The best way to take notes.
I enjoy writing by hand. It’s becoming more and more of a lost art, but I still try to do it as often as I can because I don’t want to lose the ability to do it. But, I do realize how digital the world has become and we have to adapt to it the best we can. This is why I was so excited when the iPad Pro was released with the Apple Pencil in tow. It’s a real writing utensil in my opinion and not just a stylus. That makes it easier to draw and annotate documents, but what about actual note-taking? When I answer the phone at work, I want something simple to jot down a phone number and not have to wait for a keyboard to become responsive. That’s why I like Nebo for iPad Pro users.
Nebo is a brilliant note-taking app developed by MyScript, the same company that designed Calculator, which was recently featured here on MacSources. Nebo, like Calculator, is powered by MyScript Interactive Ink. With Nebo, you have the ability to structure your notes using titles, paragraphs, bullet lists, diagrams, editable equations, sketches, and pictures. Once you’ve added all your content, you convert it to digital typeset. Nebo documents can be shared with others as text. You can export as HTML, text, PDF, or Word documents. The app supports syncing using Google Drive or Dropbox. There is also a search function that allows you to search and find handwritten ink and text throughout all your notebooks. This app does work best with an Apple Pencil in hand. Nebo supports 59 handwritten languages.
The thing I like about Nebo is that it’s simple. When you open the app, you can immediately start using it without and extensive training or set-up. You can just start writing. You can have separate notebooks for different thoughts or events and multiple notepads inside those notebooks with multiple pages in the notebooks. Not long after I downloaded Nebo, I found myself scrounging around for a scrap of paper to jot down a quick list of things I needed to remember. Paper was scarce in our office so I grabbed my iPad and Apple Pencil and wrote down the list in Nebo. The app translated by scribbles into text as I wrote. There were a few times I made mistakes and when I went back to correct them, the digital text changed, too. This was impressive to me, but it was just a few lines of text. How well would Nebo work if I wrote out something longer?
So, I copied down the text to Stopping by the Woods on a Snowy Evening by Robert Frost. It’s not a super long poem, but long enough to test out the handwriting recognition technology. Again, I was impressed by how the app interpreted my handwriting. I wrote in cursive, print, and a combination of both and Nebo was about 99% accurate at translating it. There were only a couple of times that I caught a letter that was incorrect. I’m not much for drawing, but I did try out the Sketch feature in Nebo as well. It did a nice job of capturing my rough drawing of a tree. I also attempted to draw out a diagram, but my lines weren’t very precise and Nebo thought I was just making big letters. I factored that when I suggested a 99% accuracy level.
I think that Nebo is well worth the price of $5.99 for a premium app. It’s intuitive and very easy to use. If you are looking for an app to accept handwritten notes, drawings, annotations — and convert those into digital text-type, then Nebo is your app. It just works.
DOWNLOAD – Nebo – $5.99