Software for Tablets and iPods and such

What software (and hardware) do you find works (or doesn’t)? If we share, we can save each other frustration.


I miss my old Palm with the pointy stylus. iPods use fingers — big squishy, hard-to-pinpoint fingers. You can’t actually see the line you’re trying to connect to or retrace. You won’t get properly-closed loops with it. I’m undecided whether my cheap stylus helps or not. It’s easier to do larger movement than with a finger.

The apps designed for handwritten notes all have a magnified input area and a main area. You write a word in the input area, at a largish size (thanks to the big finger or squishy stylus), then it’s moved to the main area.

Smart Writing Tool by 7 Notes.

So far, my favorite, but I’ve only tested a few sentences. When you fill a line, you have to touch a smallish arrow to move the text to the main area. From within the program, you can mail the note (an image of it) to another program.

You can set it to scroll. If your outline ends near the end of the screen, it waits a fraction of a second (adjustable), then assumes you’re done the word.

Sketch Memo Lite

Adequate. I used it happily for a meeting, and read the notes almost as well as I normally read them from paper. The input area has two squares. If you’re writing short words, it works fine. When you start writing in one square, it assumes the other is finished. For large words, you need to start in the left square and continue into the right square. If you just filled the left square, press “space” to reset. If you have a long word with a disjoined ending, it will think the strokes you started in the left box is one word, and the ending another.

The next time I tried to use it, it tried to straighten my lines. It’s erratic. Sometimes it lets me curve them, other times it tries to turn them into something else. Recognizable, but I don’t know if I’d be able to read the notes later. Maybe I changed a setting, but I can’t seem to change it back.

It doesn’t let you email the note. You can export it to a photo album.


Didn’t work for me. Rather than your hand moving along the page, the page moves under your hand. I can’t use it for longhand, let alone shorthand.

(by Cricket for group greggshorthand)

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8 comments Add yours
  1. I'll save others a trip round the web — Penultumate is iPad only, not iPod, sigh. I really wanted it, since it works with EverNote. It's only 10 seconds to email from SMT to Evernote, but it's still a break in thought.

  2. Penultimate might think the iPod is too small a screen, or market. Which is wrong, but I'm only a user.

    Evernote doesn't care about PlayBook. The PB Evernote app is barely functional for taking notes. Even with a premium Evernote account, I can't download notes for offline reading. I've side-loaded the Android version. It's good enough, but very frustrating to go through the song-and-dance required since Evernote claims to support all platforms.

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