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Old 06-03-2012, 02:39 AM   #31
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Maybe I should try this app too. I rarely feel the need to convert handwriting to text, but sometimes I write on the metro or train, and in a cramped environment it's difficult to use the keyboard. In that case handwriting recognition would be very useful.

The same company has an app called phatpad that seems to be more of a notebook app, as opposed to writepad which is a word processor, if I understand correctly. Has anyone tried it?

Also, I have a question about writepad: can you use the same app with several languages? I'm a little worried because there are several versions of the app, including one for French, and they all cost 8 euros. Do I need to buy the English app and the French one if I want to write in both languages?
There seems to be something called "Pack de langue" which is an in-app purchase for $2.99. Probably wise to email the developer and ask what the deal is.

Haven't tried Phatpad, I bought Writepad when he had no other products and haven't felt the need to get anything else. It looks decent, depends on your needs, I guess. The writing recognition engine would be the same.
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Old 06-03-2012, 03:19 AM   #32
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I already have the French dictionary, and it's not working properly. The words are there, but the recognition engine works very badly. Part of it could be improved by a long training period on my part, but other things I don't see improving. I spent several minutes trying to get it to recognize a very common hyphenated word. I even added it to the user dictionary. Nothing works, it still thinks it's two words instead of one. The best I was able to obtain was the two words with the hyphen attached to the first one and a space between the two. So I'd have to go back and delete the space, which is not easy to do.

I bought the app called writenote, not writenote French, maybe that's why. Writenote French has much better ratings on the app store. Maybe each version of the app (English, French, German...) is optimized for one language only. Since I bought Writenote with no language specified, I got the US English one.

But if that's the case, it would mean that I'd need to buy two apps if I want to write both in English and French, and the language packs are a lie. You pay 2.39€ and get something that doesn't work anyway. They really need to rethink how they sell this app, and explain it clearly in the store.
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Old 06-03-2012, 08:50 AM   #33
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Well, i just wasted 8 euros. Writepad may be good for English, but in French it's a disaster. In fact, it's even stated in the user manual: the recognition engine is optimized for US English only. Too bad they didn't put this sentence in the store description. I don't know how easy it is to get a refund on the apple store, I've never tried it, but I will try now. I could try to use the app for English, but now that I have chosen franchise as my main language I would have to pay 2.39€ more for the English pack, and I think my adventurous spirit stops here.
Well that sucks. There was no mention of that in the pop-up for additional language packs I saw, either. Too bad, as the English language handwriting conversion is excellent.
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:08 AM   #34
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OK folks, here's some great news for those who use Noteshelf. As I mentioned before, I really love this app. I love the way it organizes notes, I love the way you can use various different covers for each notebook, and I love the fluid writing style produced when you put stylus (or finger) to screen. The only thing I don't like—and I really want this feature—is its lack of handwriting recognition. So I wrote to the company, and here's what I said:

Spoiler:
Great app. One feature request: handwriting recognition software to convert handwriting to editable text. I would buy that add-on module in a heartbeat!

Cheers!

William T. Sharpe


And here is their reply:

Spoiler:
Hi William,

Thank you for contacting Noteshelf support. Regarding "handwriting to text", we started to discuss with some companies who have a robust handwriting-to-text engines so we can integrate it into Noteshelf release. Kindly bear with us.

Best Regards,

[Company representative]


I've mentioned that I really love the way WritePad converts text, but if Noteshelf can come up with a conversion engine to match it (especially if it converts on-the-fly the way WritePad does), then I'll probably go back to Noteshelf. I do miss the way it is organized, with the bookshelf and the attractive covers.

Last edited by WT Sharpe; 06-03-2012 at 10:05 AM. Reason: Add the words, "it's lack of" for clarification.
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Old 06-03-2012, 09:51 AM   #35
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That's good news, it shows that Noteshelf's developer are working on improving it. I just hope it stays as stable and easy to use as it is now.

I took kiteflyers's advice and wrote to phatware about writepad. If they give me a way to make it work both in French and English I won't ask for a refund. We'll see.

Last edited by FlorenceArt; 06-04-2012 at 04:49 AM.
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Old 06-03-2012, 10:07 AM   #36
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I looked at PhatPad, and it appears a bit bloated for my needs.
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Old 06-04-2012, 04:44 AM   #37
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I think phatpad would be something of an equivalent of noteshelf, but I doubt I would like it better than noteshelf, plus if the handwriting recognition engine is the same as writepad, it won't work for me.

