I'd been meaning to try MyScript's innovative handwriting-to-text technology, called Interactive Ink, for some time. I'd seen a lot of positive feedback, including a 2014 review from Engadget.com. I finally got around to checking it out, and I can say without a doubt that the company's new, free Nebo app for iPad and Windows 10 is a real winner.
Nebo is great for converting handwriting into text on the fly
MyScript's Interactive Ink does an excellent job converting handwritten notes into editable text. Long-time digital inkers may have flashbacks to Apple's failed Newton or the once-popular Palm Pilot — but this time around, the experience is much better.
If you're an iPad Pro user with an Apple Pencil, you just create a new, blank note and start writing with the stylus. As you write, the Interactive Ink tech does its thing and automatically interprets handwritten letters as typed characters. When you're done writing a word, sentence or paragraph, you can double-tap a selection to convert it into editable text. Or you can tap a "…" icon to the right of what you wrote and choose from options to "Convert," "Copy" or "Delete." (For a look at Nebo on Windows 10, check out PCWorld.com's review.)
When you're done writing, you get plenty of sharing options. A "Share as Text" option, for instance, lets you copy editable text to iMessage, email, Twitter, Apple's Notes app, Facebook, Evernote, OneNote, Wunderlist, Dropbox, and other services, as long as the apps are installed on your iPad.
But wait, Nebo does more …
You can also format text using the Apple Pencil. For example, to emphasize a word, sentence or paragraph with yellow highlighting, you can draw a frame around it. And you can start bulleted lists by jotting down points and then drawing small black circles before each one. Interactive Ink automatically converts it all into a formatted list.
You can also add photos to notes from the camera or camera roll; add sketches drawn with the Apple Pencil; sketch diagrams, to which the app automatically adds color shading; and create mathematical formulas.
Nebo, your new favorite note-taking app
It's not at all difficult to find handwriting and note-taking apps designed to work with the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil. In fact, I just reviewed several of them. However, Nebo is my new favorite. The app is easy to use, though it does take a few minutes to get used to. And the Interactive Ink tech is superb.
It's also free until the end of August, and after that you can expect to spend up to $9 for the app, according to a MyScript spokesperson.
In other words, make a note: Download Nebo now.