Notability – Unleash Your iPad’s Productivity

4.5 Overall Score
Usability: 4.5/5
Design: 4.5/5
Duration: 4/5

Extremely easy to use | Access to handwriting, typing, recording, and annotations at once

Dropbox syncing is good, but no iCloud support | Semi-tedious typing tools and formatting

App Info

APP NAME: Notability

DEVELOPER(S): Ginger Labs

GENRE(S): Productivity, Utilities

RELEASE DATE(S): November 8th, 2011

Notability has been in the App Store for awhile, but up until this point it has had a tough time distinguishing itself from the many other iPad note taking apps including Penuiltimate, Notes Plus, and Note Taker. Notability was updated to version 4.0 a little while back, and it reinvents the app to make it completely different in almost every way. Notability lets you take notes via typing, handwriting, or audio and all three methods can be integrated into one note. You can easily switch between the different types of note taking methods, and there’s such precision in placing everything just where you want it on the page.

The handwriting is as smooth as can be with the digital ink flow, and there’s a palm rest feature that recognizes your palm while writing with your fingers. You can add text, write in line with the handwritten notes, and you can begin the text anywhere. There’s a microphone button in the tool bar to record your audio notes, and they’re always attached to the note you’re working on. Theoretically you could record the professor’s or any presenter’s voice while switching between handwriting and typing for actual notes.

One of the best features is PDF annotation so you can import class notes, lectures, or presentation slides, and add notes wherever you like. This feature is one of the most important that the iPad is capable of, especially with the proliferation of slides across classes and meetings. The app also includes automatic cloud syncing that links with Dropbox, iDisk, or WebDav, though sadly iCloud document syncing is missing. There are also plenty of customization features including paper type, photo insertion, text wrap, highlighters, and typing extras.

Notability ($0.99, iPad) has stormed ahead to become the leader of the pack for iPad note taking apps with the 4.0 update. It has everything you could want in a note taking app in an extremely well designed and easy to use package. Penultimate has been the standard for finger based handwriting, but Notability matches, and then adds tying, audio, and PDF import too. There are a few iPad note takers that excel at each individual feature, but none combine all of them into one seamless app.

Notability is a must buy for the low price that is the go to app for taking notes on your iPad under any circumstances.


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