Heading back to school? Notepad+ for iPad could be the only note-taking app you need [Review]

We all know iPads are great tools for education. Schools all over the world are buying them in their millions and students of all ages are finding them to be invaluable for their studies. Apple even touts the device as an ideal ‘Back to School’ device with their own promotion.

But without an abundance of impressive third-party educational apps, the iPad would be nowhere near as useful.

Notepad+ by Apalon is one such app that reveals just how much sense the iPad makes in the classroom.

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As the name suggests, it’s primarily a note taking app. Notepad+ allows for both text and handwritten input, with support for a number of fonts, colours and sizes as you would expect.

You can also highlight your notes, move content around the page, add images and undo anything with the touch of a button (a real advantage over paper notes, I’m sure you’ll agree).

The writing tools are not as extensive as some other hand-writing apps but what is there can most certainly fulfil the app’s purpose.

One really impressive aspect of Notepad+ is the sheer number of notebook styles including a variety of lined papers, menu planners, music staves, calendars, sports courts and even games like battleships and hangman. Pretty much every kind of paper you could buy is in the app for no extra cost.

Sure, Notepad+ is one of many options if you’re on the lookout for a note taking app. What I think really sets it apart is the ease of use and the flexibility. I really think the app has a lot of power features but makes it really easy for the user to get the most out of it.

Simply switch between text input and handwriting in the same note, add an image and adjust it in a couple of taps. Export your notes (individual notes or full notebooks) as images or as PDF files, print them from within the app or share them via email.

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All of your interactions with the app are fluid, simple and intuitive. There’s a tutorial to explain some of the less discoverable functionality but the app is mostly self-explanatory. When using Notepad+ I never found myself thinking “How do I do that?” which is a really good thing for an app in this category.

Built in support for the ever-popular Dropbox and Evernote means Notepad+ can plug into your current workflow pretty easily too.

Password protection for individual notebooks is also a useful feature and an advantage over some of Notepad+’s competitors.

My main problem with the app (and the fact that this is my main problem says a lot about the high quality of Notepad+) is the inclusion of several advertisements for other Apalon apps. This isn’t particularly intrusive, in fact the ads are hidden away in a “More” tab that you’ll rarely visit, but I found this tarnished my first impression of Notepad+ somewhat – mainly as it is expected that paid apps are ad-free. This might not bother most people, and the other apps are probably worth taking a look based on the quality of Notepad+, but I thought it came across a little cheap.

Overall though, Notepad+ is superb. It enables you to create pretty much any kind of note and its accessible user-interface makes gives it the right balance of power and ease of use.

Check it out on the App Store. It’s $4.99/£2.99 and could well be one of your better purchases this Back to School season.

TiP rating: 9/10

iTunes link: Notepad+

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