We’re just over a month away from the launch of Windows 8, Microsoft’s new operating system, complete with a whole new breed of tablets and a new touch-friendly version of Office to go with them. I’ve been using Office 2013 regularly for the past few months and I like it. Windows 8 looks interesting too.
But here’s a prediction. Whatever happens at the end of October Microsoft will still be struggling to understand how to mix ink with the computer page. I’ve tried the ink facilities in Word. Not good. Onenote, a little better. The new pdf app built into Windows 8 — er, no.
All of this may change when beta turns into released version but I’m not holding my breath. Somehow what seems very simple — how do you combine a pen (not a stylus) with the page — seems beyond a lot of software designers. All I want is the ability to write on the ‘printed’ page the way I can with pen and paper. And be able to scroll without a lot of faffing. Is it impossible?
No. A tiny note-taking app aimed at the stylus-based Galaxy Notes has the whole thing cracked. It’s called Papyrus, is currently in beta and free, and if you own a pen-friendly Android tablet that it supports you ought to be looking at it. Not least for Note owners because it’s a sight simpler and better than S Notes that comes from Samsung itself.
This isn’t a pdf annotation app (though I can only hope it turns into one). Just a great way of taking notes. But this is how ink should be done. Here it is in detail…
1. Let people see their notes before opening them and keep them in logical compartments.
6. Since we have a digital pen with a second button hook it up to some useful functions.
Suggestion: find out who’s behind this clever, fun and incredibly functional little app. And hire them. If someone could combine Papyrus with the ability to import long pdf documents for annotation people in publishing would be rushing out to buy it, and something that could run the app.