Category: Apple

Matt Gemmell on GoodNotes

Matt Gemmell with some, uh, notes on GoodNotes:

GoodNotes does an alarmingly capable job of recognising handwriting. It also does it in a very unfussy way: you don’t have to tell it to do anything; it just recognises handwriting all the time, and updates its recognised text whenever you edit pages. There’s no separate view or special interface. You just write stuff, and then you can search for it later, complete with on-page highlighting. When you export a PDF, you also get the recognised text embedded in it, so it’s searchable and highlightable there too.

I’ve written about the iPad and handwriting recognition before. I am very curious to see what iPad/Pencil announcements show up in March—I use my iPad Mini Retina daily and I wish it supported the Pencil just so I could properly evaluate some of these apps. (My current stylus is a Pencil by FiftyThree, which I find good for sketching but terrible for writing notes.)

(Via Ben Brooks.)

The State of iBooks in Early 2017

Michael E. Cohen with a good post on iBooks: The State of iBooks in Early 2017. I still miss dearly-departed Readmill, but I’ve settled in ok with iBooks in terms of making my epub books available across all my devices.

I have experienced the same thing that Michael noticed with respect to iBooks “forgetting” his current place when switching devices:

Occasionally, iBooks forgets to bookmark my current place in a book so it opens to the wrong page on another device.

MacStories reviews Nebo

Over at MacStories, John Voorhees reviews the note-taking app Nebo. It looks like one of the first apps to finally bring one of my dreams to the iPad: handwriting recognition. Taking notes on the iPad has always been a source of frustration for me because it seems like converting handwriting to text should be one of the very first problems to solve. Nebo seems to be solving that problem, and more:

Converting handwriting to text is simple. Just double tap and the conversion is nearly instantaneous. The process is fast because Nebo is doing the recognition on the fly…The real-time recognition of your handwriting also means that you can perform searches of your handwritten notes without converting them to text.

Earlier this year Ben Brooks wrote about how the current crop of note-taking apps for iOS were missing some pretty big opportunities:

There are some promising apps, like Notability, Noteshelf, Notes Plus, Notepad+ — but they all have a fundamental flaw. For some reason each of these apps try harder to replicate what you would get from a paper notebook, than to take advantage that they are digital.

Brooks mostly focused his criticism on missing features like user customizable grids, shape identification, task lists, and detectable bookmarks/links. But I’d argue that handwriting recognition—which opens up handwritten notes to text search—is even bigger than all of those.

Laptop Sufficiency

In “A final laptop”, Matt Gemmell writes about the (rumored) upcoming Macbook Air, and how he’s reaching a level of technological satiety: It’s tough to see what the next step will be, though. My wish list has been exhausted. Every checkbox is checked. A lot of his points mirror my family’s experience. A little over […]

iOS 7

Watching the iOS portion of today’s Apple WWDC keynote, I was reminded of the scene in “Almost Famous” where Lester Bangs (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and William Miller (Patrick Fugit) discuss the new Lou Reed album: BANGS: You like the new Lou Reed? WILLIAM: The early stuff. The new stuff, he’s trying to be Bowie, he […]

Not If, But When

Last week Jordan’s four-year-old white plastic MacBook started to freeze up. Fearing the worst, I immediately cloned her machine to an external drive. A few days later the dreaded folder with a ? appeared (has that replaced the sad Mac face?) and it refused to boot up. I ordered a 250GB, 7200rpm drive off Amazon […]

John Gruber on Wireless Syncing and iOS

A long, but very well-articulated piece on the state of iOS and wireless syncing. This bit jumped out at me: I’ll bet nearly all Android users have Google accounts, and thus get calendars and contacts and many other bits of application data synced over-the-air a few minutes after they take their phones out of the […]