The perfect handwriting/notes app?

Discussion in 'iPad Apps' started by iRabbit, May 3, 2010.

  1. iRabbit macrumors 6502

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    #1
    I love the Penultimate app, but short of wearing a glove or using a microfiber cloth all the time, it's a bit challenging to write at the top of the page.

    I real dig the input area and responsiveness of the HandWriting Mail app but i hate that there's no organized way to realy save. Based on its name it's not surprising... It's meant to handwrite email notes. I wish the developers would consider designing a similar app with multiple notebooks like Penultimate.

    And if Penultimate gave you the option to use an input field when needed, it would be perfect.

    What handwriting apps are you using that you like for taking notes in meetings or in school?

    How about handwriting recognition?
    Anyone using a notes/notebook app that does it? How is it?
    Are there any that let you bring in PDFs for highlighting, notes and annotation?

    Thoughts?
     
  2. iRabbit thread starter macrumors 6502

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  3. rldunn macrumors member

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    #3
    Even ignoring the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all "perfect", there are no perfect ones - they are all flawed in some way, and I have tried all/most of them.

    I'm using Penultimate nearly all the time for now. It has by far the smoothest recording of your handwriting and has a good interface. The latest update also somewhat addressed the palm resting problem, but they have a ways to go there. The key things I would like to see added to it:

    1) Ability to annotate a PDF file
    2) Options for pen size and color
    3) Better way than email to get notes onto my desktop (since my ultimate goal with apps like this is to be able to have digital versions of my notes that I can store in project folders). Integration with the new Dropbox app would be amazing. Barring that, something like the method that GoodReader uses.
    4) Ability to type

    TakeNotes and iAnnotatePDF have the ability to annotate PDF files, but the handwriting is so poor on these and the interface isn't very good (especially on TakeNotes).

    SundryNotes needs smoother recording of what you write. Otherwise, it's ok.

    Have also tried SketchPadHD, smartNote, and PaperDesk, none of which record handwriting well.

    Also, the PogoSketch pen-stylus makes handwriting on any of these apps better, even though it's not perfect itself. Better than using a finger, though, and certainly better than using a glove.
     
  4. iRabbit thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #4
    Yes, I have the PogoSketch... it really is great.

    Have you tried HandWriting Mail? There's a free version so you should give it a try... I'd love to hear your input on how they do handwriting. I have to say, it's one of the BEST handwriting interfaces I've come across... easy, fast, editable and it actually looks like my handwriting. Their big problem is that they don't do "notebooks".... it's one sheet at a time.
     
  5. chrisesposito macrumors member

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    Mar 23, 2008
    #5
    phatware has a 'writepad' app that does handwriting recognition. For my handwriting it does a good job.
     
  6. iRabbit thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #6
    I found one tonight called GhostWriter Notes that is pretty darn good... It's a bit of a combination of the Penultimate idea, with multiple notebooks, but it offers the input area like HandWriting Mail. It's not as smooth as Penultimate and not as quick to respond like HW Mail, but it has a nice combination of features and is pretty darn cheap.

    If you use the pencil tool you can write directly on the page. Not as nice as Penultimate for this kind of thing... But, if you use the pen tool you can write into an input area anywhere on the page, but small (on the lines more like a real notebook). It offers different paper types. It also has a set of highlighters.

    I think it would be perfect for taking notes in a meeting or in school. It could be improved (smoother writing, less latency), but so far I like it.
     
  7. iRabbit thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Surprised not more people are interested in this topic...
     
  8. Jaro65 macrumors 68040

    Jaro65

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    #8
    ^^^^^
    So am I. But it just may be the case that people are still figuring out what to do with their iPads. Plus, I've seen Penultimate and a few other apps mentioned in other threads, and people seem to be pretty happy with them.

    I am secretly hoping that maybe one day Evernote will add support for handwriting recognition. Ultimately, what I would like is what Apple had with Newton: a system where I can enter a combination of handwritten notes, drawings, and typed notes anywhere on the screen. The s/w would recognize my handwritten notes, do a conversion, and make the text searchable.

    Apple owns the best handwriting algorithms in the industry, but they don't seem to be very keen on using them. This may be an ego thing for SJ, or else I don't know why they wouldn't incorporate the functionality in their Notes app. As it is, the application is as crippled as it could be. Hopefully with more and more people wanting to use their iPads to take notes, we may see some good progress in the applications space. Let's hope.
     
  9. Roessnakhan macrumors 68040

    Roessnakhan

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  10. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #10
    It is probably the "handwriting" element that is turning people off. I don't care about handwriting recognition. I use my finger or pogosketch for drawing and diagramming but prefer keyboard for text input. I don't think that I'm alone in that.

