Penultimate for iPad review

Reviews Tom Brewster 15:44, 1 Feb 2011

We see if note-taking app, Penultimate, of which there are now plenty, deserves its current popularity


The business and productivity-case for the iPad has been made stronger by a number of top note-taking and word processing apps.

Pages is one of the most notable, but comes at a comparatively expensive price, whilst Evernote is another impressive piece of kit with some added cloud capabilities.

So, you have to produce something pretty special and at a fair price to really impress and stand out from the crowd today.

Penultimate is one of the most successful handwriting apps on the iPad in terms of sales and certainly has a decent price, but lacks anything massively exciting to really separate it from other offerings on the market.

Aesthetically, the app is super smart and the charmingly put-together tutorial upon starting the app makes an immediate good impression. Simplicity is a theme right from the start and it's clear you will never be confused when playing or working on Penultimate.

Application of the so-called 'ink' is incredibly smooth, although a stylus will make writing a little more attractive, as just using the fingers can look a little scrappy if you're digits aren’t stick thin.

Furthermore, you'll never run out of space, with unlimited numbers of pages for each notebook and an inexhaustible supply of the notebooks themselves.

For scribbling out mistakes the magic eraser tool is highly responsive and does as you would hope… erases things.

One of the most important business additions is the ability to send files in a PDF format to anyone straight from the app.

You can also share via email or iTunes File Sharing, and for businessmen and women, the ability to use the iPad VGA Adapter to show notes on a screen or projector will no doubt appeal.

So, what does it lack? Well, there isn't a huge amount of choice when it comes to the range of pens available. Three may not be enough for those wanting to get truly expressive with their notebook and the colours options are fairly rudimentary.

When trying to draw more complex diagrams or annotate script in detail, for instance, you'll find it hard to do anything massively impressive unless you're a particularly ambidextrous, artistic sort.

Three kinds of paper (in the form of lined, plain and graph) may be a little limited for some as well.

Nevertheless, given the cheap price, some decent sharing capabilities and smooth overall feel of the app, Penultimate is another case in point for the iPad being both fun and business-worthy simultaneously.


Platform iPad
Cost £0.59
Version 2.2
Developer Cocoa Box Design

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