Note Taker is a powerful and revolutionary note taking app for the iPhone developed by Dan Bricklin (creator of the very first electronic SpreadSheet, VisiCalc 30 years ago) that lets you write notes using your finger tips on the iPhone screen.
Since the iPhone screen is quite small comparing to what you normally write on, Note Taker automatically shrinks what you write, to make it easy for you to write with your fingers at the large size and then shrinking the results to look like they were written using a pencil. Your finger create thick faded red lines, and Note Taker simultaneously transforms and echos your writing in small black lines in the detailed area.
Automatic Advance is another feature in Note Taker that makes writing easier. As you write letters on the screen you will start to run out of room. As you get close to the end of the screen, you will see a gray area appear on the left of the screen. This means Auto Advance is now ready to move your writing area to the left. At this point write your next letter on top of the existing letters in the gray area and you will see how Note Taker will automatically shift your detail area to the right, and will also clear the light red text from the screen showing only the last letter on the left of the screen for your reference. This feature makes it easy to write continuously without having to manually move the detail area.
You can manually move the detail area in a variety of ways. You can tap with 2 fingers and drag to move the blue detail area to wherever you want, or press the return arrow which acts as the enter button on a keyboard. You can also use the up and down arrows to position the detail area vertically. Finally you can tap the lock/move button and drag the blue area to anywhere you want on the page. While in move mode you also have a few other arrows that serve as home, end, page down and page up buttons.
Note Taker works in both landscape and portrait modes, although initially the app opens up in landscape mode. You write on a piece of paper roughly the size of a 3×5 index card with enough space to write 16 lines of text. You have an eraser that can erase both your red marks or black text in the detail area. You can also use the undo and redo buttons to perform unlimited actions and edit your notes that way. You can change the zoom/auto shrink level by tapping the pencil button which cycles through the 3 possible writing sizes.
Sharing your notes is quite simple. Just tap the share button and you can email a JPEG of the note to anyone, or save the image file to your Camera Roll album. The lite version has a watermark (“Created with Dan Bricklin’s Note Taker”) on the JPEG files while the full version does not. The lite version is limited to 4 notes maximum at any time. The full version supports unlimited notes. The full version also lets you bring up a keyboard and manually transcribe what you wrote down, and type what you wrote into contact fields which can be either created as a new contact or added to an existing contact. The only missing feature in Note Taker currently is text recognition, which if added would make Note Taker “the” go to app for note taking on the iPhone. The beauty of Note Taker is that it will work for any language, but the auto advance feature is aimed towards Latin based writing from left to right. Support for R-to-L might be added in the future. The button graphics used in the app are bare bones and could perhaps use some polishing.
The settings pages include options for:
– Giving your note a title
– Turning Automatic Advance on/off
– Turning lined paper on/off
– Turning portrait support on/off
– Changing the colors, default is normal black on white, you can also choose white on black and vivid colors
– Set a default email address, subject and message to use when sharing notes
– Enable/disable attaching the Note Taker data file when sharing. This file is not trascribed text, but a series of plot points.
Please note upgrading from the lite version to the full version of Note Taker does not automatically import your note files, so be sure to back them up. Currently there is no way to import Note Taker data files into the app. Note Taker also comes with a wonderful tutorial that walks you through all the features and functionality step by step. As it stands, Note Taker makes your iPhone into a live touch based writing pad for quickly putting down your notes, drawing graphs, taking down phone numbers, and just about any other note taking task with ease using your index finger as the stylus.
Here is a video demo of the Note Taker app on the iPhone
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