Archive for April, 2011
At $4.99, this notetaking app for the iPad has good potential for college/university students. Document can be emailed to EverNote (one sheet at a time). Can also be sent as multi-page PDF or JPG.
Can use staple function to attach other sheets together.
Update: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C-8wyO_JqH4&feature=related – version 4.5
Update: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PxApz4Oyj0&feature=related – version 5.0
Reviews by users of ZoomReader indicate that it’s not quite the best version yet. The potential functioning of this application is applauded but apparently development is still needed.
It would seem that such an application is good for on-the-run situations, however when it comes to higher-education purposes I’m not not convinced that it can be utilized effectively.
VoiceOver for the iPad responds to a wide range of gestures, far more than listed on the VoiceOver settings page. You can change how VoiceOver reads a page (e.g., continuously) and how it scrolls through text, raise or lower a screen curtain (turns the screen black), and change settings on the fly (e.g., turn speech on/off). The gestures involve various taps and flicks with one, two, three, or four fingers, and a “rotor” as if you were turning a physical knob on the page.
Just as importantly, VoiceOver also changes how the iPad responds to standard gestures, which can get pretty frustrating if you don’t know why, for example, you can’t turn the pages in an iBook with the usual single-finger flick.
As I was compiling a list of these gestures from various sources, I thought, “Surely someone else has summarized these in one convenient place.” Well, duh — Apple’s online iPad User Guide! (Can’t believe I didn’t think of this earlier!)
Go to Chapter 16: Accessibility, page 108 for a list of all the possible taps, flicks, and twists and what they do. After experimenting with these, I have to say that I am a lot more impressed with VoiceOver on the iPad as a reading and accessibility tool.
There are several screen-recording apps that your student may want to consider. I have used a few and they all seem to have various pros and cons, but do a decent job overall. I (generally) focused on those apps that are at least 3+ stars in terms of reviews. You can find more information about these through the iTunes store. I did not try these with an external keyboard, but only used the on-screen keyboard (I have spoken with others who have used external keyboard with no issues, but I have not tested personally).
I have not had the chance to really test Evernote, but have tried out some of the basic features. Evernote is also a Web-based application that stores your notes. You can either take simple text notes and audio recordings on the iPad and then sync this information with your Web-based account. If you have pictures on your iPad, you can add these pictures to your note and then upload that to the Evernote Web interface.
The interface for the Web-based account is very similar to wiki-style editing, so you can do a lot more in terms of formatting. The audio recording option was okay, but it looks like there may be a limit of 20 minutes for a recording (I have not gone beyond 20 minutes). You are limited with the free account to a 40MB upload allowance, but the premium account gives you lots of options.
Auditorium allows you to record as well as take notes via the keyboard. It has a nice category system as well as the capability to send your text and audio notes via e-mail. You can also change the paper background as well as the typing font. You can bookmark content to refer back to later. I have had some issues when attempting to jump around on the audio “timeline”, so I am not sure what is happening.
Also, the interface changes slightly when you move from landscape to portrait view, which is a bit frustrating when you are looking for a very specific option that you know exists but you can’t seem to find…unless you rotate the iPad. Then you have to remember in which orientation you need to be to get the functions you want – that just not right, IMO.
Very nice looking app, but it just has some functionality issues that really need to be corrected.
Simplenote is a bit simpler than Evernote, and while similar in that both have a Web-based interface as well for synchronization/sharing, it does not seem to have quite as many features or options as Evernote. Basically, it takes basic text notes (much like the Notepad app) and then you can upload these to your Web account. There does not appear to be any audio recording options.
Sound Paper ($4.99)
Sound Paper is perhaps the most similar to using the Pulse Livescribe pen in that it records audio and synchronizes the audio with text notes on the page. You enter text via the keyboard and this text information is synchronized with the audio stream.
There is an option to have a ”pen” interface which allows you to use your finger to draw on the pad. Interesting feature for when you have lots of diagrams/charts you need to record (with the audio), but it is limited when attempting to enter words. You can e-mail the text content, a PDF of the page, the audio content *with* PDF information, or share with a Mac or PC (need to be on same network).
This app really nailed the functionality aspect with respect to synchronized notes and audio, whereas Auditorium has a nicer user interface. A blend of these two apps would be really cool, but in terms of functionality, Sound Paper is definitely much better and does not suffer from some of the awkward behavior of Auditorium.
I also added Penultimate even though this app does not record audio. Basically, Penultimate allows you to use your finger as a stylus/pen and ”write” your notes or sketch diagrams. It does a very nice job of tracking your finger movements and also has a “wrist-protection” mode so that it ignores other interactions with the display (e.g., when your wrist touches the display when writing/sketching). It does get a bit tiring to “write” all content with your finger, but in terms of sketching diagrams, this app is very nice.
So, while it does not do audio, it is very handy in terms of sketching diagrams or charts. There are Undo and Redo options, which are always a plus for me.
Allows users to organize their schedule and share their notes.