[NTLK] Cregle iPen for iPad approaches Newt accuracy,

Joel M. Sciamma joel at inventors-emporium.co.uk
Sun Dec 25 15:39:16 EST 2011

Forrest wrote:

> As for the iPen--it sounds like a really great idea, concept and execution.. My concern is the same as what's been expressed before...while it would be great to have a precision writing instrument for the iPad, the thing that is really missing is the handwriting recognition, on par with (or, hopefully, better than) the Newton's own.

HWR within apps like WritePad is pretty much on a par with the Newt; the error rate is about the same or a bit less. Obviously not a system wide facility as on the Newt but when you have an on-screen keyboard, HWR is only necessary when standing. For filling form fields while on the move, the iPad is less good but still serviceable.

Over the years though I have moved to using video or sound recording with a dedicated Sony recorder or the just iPad for all my walk-around meetings so I don't have to interrupt the flow. I then have every utterance for transcription later with much more detail than any notes I could have made at the time, plus a permanent record.

What I miss though is the Newton interaction and the simple, unified intelligence of the thing. For all the breadth of its capabilities and the polish of the UI, the iPad is a bit sterile and utilitarian. For me, it just lacks charm. The Newton feels like my personal machine but the iPad feels like it still belongs to them.

Apple's strategy tax is limiting it to below what it could really do but as the competition hots up, it will get better. The appalling Balkanisation of data on iOS is a real pain, even when services like Dropbox are factored in, and the thing does not yet have Spotlight search for user data - not even within one application - a ridiculous state of affairs.

Still, it can live in the modern world and be part of a bigger workflow, so easily merits a place at one's side, if not in one's affections.


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