NoteLedge is an app that allows you to write notes, sketch, and keep a journal and so much more. I mean really... a lot more. This application is packed with so many features, it will make you head spin and at $2.99 US, this app is a steal!
The application is by the guys that developed Animation Desk, PDF Reader and PDF Connoisseur which quite recently got a lot of attention due to, well... their attention to detail. The applications are very well made and the graphics are outstanding. Enough praise up front, let me tell you more about the app.
Not only do I write iPad app reviews, but also I tend to write a lot about everything I do, especially when I am travelling. My iPad is basically my third arm, thus keeping a journal on the device is second nature to me. To have the ability to manipulate photos and text within a document and being able to export that to nearly anywhere is very important to me, as I am sure it is to others.
The application nails these aspects and adds more features, I did not even know were out there. You can add photos, rotate them and even add some nifty filters to photos! You can embed videos (one feature I haven't seen), add text & audio recordings, bookmark the document (navigate back to a location in you document rather than at the end or the beginning.) And finally you can "sketch" or rather draw, highlight & erase.
Have you ever had an application where it looks pretty cool, but you cannot figure out how to use it? Well this app does not do that. When you first navigate through, it will display arrows and notes to what each section of the screen does. So no need to read a manual or search for help on the net.
When working with documents, there are multiple option panels that sit on the edge of the screen, tapping their names make them slide out in order for you to modify their options. This goes for "Stationary" - allowing you to change between a pencil & a highlighter, its size, opacity & color. "Preview" - a thumbnail view of you currently open file. You can delete pages, bookmark them or navigate to them. "Files" - view all the files that you have created. Another unique feature to this application is the ability to display a calendar view of your notes, so if you are keeping a journal or notes from class, this is really going to come in handy. "Media" - add photos, video, audio, bookmarks, text and changing the template. "Palm Protector" - this slide-out allows you to position where you need it, in order to rest your palm on the screen without marking up the screen. Lastly (but not least) - "Navigator." The navigator is something I have not seen in any other application whatsoever. The "navigator" allows you to, in its most basic feature, capture and stamp elsewhere in your documents.
The usability of the application as previously mentioned covers a lot of opportunities. The actual sketching and drawing of the application was a little slow when I tested it. But with a little practice I was able to get used to it and I did not really have many issues.
Within the "Stationary" panel, when selecting the color of the highlighter, the highlighter tip will change colors, which is okay, but personally, I would have liked a bigger color-changing pallet. Also when changing the size of the highlighter, there is no reference for it, so it's guess-and-check for figuring out what size you want.
The "Palm Protector" is a great feature, but it does not go above the lower half of the screen.The "Preview" panel is pretty sweet with its thumbnail view, but there is no way to reorganize the individual pages, which is a bit of a bummer.
The "Navigator" is really unique. You can capture sections of your notes and save them into an internal library or you can use the built-in library to "stamp" different icons onto your document. For instance there are Christmas themed items, letters, arrow, goofy glasses & smiles to add to photos, map markers and stickers. This feature can become incredibly useful when needing to copy and paste a part of a document that shows up multiple times without having to redo the page each time.
The top navigation panel that allows you to save, export, e-mail, set password, or trash the document and hides nicely (as all the panels do). I absolutely adore the export features of the application; especially the WebDAV & Dropbox export. This way I always have my files backed up.
While there are a few cons to this application the pros heavily out way them. Overall the application is pretty awesome. This is a definite "get-it-now" application!