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PadNotes to turn your iPad into a notepad



I regret banking on lack of inking as my reason to not get the iPad. I’ve already been shown that ink on the small iPhone screen can look good. Now there’s a video demo of an app called PadNotes that shows how it might work on the iPad. You hear that? That is the sound of inevitability.

Per the video description: “PadNotes is a new app for the iPad that allows you to write or text on any document using an image or PDF file as the background.” It also allows highlighting and drawing on the image or pages in the PDF and export to image or PDF for sharing.

The demo, in case you can’t do the math, is a screencast of the app as it appears in the iPad simulator from the SDK, not video of an actual iPad. Hence, it shows cursors, cursor effects, and messages that won’t be seen in the actual app, and the on-screen keyboard doesn’t show while adding text. The inking doesn’t look great, but as good as can be expected from a mouse or trackpad. Will take a bit of imagination to envision how the actual app will look, but not counting the hardware limits, the functionality offered looks more than adequate. Get the feeling a good number of iPad users are going to be spilling ink.

Via 9 to 5 Mac



  1. Tim

    03/12/2010 at 12:40 pm

    Slightly concerned about quality if this is what they are releasing as a demo video. Obviously they have time to finish it up, but it is clearly unfinished. The simulator is what is often used to make app demo videos, so not all defense can come from using it. Most notable is the lack of keyboard as mentioned. The simulator shows the keyboard appearing and disappearing, so they obviously have not implemented the FirstResponder yet. While this is normally trivial, the inking app poses issues because it needs to handle custom objects created on the fly, and more importantly, a design issue presents itself if the user creates a textbox that would be below the keyboard.

    It shows a lot of promise, and the PDF section looks great, but the lack of polish in a demo video has me a little concerned for what the final product will look like.

  2. Gary

    03/12/2010 at 6:08 pm

    So what do we think the input is here? finger? Pogo pen? I’ve got a Pogo, and as nice as it is to see inking on the iPhone….that big soft pencil eraser sized tip just doesnt give a feeling of accuracy. Why cant it be pen tip sized? What are the best guesses for pen options on the iPad?

  3. Brett Gilbertson

    03/13/2010 at 10:08 pm

    The pen options for the iPad will be the same as for the iPhone and other capacitive touch screen devices like the lenovo S-10.

    Pogo or sausage, it is akin to using a crayon over a pencil… not exactly the standard you are used to on paper! Hard to see this app taking off personally, because those who do dive in will write off the inking experience as crap!

    That’s what happened with the HP Tx1000. Lots of people bought them because they were cheap, then decided that Tablets in general were crap because of the poor inking experience of a resistive touch screen.

    Yes it can be done, but the capacitive touch experience is much worse for inking, hence I don’t hold out much hope for inking on the iPad.

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