iPad Note Taking as good as surface pro?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by RMD68, Jun 16, 2014.

  1. RMD68 macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I tried taking notes for a period of time on my iPad. I used the basic third party stylus and tried most of the top rated note taking apps, but after a while I returned to my non-digital notebooks because I was never pleased with this way of doing it.

    I played with the new Surface Pro 3 after reading about it's handwritten note-taking ability. I really liked what I saw, but I don't know if I want to purchase the device and switch eco systems just for the note taking.

    Has there been real improvements in iPad hand written note taking?

    Thanks!
     
  2. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #2
    I don't believe so, partly due to the digitizer being used by the iPads. Its been designed with the finger not a stylus so I think the accuracy and precision is lacking when using a stylus
     
  3. RMD68 thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    :(

    I figured that was the case. All the Apps I used were marginal for long term note taking, and it appears the apps I used are still the popular ones.

    The Surface is pretty neat. I like tablets, but they aren't quite enough for me. My iPad usually collects dust since I still prefer to use my MacBook pro.

    iOS for the phone is the best right now, but if I actually want a computer like experience, I don't find the iPad or any similar device to be more useful than a streaming media screen.
     
  4. Agent-P macrumors 68030

    Agent-P

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    #4
    I wish Apple would work with Wacom to bring a proper pressure sensitive stylus to the iPad. I would buy that on day one.
     
  5. miketheappleguy macrumors regular

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    #5
    No, not even close. Both the Note series and the Surface series use specialized software and a special screen layer to imitate inking. Not to mention the software in both have palm rejection which ignores the palm resting on the screen while writing. This is something I personally would insist apple having on any potential Ipad pro.
     
  6. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #6
    A less expensive but more portable option is the Dell Venue 8 Pro. It supports an active digitizer and while the first gen pen was not very good, I've heard great things about the 2nd gen pen. Being an 8" tablet gives it the general size of a junior padfolio.


    I'd like to see an iPad rMini with that.
     
  7. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #7
    It depends on how willing Apple is to say Steve Jobs was wrong.
     
  8. Night Spring, Jun 16, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 16, 2014

    Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    #8
    Considering Steve jobs himself was quick to change his mind (though without ever admitting out loud that he was wrong), I don't see why Apple can't just keep following his example.

    As for pens, I think Steve was right in insisting on a tablet interface that can be used with finger input only. Before the iPad, most tablet UIs were designed to be used with a pen -- that is, if you lost the pen, the UI elements were too small to be operated reliably with a finger. So now the Surface has an UI where pen input is optional. You can use a pen where pen input makes more sense, but if you don't feel like using a pen, you can just use your finger. And the reason this kind of UI has become commonplace is because of Steve Jobs.
     
  9. spinedoc77 macrumors G3

    spinedoc77

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    #9
    I don't disagree. If you NEED a stylus to drive the UI that's a big negative. I don't know if Jobs went too far in his belief in trashing the stylus, or if it was simply a business decision to save money on not having an active digitizer/stylus. But I definitely respect Jobs personally dragging UI's away from being stylus driven, if it wasn't for him Microsoft would still be promoting that paradigm.
     
  10. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    #10
    I think part of it was cost savings, but also by not having pen input, the iPad removed the clutch of falling back into pen input and forced developers to write apps for finger input. If the first iPad had had pen input, I think all of Jobs charisma couldn't have won against the human habit of falling back to what is familiar. By not running OS X apps, and by not having pen input, the iPad forced devs to write entirely new apps for the iOS platform. Microsoft, otoh, is still having problems getting people to write tablet apps. Even its own Office suite has yet to be ported to tablet mode!
     
