll change in the future when people get back to writing again.

    People are forgetting one big problem: people stopped writing and started typing. Education is being altered to favour typing instead of writing. This leads to more kids being unable to write properly. Why would you use something like a pen if you can't use it or if you dislike using it? That's the biggest danger to digital note taking: lack of handwriting skills. The response you get from most people is that their handwriting looks so terrible that they rather type. When they see someone with nice handwriting they do get jealous. They are not aware of the fact that they can get nice handwriting if they put some effort into it.

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21 November 20, 2015