Remarks for iPad

Extended note taking on an iPad pretty much relies on your dexterity and ability to tap, tap away on a virtual keyboard at speed while avoiding Apple's frequently frustrating autocorrect function. Often more trying chore than simple task, developer Readdle believes they have created a better solution in Remarks for iPad.

The app allows users to use a finger, rather a stylus iPad pen, to make notes and sketches, then save, store, edit and share them with friends and colleagues. It's a nice, simple idea, which we believe enhances the potential of the iPad as a productivity tool, providing your handwriting is legible. It certainly feels more intuitive and tactile than using a virtual keyboard, although Remarks includes one as well if needs must. Also included are virtual versions of tools you might find in any office or classroom:  coloured pens, choice of papers, text highlighters, floating text boxes, shapes and an eraser.  

A visual 'getting started' guide on app launch helps walk users through the basics but there really isn't much in the way of a learning curve, thanks to the clean, clear user interface. You can quickly create notes on the fly anywhere you can take an iPad and pen, which is great for when inspiration strikes. Remarks also offers enough depth, including the ability to create visual notes and import images, for more considered projects.

As well as creating notes from scratch, Remarks allows users to add annotations, notes and comments to existing PDF documents. This ability, while welcome, covers similar, although not the same ground, as Readdle's well-received PDF Expert app.

Remarks, while a solid start, needs a little tweaking to resolve some shortcomings and quirks, highlighted by users, which Readdle claim to be addressing in software updates. Top of the wish list appears to be better Dropbox integration for storing and sharing files. Additionally, the ability to make audio notes, an option found in some rival note taking apps, would have been a welcome opportunity to expand Remarks appeal further. 

OUR VERDICT

Remarks is a worthy addition to Readdle's quality portfolio of business and productivity apps, and welcome competition for existing note taking solutions. While the developers are keen to highlight the sharing potential of Remarks, we believe its strength is in creating spontaneous, idiosyncratic notes that make most sense to the user.

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