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Penultimate Wrist Protection Makes Inking on iPad Very Possible



Uh, oh. Methinks that I will be taking rehearsal notes in Digital Ink for my next show on the iPad after all.

Inkers who have been hoping for some iPad app that makes Inking possible the way Tablet PC users are used to doing so have largely been disappointed so far. There have been some attempts, the most notable being SmartNote, which creates a custom sized rectangle on the screen for users to rest their wrist on when scribbling away. Now there’s a new entry that offers a more workable solution. And it is a doozy.

Penultimate is an iPad app that we’ve covered here before and the recent 1.1 update adds what the developers call wrist protection that enables Inkers to rest their wrist on the screen and Ink away. Tableteers have called this palm rejection for sometime now.

Giving it a quick try tonight, it works as advertised. Yes, that’s right. If you’ve got a stylus that works with the iPad screen (I’ve tested both the Pogo Stylus and the Dagi Stylus. No sausages yet.) You can lay down digital Ink. It’s not perfect. It’s about the timing that your hand/wrist and the stylus hit the screen and the developers recommend that this is best for taking notes in what they call “textual, top-to-bottom notes on the page.” But it works.

Go crazy folks.

Thanks to Hector Gomez for the tip.



  1. HG

    05/21/2010 at 11:52 pm

    Yes now the app is that much better for inking. I have been using Penultimate since posted here at GBM site.

  2. Gavin Miller

    05/22/2010 at 3:42 am

    Interesting Warner and can’t wait to try it out. However, is it difficult to get small legible text? Most inking I’ve tried out on capacitive screens seems to only work if you write text ‘larger than life’.

    • Warner Crocker

      05/22/2010 at 6:10 am


      It is easier with the Dagi Stylus to get smaller ink. The Pogo Stylus makes it tough to do, at least for me.

  3. Henri

    05/22/2010 at 4:58 am

    I think it is the handwriting application which feels the most natural now, but indeed with this application the text is quite large so one page cannot contain much text.
    You could also try Fastfinga. I think this is one of the best right now. You write on the bottom of the screen. The written text is transferred (smaller) to the upper part of the screen by tapping a button, or automatically by setting an interval. Further you can do the following things: different pen colors; insert lines; insert words; copy, paste or cut words; change words; use emojicons. The words are automatically wrapped. You can export to evernote.

  4. sbtablet

    05/22/2010 at 5:30 am

    Got a video review in the works? I’d like to see this in action.

    • Warner Crocker

      05/22/2010 at 6:09 am

      I’m swamped at work, but Hector has promised one soon. When I see it I’ll post it up.

  5. Gary

    05/22/2010 at 5:43 am

    Wow…amazing improvement. I just took several pages of notes on it with my Dagi stylus. It went from being an app I gave up on and deleted, to reinstalling, and I may actually be able to take this into meetings and take notes on it. It’s still not perfect…I’m occasionally getting wrist smears at the bottom…but the pen tip tracks perfectly, which is everything. Also, as mentioned above, they do need to make the size of the pen width smaller to be able to get more on the page…but this app is definitely heading in the right direction! All inking apps needmto have this, and better wrist rejection, and we’ll get closer and closer to to TabletPC experience.

    • ChrisRS

      05/22/2010 at 4:29 pm

      Will this let you take notes on a PDF or Document file?

      • Adam

        05/25/2010 at 6:26 am

        Unfortunately, you’re (we’re) currently limited to writing within the context of the Penultimate ‘journal’.

  6. Gary

    05/22/2010 at 5:49 am

    One update…the buttons on the bottom (clear, eraser, page turn) need to either hide or go to the top. Noticing that my wrist is inadvertedly activating them. They need to correct this also.

  7. Nameless

    05/22/2010 at 1:49 pm

    I’ve tried it. It’s not perfect, nor did I expect it to be given that the iPad’s digitizer cannot differentiate between a capacitive stylus and human skin. I’ve had it vector a few times on me when sliding my palm to a new writing spot.

    The only flawless solution I can think of is to wear a glove that insulates. The SmudgeGuard gloves are the right shape, but don’t insulate enough to work as a palm rejection method.

    Even then, the iPad just isn’t the right device for this-not without a Wacom digitizer. US$500 easily buys a used Tablet PC.

  8. ChrisRS

    05/22/2010 at 4:19 pm

    This is progress, but I think you really need an active digitizer, if you want ink.

    This moves inking from being impossible to being inappropriate.

    I fear you are trying to teach a pig to dance.

  9. Syn

    05/23/2010 at 11:53 pm

    Give Note Taker HD a try. The little I’ve played with it the inking is good. It has a box at the bottom to write in. The box is huge so write as big as you want and it fits it between the lines nice, neat and small. You can fit more text on the page.

    It’s still early yet but I’m impressed with what they have to work with in getting inking to be worth it for iPad. Now if we could only get a one note type app with good inking and I’d be a buyer for sure!

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