I know what you’re probably thinking — why do we need handwritten note applications when we can just type things out with the touchscreen keyboard on the iPad? While this method is probably easier for most people, there are some occupations that would find it easier to scrawl down notes with their hands, rather than press a bunch of small buttons. An example is a doctor. With a good stylus, a doctor can easily write down symptoms and notes as they examine a patient. The problem with this though, is the fact that most apps make it hard to hand write a lot of text on a single screen. Simply Write changes that.
The main screen will be a skeuomorphic bookshelf that you can fill up with digital workbooks. You can create a new notebook by tapping on the button on the bottom. Give it a title, and it will be added to the shelf. All of your notebooks can be protected with a password as well, which is incredibly nice to have. To set a password on individual notebooks, tap on the lock button, input the password, and even put a hint, though it’s wise to not make it too easy to guess.
When you open a workbook, you will see a blank page. Double tapping on the first line will take you into the writing mode, which is the most unique part about Simply Write. Each line on the page will be broken into four separate spaces, where you can hand write what you need with your finger, or preferably, a stylus. This is a better way to write because there’s more room for your writing, so you don’t need to worry about cramming everything onto the page in a ridiculously small size. With four lines per page line, you can write out your thoughts naturally. If you need more, just tap on the “+” button to add a new line. You can also change the ink color (red, blue, black) and pen size (5px, 8px, or 11px), and there is also an eraser to wipe out your writing if you change your mind, along with Undo and Redo buttons.
Once you are done writing, just tap “Save” and you will be taken back to the notebook page, now with your writing compressed to fit on each line, like a real notebook. If you need to write more, just double tap on the next line to enter writing mode again. The only negative I can see is that you have to fill up a page before you can create a new page in the notebook, since there isn’t a way to create a new page during my use. You can, however, add headers and dates to individual pages.
Pages in your notebook can be shared by email, sent to your Dropbox as a .PNG file, or you can even print it. While this is all fine and dandy, I would prefer to see a way to automatically sync with Dropbox or maybe even have iCloud backup and sync. At the moment, having to manually send it to Dropbox can be quite annoying and tedious.
Overall, though, Simply Write is a great little app for handwritten notes on your iPad. I think that for most, the biggest selling point could be the individually password protected notebooks, which is pretty rare to see in apps of this category. It’s pretty polished for a version 1.0, though, so I look forward to seeing improvements in the future.