The label ‘note-taking app’ is something of a misnomer. There are few apps that fall into this category that are concerned solely with the taking of notes. One such app is Notes Plus and it goes far beyond what you would expect from an app that finds itself in this category. Rather than limiting itself to basic note-taking, there are myriad options to work with, creating a refined product that is something really quite special.
There’s handwriting support and although this can be used with a finger, you stand to see better results if you opt to work with a stylus instead. Sadly, there is no handwriting-to-text conversion as standard, but being able to scribble on the page is a great way to get ideas and notes down on virtual paper quickly.
Handwriting recognition can be added through an in-app purchase, but this does add to the cost of a piece of software that is already quite expensive. If your handwriting isn’t up to much, or you want to be able to fit more text on a page, regular typing is also an option.
Notes Plus can be used to record meetings, lecturers and other situations in which audio and text-based notes would be useful. Background recording means that it is possible to switch to other apps without stopping audio. Images can be dropped into place from Photos – so you can take a photo can add text to it as a record – and there are basic image adjustment options available.
There is a good online element to the app as well. A built-in web browser makes it possible to conduct research as you make notes, and everything you do create in the app can be automatically backed up to Dropbox. Interface-wise, Notes Plus is extremely well designed. Controls are hidden in slideout panels to help maximize the available work area.
It could be argued that Notes Plus is a little on the expensive side – there is a great deal of competition in this field of apps, and there are plenty of free alternatives to choose from – but this is one of the most polished, and feature-packed note-takers available.