by James A. Martin

Annotable is a must-have app for iPad Pro, Apple Pencil owners

Jun 07, 2016
Consumer ElectronicsiOSiPad

The new Annotable app for iOS lets you use an Apple Pencil and iPad Pro — or a finger and an iPhone — to mark up images with text, lines, circles and blurs. Unfortunately, its best features aren't free.

If you’re still looking to justify your purchase of that pricey iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, Annotable, a new iOS app for image annotation, may help.

Annotable is a freemium app for iPhone and iPad, designed for use by businesspeople and consumers. The app makes it easy to add basic annotations to high-resolution screenshots and photos. (You don’t need an Apple Pencil to use Annotable, but the app works well with the stylus.)

Why use Annotable?

If you’re in a meeting room, for instance, you could take photos of the whiteboard and then add text, circles, squares, line drawings and more. And you can mark up slides viewed in a presentation, photos of trade show exhibits, and any other snoozefest that you need to capture for work reasons.

That sounds a bit judgmental, huh? Well, not all conference presentations are sleep-inducing, and I have proof. I took the below photo of artist Will Smith “getting jiggy” with the crowd during the recent Marketing Nation summit keynote address.

will smith marketing nation

When you’re done marking up an image, you can save it to your iOS Camera Roll, print it, or save it to Dropbox, Evernote, OneNote, Facebook or Apple’s Notes app, among other options. Saving images in Notes is particularly useful, because you can then easily add more annotations.

Annotable shortcomings …

Unfortunately, Annotable isn’t free, and some of its best tools — including “Loupe,” which lets you magnify a particular part of a photo, and “Blur,” which is good for blurring specific parts of images you don’t want others to see — require additional purchases. You can purchase each tool separately for $2 or buy them all for $8, for a discount of $4 off the total price. 

Annotable is also still a bit rough around the edges. The biggest omissions are its lack of an undo option and cropping tools, though the developer says these features are coming.

Other quality apps for annotating images also exist, of course, such as Snap Markup ($2) for iOS. Evernote and OneNote, as well as Google Keep, let you annotate images and other content, with varying degrees of ease. However, if you want an app that’s dedicated to quickly marking up photos, with lots of options for sharing, Annotable is worth a download.