There are some apps that you want to be successful because of the concept unfortunately 7notes HD fall short. In reviewing 7notesHD I’m reminded of the old Apple Newton days when I patiently tried to get the hand recognition to work only to be frustrated because of the pace I had to operate at to make it work. 7notes is a new tool for the iPad and iPhone designed to allow the user to take notes either by typing on the built in keyboard, using your finger, or a stylus. I found the built-in keyboard to be the quickest and less time intensive.
To write a note there is a character recognition space below the actual note to write in. Writing words engages the software interpreter to bring up words to decipher what is being written to determine if it’s interpreting correctly. There is a delete key to back up if its not or you can select a marker at the bottom of the screen and it brings up several words in case you need more options to choose from. If you have bad handwriting, as I do, it’s a time consuming matter. As I was writing, if I did not keep my characters close together the interpreter split the word up. For example, the word “another” became “an other”. I was unable to figure out how to insert my curser to change this so I deleted all the words back to it. I tried three more time to get it to spell “another” but did not succeed. The challenge with this kind of software is to interpret large fingers that causes spacing problems and poor handwriting.
Switching to a stylus there was significant improvement in accuracy but I ran into two problems. The first one was sometimes the interpreter created caps when I wanted lower case so I went back and made those adjustments with the marker at the bottom of the screen that allows for more choices of words. The second problem was I ran out of writing room on the designated line. After repeated attempts to create more space I learned that the user must write to the far right to trigger the software to automatically create more line space.
On a more positive side, 7notes allows you to send the note directly to Facebook or Twitter, save to photo album, preview as a PDF, print or send to application. All really useful features.
There are a lot of note taking software packages out there. They offer many features 7notes doesn’t offer. I think the authors believe they are unique in that they offer a solution for hand recognition. While the built in keyboard is not perfect it’s light years ahead of hand recognition and the challenges that come with it. The software does a great job of interpreting but large fingers and sloppy handwriting make it a tough venture. People with smaller fingers and better handwriting will still fair better with the keyboard. In today’s information society not many people have the tolerance to slow down and “make” something work.