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Review: iNapkin

April 13, 2009


When I review products for AppleiPhoneApps, I want to find those gems of productivity. I want to bring to light the unsung heroes of the iPhone that help you get things done, be they in networking, idea organizing, or project planning. I also want those applications that bring a little fun — yes, fun — in accomplishing goals. This is why I took a look at iNapkin, developed by Luksor. This seemed like a right hoot: a "virtual napkin" for your iPhone so you could easily jot down ideas or contact information. Transforming your state-of-the-art smartphone and your finger into the winning combination for Stephen King? Sure. Why not? The iNapkin is, by far, the stupidest thing I have ever loaded on my iPhone. I'm going to try to keep this rant review short, but I fried brain cells when trying to use it. Yes, it's that dumb.


Here's How I Work iNapkin launches with a tutorial that walks you though all its tools. They're a snap to figure out:
  • The New icon offers three sizes of napkins. Small, Medium, Large.
  • Three different Pen tools are offered that write in blue, red, and black.
  • Two Erasers, small and large, are available.
  • A Hand tool allows you to pan across your napkin, particularly useful if you're using the medium or large napkin.
  • The "Save" icon saves your napkin into your Photo Gallery.
An "i" at the top-right corner will bring up a more detailed version of this tutorial. Those are iNapkin's features in a nutshell. Now, grab a helmet. Here comes the review…


The Good:

My parents told me if I couldn't say anything nice about someone I shouldn't say anything at all, so... . . . Right then. On to the rest of the review.

The Bad

My handwriting in the real world is very neat. In the world of the iNapkin, however, it looks something like this: inapkin-landscape Is this a passable performance? Not really considering how much time I took in writing this note, inching carefully across my iPhone's screen caterpillar style. img_0284This is a Productivity tool, so I needed a real life situation to give it an acid test. Sure enough, one came up. I got a phone call asking for a Social Media consultant; and when he said, "Let me give you my address here..." I immediately broke out my iNapkin, used my pinkie as a pen (for more precision), and wrote down my destination. So, am I headed to zip code 22030 or 22630? Did you figure out that I'm looking for Suite 450? Now you see in a situation when I needed to jot something down quickly, the end result is something akin to a pre-schooler's writing lesson. If I want my iNapkin to be "neat" I have to move my finger s-l-o-w-l-y. Make a mistake, and I have to access the eraser, then hop back to the pen...unless I run out of room on the napkin. Then I pinch and zoom out for more napkin space, which means jumping to the Hand tool for a spell. When tool hopping like this, it would take repeated taps on the desired option before it became active. Switching from tool to tool, slow reaction time on the interface, and finally the actual note itself. Not the best when in a hurry.


I don't know what I find more shocking about this app…
  • The fact that iNapkin is a paid download.
  • The fact that iNapkin is listed in Productivity.
  • The fact that iNapkin is in the Top 20 of Paid Downloads under Productivity.
  • The fact that over 50% of iNapkin's reviews on the App Store give it 5 stars.
I don't get it. Not since the iFart and the iBeer have I seen such a total waste of space. And not since the "Spend a Weekend with an Internet Marketer" scam have I seen such a complete and utter con job. "Did you hear the special on the iNapkin has been extended?!?" Really? Well, two dollars and a fool are soon parted, I suppose. The "fun" I was talking about earlier was supposed to be "getting things done with a sense of fun;" but the iNapkin, light and whimsical in its concept, completely tanks on the account that you can barely read a thing you've written! I am still struggling to grasp the 5-star reviews hailing this as the "best note taking application" for the iPhone. To give you a hypothetical I've been toying around with in my head, let's say me and two buddies are kicking back in a bar when in walks: monica-bellucci-1 Hey, this is my hypothetical, and in my bar Monica Bellucci is showing up. Work with me here! For the sake of this hypothetical, she is single and finds both me and my drinking pals a lot of fun to hang out with. She offers up her phone number and hotel room (again, my fantasy), but not a scrap of paper is in sight. Ah, but two of us have iPhones! One buddy pulls out Notes. The other actually uses a napkin. I pull out iNapkin. We record Monica's whereabouts, and here are the end results:


Guess which one of us is struggling to figure out where to find Bellucci?

The iNapkin is cute but a complete waste of time and money. You are better off using something else, even in a "pinch" as this app claims to be designed for.