Fri, 18 May 2012 PaperPort Notes for iPad review
Free note-taking app from Nuance supports speech-to-text dictation
- Manufacturer: Nuance
- Pros: Good range of productive tools; support for cloud services and sharing; compatibility with various file formats; shows potential of speech-to-text dictation; search function; free.
- Cons: Buggy; Dragon voice recognition isn't perfect; privacy concerns over how Nuance collects and uses speech data, no ability to create folders, no iPhone/iPod touch version.
- Min specs: Compatible with iPad. Requires iOS 4.2 or later
- Price: Free
- Star rating:
When Nuance Communications, the makers of the popular Dragon speech recognition software, acquired well-reviewed note-taking app Noterize, it disappeared from the Apple iTunes App Store. Thankfully it's now back as PaperPort Notes, a free app for iPad offering a comprehensive range of tools for study, business and reference. Handwritten notes, typed text, images, online content and audio can all be captured by the app to a greater or lesser degree, then organised ready for collaboration. Notes collected in PaperPort Notes can be backed up and shared on cloud storage services such as Nuance's own PaperPort Anywhere, Google Docs, Dropbox and Box OneCloud.
The app now uses Nuance's Dragon Dictate software to turn your audio notes into text. The simple process, tapping the 'Tap & Speak' above the keyboard, worked surprisingly well during our tests, with little editing required from speech dictated.To get the most out of this option users need to select 'English (United Kingdom)' under 'Notes' in iPad Apps settings.
We suspect this feature, along with the ability to add handwritten annotations, hopefully with a stylus, is very much dependent on the individual user. It's clear also from feedback from the UK iTunes Store that the app is not without a few bugs. While PaperPort Notes supports a range of file formats for importing and exporting, some appear to be more compatible than others.