All the recent talk about Apple and their iPad tablet brought out the loyal Tablet PC fans. A “real” tablet, some would content, must offer inking capabilities, not to mention handwriting recognition. For those that need the feature, it’s a fair point. And as a long-time Microsoft Windows Tablet PC user, I get it. But such a feature sadly hasn’t attracted a massive audience just yet. There’s actually a few inking applications available for Apple’s iPhone and there’s even a stylus available that works with the handset’s capacitive display. You don’t need a stylus, though. All you need is $0.99 and the FastFinga application for iPhone or iPod Touch which uses the entire screen as a notepad.
One of our readers, Jezlyn, offers up a fantastic overview of the application, which she may use for some short ink blog style posts. After using FastFinga, she says:
“The UI is really intuitive, much more so than Note Taker. And as you can see, my handwriting is recognizable. This app feels most natural to me. It’s so good that I may start ink blogging more regularly from the iPhone.”
I highly recommend reading her continued thoughts because she offers some excellent background into the research she’s done. And if you need to see the app in use, this video will help.
You’ll note that after writing each word, you have to “send” it to the application, but surely the small screen of an iPhone is part of the constraint here. And that has me looking into the future for a minute — Apple’s iPad can remove that constraint due to its larger display. Might we see a FastFinga update to expand the inking functionality for a bigger screen? Sure, it’s just a note-taker now, but there’s potential here for so much more.
While you consider that, I’ll point out a few other features of the current iteration. Inked notes can be sent by email as an image attachment, which is handy. FastFinga can also automatically send your handwriting to the note with a configurable delay time, so you don’t have to hit a button to send it. You can swipe a word, or several words, and then use the iPhone’s cut, copy, paste feature. There doesn’t appear to be any handwriting recognition — hey, the app is only a buck — but I see Evernote integration in the app. You could gain some word recognition and indexing that way.
Related research from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):