Last year I wrote about a few useful handwriting iPad apps for note taking and drawing. Since then other similar apps have been developed that are just as stylish, but contain a few unique features or approaches you might might want to consider if you’re looking for such a writing tool.
Let’s face it, if you have an iPad there’s probably less and less need for using pen and paper these days. I would rather grab my iPad and jot down a few notes than do so on scraps of paper that clutter up my desk or get misplaced.
Inkflow is one of the newest writing apps to hit the iTunes App Store. The ink flow in this app is smooth and fluid as if writing with a marker on a sheet of paper.
There are two versions of the app (free, and an in-app upgrade for $4.99.) The free version is limited to a single black resizable marker, with a limit of 20 pages per notebook. There’s no dedicated undo/redo tool for markings; instead, you double-tap with two fingers to undo the last mark you make.
What makes Inkflow standout is the ability to select text and drawings and enlarge and them on the page.
Pages can also be exported via email, to the iPad photo library or Camera Roll, as well as an attachment to Twitter. The drop-down export button, by the way, is where you go to order the in-app upgrade.
The full version of the app includes a dedicated eraser tool, multi-colored pens and brushes, and copy-and-paste tool for both handwritten text and drawings. The free version provides sufficient features to give you an idea of what the upgrade provides.
The ink flow of MyScript Memo is the least fluid of the apps under review for this article. In my experience I had to keep my stylus pen pressed down slightly hard to do adequate handwriting.
But what makes MyScript Memo stand out is its handwriting recognition feature. It can convert what you handwrite into typed text for export. The handwriting recognition is actually pretty good, but I had too many problems with writing text. Plus, the app doesn’t allow for multi-page documentation. After you fill up a page, you have to create a new one, as if you’re creating a new document file.
MyScript does include various pen sizes and colors, and it has a dedicated eraser and undo/redo buttons. However, if you want to copy or export converted text to email, SMS, Evernote, Twitter, or Facebook, it will cost you $2.99 (in-app upgrade). You can however save handwritten notes as an image file to the Camera Roll, or export it to email and other supporting services.
Sketch Rolls is one of my favorite handwriting apps, though it’s not free ($4.99.) The ink flow is smooth and the homepage for organizing notebooks is very accessible.
What sets Sketch Rolls apart is the “rolls” part of its name. Instead of notebooks being single “sheets of paper,” you can extend your notes and doodles beyond the width of the iPad screen. It’s like writing or drawing on a roll of paper.
I’ve used this app a few times in a meeting as a brainstorming tool and it works great, because you don’t to have to flip back and forth through pages. You do have to remember however to scroll using two fingers, otherwise you will just put a swipe mark on your “paper.”
The developers say you can add/insert up to 300 rolls per project, which is sort of like having reams of paper to work with.
As with the other apps, you can export note pages to PDF, an image file, or as SRP for other Sketch Roll Project users.
Sketch Rolls also includes various color inks, and the size of the pens can go from thin to slightly bold. It includes an eraser and an undo/redo button. A button on the top-right of the app gets you quickly back to the home screen of notebooks.
If you’re looking for other iPad or iPhone writing apps, check out these articles: