Monday, June 7, 2010

Note Taker HD

Note Taker HD is a simple iPad app for taking hand written notes. Except for the auto-scroll (which is indeed very nice) I couldn't find a reason why I would use this app. It has very limited features and nothing looks good about it, not even your notes.

Rating: Price: $4.99

What's Good
Note Taker HD has two editing modes.
Edit1 mode allows to zoom in and out and write everywhere on the document.

Edit2 mode presents a split screen, similar to FastFinga: full document above, and detail area below. In this mode Note Taker offers a brilliant auto-scroll feature. Auto-scroll allows you to write in the zoom area in a continuous stream, without additional actions. It takes a little while to get used to this behavior, but it can really speed up your hand writing. You can watch this YouTube movie from the author, to fully understand the behavior.

Finally, a view mode allows you to pan and zoom, without the risk to leave unwanted marks on your note.

If you tap on the Done button, Note Taker will navigate to a view which displays the list of pages. If you tap on the tools button on this view, you will get a number of tools to manage your pages.

If you tap and hold on any one of any the thumbnails, you will get a popup with a list of actions you can perform on the page.

What's Bad
The use of real-estate is horrible. When working with the split screen (Edit2), Note Taker takes a lot of space for too many controls. In particular, the zoom area is much less wide of what you wish, and it requires lot of scrolling. Sure, the auto-scroll makes it easier, but you still have to move your finger (or pen) from right to left to continue writing on the same line.

Note Taker supports only blank ink in one fixed pen size, which, is a little too thin.

Note Taker doesn't support anything besides hand written notes; no pictures or text.

The ink is thin and looks very jagged. This is also true when writing in a large zoomed view, and then zooming out. It seems impossible to get any sort of decent looking lines.

I personally don't like this light green paper color. Most of note apps I tried provide more attractive and crisp looking paper (see FastFinga and Sundry Notes for example).

You can edit the default thumbnail associated with the page. Unfortunately this is not a very intuitive process. I had to watch the author's video to discover that feature, contrary to my assumptions I had to resize the document to fit into the thumbnail, and not the other way around.

I appreciate the feature, but it requires more effort that what I am willing to make, given the functionality.

Other minor observations.
A small button below the document allows scrolling, but I don't know why I would need it, since I can always use the two finger gesture to do it. Finally, I don't think I have ever seen a REDO button before the UNDO one.

Rating Breakdown

You can watch this YouTube video from the author to see this app in action.
Note Taker HD Overview
Note Taker HD on the iTune App Store


Xiaofan said...

Interesting, never thought about it from this point of view. Just bought this app tho, but you are absolutely right, too much space wasted. Seems fastfinga is a better option. Thanks!

Post a Comment

Twitter Facebook Google Plus Stumbleupon RSS Feed

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Best Web Hosting Coupons