WritePad Review for iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad

By on Aug 9, 2011 at 9:30 am

There are many apps that let you make notes with your own handwriting instead of through typing. But what if you’d like to write by hand and still have your words appear in a neat typewritten font? For this, there’s WritePad by Stan Miasnikov, a handwriting recognition app.

WritePad for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and WritePad for iPad will let you scrawl anywhere on the screen with either your bare finger or a stylus to obtain typed words and sentences without having to actually type. It does do what it’s supposed to, although you do have to write relatively neatly. Cursive writing can be interpreted, but it isn’t always 100%.

Personally, I find WritePad works with far greater accuracy than current voice recognition apps. One drawback is that it takes about two seconds after writing for your words to appear as text, which does detract from the speed benefit writing by hand can offer. But the good news is that WritePad lets you make as many shortcuts as you wish. These are called Shorthand commands. To create a new one, you may either highlight a word or phrase and select “New Shorthand”, or you can edit the shorthand list within the app settings. Calling for a shorthand is easy. You just have to write the command and circle the word. Then, like magic, your pre-written text will appear on the screen. This is probably my favorite WritePad feature. Other gesture commands include drawing a horizontal line to the left, which acts as a backspace.

In WritePad for iPad, there are three ways of entering text: by handwriting, typing on a virtual keyboard, or writing in an input panel. The advantage of the input panel is that you don’t have to wait for your text to appear. Once you have finished writing, you can tap an enter key. However, I found this method of handwriting recognition somewhat less accurate than the regular write-anywhere-on-the-screen way.

WritePad has a few more useful features, such as a custom dictionary, online language translator (Bing), AirPrint, PDF export, syncing through Dropbox and Evernote, and document uploading to Google Docs. Overall, this is a pretty powerful app. How useful it actually is depends on your own needs.

WritePad for the iPhone and iPod Touch, and WritePad for iPad are currently available in the App Store for $3.99 and $9.99 respectively. If you hate to type on the iPhone or iPad, this might be a handy app to get. However, WritePad may not necessarily speed up your text entry; it all depends on how you use it.

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Note: A promotional code was provided by the creator for use in this article.

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