According to Apple, the top grossing apps available for the iPad include “Pages”, “Penultimate”, and many other note taking and word processing apps. Being a frequent user of “Penultimate” and other note-taking apps, I jumped at the chance to review the recently updated “Scribbie Basic” for the iPad. With apps like the ones named above, is there really room for any newcomers, especially this late in the app ‘game’?
How It Works:
After tapping the “+” button to create a new note, you will be brought to a screen similar to the one above. To begin the note, simply tap the red recording button, select the pen tool (and color if you are so inclined) and start note-taking away! Scribbie allows you to pause and resume the audio recoding of the note, and when your all finished, click the home button at which point your prompted to save and name your note.
The saved notes screen (above) lets you play back, read, email, or share the note. It does not appear to let you add to or edit the note, which is unfortunate.
To avoid false marks on you note Scribbie has a “Thumb Rest” and “Wrist Guard” built in. The thumb rest gives your extra stability while writing, and followings your thumb rather nicely. The wrist guard is a large black ‘sheet’ (seen in the first screen shot above) that can be variably adjusted in height depending on where your writing on the page. While testing this feature really stood out, as I have not seen this on any other note taking apps (even those that offer ‘wrist protection’ do not work as reliably in my opinion). These settings can be easily toggled on/off under the settings menu (the gear icon to the right of the record button).
If you have a stylus like the BoxWave Capacitive Stylus, good news, it works GREAT with this app, providing excellent control over your writing. In addition to handwriting notes, you can also add text using the iPad keyboard.
In addition, pinching to zoom brings you closer to the page allowing you to be more precise with your finger/stylus. If autoscrolling is enabled, Scribbie automatically moves the page over so you can keep writing while zoomed in, neat!
The Pros -
- Wrist Guard and Thumb Rest features. This is what really sold me.
- Very easy to use. Very easy to share once you have a note. Simply layout overall.
- Audio is recorded right along with notes; can hear audio by clicking on specific text inside a note. (Excellent for lectures.)
- Auto scrolling feature makes for uninterrupted writing.
- Inexpensive alternative to a digital pen.
- Ability to change pen color.
The Cons -
- No option to NOT record audio although the developer says this has been requested, and will hopefully appear in a future update.
- Typed text cannot be positioned, and only appears at the top of the page.
- App does not enter landscape orientation.
- Cannot re-edit notes once they’ve been saved.
- The button that erases the entire page is in a spot that I kept accidentally hitting. Luckily you can ‘undo’ and bring it all back.
- Zooming in makes text blurry; also nib of pen is not adjustable.
Would I recommend this app to friends and family? Absolutely. There are some unique features that really make it stand out from other apps. $4.99 is a good deal for this app, but they have a free version if your not yet convinced. (The developers appear to even have a “pro” version in the works; maybe it will be universal?) I have no doubt future updates will improve even further on this app, making the Scribbie line a well known line of apps.
Leave a comment below telling us what YOU would use Scribbie Basic for!