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Saturday, November 12, 2016

Writing Tools: iPad Pro and Apple Pencil Review

By Patty Smith Hall

During my writing journey, I’ve talked to a lot of writers who, like me, write their first draft longhand. For me, it quiets that pesky internal editor and gives me the creative freedom to just write. The downside to this process is having to type the manuscript into the computer before I can start the editing process. This is okay if I have time to type it in—I’m a terrible typist. But if I’m under a tight deadline, it means my work isn’t as clean as I’d like it.

For years, I’ve looked for ‘handwriting to text’ app or tablet so that I could speed up the process. I tried digital pens(bulky); an art tablet (it gave my computer a virus!) and Dragon Naturally Speaking(it had trouble with my southern accent.)  When the iPad Pro hit the market last year, I thought I might have found the right tool for me. Only the price($599 to over $1000) prevented me from giving it a try.

So when I won one along with an Apple Pencil a few weeks ago, I couldn’t wait to give it a try. Several apps that change handwriting to text were recommended, namely Notes Plus($7.99) and Notability($9.99 with in-app purchases.)  I downloaded Notes Plus and used it to work on my latest book.

Three Pros
1)     The tablet weighs 1.57 lbs and is less than an inch thick, making it as easy to use as the notebooks I generally use to write.
2)     It doesn’t have the lag time other tablets and stylus have. The response between the Apple Pencil and the iPad Pro is almost instant, which means you can write as fast as you can without losing any work.
3)     The Notes Plus app is everything I could have asked for—it converts handwriting to text, is easy to navigate and adapts to my handwriting much like Dragon Natural does with your speech.

Three Cons

1)     The battery life—when I used the writing app, I noticed it drained my battery quickly. Instead of 10 hours, I got about 6 hours of use.
2)     While the Apple Pencil has the look and feel of a regular pen, my hand was tired and sore after my first day of writing because of the smooth surface of the Pencil. That was easily remedied with a gripper cushion($1.00 for ten, Dollar Store.)
3)     The writing app doesn’t format so you have to go through and correct it, but it’s a time suck.

Overall, I’d give the iPad Pro/Apple Pencil/Notes Plus combination 4 ½ out of 5 inkwells.  


Writing Tools: iPad Pro and Apple Pencil Review by Patty Smith Hall (Click to Tweet)

Patty Smith-Hall is a multi-published, award-winning author with Love Inspired Historical/Heartsong and currently serves as president of the ACFW-Atlanta chapter. She currently lives in North Georgia with her husband of 30+ years, Danny; two gorgeous daughters and a future son-in-love. Her next release, New Hope Sweethearts will be available in July on Amazon.

1 comment:

  1. I've heard you raving about it. I'm delighted it works so well.


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