  11. zhenya macrumors 603

    zhenya

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    #11
    I have the original Surface Pro and I take a fair number of notes on my ipad. For quick sketches and free form notes, the SP still probably has the edge, although I never fell too in love with it. I suspect the new thinner model with a better aspect ratio would improve this greatly. On the other hand, I write a lot of handwritten notes on my ipad with the adonit jot script and I quite like it. I use GoodNotes which has by far the best UI of the notes apps (I've essentially tried them all). What I especially like is that it makes for an extension of a plain sheet of paper better than anything, including OneNote, IMO. It has a reasonable amount of power without trying to do everything, and it's the only combination I've stuck with for the long term.
     
  12. GRMM, Aug 4, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014

    GRMM macrumors member

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    #12
    A year ago I decided to change all my notebooks to my iPad.

    From all the apps I have tried (Note Taker HD, Notability, Penultimate, GoodNotes 4, etc) I prefer GoodNotes.

    For stylus the one I like the most is the Jot Pro (the only downside is that you have to use a screen protector so your screen doesn't get scratch), another really good option is the TruGlide Pro.

    Today I'm getting the Jot Script once I try it I'll let you know how it works.

    If you want to take notes with your iPad, you need to try a lot of apps and stylus and find the one you like the most. Trying apps and stylus is something I enjoy and like but there are people that prefer to buy a tablet that comes with everything they need (even though it doesn't offers much apps and stylus options). If you identify yourself with the second description, get a Note 10.1 2014 edition, which is great tablet or a surface pro

    I'm attaching a PDF of some notes I took in class
     

    Attached Files:

  13. vigilant macrumors 6502

    vigilant

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    #13
    The hard thing is that this response serves two purposes.

    1. Microsoft's handwriting recognition is the best around as far as I can tell. But it's still garbage. I've tried it in many different scenarios and my name "Charles R******" still comes up as something along the lines of "Can O Toole". I wouldn't trust this system for any kid of production based note taking. Frankly, you will get better accuracy typing on the screen of most devices then handwriting recognition. I can type about 50 WPM on the screen of an iPad. The larger screen on the surface pro I bet would get me closer to physical keyboard.

    2. If accuracy is the main point. And you are aiming for something light, and efficient then I'd go with ANY ARM tablet with a keyboard if the scree doesn't work. ARM tablets really do get about 10 hours of battery life. The keyboard covers weight next to nothing. I have an iPad Mini and an iPad Air with the magnetically held keyboard cover for both. The iPad mini version feels lighter then most hard cover books. The iPad Air version is like a lighter Macbook Air.

    3. Figure out what your needs are. What are your priorities. If you need to code in Visual Studio or Xcode is a horrible solution. If you need to type out notes, and word documents, you can get a ton of mileage at a much lesser weight with a tablet. But all of these things are subjective. Figure out what works best.

    The big take away that I have is handwriting recognition sucks. Too many variables. If you handwriting like a doctor it only gets worse and you end up spending as much time correcting then you do typing. Touch screen keyboards are actually really good once you are use to it. I've taken days of meetings on an iPad Air and didn't really feel major constraints.

    But it all depends on the use case, and your choice of tools.

    Handwriting recognition even today though is like trying to paint a picture with oversized oven mitts on your hands.
     
  14. mrex, Aug 4, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014

    mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    #14
    Really? Not a good news then. I have been using Galaxy Note for two years and its handwriting recognition is pretty good. The experience using a pen with iPad is something that cannot be described. Shortly - the worst experience ever. Need to have couple differend pens for writing/sketching and still they are bad.

    I have been waiting SP3 for a long time, but if its handwriting rec. sucks, that it's a really bad thing. I havent used any of the SP before so I avhe no idea how good or bad the pen is but im actually hoping that pen related things would be good.
     
  15. chupachup, Aug 4, 2014
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2014

    chupachup macrumors 6502

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    #15
    If all you need to do is write some notes, there are plenty of options out there for iPad.

    Fifty Three created an App called Paper AND a Stylus, the Wacom Bamboo. Surely that's good enough to take notes.

    [​IMG]

    ----------

    [/COLOR]
    Just change your name to Can O Toole. Problem solved.
     