Just got a rather disheartening reply from phatware. They seem to think I am having problems because I didn't select French as my main language and am trying to handle French writing with an English recognition engine. Which I am not, I selected French as my main language. So if this is the best they can suggest, I suppose it means French handwriting recognition simply does not work, or not good enough for me (OK, I might be a bit of a perfectionist, I'll admit it).

So I guess I will try to get a refund. As a matter of principle, I really don't want to buy the additional English pack (which will probably work better) simply because I selected French the first time and French doesn't work. Plus it would only cover half my needs, for more than 10 euros total cost.

Last edited by FlorenceArt; 06-04-2012 at 04:47 AM.
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Old 06-06-2012, 03:36 PM   #38
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WritePad update: I found out by accident that I could change the language, simply by deleting the app and reinstalling it. It asked me for my main language again and I selected US English. And it still doesn't work for me. I suppose the problem is not the language, it's the handwriting. The app is optimized for American handwriting, mine is obviously too exotic for it. Here's a screenshot to prove it.

I asked for a refund on the iTunes store but I am not very hopeful of getting it, so I may be stuck with this app anyway. Oh well, it's only 8 euros after all.

ETA: LOL, I had cropped the screenshot on the iPad but it didn't really crop the image and I uploaded it whole. Now you can see all the nonsense I wrote. Or tried to write.
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Old 06-06-2012, 07:18 PM   #39
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I think it might have had a shot if you actually crossed the t in the first place. Maybe it can help you improve your writing skills

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Old 06-07-2012, 08:25 AM   #40
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Americanize it you mean. No thank you

Actually I think the app is learning to interpret my handwriting. And probably I am adapting it a little too. The progress is quite impressive. Yesterday I was unable to complete a decent-sized sentence, this morning I wrote a small paragraph. There are still errors, but at this stage the number of errors seems to be about the same as when I write with the iOS keyboard. Maybe slightly higher still, but hopefully it will keep improving.
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Old 06-07-2012, 12:20 PM   #41
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It amazes me how such an inexpensive app has such impressive capabilities. You may also benefit from frequent reference to the help file, especially the section titled "gestures". For example; you may have noticed how difficult it is to insert punctuation marks after a word has already been written. A small down, then up stroke brings up the punctuation keyboard, which promptly vanishes after you make your selection. Very handy.
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Old 06-07-2012, 01:28 PM   #42
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It amazes me how such an inexpensive app has such impressive capabilities. You may also benefit from frequent reference to the help file, especially the section titled "gestures". For example; you may have noticed how difficult it is to insert punctuation marks after a word has already been written. A small down, then up stroke brings up the punctuation keyboard, which promptly vanishes after you make your selection. Very handy.
Thanks, I didn't know that, but yes, I found the help files very, well, helpful.
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Old 06-09-2012, 02:52 PM   #43
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I guess handwriting recognition is not for me. I was curious and made a little experiment: I typed/wrote the same text in several apps to see which was fastest for me. The sample text was a paragraph, in English, of about 570 characters. The time it took me to write it in my different apps was:

Notebooks 3'45
iA Writer 3'05
Knowtes 2'45

(The differences between these times are not really significant, I was typing the same text every time and typed faster as I was repeating it. After completing the test I made another try with notebooks and the time was 2'40).

Noteshelf: 4'16 (I was cheating a little here since when I made a mistake, instead of canceling or erasing, I just stroked through the word and wrote it again).

WritePad: 7'57 (and I left several mistakes, as it was just too much work going back to correct them).

I think that's it for WritePad. And for handwriting recognition, since even without wasting time on the recognition, I type faster than I write. Writepad would probably be less frustrating if I had an American handwriting, but still less efficient than the iPad's keyboard with a good note taking app (Notebooks remains my favorite so far).

And now I'll stop bothering you with my complaining.

Last edited by FlorenceArt; 06-09-2012 at 02:54 PM.
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Old 06-09-2012, 03:40 PM   #44
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That's too bad. I'm still having a blast with the handwriting recognition. Even sent off an email yesterday written in WritePad. Maybe as you suggested earlier it has something to do with its difficulty in recognizing the handwriting style of a native French writer.
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Old 06-10-2012, 03:41 PM   #45
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So far the favorite handwriting conversion app of all I've tried is Notes Plus. There are some limitations that bug me, and some areas where I find myself doing work-arounds to get the result I want, but it really does a fantastic job of converting handwriting to text.

WritePad for iPad sounds like a fantastic app, and I'd like to give it a try, but there are a couple of questions I have first:
(1) Does it convert handwriting? The video I just watched on YouTube doesn't show it doing that, but rather shows it converting handprinting to text.
(2) Can you use a stylus with this app?
Off topic. How do you get the picture to show up on the YouTube video link?

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