Connect with us


SmartNote for iPad: An App That Offers Quasi Palm Rejection for Inkers



I’ve been hearing about this for a bit, and it looks like it is now live in the App Store. SmartNote for iPad is an app that lets you create a quasi palm rejection area on your iPad screen, that allows you to then rest your palm on the screen when you are Inking with a stylus.

I’ve only given it a rudimentary quick look, and the solution looks like it could work. Essentially you define a rectangle on the screen that you can lay your hand on, this area moves and floats around the screen with your hand and no Ink is transferred to the screen in that area. You define that area in the Tools Menu.

At the moment it costs $.99.



  1. Dwayne

    05/09/2010 at 7:53 am

    They seem to have had some bugs to work out. Always interested in your thoughts Warner. We can soon preorder iPad here in Canada. I was also disappointed to hear about the inking with iPad. Hope some apps help.

  2. Adam

    05/09/2010 at 10:04 am

    It’s great that the team behind smartNote have been listening to the buzz regarding this terrible limitation to handwriting on not only the iPad, but future capacitive multitouch ‘slates’ as well. Unfortunately, there really isn’t any wiggle room in terms of implementing ‘palm compensation’ correctly. It’s either going to be hit or miss- meaning we can either write naturally as if on a piece of paper, or we have to write akwardly with our palms suspended in ‘mid write’ (*mid flight*). SmartNote is the first notetaking app for the iPad that I’ve seen that addresses this shortcoming to inking on the iPad… and their implementation is encouraging… but it falls tremendously short of actually working. The ‘ignore region’ has trouble following along as my palm moves across the page and its yellow and black construction-like style is distracting.

    Encouraging, though :-)

    • Adam

      05/09/2010 at 10:11 am

      PS. I was using a Pogo Sketch stylus with smartNote while trying the ‘palm ignore’ tool.

  3. Pyxus

    05/09/2010 at 10:22 am

    You could try Note Taker HD. Also a good note taking app. No palm rejection problem since you write in an area located at the bottom of the screen, and your inking simultaneously appears on the note page itself… pretty cool.

  4. Brett Gilbertson

    05/10/2010 at 3:14 am

    It’s a shame that so many people are having to work around the limitations of the iPad with inking. If Apple had taken it seriously they could have made digital ink mainstream in a way that Microsoft never have.

    Oh well, they left the door wide open because people will give up trying fast when you have to work around limitations like this… fashioning your own stylus and implementing app hacks like this one will only appeal to the very few who are prepared to suffer through…

  5. Jack

    05/10/2010 at 6:24 am

    Is any palm rejection work being done for Windows touch tablet systems?

    • acerbic

      05/10/2010 at 10:08 pm

      There are many Windows convertible tablets available with combined touchscreen and a real digitizer. The system ignores hand touch when the stylus is used.

  6. Nameless

    05/10/2010 at 6:48 pm

    One software workaround a friend and I came up with was basically the inverse of this approach-have a small area crop up where you first start writing that’s the only area ink can be registered. It moves as you ink, of course.

    If you need to write somewhere else, take two fingers and drag it where it needs to be. If you have to do something else, a three-finger gesture should free up the whole screen for finger input.

    A hardware workaround would be to wear some sort of insulating glove that keeps the thumb, index finger, and possibly middle finger free to contact a capacitive stylus so that it will work. Unfortunately, I’ve found that my SmudgeGuard won’t completely insulate my hand’s capacitance-at least not without modification of some sort.

    Anyway, it is a shame that people have to adapt to the iPad’s limitations rather than the manufacturers producing devices adapted to our wants and needs. If only Apple partnered up with Wacom…

    • Adam

      05/11/2010 at 6:39 am

      Brilliant! Give the ‘writing box’ some momentum and movability and you’d easily have a great solution. Not the best solution (which I think we both agree is Wacom-based active digitization), but I think if somone took your idea and rolled with it… it could breathe life into iPad inking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.