  16. vigilant macrumors 6502

    vigilant

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    #16

    I can't speak for Samsung. I had actually forgotten about them.

    The digitizer goes a long way to make accuracy better, but it's still not great.

    If you are happy with Samsung though you may want to look at Note Pro line
     
  17. mrex macrumors 68020

    mrex

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    #17
    Yes, NotePro 12.2 would be great, but I already have original Note 10.1. which works still great. Why SP3 then? It runs normal computer programs.
     
  18. rei101 macrumors 6502a

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    #18
    I am 39 and taking marketing classes. I am old school, I took my iPad once and trust me.... nothing better than taking note on a real note book with a real pen. I still have my notebook with me in a drawer. When you have things into digital they get deleted and lost.

    Take a notebook, improve your writing, improve your drawing, it will help you in the future big time and it cost a few dollars, do not brake and worry less.

    I mean, if we had iPads in the 80's and notebooks today, notebooks would be the most efficient and fun way to take notes. iPads brake, get stolen, battery issues... buah!
     
  19. rowspaxe macrumors 68000

    rowspaxe

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    #20
    I really thought Apple would address the digitizer problem by this time--its the "ipad" right? It still might happen but I have personally moved on. The surface pro 3 is great and next gen intel reference hardware is thinner than the ipad air. Apple retains a huge ecosystem advantage, but if your interested in productivity this is less compelling. Also, the 12 inch form factor is much better for note taking.
     
  20. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #21
    I'm with you on that. I'm trying to establish a workflow of jotting notes down on pad and paper and then scanning them (via an iphone scanning app) and pasting the image into a notebook app. That makes the notes easier to access and can supplement them with typed text and ink-markup.

    I'm experimenting with various apps and I think that it may work out pretty well.
     
  21. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

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    #22
    I agree that for now, pen and paper is still the best way to write down notes, so this is probably the best solution, for now. But if we took notes directly on tablets, that would eliminate the scanning step. Which is why people look for a tablet-based note taking solution, because having our notes digitized IS convenient. Digital note taking seems to be at the stage handheld computing was about 20 years ago, when we had those early PDAs and Pocket PCs. They were clumsy and hard to use, but I kept trying them anyway because I wanted a convenient way to keep my contacts and calendar digitized, and I wanted to read books on the subway without having to tote tons of books. So now I finally have the device of my dreams in the iPhone and iPad. Perhaps digital note taking will eventually get there too.
     
  22. rei101 macrumors 6502a

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    #23
    The important thing is for you to learn. You could take notes on paper and then translate the lecture into graphics and that way you will learn twice. Compare your notes with the book while creating a clean version on your iPad.

    I am telling you because when I was studying multimedia back in 1998 I had a Powerbook 5200 and a Powermac 9600, the top of the line back then and I ended up being a technician more than a multimedia artist.

    Today some of my friends were head of design at Nike, many other with Grammys and so on, and I am stuck doing renders in an small office at 39 years old. Still, I am taking marketing classes today again and iTook my iPad but by the second class I took my notebook and took note for real.

    Do not get stuck into the technology, focus in what you are learning. be awesome with a pencil! and artist and a professional need no tool. Focus in yourself and be friends of your teachers and talk to them after class and after school and you will learn way more. No iPad required.
     
  23. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #24
    Great advice for those currently in university. I'm DECADES beyond those days. :eek: :)
     
  24. psac macrumors 6502a

    psac

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    #25
    I use GoodNotes for my work notes every day. I do just use my finger for the note taking with my rMini. The thing I like most about it is the notebook management. I have 19 different NoteBooks in my app now (representing different projects, workstreams, departmental issues, ets.), and it's easy to look through a particular notebook to find something I'm looking for. In my old paper notebooks everything would be chronological, and I would have to just keep flipping to try to find something, or look into past physical notebooks when they were full.

    Of course the quality of my notes is only as good as my handwriting, which is horrendous. It does make for good encryption though! :D It would be really nice to be able to automatically translate that into text when desired.
     

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