    The second reason for lack of discussion is that there are a ton of apps out there but all far woefully short.

    I have 1/2 dozen such apps installed on my iPad... (i've since installed and removed many more). I'm tired of spending $1 here $2 there just to find out that they fall short of my needs. The usefulness of note apps is highly subjective based on a person's needs and expectations... that makes reviews (no matter how detailed) not very helpful.

    I'm still searching.
     
  11. bigwayne3000 macrumors regular

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    Nov 23, 2008
    #11
    how are you guys using these note apps? i dont have an iPad (hoping to get one within the next month.) do you buy a stylus and use that? do any of these programs have it where you write and it converts it to typed texted?
     
  12. David R macrumors 6502

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    #12
    Has anyone tried WhiteNote? I've been thinking of buying it. It seems to have a decent combination of the features that I am looking for in a note taking application.
     
  13. iDisk macrumors 6502a

    iDisk

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    #13
    What's wrong with the stock note App?

    It's short and simple.
     
  14. bigwayne3000 macrumors regular

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    Nov 23, 2008
    #14
    just a FYI for you guys but in my research of the programs mentioned thus far i found this one: NoteSketch which has a deadzone on the screen so that you can put your palm down and write normally. how is it writing with your palm in the air long periods of time for you guys or do you not use it for that and instead just quick notes? i think NoteSketch would be a better option if only just for the deadzone but i dont have an iPad so i cant try anything.
     
  15. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #15
    WhiteNote is my current favorite. There was some issues in switching between typing and draw modes but the developer helped improve it. There are still some enhancements/fixes needed but it is usable, and IMO worth the price.

    Another one that I use is NotesToStore. It doesn't have the visual organization cues that WhiteNote has, but it is solid and usable.
     
  16. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #16
    It's too simple. Can't mix text and drawing. Can't organize notes. Just to name a few.
     
  17. Friscohoya macrumors 6502a

    Friscohoya

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    #17
    ijot has the best solution for palm input and small text entry so far. They need to create a dedicated ipad app though.
     
  18. bigwayne3000 macrumors regular

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    Nov 23, 2008
    #18
    do you guys use thos capacitive stylus's to use these programs? also where can i find these stylus's at? i used to have a site for one but its on my old comp.
     
  19. NinjaMonkey macrumors regular

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    Maryland
    #19
    So far the note taking apps are pretty meh. TakeNotes is pretty full featured but the interface is horrible, I'm not sure what the developer was thinking but I hope he cleans it up soon. Sundry notes is okay and its free, I'd start there and see if you like that before buying other apps.
     
  20. AJsAWiz macrumors 68040

    AJsAWiz

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    Ohio
    #20
    I have no problems writing anywhere, on the page, with Penultimate. Works fine because I don't rest my palm on the iPad screen. The adjustment was easy since I use my index finger to write on it.
     
  21. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

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    North Central Florida
    #21
    You know my big "problem" right now?

    My Pogo walked off.... after sitting here for a month, POOF, i have no clue where it is! I'm still thinking the kid took it and doesn't remember....

    I think i'm going to try Ghostwriter..... right after i locate the pogo.
     
  22. Friscohoya macrumors 6502a

    Friscohoya

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    #22
    Notetaker HD (Coming Soon Apparently)

    Notetaker HD (coming soon apparently) is what I am puttin my money behind. There is a demo on youtube. The one shortcoming that I have already identified is that unlike ijot which scrolls the writing area automatically at a speed of your desire, Notetaker requires you to press a button.

    Other than that, the app seems to be the most advanced note taking app I have seen on the ipad (despite the fact that it only exists on you tube at the moment).

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1n9K4AqtBg
     
  23. TraceyS/FL macrumors 68040

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    Jan 11, 2007
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    North Central Florida
    #23
    I made another effort and found the pogo.

    The one problem with the box - it moves when i place my palm on the screen. Defeating the purpose of the box.... I haven't emailed my samples yet, but on screen they look like they are skipping some parts compared to what is in the small box area.

    I will go watch this - i never played with ijot enough to get good at it.
     
  24. iRabbit thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Jul 10, 2007
    #24
    GhostWriter is kinda like this one, though the Notetaker HD looks more polished. GhostWriter also organizes by notebooks (like Penultimate) rather than by pages.

    I'll be anxious to try Notetaker when it comes out!
     
  25. Friscohoya macrumors 6502a

    Friscohoya

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    #25
    Ghostwriter looks nice. I am also waiting for the new tenone stylus to come out which apparently has a finer tip. I really think that apple should have taken the lead on this note taking stuff as it is what I believe will truly make the ipad a game changer.
     

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